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“Rusty’s Grandmother”

According to Steve, the wallpaper is a nasty green and brown. The carpeting is a shaggy rusty colored orange. This is at his best friend Rusty’s grandma’s house. The word about Rusty’s grandmother and her late husband is that they bought it years ago, when they first got married. Her husband, Gerald, liked it so much, the location, the scenery, and the decorations, that she didn’t have the heart to change it. You see, the house is on the river, secluded by trees. It really was a getaway location for the two of them. At least, it’s what she claims. For, no one ever knew her husband; he was considered dead his whole life. No one even knew he lived with her until it was stated in the obituary. The locals all say that her husband was a ghost and though she may have loved him, he was never alive, so his grandma never loved anyone. I don’t know of any true ghost stories. At one time, I wouldn’t even let myself believe it.

The school kids made fun of them for hanging out at his grandmother’s house. His parents were never around, so they all thought his grandma was his mother and made jokes. In any case, I claim she’s colorblind and can’t notice her ugly home. It even goes in describing what she wears. I’m not super stylish but this woman wears pinstripe pants and patterned tops; it’s so embarrassing. Rusty doesn’t even pay attention, or notice her crazy ways, probably because he is so used to it by now. Well, I’m not and you shouldn’t be either. She is very crazy.        When Steve went to visit her one day, he had an incident. Rusty was sick. The word around was that he had some type of cancer and was going to be dying. Everyone was acting like he was on his deathbed. Steve was asked to go over to Rusty’s grandma’s house, after school, and grab a backpack he had left there. Steve lived just five minutes away from Rusty’s grandma, well her house was that far; her driveway is at least a ten-minute ride all on its own. Steve told me that Rusty loved to carry around his backpack wherever he went, which is weird because I never see him with it. But that’s what Steve thought was strange too.

Anyway, Steve rode his bike all the way to her house. When he had first gotten there, he told me that it’s a rule that you had to take your shoes off before you enter. It’s some respect paying spiritual mumbo if you ask me, but she yells at you until you do, so you always take off your shoes. As he ran up the stairs to head into Rusty’s room, he heard a kind of music. It spoke of the music as if it was a god or something. He described it as some kind of trance that took him into another dimension. You know, haunted house type music. Next thing he did was head into this big ballroom because that is where the music was coming from. He swears he thought he opened Rusty’s room but I know he was just snooping around because he was curious. He spoke of these luxurious paintings but I just remember the naked baby paintings. I guess the women were dressed in fancy ball-gowns that looked too tight and took up most of the room; the men were wearing tails on their suits. The funny thing too was that they did not wear shoes. Rusty said it was spectacle of color. He must have been in some real sort of trance.

I don’t know how long he stood there watching them, but Steve was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t look away. He was shaking even when he told me this. He swore that he noticed Rusty’s grandma and her husband as one of the couples that were dancing. Steve was sweating because he swore that he looked right at them. He was really freaked out. Finally, he told me they all just vanished. He described it as poof and they literally were gone, all of them without warning, all in the blink of an eye. The creepy part was that once they had disappeared the grandma spooked the lightning out of him when she was suddenly right behind him. He said that she was so close he could see every cat hair on her blouse. Steve just ran out of there. He went and grabbed Rusty’s backpack and ran out the door. I’m sure there was some conversation but it was probably so awkward that Rusty couldn’t have restated it if he wanted to.

Not only was that scary for Steve, when he arrived at the hospital to give Rusty the backpack Rusty was having this weird reaction to his medicine because he couldn’t speak properly and barely had weighed anything. Steve described it as him evaporating into thin air. He said he was like turning into a ghost. Rusty looked like those dancers Steve saw in the grandma’s ballroom. You want to know the scary part. Once Steve had finished, he vanished.

Julia McMeekan

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