Wednesday, September 21, 2011


My name is Tommy. I guess I'm a ghost. They twisted my head round and round till it got all wobbly and fell off. Then they burned me up and ditched the greasy, ashy remains in The Little Egg Harbor River. Ain't much of a water way, just a bitty stream sneakin' through the edge of The Pines. If you take County Road 561 (I think it is) from Route 73 to The Black Horse Pike on your way to the shore, you seen it. Probably drove right by where they did the deed.

I  would tell you why it had to happen, but my family is still in the area and it would kind a make them shit themselves...All at the same time too. So, just know I did somethin' real bad. That's why I been wanderin' the late night South Jersey highways all these years. They killed me in nineteen fifty eight. I been 'ghostin'' for fifty three years.  But that's not why I want to talk  to you. I got other stuff to share.

Ever notice how some of the smaller shore towns almost close up completely right after Labor Day. Sure, a few try to tack on an extra weekend or two. Maybe some bar owner wants a few more bucks. But September's dying, so those days are over. Soon it's gonna be like an empty bowling alley rounnd most a these places. I could roll my frozen-in-pain-and-terror head down all those Ocean Avenues and Atlantic Avenues without hittin' a soul......Well, without hittin' no living soul.

But a lot of 'funny' stuff starts to happen right after the Harvest Moon and by the time of the Hunter's Moon, the Dance Macabre is in full swing. Take a ride down some day. Park near the luncheonette. All the towns got a luncheonette, or a submarine sandwich shop, or a pizza joint. During the day, everything looks OK. Kinda like the movie set where they filmed Jaws, a collection of weather-worn summer cottages creakin' in the orange, autumn light. Maybe some forgotten bike layin' by the side of some street...a dead doll ...a dried up, smashed pigeon....some twisted up old salt water taffy wrappers.....metal sign on a Five & Dime scratchin' out a rusty dirge, as it swings in the wind. Even the seagulls know somethin's up. They just stand around in tight, little gangs with their heads pulled in and their wings all folded up, like a bunch of avian bums settling in for the cold months.

Then, when the sun starts floatin' out over Pennsylvania and the sky gets all Maxfield Parish looking, go into one a them luncheonettes. Sit down, jus not too close to the one or two locals who practically live there. Don't wanna spook 'em. Gotta leave some room, so they can discreetly give you the snake eye.  Order somethin' simple....a burger....some fries.....nothing that spoils too fast. Don't know how often they replenish in the 'off season.' Then jus listen to the talk. If you want, tell 'em you're out collectin' stuff for the next issue of WeirdNJ Magazine. Won't be no lie, 'cause alls you gotta  do is send it in when you're through. Pull out one a them midget tape recorders. That'll impress 'em. And sit quiet listening to all the gruesome recollections of murders long gone (mine too, I hope), or sticky-clawed giant spiders scrabblin' out a the marshes, or just plain mentally deranged hairless, albino killers. One a them families of hairless, albino killers is real good singers too. The fat one strums a  mean 'parlor' guitar, if I remember right.

After, when it's dark, go out and wander around. You won't be alone. Listen to the plump, crunchy cave crickets chirpin' away like crazy people. Look for them sqinty, little hot red eyes shining back at you in the dark. Don't expect much in the way of artificial illumination . Tax cheap bastids take care a that. Listen for the whispering, mournful song of the seasonally homeless drunk driftin' out from behind some rotting garage. Better hope he ain't got no straight edge.  Be nice to the wide-eyed, grinning little girl starin' at you from the shadows back a the church yard. She won't hurt ya, not if you have a friend with ya. She's just dead. That's all. And don't make no eye contact with them two or three twisted, naked mutants they got wanderin' 'round from the closed up experimental hospital over on the mainland.

Just follow the rules. Use common sense. You 'should' be all right.

Sorry to intrude on your vampires and crap, but I thought you'd like to know. And let me thank Papa for settin' this up for me.......

That's all..... Nitey-Night.......Gotta go scare some speeding shithead too-rich-for-their-own-good teenage f**k ups over on Delilah Road. Look for the rain soaked teddy bears and store bought artificial flower covered crosses tied to a tree by the highway. That's how you'll know I was there. Guess it's the headless part that gets 'em.....


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