A story to send shivers: Mrs. O’Malley’s Children

Thursday tremors from the bestselling supernatural collection Rickets Row

By Elyse Salpeter

All was quiet through the halls of the old estate. I crept through the rooms as silent as a mouse. The beam of the flashlight glowed on the beautiful wooden floors Mrs. O’Malley had kept up, even after Mr. O’Malley had told her that she was just wasting her time.

She did it to ease her mind. To make believe that things were still “a-okay” and, in Mrs. O’Malley’s world, a shiny floor meant that things were normal. That the world hadn’t dissolved into madness.

I passed through the living room and moved into the hallway by the front door.

Donnie turned away from the peephole. “All clear,” he whispered.  

I nodded and moved up the stairs, remembering to skip over the third step, which always creaked, ever since little Jimmy, who really wasn’t so little, had jumped up and down on it after a whopper of a tantrum.

At the top of the steps, I turned right and moved down a long hallway that stretched the length of the house. I shined my flashlight into the rooms as I passed. Sleeping forms breathed innocently in huddled heaps of blankets and quilts. 

I made my way into the master bedroom and clicked off the flashlight. Cassy had a wax candle lit on the roll-top desk. She glanced up from the list in her hands, her big blue eyes concerned and her blond hair a wild mess around her face. “We made it through another month, but we’re running out of batteries and nails. We’re going to be out of food soon too. I give us no more than two weeks, Ricky. We’re going to have to make a run.”

My jaw hardened. The last run hadn’t gone so well.  

A little voice squeaked, and I glanced behind me. 

“Ricky?” Little Bobbie stood in the doorway. He sniffed the air and shuffled towards me, his arms outstretched. 

I jumped over to him and took his hands. “What are you doing out of bed, kid?” 

“I smelled you.” 

Cassy snickered and I exhaled loudly. Leave it to a blind kid to bring up my body odor at a time like this. I nodded to her. “Deodorant. Put that on the list.”

   I turned back to Bobbie. “Come on; let’s get you back to bed.” We walked down the dark hallway together and into one of the bedrooms. I pulled back a comforter on one of the lower bunk beds, and Bobbie lay down. 

He grabbed my hands and pulled me towards him. “You know, I still smell them a little when I’m downstairs.”

“I know, Bobbie, I know.” I said this in my calmest voice, when all I wanted to do was scream from the terror I felt at our situation. But I couldn’t. Little Bobby depended on me. They all did. I ruffled his hair instead. “You’ve got the best honker in this place. But don’t you worry. We boarded up that hole tight and, no matter how hard they try, they’re not going to get in again.” 

Ricket Row

Terrifying things are happening to those in Ricket Row. Why do a set of grieving parents dig up a shoebox each week from their son’s grave? Who is that maniacal clown that follows a man home? Why do those teen boys chase after a ghostly girl they’ve never met before? This anthology is packed with tales both psychologically creepy and horrifying. You’ll meet a group of disabled orphans trying to survive a zombie apocalypse and a woman who is getting sicker and sicker, day by day, with no reason why. Or is there? Come enter the horrors of Ricket Row. You’ve been warned.

Elyse Salpeter

Elyse Salpeter photo

is an author who loves mixing the real with the fantastic in her books. She likes nothing better than taking different scenarios and creating worlds where things just aren’t what they appear to be.

When she’s not writing, she’s training for triathlons and eating shock food in her Gastronaut Club. Please come on over and learn more about her at:

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