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Why Don't You Go Outside?

Jason Marinko

*Included in Jason Marinko's Starry Nightmares.

The heavy snowfall has brought life to a halt and that's just fine for four friends who have the day off from school. Until, Andrew's father coaxes them to go outdoors. What awaits them is a chilling answer to Martin Nelson's question.

The kids didn't get another customer for five more blocks and were thinking about heading back.

"No one ever shovels their sidewalks by my Uncles house and people have cash around there all the time."

The boy's observations while naïve were not inaccurate. His Uncles home bordered the township and the city. Homes often were unattended to due to vacancy or neglect.The cash he took notice of was from hand to hand drug transactions he witnessed from his front porch. Mark was the quietest of the group  and only spoke up when he had a good idea or a worthwhile contribution.

"You guys really want to walk all the way down to Haventon Court?" Andrew asked hoping his friends would object.

"It's like only five more blocks from where we already are." Donnie said taking into account the distance they had already traveled. 

"If we get enough maybe Mark can buy a system and we can play each other online. Instead of having to wait  all the time." Christian added. So, towards Marks they went, the snow stopped falling and cars began to fill up the road. Andrew was cold and tired. His friends slept in , but, his mom insisted he wake up and clean up his room before they came over. He did not want to go inside Marks house to warm up either and was seeking a diversion to head back to his house.

They were about two blocks away from Haventon Court when he came up with an idea. He saw a house with a light on and a snow covered car in the small driveway.

“STARRY NIGHTMARES is a highly original, spine-chilling collection of short stories and poems tailor-made for readers who like the violence graphic. Bad karma stalks many of the characters, often delivering grisly comeuppances, although surprise ending make it impossible to reliably predict who will survive. The stories and poems are adeptly crafted with gripping plots.” Susan, Editor at Palmetto Publishing