A Story by Stephanie McCants

Short ghost story



Chills … By Stephanie McCants


Brenda sat alone in her room working on her homework for Mr. Bryce’s math class. Her frustrations were building as she struggled to figure out what she was doing wrong. She was twelve and still struggling with basic math. She stared at the fractions on the pages that sat before her knowing that they would be proof of her lack of intelligence. She dreaded the inevitable letter f written in the biggest and thickest red marker he could find. Mr. Bryce seemed to take pleasure in making sure her peers got an eye-full before he slammed it down on her desk in front of her. Leaving her with his sadistic grimace and one of his trademark sarcastic and humiliating remarks that always made the class laugh in unison as they pointed and whispered to their friends.

“ Why am I so stupid?” She yelled at herself as she pounded the sides of her head. Tears dripped off her reddened cheeks and fell to the pages below.

She hated her life, her school, and most of all herself. The bedroom grew icy cold despite the summer heat sending gooseflesh in a wave across her arms and neck. She shuddered at the sudden temperature drop and wrapped her arms around herself while she glanced around her room looking for the possible cause of her chills.

She stood up and closed her math book and stepped into the hallway to see if her mother was home yet from picking up her sister from Adult School. She went back to her room and looked at the clock that rested on her dresser. It was only 4:45 pm. Her family would not be home for another thirty minutes. She glanced at the math book with total disgust and left it to rot on her desk while she went to go mope in her tree house in the large backyard. Her dog gizmo pounced about the yard happy to see her join him in his domain.

Brenda ignored his joyful bouncy parade as she walked to her sanctuary held within the massive branches of the old walnut tree. Her hand gripped the highest wood slat and began her journey to the top. She had conquered the ladder half way up when she felt an icy hand with firm fingers wrap tightly around her left ankle preventing her from climbing any further. She looked down in sudden panic and struggled to free herself from this unseen threat. Her voice squeaked out a short screech as her grip began to fail causing her to slide down as she grabbed at each step until it finally gave in and crumbled into pieces. Her upper body sailed over backwards but stopped short of hitting the cement decorative border that surrounded the walnut tree. She was frozen upside down as if caught in a rope trap but nothing could be seen, only the deep impression and the flush of white as whatever held her squeezed the blood flow from the outer skin. Her body slowly slid down the base of the tree trunk the bark scraping her back as she begged for mercy. The instant release sent her tumbling over the splintered remains of the ladder.

She pushed herself up from the ground feeling nausea pass along with the sudden rush of blood that drained from her head. She stumbled away from the disaster scene while gizmo barked furiously at the tree scolding something that her eyes could not see. She could not even begin to fathom what had just happened. Her mind reeled as she sauntered away confused and disoriented until she fell in a soft patch of grass next to her bedroom window. It was the only place the grass grew so lush with life while the rest of the yard was barren dirt, devoid of even weeds.

Brenda sat there stunned trying to make sense of what just happened gooseflesh covered her as her body shook with a sudden jolt. gizmo came and curled up beside her, pushing his curly black hair covered head under her arm forcing her to hold him. Fear held her in that spot holding the worried cocker-poo close to her side. She was awakened from her trance by the loud sound of a car door slamming shut inside the garage just beyond the entryway. She was relieved to see her mother and sister walk past the doorway into the house. She forced herself up and ran inside still pale as a corpse left in a freezer.

She started to tell of her frightening ordeal but was stopped by the notion, what on earth would she say? Her eyes were troubled but neither of her family seemed to notice. They went about their routine oblivious to the painfully obvious distress signals she rendered in silence. She gave up on trying to figure out what to say and went to hide in her bedroom. She walked past her math book that sat on the desk mocking her as she glanced past it.

Brenda took up her spot on her bed and allowed her mind to sort things out. Did she really experience what she thought she had? Maybe she had merely fallen and hit her head then while she was unconscious hallucinated the entire thing. Her hands found her skull and slipped through her hair searching for any lumps, dents, or sore spots. She found nothing, not one stitch of proof she had taken a hard knock to the head. “What is wrong with me?” She thought as she curled up to her pillow grasping it to her for comfort and closed her eyes allowing the darkness ease her into sleep.

“ Brenda! Wake up your dinner is getting cold,” her mother said, as she shook her by her shoulder.

She sat up, her eyes squinting from the bright light of her room and answered, “ I’m not hungry. I just want to sleep.”

“Are you feeling sick?” She felt Brenda’s forehead sensing no heat but cold skin. “ Well you don’t seem to have a fever but you do feel chilled to bone.” She walked to the closet and pulled out a thick blanket and handed Brenda her bedclothes to change into. “ Here, get into these while I add this blanket to your bed.”

Brenda obeyed her mother and slipped into her nightgown then stood watch waiting for the ok to climb back into bed.

“ Here you go.” She helped her daughter into bed and covered her up before turning off the lights and closing the door. Brenda slipped back into sleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.

She awoke early in the morning still looking as ghostly white as she had the night before. Her mother knocked on the door before entering, “ How are you feeling?”

“I just feel drained,” she answered in a low tone.

“I am going to keep you out of school today and see if I can get you in to see the doctor. Are you ok staying home alone? I have to work but will probably get off early or go in late depending on when I can get you in for an appointment.” Her mother looked concerned and a bit guilty for having to leave her alone.

“ I’ll be fine mom. I will probably just sleep.”

“Do you want me to make you some breakfast before I take your sister to school?”

“ No I’m not hungry but I feel as though I could drink a lake.”

“How about a cold soda? That will help settle your stomach if your feeling nauseous.”

“That sounds good, thanks mom.”

Brenda’s mother returned with a glass of soda and left it on her daughter’s bedside table; “I will see you later honey I brought you the phone just in case you need it.” Brenda smiled and thanked her again before taking a large sip of soda. She tried to go back to sleep but found she was unable to get past the dozing mark. She gave up on sleep and got dressed to go outside. She wanted to investigate the rubble from the incident. Maybe it could shed some light on what happened to her.

Gizmo was there to greet her as she walked out of the garage into the backyard. She noticed Gizmo had begun digging up a spot not far from the walnut tree. She gazed down at the hole and spied something shiny in amongst the loose dirt. She picked up what looked like a rotted part of a root with a ring on it and bits of burlap fused to the small stone. She dusted away the bits of soil that clung then shivered at what she was holding was not a root but a disembodied finger. She stood there holding it, her face etched with fear and repulsion. Her mind screamed drop that thing but her body ignored the message. She was entranced by the morbid discovery, held in its grasp of unanswered questions that swirled in her head.

The ring was a black hills gold rose with a beautiful blue stone set in the center of the full delicate petals. It was in serious need of cleaning and looked to be embedded in the petrified flesh. She went into the garage and found an old rag to wrap it in before placing the jeweled finger in her pants pocket. Her eyes spotted a shovel and she indulged in the impulse of digging further. Gizmo was barking at the hole while he dug sharing Brenda’s curiosity and the need to see what else could be unearthed. She pushed him aside so she could dig without him in her way. He wandered nervously in circles around her and the ever-growing hole he had started.

Her digging was cut short when she heard her mother shut the car door in the driveway outside the garage. She dropped the shovel and ran inside to her room. She slipped off her shoes and laid down on her bed waiting for her mother to come in.

“ Oh good your dressed, get your shoes on we can see the doctor as soon as we get there.”

Brenda slipped on her shoes and washed her hands in the bathroom before leaving for the doctor’s office. Her mother told her through the door not to go pee because they may need a urine sample. The two drove in silence to the clinic. Brenda’s mind wandered on the mounting questions she had over the finger she still held in her pocket. Should she say something to her mom now about it or maybe the doctor? No, they wouldn’t believe her they would just take it away from her and she wanted to examine it some more in hopes of finding answers.

“ Mom, do you know anything about the people who lived in our house before us?” She asked her mother out of the silence.

“What is it you are wanting to know?” She slipped the gear into park after finding a parking space close to the front doors of the clinic.

“Anything you know I suppose. We haven’t lived there long and I was just curious about them.”

“I only know it was a man by the name of Henderson who sold the house because his wife had ran off with his best friend.” They stepped out of the car and walked up to the clinic pushing open one of the large glass doors as they entered the waiting room. The two sat after signing in.

Her mother dropped her off at home with the prescription for an iron supplement. Her blood work had came back showing signs of anemia. Her mother left for work and Brenda resumed her morbid search. Gizmo had resumed his digging as soon as she had left the yard earlier. She picked up the shovel which was half buried in dirt from gizmo’s frantic digging style and stepped into the lumpy hole . The shovel caught on something and she struggled to free it then with a loud snap it broke away and flew out of the hole. She dropped the shovel and grabbed a stick to poke at the odd looking mass. She bent down for a closer look and discovered it was indeed he hand that went with the finger. Gizmo started to pick up the rotted hand when she yelled for him to stop. She grabbed his collar and dragged him into the garage shutting him inside. He whined and barked scratching at the door till she told him to go lay down.

She could not stop herself from continuing her excavation. She dug faster seeking the outer edges and then discovering there was not just one but three wrapped bundles that gave off a putrid musty odor. The hole grew larger and larger. She dropped the shovel and began pushing soil away with her hands. Brenda’s heart pounded as she worked to loosen the burlap. She knew what was beneath it but she had to see it for herself. She tugged so hard at the material it finally released sending her flying backwards. She got up from the ground and stepped closer to the hole dropping the coarse cloth and stared at the remains of three people wrapped in burlap and rope. Tears began to fall as she made out what could only be Mrs. Henderson , her lover, and her child. The small size told her the child could not have been older than seven years old if that. She dropped down to her knees and cried with unbridled abandon. How could he do that? How could he kill his own child?

Brenda picked herself up and dusted off her legs and headed for her bedroom to get the phone. Gizmo ran to her when she stepped into the garage and begged for her to acknowledge him. Her hand patted his head before she entered the kitchen. She grabbed the phone and sat on her bed thinking of how to tell her mother of her gruesome discovery. How would she tell her mother there were three corpses in the back yard? She sat there rehearsing what she would say and how she had found it then the sudden thought of what if popped in her head. What if Mr. Henderson decided to have them killed for finding out his horrible secret maybe she shouldn’t tell anyone.

The room grew ice cold sending trails of steam from her mouth and nostrils. The door to her room slammed shut startling her to look up. The lights came on and off and a stain of dark crimson bubbled up from the floor a few feet from her closet door that swung open and slammed shut repeatedly. She called her mom at work crying hysterically. She screamed each time an object flew at her from her desk and dresser. Her mother cried out over the phone “ Brenda !” until the phone line went dead. She screamed at the top of her lungs for it to stop. Her hands cupped over her head to prevent injury from the projectiles that seemed to come from all directions. She dropped the phone and tried to get out her front door but instead felt her body being dragged into the closet. The door slammed shut with her held inside. The light faded in and out with sharp sounds of electricity as it grew brighter showing her the deep scratches that had been painted over. They began to weep blood making Brenda scream louder and pound harder on the door with her clenched fists. She looked down through her tear filled eyes to see a small little girl crouched at the bottom of the door scratching and hitting the door begging for a way out. Brenda backed up in disbelief. The little girl screamed and begged, “ Daddy please let me out daddy! I promise I won’t tell about mommy! Please daddy !” Blood poured from her worn fingers and stained her tear streaked face. Brenda Cried out for her mother and begged to be let out.

Brenda’s mother had rushed home and met the police she had called from work. They rushed inside hearing the horrifying cries of her daughter begging for her life. Light bulbs burst as they made their way to her door. The police officer tried the knob then pounded it in with his shoulder to gain entry. The closet door swung open and Brenda fell into the pool of blood on her floor and screamed in terror as she struggled to get up. The two policemen helped her up and rushed her outside retreating from the horrific scene within. One officer looked behind him and seen a little girl standing in the hallway covered in blood he moved to go to her but she disappeared sending him out of the house even faster. Then it all stopped as if someone flipping a light switch. It grew silent except for the sobs from Brenda and her mother holding her daughter checking for wounds.

“Where are you cut ? Is this your blood?” She cried at her.

“ No, it isn’t mine mama it’s the people who died in there !” She sobbed into her mothers embrace. The policemen directed the ambulance in and led Brenda to the paramedic. Police, Fire department, and ambulance surrounded the house. Brenda was still sobbing but she made more sense as the EMT’s examined her. She told them all of her discovery in the backyard pulling out the finger she had wrapped in a rag in her pocket. The two sat in the ambulance while answering questions as the detectives found the remains in the backyard. Gizmo began howling from inside the garage sending chills through Brenda that made her flesh crawl. It was a mournful sound sending chills through everyone as they too felt the sadness of the dog’s pitiful cry for the lost souls within the grave under the walnut tree.

Stephanie McCants © 2006

© 2015 Stephanie McCants

Author's Note

Stephanie McCants
A special thanks to my editor Mick Pinto

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


This is one I'm definitely going to reread on a spooky night
I love the chracter play-the fast paced energy made it easy to read
nicely done- tremendous effort.
thanks for sharing your talent

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is really good! I loved this story! It flowed so well. I thought the description you gave was just enough to keep it interesting. Very good!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on April 3, 2008
Last Updated on July 18, 2015


Stephanie McCants
Stephanie McCants

Visalia, CA

I am a creative person who loves to write horror and comedy. I also enjoy painting various subject matter, and drawing cartoons. I started making money at writing as a teen selling essays I wrote for .. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..