Uncle Roy Gets a Head of Himself

Image of Grant Wood's American Gothic painting, edited to be truly gothic in subject (the man is headless).

Spoiler alert!  Grant Wood’s American Gothic painting, interpreted to be truly gothic (with apologies to the original).

By Jeffrey Bishop

Uncle Roy sure seems anxious to head to his brother’s for a visit!

Tell Time: 3 minutes
Scare Rating: 3/5 Ghosts

Uncle Roy was coming for a visit. The war was over, and though he’d been injured pretty badly in a fierce battle, he’d written to tell his closest relations – his brother and nephew – how anxious he was to head back south to pay them a visit. He was expected to arrive sometime the next day.

It was a night not unlike tonight. The boy and his father had turned in for the night, and were just settling into a deep sleep when they were awakened by a loud rap rap rap at the front door. The boy jumped out of bed and ran to his father’s room, and the two moved toward the window at the front of the house to see if it was Uncle Roy, paying them a visit early.

Peering between the curtains at the moon-lit stoop of their home, each was startled to see a head – and nothing else – rolling around on the small porch. It rolled backwards fast and made a hard stop before slamming itself forward against the door again.

Rap, rap, rap!

“How awful!” yelped the father to his son. “Help me batten us down against that … that Thing!” Quickly, the two placed the inside hurricane shutters over the windows and barred the front and back doors. Finished, they settled down at the kitchen table to rest, and in the quiet night, could hear nothing but their own shallow breathing.

“Maybe it’s gone away?” suggested the boy about the silence. But he barely finished his question before, Rap, rap, rap! came the sound again, this time from the back door.

“Oh no!” wailed the father. “It’s back!”

Peering through the shutters over the kitchen window, the two saw the head on the back porch. Again, it rolled around as if to work up a head of steam for another run at knocking on the door.

Rap, rap, rap!

“Upstairs, now!” ordered father as he grabbed his shotgun from its locker. “If it gets in here, we can stand it off at the stairs!”

The two settled in at the top of the stairs and waited, but all fell quiet again. Almost holding their breath to listen, each nearly jumped when they heard a voice call out to them.

“Hey you all! Let me in! It’s late and it’s cold out here!” came the voice.

“That’s Uncle Roy!” said the boy, running to the stairs. “We’ve got to let him in before that thing gets him!”

Before his father could stop him, the boy ran down the stairs, lifted off the batten, turned the dead bolt, and swung open the heavy door. The father arrived at the door at that moment and urgently summoned him in.

“Get in here, brother!” said father. “There’s a foul head out there, rolling around and trying to get in here!”

Uncle Roy stepped across the threshold and father reinforced the door. “Heh, heh,” chuckled Uncle Roy. “Hope you wasn’t too skerred,” he said. “I think that was me that was skerrin ya’ll. I was so anxious to see ya’ll … ” As he talked, he reached up and pulled his head off his shoulders and rested it in the crook of his arm.

“ … I guess I just got a head of myself!”

THE END

Copyright 2012

~ by The Ghost Writer on January 30, 2012.

One Response to “Uncle Roy Gets a Head of Himself”

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