13 Streaks

a Halloween 'free read' Micro Story
by Mary Layton

     There were 13 streaks on the door.  Rusty brown coloured streaks.  At the highest part, the streaks started vaguely hand-shaped, five finger shaped daubs above a palm shape that extended downwards to the bottom of the door.  As if someone had reached and fallen with a bloody hand thirteen times.  What happened after the thirteenth time was a mystery.  There was no one in the shed, the door had been locked from the inside, and no one in the tiny rural mountain town had been reported missing since 1932.

     In 1932, the parents of the town bully, Robby Anson, had reported their 13 year old son missing. He had never been seen or heard from again, and although the case remained unsolved, Robby's parents blamed his disappearance on the main victim of Robby's bullying, a quiet, bookish boy from his school named Peter Tenant. No one else would believe Peter could have had anything to do with the disappearance, if anything, Peter did his best to avoid Robby. Peter spent as much time as possible in the local library, a place where Robby would never be caught dead, reading books on folklore and legends and ghosts. Peter said Robby probably got taken by the Snallygaster. Everyone knew the Snallygaster would take away bad children and drain their blood. People just shook their heads and said that it must be the odd, shy boy's way of dealing with the disappearance of his classmate.

     When the new owners of the long abandoned property discovered the locked shed, they had the local locksmith open it.  While old, it was still structurally sound, and the new owners thought they might make use of it.  Once they discovered the streaks, the police were called and an investigation begun into the source of the streaks.  Forensic tests on the rusty stains revealed that it was indeed blood, and a DNA comparison with the great-grandson of Robby's younger brother proved to be a close enough match for the blood to be confidently classified as that of the missing youth. There were no other clues as to what happened to Robby Anson in that shed, or where his body might have wound up. The only other thing remarked upon in the police report was what looked like a faded seven-pointed star shakily drawn in blood on the floor of the shed near the door.

13 Streaks

© Mary Layton. All rights reserved.
May not be reproduced without express permission from the author.