Ready For a Scary Story?
Tucked away in houses, apartments, and homes across the world are tales of listeners and patrons that listen to scary stories in the night.
These are those tales.
This is the Sleepless in Suburbia Podcast.
I’m Brooke, story weaver for these tales, and this is September’s Monthly Tale Minisode.
Are you ready for a spooky story….
Lauren laughed, “Because pre-school level math falls by the wayside when in beast form?”
“Joke if you will, but in these parts, legends are as alive as I am standing here slinging drinks,” the bartender said, sliding a Ramos Gin Fizz across the wooden bar to a woman in a pink bride to be sash. “I wish someone had clued me in on the lore of the Crescent City.”
Her phone buzzed in her back pocket, Brandi, waiting for her on the patio. The text read, “When you’re done flirting with the hot bartender, order me a hurricane.”
Before Lauren could place the order, another buzz, “Please.”
“And a hurricane please,” she said, taking a heavy drink of her Long Island Iced Tea. “How long have you lived in the city?”
He grabbed the light and dark rum from the glass shelves behind him, “3 years.”
“Well, Liam,” she noted the name tag pinned to his leather apron. “Up for showing us some of your favorite local spots when your shift is over?”
“Would love to, but working a double today,” he handed her the pink drink topped with a skewer of cherries. “But, you guys should check out Hot Tin.”
The rest of the day was precisely what Lauren needed to shake the lingering work stress. They ate beignets at a patio cafe. Quirky shops called to them, stealing moments of their time, as they got lost in the bustle of New Orleans. Occasionally they’d stop at a bar, trying a new signature drink before moving forward in the adventure. It was perfect, laughter, great food, and strong drinks.
As the day gave way to night, Lauren couldn’t stop thinking about the bartender. With closing time right around the corner, the vacationing duo decided to stop in for one drink from Liam. The bartender that greeted them, tattoos peeking out of his pushed up sleeves, said Liam got off hours ago. He never worked the night shift anymore.
Lauren’s heart sank, rejected. “Let’s head back to the bungalow.”
Makeup off, hair up in a messy bun, giant bottles of water in hand, the girls settled onto the couch for mindless reality show entertainment. Lauren shifted under the cozy throw blanket; she couldn’t relax. Something Liam said was poking at her. 13 things, you must always put 13 things by your doors or risk a rougarou attack. Ridiculous legend, a story spun up to keep people in line, nothing to take seriously. Yet, as crazy as a wolfman bursting through the door, fangs bared sounded, she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“Pause it for a sec,” she said, flipping the blanket onto Brandi’s lap. “I’ll be right back.”
She disappeared into the guest bedroom, reappearing with a handful of random items.
“Hey, I didn’t know you had SweetTarts,” Brandi called, as Lauren disappeared into the kitchen.
Eleven, twelve, thirteen…. She counted setting the final purple piece of candy on a “Yay You’re Here” doormat. Back inside, she locked the door, but in the middle of the kitchen, she turned around to check the handle. Locked.
The night hung heavy on Lauren’s skin as she crouched on the front porch, counting out precisely 13 felt tip pens she’d brought along for bullet journaling. She jerked upright as something shook the wisteria along the side of the house. Quietly at first, a growl came through the night. Lauren just opened the front door, fumbling with the handle, as footsteps pounded towards her across the grass. Inside, Brandi jumped, as the front door slammed shut. Turning the deadbolt, Lauren grabbed the edge of a console table, dragging it in front of the door.
“Close those curtains,” Lauren shouted, pointing to the large front window, as she leaned against the table.
A slow scratching sound ran across the front door. Brandi screamed, standing on the sofa, yanking the rich hunter green fabric together.
Knock knock knock came from the glass now hidden by the curtains. Brandi leaned forward ever so gently, pulling one curtain to the side, only enough so she could see. The fabric fell from her hand as she scrambled off the sofa, crab crawling backward until her back hit the tv stand, a vase toppling sideways, smashing to the hardwood floor.
“What, what do you see?” Lauren whispered as banging erupted from the front door, so powerful the door vibrated back and forth on its henge.
“A,” Brandi’s shaking voice trailed off, she shook her head, knitting her eyebrows together. “A muzzle with teeth, really sharp-looking teeth, and yellow eyes.”
The banging stopped. Lauren moved forward, leaning onto her tiptoes over the table barricading the door, to look through the peephole. She breathed a sigh of relief. The porch was empty, a basket of flowers hung from a hook, and a few stone gnome statues sat here and there. Whatever Brandi had seen must have run off. “It’s gone,” She whispered.
Leaning further up on her toes, getting a view of the mat at the threshold of the home, a shadow shifted. Holding a felt tip pen, hunched over two piles of pens, was a creature Lauren grasped desperately at logic to understand. Its body was human-like, covered in rich brown fur, fingers longer than they should be, tipped with sharp knifelike claws. Lauren’s footing slipped, sending her colliding forward with the door.
The creature snapped it’s head upwards, looking at her. Yellow eyes stared up at the door intently, fur-covered lips pulling back from its snout, revealing rows of sharp teeth. A low growl started from just beyond the door, only seconds before the creature flung itself at the door, scratching feverishly at the wood.
Lauren back peddled, turning, the living room was empty.
“Brandi,” Lauren hissed. “Brandi.”
Footsteps moved towards her in the hall, Brandi appeared from the dimness, kitchen knives in hand. Handing two large blades to Lauren, Brandi switched off the living room light. Leaving the entire room lit only by streetlight lining the New Orleans street outside.
The banging subsided, glancing outside revealed the wolf-like creature moving pens from one pile to the other. Occasionally banging it massive fists into the ground. Lauren and Brandi huddled together in the corner of the living room, watching darkness burn away as the sun rose. Shortly after 7 am, Lauren opened the front door, tracing her fingers along the deeply splintered slashes.
Bending to pick up the pens, she gasped as movement caught her eye from the corner of the porch. A familiar face shifted towards her, as his nake figure pushed upright. Liam, still grasping a single black felt tip pen in his now very human-like hand.
So maybe lore isn’t just scary stories? Perhaps the things that hide in the night are real. Thank you so much, Lauren and Brandi, for your support. I hope you enjoyed your spooky story.
If you’d like to have, a spooky story about you written for next month’s Monthly Tale Minisode, head over to patreon.com/sleeplessinsuburbia (Patreon is p-a-t-r-e-o-n.com) and check out membership level Talk Spooky to Me.
Thanks for listening; I’ll be here on Tuesday with our next spooky case.
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Until next week, stay away from Barstow, bye everyone.