Ash Creek Writer’s Group
Short Stories Contest, 2012
The forecast called for sun three straight days, a rarity on Oregon’s coast. It had been a long wait to the retirement celebration for a close friend. No dogs, no kids, no men. Just seven friends gathering for a few days of food, wine and fun.
An ad lib to our plans, we decided to search the area for ghosts. One by one, each of us purchased and downloaded ghost apps for our phones, which were meant to detect any paranormal presence. With slight practice, we became proficient. We practiced for hours, but not once had our ghost radars synced. It provided apt entertainment and a reason to laugh.
It was Saturday just before midnight. Several of us walked down toward the beach, drinks in hand. Between the road we walked and the sandy canvas below, there were beach houses, one after another. I’d glance at the ocean, only visible between the homes as we passed each one. I saw moments of moonlight dancing on the waves. The beauty and warmth of the evening was atypical.
We came to a bend in the road near a long staircase that would lead us from our path down to the sandy beach. As we rounded that corner, all of our ghost radar applications sounded at once. Past it, our detectors fell silent. Purposefully backing up, they simultaneously sounded a second time, throwing out words describing a car accident, sadness and death.
Our collective decision was unspoken. We skipped the beach and returned to our weekend rental. Safely inside, we researched that location. There had, in fact, been a fatal car crash on that very corner years prior.
After that weekend, I decided to return to more benign phone apps, like solitaire and angry birds. I’ll leave the ghost hunting to Hollywood.
Copyright 2012, Jana Brock. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.