Happy Friday the 13th! It’s release day for a series of horror short stories revolving around Friday the 13th. I will be sharing each story on my post, one per day. Today, I’m pleased to welcome Diane L. Kowalyshyn with her story, Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror…
I’m fascinated my Native American mythological creatures. I wrote about the windigo in Crossbones, the skadegamutc in a Friday the 13th Short Story, and the chepitchcalm in When the Earth Moves (WIP). There are two more Native American creatures I’ll be bringing to life in the Earth, Wind and Fire series sequels.
Officer Pauline McCrory arrives at Alma Wildberry’s cabin under the impression the elder died of natural causes before her hungry one-eyed cat consumed parts of her face.
When the medical examiner rules the case a homicide, Pauline must determine who drained six pints of blood and removed a pound of flesh from Alma’s head and neck.
The investigation brings an age-old Passamaquoddy legend, the Skadegamutc to life, and Pauline must find the ghost-witch before it kills again.
Bob. Alma’s one-eyed cat. A bad eye infection forced the local farm vet to remove the diseased orb and sew up the empty orifice. “Hi Bob,” Birdie exclaimed, just to break the sinister silence in the room. “Where’s Alma?”
Bob didn’t pay any attention. He waddled toward the kitchen and disappeared behind the center island separating the two rooms.
A stale smell, like rotting garbage, wafted from the kitchen. Many locals used a compost heap for table scraps and burned what little garbage they generated. Her footfalls slowed when she noticed broken glass shimmering like sparkle dust on the floor. Slivers crunched underfoot, despite her trying to avoid them.
The antique mirror hanging on the wall between the bedrooms and the kitchen had fallen to the floor. A shattered bulls-eye of beveled glass leaned against the baseboard. Alma loved that mirror. She loved finding and restoring treasures from tag sales and repurposing them.
Bob started to meow. Soon it turned into languishing yowls. The cat had to be hungry.
Birdie’s progress ground to a halt.
Maybe Alma had gone out to gather mushrooms or flowers and herbs to pulverize and dry, but it didn’t make sense she would leave the broken mirror on the floor. It made Birdie worry that Bob might cut himself so she jumped to attention. She’d sweep up the flakes of glass and take the smelly garbage to the compost before Alma returned. She bee-lined for the closet beside the fridge and pulled out the broom and dust bin. When she spun, she saw a pair of moccasin clad feet—feet that had been previously obstructed by the position of the island—jutting out from the end. Bob sat hunched over Alma’s face gnawing on what remained of her nose.
“Oh, my God, no.” The broom and dust bin clattered to the floor and she ran toward her friend.
Birdie’s stomach roiled when she got closer. It sent her reeling over to the sink where she wretched up the remains of her lunch. Several bouts of nausea assailed her. She splashed some water on her cheeks and forehead and when the heaving subsided, she reached into her pocket and dialed.
“911. What’s your emergency?”
“Alma Thornberry is dead. I found her body in her kitchen. I think she’s been gone a while because her cat’s been eating her.”
About the Author:
Diane L. Kowalyshyn writes heart-hammering, high-voltage thrillers—adventures that run on action, intrigue, and romance. Her first book earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is an avid sailor who’s listened to her fair share of marine storm warnings and relied on the intermittent pulse of a lighthouse beacon to bring her safely back to port. When she’s not on the water, she loves to travel to faraway lands where she navigates rustic landscapes and meanders through ancient and decaying palaces, and castles. Her books are available in paperback and ebook through Chapters/Indigos, Amazon, Google, Nook, iBook, and Kobo.
Crossbones, February 2022 (Goodreads)
Skadegamutc: Monster in the Mirror by Diane L. Kowalyshyn https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09V5RD8VJ