The Summerville Light

Haunted Tales

Welcome to the first edition of Monday Haunted Tales: True or False? Here are the rules:

  • Read the story.
  • Comment below whether you think the story is true or false.
  • You can comment every week if you wish.

Next week, I will reveal if the story was true or false. Those people who are right will be entered to win all three parts of The Bookwyrm Series. The more you comment and are right, the more entries into the contest you receive!

Today’s first story involves my mother and the Summerville Light.

Never Taunt the Summerville Light

“Mom, tell me a story.”

The lamps cast yellow light in our living room. Our screech owl, creatively named Screech, perched in the shadowy corner of the highest shelf in my mother’s bookcase and I could feel his gaze on my shoulders.

I hadn’t been able to sleep. Even at the age of nine, insomnia plagued me. My mother had been sitting up in the living room, reading. Hoping to find some way to fall asleep, I climbed out of bed to join her on the couch.

She sighed and marked her place with a grocery receipt before setting the book on the coffee table. “I’m not like your daddy with stories.”

Dad could always tell the best stories, mostly about a wily possum and the coon hound that chased him. But I shrugged. I just wanted a story.

“Well,” she said, sitting back to think. Her hair was matte black, a color from a bottle, and her thick glasses were held together by tape. Her wrinkled hands looked like the twisted roots of a tree. and she clasped them in her lap. “Did I ever tell you about the Summerville Light?”

“No.”

“Well, long time ago, they used to send mail along the railroad.” My mother turned a little to face me better. “They’d take a bag of mail and hang it from a hook, because the train couldn’t always stop. And a man, a railroad worker, would lean out from the train to catch it. One day, near Summerville, a man leaned out to catch the bag of mail…but the hook caught him around the neck and ripped his head clean off.” She drew her finger across her neck.

My mouth gaped open. I had definitely not expected a story like this. But since most of the books occupying the shelves behind me were horror novels, I really shouldn’t have been surprised. One of my mother’s favorite authors was Stephen King.

“But they couldn’t find the head,” Mom continued. “They looked all over but they never found it. Now, if you go to a certain place in Summerville, not far from the railroad, you’ll see a ball of light passing through the woods. Some people say it’s his wife, searching for his head. Some say it’s the railway worker.

“Back in the ’70s, a bunch of drunk sailors went to see the Summerville Light. They didn’t believe in it. When the Light appeared, they made fun of it. They laughed at it and taunted it.”

I imagine a bunch of man in the white outfight Popeye wore. They leaned out of car windows to chuck beer bottles at a floating orb and laughing at it..

Mom cupped her hands together, like she held a ball. Slowly, she extended her arms, like she wanted to give me something. “And the Light came closer, and closer…until it touched the cloth top of the sailors’ convertible. The cloth top burst into flames and burned the men to death.” She lowered her hands. “You should never taunt the Summerville Light.”

Silence fell. Outside, crickets creaked. The twigs of Screech’s nest rustled as he shifted in it. Mom leaned forward and picked up her book.

“Now,” she said, “go to bed.”


Is the tale above true or false? Comment below and enter to win a copy of all three parts of The Bookwyrm Series!

 

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