The Children Called Him

by , under Fiction Prompts

clinton road

He was a regular, driving in from Hardyston for a Saturday haircut once a month.

I remember him coming into the shop that first day. I got a good look at him while I cut his hair. His expression was strange. Haunted, I’d call it. Something about his eyes.

He said it was a shortcut, but one look at a map showed me that was bullshit. Clinton road went from nowhere to nowhere. No, he drove it for one reason.

I got out of him, eventually. Children like wraiths, standing by the side of the road in rain or snow or sunshine. They said nothing, but he said he knew what they wanted.

At first he tried to resist, tried and tried to not go. But in the end, he had to take that drive again. Late at night. Alone.

Sheriff found his car with wallet and keys locked inside.

What Pegman Saw

My daughter Ethel is especially fond of this road, insisting on driving it whenever I go back to New Jersey to visit her (and sometimes backing out at the last minute).

One of her favorite places is the abandoned zoo Jungle Habitat, a cursed place if there ever was one.

The wilderness of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut has a peculiar creepiness that you need to experience to fully understand.

The ghost stories of Washington Irving become much more believable.

The hills are alive with ghosts.



  1. pennygadd51

    Spooky stuff. I wonder what he’d done to attract the wrathful attention of the children? You’ve given your narrator a great voice, dark-brown and lived-in, that really works for this story.

  2. Lynn Love

    I like the slow, creeping sinister feel to this. the barber telling the story, the reveal of the details – those spectral children – all works so well. A real feeling of dread here. Great stuff Josh

  3. EagleAye

    Whoa! Seems like the wraiths got into his head and stayed there. Perhaps he was trapped with them forever? Scary stuff there.

  4. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    Not enough o’s in spooooky to describe this one. Lots of questions to which i’m not sure I want to know the answers. Well written…as I’d expect.




Don't just stand there.