In the Alley

by T. Gene Davis

“They found the body in the alley at the bottom of the fire escape.”

“The one outside my bedroom?” Henry rolled his wide eyes at his cousin. “You’re full of it.”

“All the witnesses said he jumped for the ladder three times before they caught him. He died still reaching up grabbing at anything that came in reach.”

A couch pillow hit Laveral hard enough to snap his head back and stop his story. Henry smiled at his mother. She didn’t notice. She glared at Laveral. He had all her attention.

“What are you telling my Henry? And before bed?”

“I’m not making it up.”

Laveral almost dodged the second couch pillow. It hit him harder than the first.

“Maybe Henry can sleep in your bed at your apartment.” She didn’t blink. The whites of her eyes shown larger than normal. “See if I’m making that up.”

Laveral looked like he tried to stop grinning, but that grin just didn’t quit. “Henry’s not a baby. He’ll be fine.”

“Henry child. Time for your bed. Don’t you listen to anything Laveral tells you.”

Henry found himself in bed by the window with the fire escape. Sleep overtook Henry for a seeming moment. He woke coughing.

“Mom?”

A roar came from the next room, and light came under the door.

“Mom?”

Henry coughed. The door burned his hand.

He backed over to the window with the fire escape. He looked down, and far below there was a man jumping for the ladder but never quite reaching it.

Notes …

Oh, the innocent ghost story. Aren’t they wonderful?

 

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