There was a woman who lived in my walls.
She was quiet at first. Sometimes, I could hear her tapping at night. Mama said it was just
the house settling, but I knew the truth. I heard her creeping when we first moved into this house
with Ray. He popped a beer at the kitchen table when I first heard her stir. It sounded like a gasp
or a sigh. I couldn’t quite tell…

And the woman stayed there in the walls as I grew. I got used to her sounds, her tapping,
and her breath whenever things went teacups. That’s what Mama always used to call it: teacups.
She said that once, when she was little, her own mother had taken her to the fair. She had been
amazed by all the sights and sounds, by all the lights. But her favorite ride by far had been the
teacups. She remembered gripping the wheel and spinning the cup faster and faster. The lights of
the fair spun into blurs. The smells of funnel cakes swirled about her. Fellow riders cried out in
terror and delight. And when she got off the ride, she stumbled from side to side trying to find
her bearings, but it was impossible. Instead, she sat down on the bench outside until the lights
stopped spinning and the people stopped squealing and the world came back to Earth. She looked
up at her mother, smiled, and asked to ride one more time.

Continue reading this short story by Aimee Hardy that was published in Stonecoast Review Issue 13: Superstition. Read more…

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