Friday, June 27, 2014

New short story: The Soul Borrowers

Here is an excerpt from "The Soul Borrowers."

"You should be unpacking the kitchen not putting books away. They can wait,” shouted the testy Izzy from the downstairs bathroom.
            The lean, blue-eyed, darkly handsome Matt Ketchum knew she was right, and that’s what irritated him. “Just a minute,” he replied.
            He had pulled out and arranged all but one last book that lay at the bottom of the box. It wasn’t one he’d recalled seeing before. Picking up the aging hardcover, he turned to read the spine. “The Soul Borrowers by Arthur Edward Singletary.” He was about to call out to Izzy and ask if the book was hers when a photograph fell from between the pages and floated to the floor. Picking it up, the first thing he saw was the image of a cherubic little blond girl around three in pajamas standing up in her crib. It didn’t take any guessing to know this was a photo of Izzy as a child, playfully mugging for the camera. Matt made his best educated guess that this was an evening when little Izzy wouldn’t go to sleep and for whatever reason, a harried and sleep deprived Mom decided to take a picture. Then he noticed something in a corner of the room, a shadow that seemed to have the shape of a very tall person clothed in black gauze. He squinted. Pulled the photo closer. At one glance, it was simply the dark corner of the room that the flash did not reach, but at another there was a human shape to the black mass just to the left of Izzy.
            “Having fun?” asked an exasperated Izzy leaning in the doorway, her pale skin glistening.
            He looked at her and then back at the photo. “What is this?”
            She tiredly wiped her forehead and came in to the room, taking the photo from Matt and examining it closely. Her expression subtly transitioned from irritation to confusion to consternation. “That’s me, but…. What the hell is that?” she asked, pointing to the shadow.
            Matt shrugged. “I have no idea, but it’s creepy.”
            Izzy turned the photo over and read the inscription. “’Isabella. July 1987. Duluth.’ I was three. That’s my mother’s writing, but it doesn’t explain anything. Where did you find this?”
            He held out the book. “It fell out of here. It’s called “The Soul Borrowers.” Ring a bell?”
            Izzy took the book from Matt and leafed through it. “Yeah, it does ring a bell. It was one of my mother’s books. She’d only saved a few when she went into the nursing home, but I remember this was one of them. In fact, a few days before she died, she said I should read it.” Izzy looked up at Matt. “She was saying some crazy stuff around that time so I didn’t think anything of it. I just brought it home with everything else she had, which wasn’t much.” She inspected the photo again. “Wow. Creepy is right. Maybe I should read this.”

Read the rest at They're Only Shadows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Intriguing. Gets even better!