Racin' Flames and Ghost Dames

by Marcus K. Lambert

"It's the nineteenth," Nick had said. "Let's go sneak into Oak Hill!"

"You're crazy," I told him. "There's ghosts there even when it isn't the nineteenth."

"I know, but they say that Emer's '32 pulls up to the gate and waits for her to come out of the grave . . . then they take off down the street and burst into flames!"

"Flames? Whatever."

"C'mon . . . I'll buy ya a slushy at the Seven on the walk back."

So there we were: Me crouched behind a slab of marble that read STOWESKY and Nick behind one that was so worn the name couldn't be read in the dark. I was sucking on the blood coming from my forearm where the fence had punctured it, staring at the headstones next to the juniper bush . . . particularly the one that said MARRIN.

"My dad told me Emer had a sister that got killed in a freak accident, too," Nick whispered. "Said it was a different car, but that Emer'd been working on it just the night before." He made an explosion gesture with his hand and a silent O with his mouth: BOOM. 

We were bored after half an hour, and we'd both agreed that we wouldn't leave until after midnight—

But it happened at 11:41.

"Bryce . . . look!"

We'd expected to see her ghost bubble up from the grave all gnarly and decayed looking, but instead of the shape of a woman there was one wicked-looking roadster by the headstone where there hadn't been one minutes before . . .

Looked to be about a '32. I had an eye for 'em because my uncle was a roadster freak. Practically lived at the Bonneville Salt Flats from his twenties up to the day he died. 

"Bryce . . . are you seeing—"

"Yeah," I mumbled, "I see it."

It was transparent at first, but changed as the seconds passed. It seemed to grow bolder, solid. Real.

Then there was a stirring around the headstone, like wind blowing around silver dust, and a human shape— Nick lost his nerve at that point and started backing away through the leaves. "Screw this!"

There was a sharp click that echoed through the cemetery and the phantom car's driver-side door opened. I turned to look at Nick, to find some clue what to do, and that is when I saw the rotten hand come down onto his shoulder.

We both screamed. Nick rolled to his side to escape the ghoul's grasp. A light seared through the dark and blinded me; I threw a hand in front of my face to block the brightness.

"What're ya kids doing here, uh? Thought ya's was vandals."

The light moved to the ground in front of me and I saw that it was Mr. Koltz aiming it, Oak Hill's sexton.

"Boys should be home asleepin. Come on, I give ya's lift home." 

Nick and I both turned to look at the grave marked MARRIN: Nothing there now but shadows and leaves. 

Mr. Koltz's Monte Carlo was just down the hill, and I guess we could have mistaken it for a chopped phantom coupe . . . I guess. We dropped Nick off first. "Yeah, so . . . see you tomorrow."

"Okay . . . night."

Nick became a blur in the rearview. My house was ten miles from his and the road was now inky black, like graveyard shadows . . .

"What're you doing out so late anyway, Mr. Koltz?"

"Came to clean up after tha car, a'course."

"C—Car?" 

"Sure. Old Emer Aldridge's. Leaks oil all over tha grass." Koltz waved his hand, "Mess."

Suddenly headlights come to life behind us—and flames, too.

"Ayuh . . . an' them wild kids always wants to race afterwards."

The Cut

by Dot Wickliff

The crickets have stopped chirping;

it’s the middle of May’s darkest night.

A gravestone covered in shadows . . .

sits lonley under the moonlight.

                       —

Through the freshly cut grass

white-walled tires hunt and prowl,

they come to stop at the lonley stone . . .

with a crazed, primordial growl.

                       —

Its phantom engine revs—

Let’s drive, drive! it screams

and six feet below the dirt . . .

eyes long-closed open and gleam.

                       —

His cold heart starts pumping,

 

this is the thrill he can’t resist,

the fiend’s desire quickens and swells,

like a bloated, necrotic cyst.

                       —

Quickly through the black dirt and worms

the fiend clambers up and then out,

for miles around the sounds echo:

Wild whoops, howls and shouts.

                       —

His yellow eyes widen, then settle

on his oldest, dearest friend,

the grey metal and paint still like new

How many long years has it been?

                       —

Giddy lunatic behind the steering wheel,

the dark mirrors adjusted just right,

his skeletal claw finds the stick shift

Be warned all who waken: We own the night!

                       —

He cackles through a demonic grin,

a rotten laugh boils in his rotten gut,

and as the tires start spinning . . .

 

The director yells “CUT!

                       —

Great work everybody,

let’s take ten and we’ll regroup.

Hey Hansen, Ramierez! What's this?

 

Put a fresh buff on that coupe!”

Coupe de Kille

by Amber Ames

It's a chilly fall day. I love days like this. I get very reminiscent of the day I came to being. Normally, on a day like today, I would just stay home with my bride. In fact, she wanted me to stay home and sip warm formaldehyde with her. She is on this new health kick and she's worried we'll began to decay without our daily dose. She's adorable. 

But I couldn't miss out on tonight's party: a monster reunion and birthday party for Mummy (although I really don't understand celebrating his birthday when he has technically been dead for thousands of years). Last I heard, Mummy was thinking of returning to his old tomb, for good. If he does he will probably end up in some exhibit that travels the country. He has mentioned always wanting to travel . . .

I have been looking forward to tonight since opening the invitation:

THE MUMMY TURNS 5,534 (AGAIN!) PLEASE JOIN US FOR A NIGHT OF FRIGHTS:

A MONSTER REUNION AND BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR THE MUMMY. 

AUCTION IN THE GRAVEYARD THAT EVENING TO AUCTION OFF DRAC'S KILLER COUPE.

I pulled up to Drac's and recognized his hearse right off. I can't believe he still drives that thing—the Bride would have made me sell it years ago. Ah, the life of a bachelor . . .

There was a chill in the air that brought back so many memories. "Frank old friend!" Dracula exclaimed. "It is bloody good to see you!" I smile, Dracula just as theatrical as I remembered. "Drac! I see you're still driving the old hearse. How's the gas mileage on that thing?" I ask. He smiles back, but ignores my question. "Please join us. We are enjoying cake and then I will auction off my coupe."

I entered his mansion and wouldn't you know, Walk Like an Egyptian was playing. 

After some reminiscing and eating cake, we all gather in the graveyard. Dracula explained how he's the original owner of this prized car. How he's recently realized the irony of his car sitting in a graveyard and hated the thought of it decaying down to raw metal, never again to hum with life. He knew of no better group of guys that he'd rather give the opportunity to own this car. I suppose there are not very many people in this world Drac trusts. He went on, but I didn't hear what he was saying. I was thinking about how it would feel to drive that coupe through the windy mountains! I could already hear the wind whistling through my bolts . . . 

The bidding started at $500, I raised it to 7 and Werewolf challenged me with 9. So it began . . . back and forth we went. Suddenly money was no longer an object to me. I had to have that car!  As the moon crept up the amount was at $2,500. Werewolf offered a bid of $2,600, I blurted out $2,700. The full moon illuminated the night. Werewolf turned and quickly transformed, and ran off before he could say another word. Although I felt bad for the guy, I quickly realized the car would be mine! "Going once, going twice . . . SOLD to the man in the stitches!" Dracula shouted. I signed the title with the biggest grin on my face. 

As I drove home I was beyond excited! Then the thought suddenly occurred to me: How would I explain it to the Bride? I guess I could always blame it on a loose bolt.