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Bob nodding removed the ring and handed it to Nancy. “Read the inscription and you tell me.” Nancy began to shake as she read what was written in the gold band. She handed the ring back as she said. “I’m going to need another pill.” Bob got up from the chair and headed to the phone that was on the wall between the kitchen and living room. After dialing he stood silent for a moment. …“Hello Beatrice, just calling to check on Ralph, how is he?” …“That is great. Listen can you tell me what happened to the alligator boots Susie bought for Uncle Dino last Christmas.” …“Really? No that’s ok I’ll tell her. She wanted to make sure Ralph got them, but I guess that’s not possible.” …“I’ll let her know, they are leaving in the morning. Listen if you and Ralph need Nancy or I please don’t hesitate to call.” Bob hung up the phone. Biting his lip he pointed at the boots and cleared his throat. Uncle Dino was buried in the alligator boots. Are you sure that pair is the same pair you gave him?” “Are you sure that’s the same Mason ring you tossed in the grave?” TJ asked. “I have no doubt.” Bob said as flopped back down in his chair. “I can’t believe Uncle Dino’s spirt is roaming the earth.” “That or there is a grave robber running amuck who knew who the ring belonged to and who bought the boots.” TJ said. “Either way TJ, you are right. My nerves can’t handle this, let’s head home at sunrise.” Susie said as she was removing her next to last valium from the bottle. *** Susie and TJ were back in the hot and humid air of Georgia. TJ had taken a week off to make sure Susie was stable before returning to work. Susie’s doctor suggested that she take an additional two weeks off as she was mentally drained and physically beat. Over the last week Susie had resumed helping around the house and returned to being the mom and wife her family was accustomed to. With that hurdle cleared Susie knew that it was time to resume her work life which she found gratifying. The residents of the retirement home she worked at needed and missed her. Susie was glad that she was scheduled to return to work the next morning and ready for the challenge. TJ had taken the boys fishing so that Susie could take her time preparing for her first day at work in three weeks without interruption. Susie had everything done with the exception of ironing her nurse’s uniforms. The non-air-conditioned shotgun home she and her family lived in was like an oven this time of year. Susie had the front and back door open with a fan sitting in front of each, hoping to turn the hall into a breezeway. The sun was setting as Susie was wiping the sweat from her

face with a towel before preparing to press the uniforms. The ratcheting of the ironing board legs being extended echoed in the hall. Once at the height Susie preferred she released the lever locking the legs in place. After placing the protective heat plate on the board, she set the iron in it. The plug was under the wooden hall table that held a picture of her and her Uncle Dino. The picture was flanked by the alligator boots, above the table was a mirror. Susie kissed her finger then placed it on Uncle Dino’s face before bending down plugging the iron in. After Susie set the iron to cotton she was heading to retrieve the uniforms while the iron was heating up. On the way back Susie’s brow furrowed as she noticed the hall was dark, the blue light on the iron was the only light visible. The hum of the fans were silent as she entered the corridor. While laying the uniforms across the board she jumped as the front and back doors slammed shut cutting what sunlight was left of the peaceful Sunday from the hall. With her hands empty she stepped to the switch to turn on the overhead light. She flicked it down then up, nothing happened. Susie along with sweating now began trembling as she hated the dark. Susie with her hand out stretched headed for the blue glow of the iron as a cold wind filled the dark hall blowing her hair while the corridor filled with the sound of footsteps. “TJ, boys is that y’all? We got a blown fuse, outlets work but no lights.” Susie shouted. No one answered as Susie was picking up the iron while shouting. “The iron is hot so stay back whoever you are. I don’t want to brand your face but I will.” The cold wind continued blowing through the hall making her shiver. The hair on her neck began to rise as she felt as if someone was staring at her…from behind. She screamed and dashed across the hall toward a bedroom as Uncle Dino’s voice filled the corridor. “Susie put the iron down, I will never hurt you.” Susie turned toward the voice and with caution made her way back to the ironing board placing the iron in the heat tray. With the light from the iron shining toward the table, she could see the boots. They were walking in place on the table. Susie never took her eyes off the marching boots as she was rubbing her arms trying to get them warm when the boots halted. Susie breathing heavy jumped back as within an instant the mirror filled with the face of her Uncle Dino, surrounded by a bright purple aura. Susie screaming as she began uncontrollable shaking as Dino pleaded. “Calm down Susie, I told you we would see each again. Consider our pact complete,” Dino whispered. “So… So you were behind the incidents in Tennessee.” Susie whispered as she braced herself on the hall table trying to control her breathing as tears were flowing from eyes. “Yes I was, but that didn’t fulfill our pact. You wanted to know if after death one could visit those who are still alive. Seeing my face proves that.” “Tha - That it does, are you in peace and happy?”

Profile for The Corral

The Corral - Online Magazine Issue: 1 Edition: Halloween 2019