A new series which I’ll be posting here in chapters.



by Amy Allworden


Mousehead Hollow’s gotta be the best place for a kid to grow up. Maggie May and I spent the summer buried to our necks in trouble out in those hills. Dirt packed fingernails and Hazelnut twigs tangled in our hair every night; took hours in a bath to get freshed back up. Like I said, it was a good place for growing up.

It wasn’t a good place for hearing the storm sirens. They must’ve been hootin’ for an hour before Maggie May tipped her little yellow pigtails to one side and said…

“You hear sumthin?”

“Nah, just the wind…oh wait, now I hear it.” I sneaked up behind her and tugged on one braid. “It’s a ZOMBIE!”

“Stop that!” She screeched and slapped at my hands. “I’m being serious…I hear sumthin.”

I let off and listened for a bit. Sure enough, she was right. It sounded like a coon dog got his leg stuck in a rabbit snare, a crazy howling sort of sound. Took me a full three minutes fore I figured out what it was.

“Storm siren,” I said flat and checked the clouds. Didn’t look bad but you never could tell what’d blow up. “We better git.”

Maggie May and I hustled down the hills, branches swapping and snagging on my white cotton tank. It was near end of summer and everything I had was worn through with holes; momma wouldn’t care if I got myself a few more. We pelted down just as fast as our legs would run and ended up tripping, nearly sprawled out, three times.

The siren stopped by the time we blew in through the back porch, slamming the screen and stomping mud into the green carpet. Sky still didn’t look no worse than before.

“Ma!” I yelled ‘cuz there wasn’t no way she was gonna hear me just talking if she was down in the storm cellar. Then again, I thought it seemed a might bit odd she wasn’t waiting for us, ready with a quick smack and a holler for not coming down sooner.

“Hold up,” Maggie May pointed to a tore up piece of paper stuck to the fridge. It was Ma’s handwriting alright.

Gone to get Grandad, back soon. Love Ma

“Well, there ya have it.” I tore off the note and tossed it in the trash.

“What about that storm?” Maggie asked, her big eyes looked up at me like a bit o’ rain and thunder was sumthin gonna jump out and snatch her down to Hell.

“Aww, don’t worry about that thing,” I said, rooting in the fridge. “That ain’t no storm sky out there and even so…gotta wait for ma to get back.” I made myself a heaping plate of pickles wrapped in bologna slices and plopped down on the La-Z-Boy, the feet sprang up with a twang and I settled in.

“Hand me that remote.” I commanded.

“Dad says you ain’t sposed to watch anything… says you can’t till you pay for breaking the mower.” She stood just this side of the chair, arms folded and one eyebrow curled up just how ma usually looked.

“Aww shut it, May.” I said, snatching the remote myself and pushing the little green button. “I’ll let you have some of this if you keep it ‘tween us…” She didn’t move.

“Oh alright,” I dangled one pickle filled treat in her direction and tried again. “You can even help me pick out what to put on.” She squealed and snatched the bologna from my hand, prancing to the sofa.

I shouldn’t a bothered. There weren’t a thing on. I checked Cartoons, T.V. Land, and the Hallmark. White static was all I got for my trouble. I swore that soon as Maggie was out of the room I’d check some of the other ones; the ones Dad made me promise never to watch. I had ’em memorized.

That siren never did come back again, and nothin’ ever showed up on the TV neither…but just about then, sumthin hit the side of the house. Thinking back on it, maybe I shoulda’ just turned the dang thing off and went to bed.



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