Andrew J. Hogan
“Run,” she said.
My sister’s eyes pleaded with me.
“Why?” I said.
“Because I am
going to kill you.” The pupils of her eyes started to widen and darken. “Run!”
I started to run.
I don’t know why I believed her. It didn’t make any sense that she would want
to kill me. But there was something in her, I guess, that did. After about
fifty feet, I looked back. She had gotten to her feet. She picked up a large,
jagged rock. She glared at me and started running in my direction.
I ran up the
trail, back to the parking area where our mother was waiting for us. I ran as
fast as I could, but I wasn’t fast enough. Something was wrong; my sister could
never run as fast as I could, but she caught me and cracked my skull with the
~ ~ ~
been twenty years, and today my sister brought her two daughters to the same
spot where she killed me. My sister led my two nieces down by the creek and
then walked back to the picnic area at the top of the hill near the parking
area where I have stayed, ever since she killed me. I think only one of my
nieces is going home today.
don’t understand why you killed me,” I told my sister.
don’t know myself. I only know that I had to do it,” she said.
doesn’t make sense,” I said.
one of us can live.”
the way it is.”
you feel guilty?”
killed your own sister.”
told you to run. You could have gotten away.”
don’t understand. Why should I need to get away?” I said.
didn’t need to understand. You only needed to die.”
must be wrong. I’m here haunting you,” I said.
do you mean?”
nieces ran up the hill toward the parking lot, where my sister and I were
talking. Julia chased Vicki with a large, jagged rock, like the one my sister
used to kill me.
are you letting her do this?” I said.
get rid of you.”
do you mean?”
heard the crack of the rock on Vicki’s skull; I could still feel it, even
though I’d been dead for twenty years.
My sister was
right. Julia came up the hill, followed at a distance by Vicki’s ghost. My
sister led Julia to the car and drove her away. As they left and Vicki came
closer, I faded away. My sister was free, and I am gone.
appeared in February 2012 Issue of Twisted Dreams
Andrew Hogan received his doctorate in
development studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before
retirement, he was a faculty member at the State University of New York at
Stony Brook, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, where he
taught medical ethics, health policy and the social organization of medicine in
the College of Human Medicine.
Dr. Hogan published more than five dozen professional articles on health
services research and health policy. He has published seventy works of fiction
in the Sandscript, OASIS Journal (1st
Prize, Fiction 2014), The Legendary, Widespread
Fear of Monkeys, Hobo Pancakes, Twisted
Dreams, Long Story Short, The Lorelei
Signal, Silver Blade, Thick Jam, Copperfield Review, Fabula
Argentea, The Blue Guitar Magazine,
Shalla Magazine, Defenestration, Mobius, Grim Corps, Coming Around Again Anthology,
Former People, Thrice, Foliate Oak
Literary Magazine, Black Market Lit,
Paragraph Line, Subtopian
Magazine, Pine+Basil, Festival Writer:
Unpublishable, Fiction on the Web, Children, Churches and Daddies,
Midnight Circus, Stockholm Review of
Literature, Lowestoft Chronicle, Apocrypha
and Abstractions, Spank the Carp,
Beechwood Review, Pear Drop, Marathon
Review, Cyclamens and Swords, Short
Break Fiction, Flash: International
Short-Short Story Magazine, Slippery
Elm Online, Story of the Month Club,
Birds Piled Loosely, Zero Flash, Canyon Voices, Alebrijes, Rose Red Review, Yellow Chair Review, Serving
House Journal, Funny in Five Hundred,
Penny Shorts, The Thoughtful Dog,
Porch Review, Minetta Review, Silver
Pen Anthology, and Zany