“Back in ’88” By Robin Chappell

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

When we said that we’d come here, I didn’t think that she was really serious, but here we were standing five blocks down the street just to prove something to ourselves. Well, honestly for me to prove myself more than anything.

“Well, are you just going to stand there or are we really doing this?” Shannon chuckled at the hesitant look on my chubby perspiring face and looked as if she was already prepared to joke about me not being as brave as she was.

I took in a deep breath and didn’t say another word to her, boldly stepping forward into the darkness like I was Rambo and fully prepared for whatever came my way.

“You better be quick.” She urged playfully.

The things that we do to impress girls are the worst, but we were here now and there was no turning back. I stared up in awe at the Vincent family mansion, counting at least four floors. The pillars in the front hovered over our figures like they were the guards of this place. Darkness could be seen in the windows and it already felt like eyes were on us. They say no one even makes it to the third floor and that if you get to the second you’re practically insane by then.

My hands were sweating and I could hear my own breathing as I watched the puffs of smoke from the cold curtail from my dark shivering lips.

“You know Greg, this might not be for you. You already look like you’re having a heart attack.” Shannon giggled and continued to poke fun at me.

“I am fine, woman! This is…I can do this. No one’s scared. How can you be scared of a myth?” I shrugged my shoulders. “There’s not even any proof of the things they say about this place.” I didn’t sound very convincing and my voice had even gone up an octave.

Shannon stood there with her arms folded and a smirk on her face. She already knew what the case really was. How I was trying to convince myself that I was perfectly calm and would show her just what I meant.

She outstretched her slender arm, which was cloaked in a knitted fall sweater sewn with the color of bright fall leaves on a windy day. I stared into her beautiful face…it was the color of brand new shiny pennies my grandmother rolled in papers. I would take them apart when I was little and knew I’d be in trouble but I just had to touch one of those pennies and what I thought was the most beautiful color I’d ever seen…now here it was in front of me at the age of sixteen with curls around its face and a caramel apple sucker in its mouth. Close enough to touch and close enough to-

“GREG??!! Are you ok? I thought you were about to lead the way?”

She interrupted my thoughts with a pretty frown on her face. Her full lips in a pout. Eyeing me impatiently like I needed to come back down to earth while I took in the four interestingly placed beauty marks scattered across her skin.

I totally zoned out again.

That happens quite often around her, but I had to be in the moment. She could have been anywhere else…but here she was in the middle of the night…attempting to explore a historically haunted mansion with me. I huffed out my chest, put my right sneaker forward and ventured up the steps to the porch like I was ready for anything.

She scoffed but followed intently on the back of my heels.

Once we made it to the steps, we’d already jumped out of our skin just from the mere feel of spider webs on our faces and small field rats that were scurrying from beneath the leaves gathered around the large wrap around porch in the front of the house.

I took a deep breath and stepped forward towards the large door that seemed to leer at me for having the audacity to place myself in front of it. I shuddered.

I think they say you have to knock first.” She whispered from behind my solid frame.

Her voice sent tiny tingles down my spine.

And who the hell is supposed to answer?” I whispered back through gritted teeth. My chest began to tighten and I found myself still shaking my head and lifting my hand to knock three times in a row just to get this over with.

We both waited as if we knew someone was home and listened to the cold silence. The hairs on the back of my neck began to rise and I thought I could feel someone standing near…piercing our presence in the dark. Suddenly, I felt a strong breath down my neck and something squeezed my sides in one quick movement.

“BOO!!” Shannon shouted into my ear and nearly made me crawl back down the steps and into the front yard where we stood just moments ago contemplating this entire stupid thing.

She giggled and pointed at me hunched over on the lawn and attempting to catch my breath from being startled.

“The look…” She could hardly breathe from laughing so hard. “On your face!! OH MY GOD!” She squealed with laughter. Every muscle in her face could be seen from the kick she was getting out of it.

It wasn’t that damn funny.

I won’t lie I was a little pissed she got one over on me that quick.

“Alright, alright, it wasn’t that funny.” I finally stood up and regained my composure, dusting the dead leaves from my solid black N.W.A. hoodie.

I could still peep her little attitude with her arms folded in the dimness of the dark, the moonlight being our only guide. Her teased and curly hair cascaded around her face perfectly.

“Well obviously you were afraid the whole time and wouldn’t admit it anyway, Watson.” She stated with a neck and eye roll now that she’d called my bluff. She only playfully used my last name when she was trying to get a point across or trying to irritate me because she always said it with an English accent like she was Sherlock Holmes.

I shook my head. “Nothing is in there anyway. Your face is the scariest thing out here I guess.” I teased with a smirk.

Knowing damn well her face was PERFECT

Her mouth instantly dropped and she put her hand up, preparing to lay it on me heavy.

“Boy, shut up! I will-”

Just as she was about really get into her whole spill the door behind her froze her words…

The door swung open from the inside…slowly…and loudly creaking open, as if someone finally decided to answer my knocks.

Shannon froze in horror and the copper color in her face that looked like the pretty new pennies I loved so much suddenly turned the pale color of coffee with too much cream.

My mouth hung open in surprise and I saw a dark and extremely large figure silently standing in the doorway. The silence seemed to last for nearly minutes, when in reality it was only less than ten seconds of silence before a gigantic hand grabbed Shannon by her arm and violently tugged. I screamed when I spotted long dirty nails wrapped around her beautiful sweater….clawing at her and forcing her inside of the entrance.

…for five seconds Shannon screamed at the top of her lungs

…another long five seconds of her being dragged inside

Then merely three seconds for her to be forcefully pulled inside…

Five long trails where her nails desperately clung to the old wood of that porch

Chipping the shiny lavender color that adorned each finger…

Leaving their vibrant remains behind

“GREEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGG!!! HELP ME!!! HELP ME PLEASE!! GREEEEEEG!!!!

That was what really hit me in the softest part of my gut…

Finally in one tiny second, the door slammed and there was silence.

Just like that she was gone and I still stood there in that yard…stuck in the silence of not even hearing her shrill cries any longer after just seven seconds…only crickets.

She called out to me…and I did nothing about it because I didn’t even know who…or what exactly took her. I was so lost on what to do and whether I should even go inside or run and find help.

Oh shit…oh shit….oh shit…

Go in there after her man!

I’m not trying to die either.

I don’t even have a damn weapon! SMART!

Call the cops!

Before I knew it, my big ass feet made the decision for me and I raced home. I didn’t look back and I didn’t stop until I made it inside and rushed to a telephone.

I frantically told the police what I saw but that I never really got a good look at whomever pulled her inside of the house. So all that I could say that she was…taken. My hands were shaking and my dark skin was clammy as I went over every thought in my head. How we should have never gone in the first place and the worst thought I didn’t want to think….

is she DEAD?

My head was spinning in circles and I didn’t want to call my mother yet in all of the commotion. The only reason I was out in the first place was because I knew her job would have her working throughout the night and I planned to return before she even knew I ventured into something this dumb. And Shannon’s parents were barely ever home, it had been that way since childhood and it was practically like her grandmother raised her. See how that works out? The saying goes for everyone…

DO NOT GO INSIDE THE VINCENT FAMILY MANSION

There were stories…several stories about disappearances that obviously never scared us enough because we still decided to test our bravery. And that’s just the thing, I don’t know what happened.

Monday morning, I climbed out of bed feeling like a brick hit me in the face. I hadn’t slept a wink and out of everything that happened and Shannon still missing, my mother made me get up and prepare to go to school…to face everyone and everything like a man.

I dragged my body down the steps and to the kitchen table. My mother poured her coffee, shoulders tense and a tiredness in her eyes I knew coffee could never take away.

“Don’t look at me like that Greg. Nobody and I mean nobody told you to take ya ass down to that house.” She shook her head and sighed with a blueberry muffin in her hand.

I hung my head so low that I wished I could become a blob and sink into the kitchen floor.

She walked over to me and gently kissed the top of my head.

“That house has always been bad news baby, we can only pray that they find Shannon. The house is very old and she could have fallen through foundation or anything to where they have to search everywhere.”

“I haven’t even seen the police out here…searching for her…or even at the house trying to find her. Do you know…they can’t even get in touch with her parents because they’re in freaking Europe??!! EUROPE!? There’s nothing on the news! I mean what are they really doing??”

I slammed my fist on the table and broke down, finally releasing everything I’d held in the past 48 hours. The remainder of the weekend since Friday night’s tragedy was the longest I ever lived through and my dreams haunted me with the pure terror in her face each time I attempted to close my eyes and rest. I was exhausted and confused.

I felt nothing like a man. I sulked and slowly walked down the street to school, clutching my royal blue backpack. I didn’t go to school, and no matter how many times something in my conscience urged me to go back to that house to get her, just to see whether or not she was still inside, I instantly change my mind and told myself to allow the police to handle it. I wasn’t sure what their plan was at this point and everyone was being so nonchalant about it.

Even my mom…

she could be stuck inside of the foundation?

“it’s an old home?

No!! Nobody understood exactly what I saw. For the rest of my life, the vision of that hand and those dirty fingernails pulling her away from me would never exit the deepest folds of my mind.

“What’ll it be, love?”

I jerked my head towards a middle aged waitress with a name tag that said “Gloria” standing in front of me, I suddenly realized I had zoned out while walking and made the decision to venture into Fred’s Diner, practically everyone in town’s local eatery and “watering hole” where all of the town gossip could be heard. It was a comfortable safe space for me and I had nowhere else to go.

I sat alone in a corner and only the addition of an older man sat on the other side sipping a cup of coffee and writing inside of a notebook in deep concentration.

It was only around 8:30 a.m. and I’d obviously never skipped school to see Fred’s Diner this empty on a Monday morning.

“Uh…I’ll just take a sweet tea actually.”

My sweaty hands wrung together and I kept my eyes on the door.

She gently smiled, placing her pen and notepad into her apron.

“Well I’ll just let that one be on the house sweetie. You look like you’ve had a long day already and it’s barely started. Make yourself comfortable.” She shook her head and made her way to the back.

My leg anxiously shook and I watched local patrons and work trucks pass by the window outside without a care in the world. Happy and at peace, they were going about their lives and daily routine. Honestly, it was beginning to piss me off and I slammed my fists on the table.

You know what? Fuck this!

I immediately jumped up from the table, slinging my backpack over my shoulder.

“That’s it. I’m going in.” I stated to myself and to the house as if it could hear me. “I’m coming for you!”

Gloria quickly stepped from the back with a smile on her face, then eyed me in confusion.

“What about your sweet tea sweetie? Where are you rushing off to?”

She questioned me through lazy chews of gum and watched me walk to the EXIT.

“Thanks, but I changed my mind. I have somewhere I need to be.” I stated it confidently and as soon as I reached for the door my heart stopped in my chest.

Shannon in all of her glory walked right through the door, radiantly smiling, beaming, and alive as if nothing ever happened.

“What-w-…wait…what the hell??” I nearly fell back into the booth like I’d seen a ghost. Scrambling backwards from her presence.

The darkness in my face had drained and I was pale with fear and disbelief to see her standing in front of me with that goofy ass grin.

“Shannon…what? where? Oh my God! I didn’t know…”

I nearly broke into a sob and exhaled the longest breath of relief I ever had. She smiled and stared at me with her head cocked to side.

Her face, skin, everything was here in front of me. She had her hair up, showing her slender neck and glowing with excitement.

“Awww come on Watson, I know it hasn’t been that long since I’ve seen you. Man up! But I’m happy to see you too.”

She teased me and playfully punched me in my arm.

Our gaze locked for several moments.

She reached up and lovingly caressed my face with her right hand. I melted into it’s warmth.

“Oh Greg…I missed you.”

“What the hell…what happened to you?” I had so many questions and she was standing there like she was perfectly fine. Her nails were even intact and had changed to a deep blue. Not really her style but I guess it suited her.

“Shannon?” I stared into her face and made eye contact like I would get it to somehow click in her head if she looked at me long enough.

“Last time that I saw you…was at…you know…the Vincent Mansion. You disappeared and-“

She stopped and stared at me in awe and smiled.

“Oh my God, Greg…you know who I am? You remember now?”

I twisted my face into a sarcastic frown.

“The hell are you talking about Shannon? I’ve known you since we were little. What is going on?”

“Oh wow! Dr. Haynes, come quick!”

The man that had been sitting in the chair writing and drinking his coffee rose from the chair and strolled over to me with interest; removing his glasses and wiping the lenses with a handkerchief from his pocket.

He examined my face and looked into my eyes like I was some type of experiment.

I gently pushed him away.

“Do you mind?” I squared up and backed away.

He stared down at the notebook he’d been writing in.

“Hmmm…something could have triggered his long term memory or engaged some type of cognitive behavior. I mean it’s been years and the brain has many ways of slowly repairing itself. Things we can’t explain.” His voice drifted off and he removed a bright flashlight from the lapel of his jacket, flashing it back and forth in my eyes in front of the diner counter.

“Hello, Gregory. How’s everything going. Do you know who I am? Do you know what day it is?”

My anger was about to boil over. I was confused about the way Shannon was behaving and where she’d come from and now there’s this guy!

“Man it’s Monday! Will you please back out of my space. Shannon who is this?”

I looked back and forth between the both of them. I even looked at Gloria for some answers and she just lowered her head.

They looked at me with saddened expressions like I’d said something that made no sense.

“Someone better start answering me.” I stated through gritted teeth.

Silence.

“Forget this! I have to go to the cops and tell them you’ve been found Shannon! We’ve been looking for you everywhere!”

I grabbed her arm and led her towards the door and next thing I knew there was a sharp prick in the side of my neck and the entire diner instantly fell away like a mirage.

The tables disappeared and turned white. The diner booths turned into the the hard clinical chairs with uncomfortable cold metal. Everything became white and I discovered I was inside of an entirely white room with limited windows…with bars and now I was wearing white.

Gloria stood near and no longer wore a waitress apron, but a stark white nurse uniform, holding the very needle that was just pushed into my neck.

The other guy in the diner had on a white doctor’s coat and the only one with any color on was Shannon, standing in front of me adorning a blue dress and a saddened expression on her face.

What is going on??

She slowly stepped forward.

“Greg…do you remember anything?”

I shook my head and just wanted to get my thoughts together. Whatever “nurse” Gloria gave me made me feeling light headed and I squeezed my eyes shut trying to seriously remember how the hell I got here.

“I remember…I remember looking for you. They were supposed to look for you but…no one was doing anything about it.”

The doctor stepped forward with interest and spoke up.

Where were you going to look for her Gregory?”

I don’t really like this guy saying my entire name like that.

“The last place that I saw her. That damn mansion!” I answered irritably.

I turned away from him and fully turned my attention to Shannon.

“The last place that I saw you…was at that house…something…someone had pulled…you-“

“US…into that house.” She cut me off and replaced the word like it was me that actually was pulled into the house.

“Wait-what? No…no…no…it was YOU. You have been missing for two days and I was looking for you.”

Shannon crouched down in front of me. Her face suddenly looked different. Older.

“Greg, you don’t remember anything?”

“I just told you everything that I remember and now ya’ll got me in here like I did something wrong!” I shouted and jumped up from the table.

Shannon rushed in front of me and took my face into her hands. The look in her eyes stopped me dead in my tracks. It was pity and empathy.

“Greg…I’m found. I’m not missing anymore and neither are you.” She stated slowly then continued. “But your mom is gone…that night when you returned home…without me…you stabbed her to death….”

I doubled over in more pain. Tears streamed from my face and I shook my head, whimpering like a baby.”

This is impossible

“You did come back for me…days later…but at first…you just left me.”

Her eyes narrowed and I sensed a little resentment in them, like she was reminiscing about that night. I squeezed my eyes shut when I saw the disappointment flash in her face.

“You didn’t really look for me the way you’re saying until days later. I was never the same after…but obviously…neither were you. We never should have gone in that house.”

She rose to her feet and looked down on me in sadness.

“The house didn’t seem to like what you did very much…I was released, but you…you’ll never be free.”

I stared at her in disbelief.

I never even got a chance to get back to the house, when did I even go back?

“Wait, how could I-“

“Greg, look, it’s not even 1988 anymore, it’s 2020. And you’re not sixteen anymore, you’re 32. I’ve been visiting you this entire time…every week…up here at Pine Meadows Psychiatric Hospital. Today is the first day you’ve been this calm.

Hospital??

She showed me some thin black box she removed from her pocket with a glowing screen on it that displayed the time and date once she pressed a button on the side.

What the hell is that??

My body shook and my eyes shifted between them all. I backed away into a corner, whatever they gave me in that needle must have done this!

Shannon eased into my face with an expression of stone and we made direct eye contact.

“You better be quick.”

As soon as she said those words, just as quickly as I blinked, I was no longer in the room with them, but right back in that front of that house…in the yard, hoodie and all with Shannon standing in front of me, smirking once again in that same autumn colored sweater…head back in laughter at the fearful expression etched across my face…

My breathing intensified and I slowly backed away, darting from the scene once again only for it to bring me back each time in a never ending cycle of punishment and a merry-go-round of insanity…

Taste

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

It’s all over your face

You love the way it tastes

Your favorite flavor to indulge in

So moist and rich it’s a decadent sin

Ensuring that you never waste one drop

Even if you could you would never stop

Smooth like milk and honey

Sweet and runny

Licking any traces from your fingertips

Then your fingers part my lips

Inviting me to taste a few of my sips

Flowing like nectar from a honey bee

An addiction always bringing you down to your knees

Most times you just face it

Other times you dive right in

Without it you get impatient

Demanding to know when you’ll have it again

It’s all over your face

You love the way it tastes…

“Like That”

By Robin Chappell

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

Telling me that you want me

Swearing I make you better now

A future of love and loyalty

You said you’d show me how

Building me up to this climax

Then telling me they weren’t facts

Now you pulled back and want to be friends again

I really don’t need a friend like that

Making me feel like I was all worth it

Like I’m every single thing that you need

You promised you would work through everything

The good, the bad, even the unsettling

Once you needed me to be there

Be supportive and have your back

Suddenly there’s nothing but excuses

I feel pretty useless

I really don’t need a friend like that

I’m supposed to be calm about it

I can’t be upset just because you don’t want it

Be empathetic to your feelings only

It’s “fuck my feelings” to really be blunt

I have to move forward like it’s nothing

Like imagining you with another isn’t bad

When I was always willing to be there

For you I genuinely cared

I guess you never knew you had a friend like that

My heart and my mind has moved past it

At this point nobody else will do

Call me crazy, but you’re the one who brought me here

My mind will always be set on you

They say time heals all that’s considered sad

If you’re truly happy, I’d never deny you that

But don’t tell me to feel less

Don’t try and lead me to square one and back

You’re not being kind

I feel you’ve lost your mind

You know I cannot be your friend like that

Robin Chappell’s Fight to Write

By Robin Chappell

14 September 2019

Greetings everyone and HAPPY SATURDAY!! If you’re reading this…YOU SURVIVED FRIDAY THE 13TH YESTERDAY! Congratulations. (-_-)Today, I definitely plan to enjoy the tradition of watching college football (WAR EAGLE!) and relaxing with those I love the most! I just really wanted to make a quick and important announcement about a few changes when it comes to what I do and how I plan to market everything. I at first had one YouTube channel I posted on for years called “The Vizzion”. I let EVERYTHING I was doing fall under it. It was beginning to feel exhausting and I was putting information centering around my nonprofit, Harmonious Grace, Inc., on “The Vizzion” in addition to discussing my newly released books, vlogs, Penelope Smart’s “Word of the Day, etc. It is now time for me to BRAND and become more serious about what I produce and how! My nonprofit centers on illiteracy, fundraising, and mental health support for sexual trauma victims, but I am an author of books centering around thrillers, dark myths, and erotica. So are you getting my point here? One exudes empathy, understanding, and supporting mental health…my books represent rebellion, entertainment, and losing your mind. I LOVE BOTH.

I will now be making these two totally separate entities in order to maximize their potential for growing promotions, revenue, and marketing. I needed to also separate them in regards to what type of speaking events I’m focusing on according to where someone contacted me, what they contact me about, and the type of book fairs I’ll be submitting my work. These two parts of me clashed majorly and I felt as if I could never gain piece of mind. As a true Gemini…it’s like trying to promote two totally different people speaking on opposite topics TOGETHER in one room! This website is specifically for my poetry, stories, and book announcements/promotions. I will also be discussing these topics on my newly created YouTube channel ROBIN CHAPPELL’S FIGHT TO WRITE!

I am so excited to present to you my experiences, tips, grammatical knowledge, and just straight talks centering around what publishing companies and techniques to avoid. We are all learning one day at a time and through experience, so I would first like to acknowledge that I know I am no expert yet, but when it comes to the business and marketing aspects of writing, many become lost on the best strategies and red flags when it comes to putting your work out there!

I love coaching others on displaying and baring their vulnerabilities when it comes to them writing their personal experiences and eliminating the self doubt that no one would read their work. If you’ve been procrastinating, running a book idea through your head for years, or taking forever to edit your work…PLEASE know that it’s a FACT you aren’t alone. I have been there and it took a lot for me to work up the courage to finally release my work WITH PRIDE! Writing a great book and having the fear of others reading it because of their perspective about you is the worst wall you can put up for yourself! Everyone isn’t the same and everyone is not going to have what it takes to complete a book and handle what comes after, so I promise to do my absolute best to at least put your mind at ease. I will provide as much knowledge and feedback to ensure you produce your work confidently and effectively!

“Work smart, not hard” still holds weight to this day and it’s what I center my entire life and writing career around. I LOVE LIFE and experiencing it to the fullest through traveling, reading, writing, spending time with my toddler, dating, and sharing special moments with my family. I would like to show others that it doesn’t take hundreds of sleepless nights, stress, starving yourself or jeopardizing your health to successfully achieve your goals and produce a book. In just less than two years I have produced two, in addition to nearly being done with my third AND fourth. Follow me on your journey to finally becoming the author you want to be and that I KNOW you can be!

FOLLOW AND SHARE THE LINK BELOW

https://wwww.youtube.com/channel/UCU9q9BGwnRQJ21evLujyHsg

Vital Force

By Robin Chappell

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Pexels.com

What are you living for?

Your purpose should not be ignored

Seeking solid answers to unstable questions

Accepting life’s fate and mistakes for valuable lessons

Stability is a natural human need and the cause for greed

The back of our minds dream of peace and luxurious days

Yet we drown ourselves in self doubt and excuses for lazy ways

The existence we all share and tolerate possess reasons

Circling each other day after day and season after season

So crippled by our basic mortality and ignoring knowledge we should seek

Thirsting for beauty with the vanity of surgeries

Filling the holes of the empty words we speak

We’d rather be drunk on shots of lies than to breathe the honest truth

Destroying all of the progress built, ruining fruitful minds of our youth

Eliminate the deliberation that you’re life is an illusion full of confusion

We are broke buying into a life we know we cannot afford

Straighten your shirt and hold your head high for the occassion

What are you living for?

Rose Petals

By Robin Chappell

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

I stare at you. You stare at me.

Leaning in towards each other slowly

I intuitively draw you into my mind

As your soft full lips finally meet mine

I feel tingling sensations traveling down my spine

The rest of the world is disappearing

I am growing more and more consumed in the comfort of your time

Lightly I suck in your bottom lip

Passion dripping thick as you do the same

The intertwining of your lips amazes me

Beautiful in every small way

Inviting the warmth and wetness of your tongue

Just begging for me to stay

Sweeter than honey dripped from scones

Your large hands all over my body begin to roam

Never knew moments as right as this could ever exist

We could go on like this forever if reality never through a plot twist

As we refrain you plant smaller kisses across my face

A look of satisfaction as you notice my pink lipstick has been erased

I finally welcomed you into my world willingly

Now I am elated with everything you’ve shown me

I stare at you. You stare at me