Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Write...Edit...Publish. Mr. Wag a ghost Story

Time again for another flash fiction story for Write...Edit...Publish, created by my awesome, Aussie friend, Denise Covey. The inspiration this month is Halloween of course and ghost in particular. I hope you enjoy my story and when you have finished reading, please head over and read the other stories by talented writers. Here's the link.

Mr. Wag

I threw up.

“Again?” Mom said walking into the bathroom. “What’s going on Betsy? Is something wrong at school?”

“No,” I said. I’d already told my parents. They took me to Dr. Howard, a therapist. He didn’t believe me and neither did my parents. I knew it was hopeless to say anything again. I asked for a dog. A dog would sleep with me, walk with me, protect me. Dad said “no.” My parents bought me a goldfish instead. It swam around and looked stupid.

The temperature outside had dropped overnight. I was glad. I pulled on my new coat. Pink with white faux fur around the hood. I pulled it up over my blonde curls. Mom settled my backpack over my shoulders.

“Are you coming home for lunch?” Mom asked.

“No,” I said. Truth was, I’d love to come home for lunch, but that meant I’d have to walk by the cemetery two extra times. School was only three blocks away. But the cemetery was one block on the opposite side of the road and stretched all the way past the school. Recess was a nightmare.

“It’s not cold enough to have your hood up,” Mom said. “It’ll mess up your pretty hair.”

“That’s OK,” I said and hurried outside before Mom could ask me anymore questions.

I ran toward the corner and then stopped. I could see them. Pacing between graves. Some leaned on trees. Others stood before their grave stone weeping. I could hear them too. The trick was to not let them know I could see and hear them. I pulled up my hood even more and tucked my head down before I crossed the street. Each step forward brought more anxiety. I felt sick again and swallowed the vomit in my mouth. I knew how each one died. Some had swollen eyes, others were really old, a few wore military uniforms, the Civil War right through the current one. By the time I reached school half a dozen were following me including a really scary one with half his head blown away. I pretended I didn't see them.

In class I found my seat. They hovered by my desk, whispering. “My name is Frank,” the one with half a face said. “Tell my Mom I love her.” “I’m Walter,” an old man said. “I miss my wife.” “Alice, Alice, Alice,” a third one repeated over and over again.

Tears stung my eyes and I wiped them before anyone noticed. My teacher was reviewing our spelling words for the week. “Cemetery,” she said. I almost jumped out of my skin.

“What’s wrong Betsy?” she asked quietly coming over to my desk and standing right inside of Frank. She shivered and pulled her sweater closer.

“Nothing,” I lied. She wouldn't believe me if I told her. Then my parents would get a phone call and I’d go back to Dr. Howard.

When Miss Stewart, my teacher, left I addressed the ghost under my breath. “Go away, I have to study.” They went to the back of the class and stared at me. That’s when a little boy joined them. There were tire marks across his chest.

After lunch I went outside with my classmates. I didn’t have any friends. The other kids all thought I was weird. I hid as close to the school building as possible but it didn’t matter. More ghost joined the ones who were near.

Frustrated I blurted out. “I can’t help any of you. I don’t know your Mom, or your wife. Go away.” Todd Greenburg heard me and stopped to stare, the ball he’d been playing with firmly in his grasp. I gave him an embarrassed smile and felt my lips quivering.

The walk home was flanked by the ghost insistent whispers. “I don’t want to die.” “I love my Mom.” “War is hell.” “The doctor said I’d be fine.” “Can you call my Mom? Her name is Wanda.” “My wife is in Pleasantville Retirement.” Alice was weeping in a high pitched scream. I had a headache.

That’s when it happened. I saw the dog. A German Shepard. A shadow of its living self, it came running across the street right before an oncoming car. The car drove by and the dog ran right through it. His tail was wagging, his tongue lolled out. He had a collar on. I reached down and turned his name tag over.

“Mr. Wag,” I said and smiled. I petted his ghostly head. Mr. Wag growled at the human ghost. They stepped back.

I continued to walk home with Mr. Wag by my side. The human ghost didn't follow me. I had a bologna sandwich and gave a piece to Mr. Wag. He ate it, except, not really. I had to throw it away. No human ghost bothered me while I studied and later Mr. Wag sat at my feet while I watched T.V. 

When bedtime arrived, Mr. Wag jumped up on my bed beside me. That night when the ghost crowded into my room Mr. Wag growled at them, jumped off the bed and chased them out. Then he came back and lay down next to me again. Happy, I petted him and his tailed wagged.

In the morning Mr. Wag greeted me with ghostly kisses. He came to school with me, lifting his leg at random bushes and peeing. Nothing came out of course. He lay next to my desk at school. The human ghost hid from him. We went outside together. I walked Mr. Wag all around the school yard and wasn't troubled by any ghost.

Life changed after Mr. Wag came along. I finally found some good friends. It’s been nine years and I’m headed off to college soon. Mr. Wag will come with me. I love Mr. Wag.

Word Count: 970

I’m really glad that I don’t see dead people. I did have a dog that I loved very much. He’d always lie at my feet when I worked on my stories. After we put him down because he was old and sick, I heard his nails on the wood floor. I told him to go to the other side and never heard him again. I miss him terribly. 

In other news. I could use your help. I have two flash fiction e-book stories available on Amazon. They are Free. It says 99 cents but below that it says, read this title for free. I need some reviews, if you wouldn't mind downloading them, reading them and giving me a review I'd appreciate it. While your at it hit the 'like' by my name.Thanks.

Here are the links.

Once again, thank you so much. Nancy


dolorah said...

That was a cool story. I'm glad she got a dog, and her parents could not object :)

H.R. Sinclair said...

That was such a sweet story and I love the unexpected turn out.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Dolorah and Holly.

Laura Clipson said...

I love that the dog was her protector, great story :)

Yolanda Renée said...

Very unique way to stop the poor girls harassment. Mr. Wag is my hero! Lovely story!

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Laura and Yolanda

Denise Covey said...

I love Mr Wag. What a lovely story idea. Those ghosts seemed very realistic and were causing such havoc for poor Betsy. A great entry for the WEP 'fest.

I will follow your instructions for Amazon.

Thanks for your participation in the WEP challenge.


N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Denise.

D.G. Hudson said...

A lovely story about a child who seems sensitive, and she finds her own way out of the predicament. A dog ghost story, l enjoyed it, Nancy.

Will try to get over to Amazon - the Trapped Memories appeals to me.

D.G. Hudson said...

I checked at Amazon but Trapped Memories doesn't show 'read this title for free' on my access which may be via It only shows the sample which isn't enough to review. Let me know if this changes to free in Canada, where we are sometimes treated like the hinterland.

David P. King said...

Awesome ghost story, and just in time for Halloween. Now I'm in the mood. :)

F. Stone said...

I'm getting really creeped out with all these great ghost stories. Well done.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks D.G., I'll have to look into it.

Made to deliver David.

Hi Feather
Creepy it is.

Jenny Brigalow said...

A terrific portrayal of what it is to be young and alienated. All kids should have a Mr Wags for solace. So enjoyed this story. Thank you.

N. R. Williams said...

You're welcome Jenny

Lisa said...

That is so cool! Help from the other side. And I love stories with dogs like this! Thanks for sharing!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy ... love Mr Wag - and a great creative story allowing you to settle down and live peacefully ever after .. without ghosts creepily creeping their way out of the cemetery ..

Well done - cheers Hilary

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I really enjoyed this "ghost" story. Mr. Wag, huh? I love it.

Dean Koontz wrote of a ghost dog named Boo in his book, BROTHER ODD, the 3rd of the ODD THOMAS SERIES.

It would be nice to have a Mr. Wag, wouldn't it? :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you for your comments Lisa, Hilary and Roland. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it.

Nilanjana Bose said...

A ghostly dog is way better than a goldfish for sure. I am glad Betsy got what she wanted. Cute story.

Trisha said...

I'm glad she found a ghost dog to be her friend and protector. Though I sort of feel sorry for the ghosts with nobody to help them! Still, hopefully she will be able to do some good in her future life. :)

I know how hard it is to put a beloved family pet to sleep :(

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Nila

Hi Trisha
I do too as you may have read.

Thank you both for stopping by.

Sally said...

A great story, a young child seeing ghosts must be quite scary. I love the idea of Mr. Wag to keep her safe.

Scheherazade said...

That was refreshing to read a ghost story from a child's POV. Well done.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Sally and Linda

Blogger said...

There's SHOCKING news in the sports betting industry.

It has been said that any bettor needs to see this,

Watch this or quit betting on sports...

Sports Cash System - Advanced Sports Betting Software.