Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Halloween Stories: Part XVII

We received a lot of stories for our Halloween Hunt Writing Contest, and from September 16th we're publishing one each day until October 6th - when the Winner's story opens as a hunt!

Read them all and stay curious.. whose story got turned into the hunt?

The stories released are unedited and pasted as submitted to us.
- Kiana -

Today's story is by Tailahr Winnikow

La Isla de Guisantes Loco was named for the legume plants that grew in crazy spirals all over the island when it was a still a paradise. But, much of that was destroyed when the prison was built to house hardened criminals awaiting execution.

The townspeople were happy to have the prison and the prosperity it brought, but the local preacher called it an abomination. Rev. Jack Fannin cautioned that the prison and its executions would bring heartache to the town in time.

The first execution took place a month after the prison opened. Charlie Bell had been convicted of killing his wife by pushing her down the stairs of their home. In the weeks that followed, people reported seeing an apparition along the steep stairway leading up the east side of the mountain to the prison and feeling unsteady on their feet there.

During the evening of the next full moon, prison guard Lamar McKinney was climbing those stairs to go to work on the night shift. As he reached the top, the sunset glared around the building, obscuring his vision and he tripped on the last step. Temporarily blinded and attempting to regain his balance, he overcompensated and stumbled against the rocky edge, tripping and falling over the side, tumbling 100 feet to his death.

Dusty Rhodes was a drifter and part-time construction worker. During one job, he got into a fight with his boss and picked up a chunk of concrete and hit him in the head, killing him. A week after his execution, a forklift operator loading cargo onto the train accidentally backed into the prison wall causing a lot of damage. A few days later, ten year old Scott Hale and his friends were playing next to the wall around sunset when a large chunk of concrete fell on his head, killing him instantly. There was a full moon that night.

Woody Foster was executed the night before a full moon. His crime was smothering his elderly mother to death with a pillow while she slept. He claimed it was a mercy killing, but the prosecution claimed her wealth was the motive. The next day, Anna Jackson’s 18-month old daughter, Caroline was fussy all day long. Anna was finally able to get the baby to sleep just before sunset. The baby slept fitfully, tossing and turning, causing her to get tangled up in the blankets. Unable to free her tiny body from the covers, little Caroline smothered under them.

Janice Reed was convicted of slowly poisoning her husband to death. On the night she was executed, Corbin Crawford began drinking again after three years of sobriety. His drinking binge lasted a week. By the day of the full moon, he was out of money and starting to sober up. Desperate to find something to keep that from happening, he staggered around town looking for someone to share their bottle. Finding himself down at the docks at sunset, he wandered into the old lighthouse. There he found an old bottle of wine and, fearing that the bottle’s owner would return soon and take it back, he drank it down quickly. His body couldn’t handle it and he died of alcohol poisoning.

Blaze Wilson had been a pyromaniac all his life; he loved fire. But, eventually, he took it too far and set a house on fire, killing a family of four inside. The full moon came three days after his execution and that night at sunset, Max Freeman made a fatal mistake while cooking methadone and the resulting flash fire burned him over 90 percent of his body. He died before the EMTs arrived.

Rusty Rusk was convicted of killing three women by knowingly infecting them with the HIV virus through unprotected sex. Shortly after his execution, several people reported feeling weak and nauseous. By now, people were becoming cautious of being out during the full moon, but not Sarah Martin. Once a month, she would take her old Victrola to the west side of the island where the mountain curved inward. There, she would sit and listen to old music while watching the colors of the sunset play on the water below. There was a bush nearby where she had seen a raccoon hiding before; she was always cautious not to disturb it, but on this particular evening, that didn’t matter. As she was setting up the record player, the raccoon rushed out of the bush and began biting her violently. Because no one else would be out during the full moon, Sarah wasn’t found until the next day. She was rushed to the hospital, but died shortly thereafter of rabies.

The deaths continued:

Convict executed for strangling his victim; woman chokes to death on food;
Convict executed for shooting someone; man accidentally shoots himself while cleaning his gun;
Convict executed for stabbing someone to death; a woman trips in her kitchen and falls on the knife she’s using to cut vegetables;
Convict executed for drowning his victim; teenage girl drowns while swimming with friends;
Convict executed for shocking someone to death with a taser gun; man dies in freak electrical accident (while watching television in the rain);
Convict executed for bludgeoning a man to death with a hammer; man dies in a freak accident when the hammer he’s using slips from his grasp, flies into the air and lands on his head;
Convict executed for killing someone by locking them in a walk-in freezer; homeless man freezes to death on the streets;

The prison finally closed and a developer turned the buildings into retail stores. He had grandiose plans to build a luxury resort, but the island’s reputation for being haunted and dangerous was too well known so no one would invest in the plan. The damage had been done and the once beautiful island would forever be known only as Death Row – a place where hope was lost and residents just did their time, waiting for death to come.

Was it all just a matter of bizarre coincidences? Did the prison bring bad karma to the island as the preacher had predicted? Or, was it really the ghosts of the executed convicts taking their revenge? Perhaps it was something even more sinister… maybe the killings were at the hands of someone who had something to prove… or something to gain.

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