Saturday, December 22, 2012

After Ghost Hunting

I don't need a parade or anything, but I successfully roasted my first turkey last night. Josh gets a turkey from his boss every year (Merry Christmas!), so we have to use it or lose it. We don't prepare meat in our home very often, and the reason for that is meat is gross. Still, I got a sick thrill cutting out the turkey's backbone. I've always wondered about surgeons, but now I wonder less.

I'll tell you how I went ghost hunting. I was with my friends and two attractive brothers. One is a young Santa Claus. The other is muscles on muscles, and then on those muscles, tattoos. You might say I'm easy to please, and you might be right. We got in a truck that was bigger than a dragon. We went down gravel roads. The truck was very loud. It was important we were quiet when we got out of the truck. Ghost hunting was like fishing that way. We probably didn't see any ghosts. Maybe we felt them? There was a chilly spot in one of the cemeteries, but the night was already cold, and who knows.

The creepiest part of ghost hunting was when we drove past the house where two women had been raped and murdered over the summer. Maybe that house was a ghost. Yes, that house was a ghost for sure.

There were a few times we stood over a grave and passed around a tape recorder and asked questions of no one in particular. Mostly, "Do you have anything to say?" We used our kindest voices. The last time we did it there was an urgency, a polite demand for some sort of sign. Every dog for five miles started barking. A cow stood on a stick, and the stick snapped. Someone used the night vision to watch out for bobcats and coyotes. One of the oldest graves had an early form of photography to identify the deceased. Another grave had just been filled. Our shoes sunk in the dirt there.

My copies of my book have arrived. I signed some and sold them. People are saying it's pretty. Also, small. It's smaller than a sandwich. I read three stories from it yesterday. It was like looking at a picture I couldn't remember posing for. I wrote those stories, once.


  1. This last paragraph makes me smile. Your whole entry is engaging, as I’m learning your words are, but I love the feeling of holding stories in my hand that I can almost remember writing. Feels damn fine. But you get your own name on the spine, so congratulations; I can only imagine how amazing that must feel.

    I found your work last night through Sundog Lit, and was immediately caught up in ‘Viper Missing.’ I had to read it twice to get every last drop out of it. I’ve just read several of your stories and even though it’s a hundred degrees here in Melbourne tonight, I stopped noticing the heat. I was too busy reading. I like your work, very much. No wonder you have your own spine to slip into your bookshelf.

  2. Thank you, thank you. You write. You know what it means to hear the niceness. Around the world, thank you.

    I've never been to Australia, but everyone I know has been to Australia. Someone I know is there right now. If I ever see her again, I'll ask her about the snakes. Tell me, do you have any stories about the snakes?

  3. The country is catching fire tonight – as if the crocodiles and bird eating spiders weren’t enough, summer bushfires are raging. But the snakes...Casey, the snakes are so beautiful! The mention of vipers is why I read your story in the first place; you’re talking to a woman with thirteen of them tattooed on her flesh and a standing order for snake skins at my local pet store, to line my writing desk. An animal that literally sheds its skin and starts anew? I wish I’d written that.

    They pop their glorious heads up in my ink often. However, my latest snake story is one inspired by an evening spent in the Amtrak station in Jackson, Mississippi, on my recent trip to the US, so no Aussie flavour - unless you count me. So,you know, I think I may have to write one...thanks for the inspiration!


From the mouths of beasts.