A Soundless Echo

1920x1080-black-solid-color-backgroundShe was strange, my mother. Always something unseen surrounding her—soundless echoes reaching through a veil. Reaching for whom?

My mother was haunted, and now she’s dead; and now the ghosts she could not tame are attached to me. Neither can I make them pay attention to my demands. I do demand that they abstain, but my veil is too, too thin, and they reach. Reach for whom?

She’d sit at the round table in the softly orange-lit kitchen in the middle of the night, smoking menthol cigarettes and watching things transpire not meant for my young eyes. But my young eyes saw.

My ears heard.

My skin felt.

She believed that Satan worked hard for the money. Am I the fucking money?

I stand on the porch in the middle of the night to smoke a menthol cigarette. Across the dimly lighted street, a black shadow stretches.

I inhale.


Watch the figure climb the steps—a soundless echo, reaching.


© 2019 Kindra M. Austin

Day-Walkers and Night Terrors (originally published on Sudden Denouement)


You won’t appreciate the night until it rips you awake late in the afternoon; until it forces you to stare down the cold yellow sun. Then you’ll know the day-walking ghosts—the ones who fraternize amongst parkland rose beds, unaware that their garden tea has aged one hundred plus years. These specters who sport ring-around-the-collar or cut-outs in their chests smile stupid at one another while the drink they swallow whizzes down between their legs like healthy streams of urine. At first you might think that ignorance isn’t so bad; but as the sun begins to descend, necks will bow and chests will weep anew in recognition of reality. Lamenting will stir the twilight, and whisk the sky into black—you’ll recognize the increasing heavy, and at the height of the Witching Hour, you will fathom the pain of a ghoul.

You will finally understand your own kind.

© Kindra M. Austin