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HOLIDAY HEARTH STORIES: On the Forth Day of Storymas, Parliament Gave to Me...

The penultimate entry in this midwinter foray into flash fiction has arrived, and the fourth day of our haunting holiday story extravaganza has begun! We invite you to raise a glass of coquito, sip on your holiday nog, tipple the celebration cocktails, and prepare yourselves for the descent into the spooky. It is time to gather ‘round and enjoy these holiday ghost stories for Holiday Hearth Stories

But wait! We have the giveaway that keeps on giving! And so we find ourselves yet again waiting with baited breathe to announce our fourth winner: Congratulations to Isa! They are the recipient of a gift certificate for the Parliament House shoppe!

Now read on, Parliaversians, and let the spirits of the season guide you...

The lily pads and algae that scummed the surface of the pond made a face that grinned at me from the water’s edge, a stark contrast to the smoldering mask that floated in the bole of the tree grown long years in the center of the island that lay far out in the pond.

“All the bad things end up there,” my father told me, as he had explained it in terms a child could understand. It was the lowest part of our property, and the fertilizer flowed down here with the rains. The rocks pulled up from the fields were rolled into the water, and the wind pushed any loose garbage down where it got stuck in that whirling pit of wind and water.

The island in the center hadn’t been touched in years, or at least that’s what my parents told me. Neither my father nor mother acknowledged the mask, and all their words begged me to ignore it, even if they never said as much.

“There’s nothing there,” my father said.

“You’re imagining things,” my mother told me.