The Lonely Daughter: A Halloween Story
I would like to share a production of a Halloween story I wrote a few years ago and recorded with my daughter. It was fun having her do her lines. Hearing this again takes me back a few years to when she was six years old. She did a great job!
Production quality might not be the best because I was using software far less superior to what is available today. So, the story is published below if you would like to read it instead.
The Lonely Daughter
It had started out as a beautiful day. Gene and his four year old daughter had walked the beach earlier that day in the cool breeze of the morning sun. Then, they enjoyed breakfast at the Capeview Café before going shopping for her Halloween outfit and candy to hand out to all the kids who would be trick or treating to their house in only a few short days.
It was sad that Gene had lost his wife a few years earlier and was raising his daughter by himself. But, he managed to do a great job. They woke up most mornings and made themselves pancakes. She would stir the batter and he would do the flipping. He homeschooled her since he made his living making furniture and chose to work his own hours while she was fast asleep, so he was all she knew.
He had plans of letting her get to know some other kids in a few years, but for now he was content with keeping her all to himself. After they returned home from their Halloween shopping, she went to her room to play with her new Halloween costume and he went into the kitchen to make lunch for the both of them. She came down the steps with her costume on when it was time to eat lunch and Gene caught a glimpse of how much his daughter had turned out to look just like her late mother. What an angel she made. It was as if her mother was still alive.
They ate lunch together in the kitchen and he told her to put the costume away after they were finished. They made plans to pop some popcorn and watch a video together.
“Something scary daddy!”
“Ok hon. But, not too scary. I don’t want you to have any bad dreams tonight.”
She fell asleep in his arms long before the movie was even over. It was about mid afternoon when Gene realized that he had left his keys in the car. So, he slid out from underneath his daughter and snuck outside to grab his keys before he forgot.
For some reason, it had started raining. It had gone from such a beautiful sunny morning to a rainy afternoon. “This is going to be fun,” Gene thought to himself as he pulled his jacket up over his head and started out toward the car.
His car was parked in the street right in front of his house. So, he walked around to the driver’s seat and opened the door. There were his keys, right where he left them. But, he hardly got a chance to grab them from the ignition. A huge truck came around the corner a little fast and slid on the slick road. Gene hardly had time to react before he was hit by the truck and thrown over his hood onto the sidewalk.
The truck driver hit one more vehicle parked a little further up the street before finally coming to a stop. The driver got out of his truck and ran to Gene to see if he was alright. Gene was still breathing. So, the truck driver covered Gene’s head with his own jacket to keep him from drowning in the rain while he called for an ambulance.
The ambulance arrived in a matter of minutes and was able to haul Gene away. A crowd had gathered around by then and they wanted to know if he would be alright. The EMT said that Gene was okay, but that he would be listed in critical condition for a few days. Later that evening, Gene slipped into a coma. With no next of kin to sign for his treatment, the hospital was obligated to keep him alive until finally one day, seven years later, Gene came out of his coma.
He was discharged a few days later and he had no idea where to go. The records the hospital kept read that the ambulance had picked him up from 1105 Furnace Street. His doctor told Gene that the address might be a good place to start. So, Gene was provided with transportation and he went home.
Nothing looked familiar. He knocked on the door and a lady answered. She looked shocked at first. So, he asked her, “Ma’am, do you know me?”
“Uh no. But, you should come inside and sit down. I have something to show you.”
She sat him down on the couch and her two sons had joined them by this time. While they sat together, she ran to the basement and grabbed a box. She brought it up to the living room and set it down in front of him. She said, “There is more, but I thought we would just start from here.”
He looked down at the box and pulled out a picture of himself. A picture that had been taken a pretty long time ago. “How do you have this?”
“It came with the house when I bought it earlier this year. For some reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it out. There’s more in there.”
Gene took out another picture. It was of a little girl. He covered his mouth and a few tears dropped from his eyes, “It’s my daughter. Do you know where she is?”
The lady became very sad, “No, honey. What happened?”
Gene started, “I was raising my daughter by myself because her mother had passed away. One day, seven years ago, I was hit by a truck right out here in front of the house. My daughter was asleep on the couch. I was in a coma until a few days ago. Please tell me she’s ok. Where is she? Where can I go get her?”
The lady, overtaken with tears, could only say, “Oh, dear. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
The two sons who had both been listening to the conversation the whole time, looked at each other with suspicious looks and one of them asked to see the picture of the little girl. “Uh mom? That’s the little girl we’ve been telling you about.”
“Oh my. I thought you two were kidding. Where is she?”
“Yes, please,” Gene interrupted, “Where is she? I want to see my daughter.”
“Sir,” one of the lads said, “She’s dead.”
A few minutes had gone by before Gene could compose himself. He asked the two boys what they meant. So they began, “She plays upstairs in our room during the day. We saw her in the basement once. She was looking for someone. I guess it’s you.”
Gene was holding his face in his hands, trying to fight back all the tears that were overwhelming him. He finally asked, “How can I see her?”
One boy looked at the clock and said, “She would be in the basement at this time of day.”
Gene looked up at the clock, “Because it’s after I was hit by the truck.” Looking at the lady, “May I…”
“Why yes, you may,” the lady replied, “And my two sons will show you the way.”
The lads looked at each other with fear in their eyes, “Mom, we don’t think we should.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, the only time we’ve ever seen her in the basement, something happened. It scared us. We’ve seen her in the room since because all she does is dance and look at herself in the mirror. But, I don’t want to go to the basement anymore when she appears down there.”
“I don’t either,” The other lad chimed in unison.
Gene looked at the boys strange, “Well, what happened?”
“Well yes, at least tell the poor man,” the elder lady added.
“Well, sir,” One of the boys started, “It’s hard to tell. She fell, but something caught her. Her eyes got really wild. I ran up the steps and don’t know what happened to her. I’m sorry.”
“No son,” Gene answered back, “You did the right thing.” Looking at the lady, “If it’s alright with you, I’ll just go down by myself.”
“Well…that would probably be best,” she answered.
Gene nodded and headed down to the basement. He left the lights off because he didn’t want to disturb anything. He knew the basement like the back of his hand anyway. Standing at the bottom of the steps, there was a little light from the small window that looked out over the sidewalk. So, he walked around the basement and looked at the boxes sitting in the corner. He remembered all of the tools he had. They were no longer there. Someone had gotten rid of those a long time ago.
He had power saws and skills saws, all kinds of things that she could cut herself with if she weren’t careful. He had his power chords hanging across the ceiling so she wouldn’t trip on them. He tried to make it as careful as he could. He had his power chords on pulleys so they would pull themselves up when they were finished.
And even though he was careful, he told her to only come to the basement when he was there. He told her never to touch the power tools. She had promised and until his disappearance, she had lived up to her promise. He thought of all this in the few minutes he looked around the basement.
All of a sudden, he saw her little feet coming down the steps. She was looking around. Then, he heard her voice.
He didn’t know if she could hear him, but he answered her anyway, “I’m here hon.”
In an instant, she looked straight at him, “Daddy, what did you do to me?”
“I’m sorry I left you. I didn’t mean to baby.”
“What? You left me? Why would you leave me?”
“It was an accident honey. I never would have. I didn’t mean to.”
“It was an accident? Was it the one like mine?”
“What accident honey? What kind of accident did you have?”
“I didn’t cut myself on any of your big saws daddy. But, I did have an accident…I’m sorry.”
She started walking toward him slowly. He wanted to put his arms out for her, but he never got a chance to hold her again. She fell forward and her head got caught on something. He saw the wild look the boys had talked about. She was choking and spinning in a circle. As she lifted off the ground, he saw her neck snap forward. He knew in an instant what she had done. She tripped over a tool and fell into a power chord hanging across the ceiling. It hung low in that area of the basement. He never thought to put them up higher out of her reach. She was never in the basement without him.
All he could do was watch as she choked and spun in a circle. The power chord picked her up and then it spun the other way and threw her limp body down to the basement floor. She laid there limp with no life in her.
Overtaken with grief, Gene stepped back and tripped on the steps. He grabbed something to keep himself from falling back, but it was the wrong thing. It was the 220 electric line from the fuse box. It came undone while still in Gene’s hand. His body was full of electricity instantly as the lights went off throughout the rest of the house. The smell of his burning flesh filled the basement as he jerked and screamed in pain. Smoke rolled out of his mouth while his eyes bulged from their sockets. The flesh on his hands, finally completely burned, let go of the 220 and his limp body fell to the ground. There in the darkness his dead body lay.
His daughter rose from the basement floor and walked over to Gene.
“Daddy, daddy, come on. I have something to show you.”
Gene woke up from his death filled sleep and looked at his daughter.
“Come on. I have something to show you.”
She grabbed him by the hand, lead him up the steps and throughout the empty house. She walked him to the window at the front of the house and kneeled in the window seat. He kneeled beside her. As she looked outside at the street, he looked at her. So, heavenly. So peaceful.
“Is this what you’ve been doing for seven years honey?”
“Oh daddy,” she laughed, “It’s been fifteen now. You ask me that question every day.”
The NOVEL that sold a thousand cases of Jack!