Link by Link: An Anthology of Haunted Holidays
Publication date: December 2nd 2020
Genres: Holiday, Paranormal, Supernatural, Young Adult
“‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link…’”-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future.
Between the Quiet
By Candace Robinson
Hand. Invisible brick. Hand. Invisible brick. Slide hand, and twirl. Tuesday Collins pressed her hands against an invisible brick wall that she imagined was a bright, blazing yellow. Tilting her head at a young woman with red hair pulled into two braids, Tuesday lowered herself in a crouched position and felt around an illusioned box. The redhead arched a brow at Tuesday, paused, and scrambled on by. Tuesday sighed and slumped her shoulders in mock disappointment.
As a man with salt-and-pepper hair walked her way, Tuesday’s fingers fumbled up inside her black-and-white striped sleeves and plucked out a glittery pink orchid. She hopped off the stairstep in front of the man and held the flower out to him.
The corners of the man’s eyes wrinkled into a smile. “No thanks.”
Tuesday gestured to her dark bowler hat resting on the ground, filled with mostly pennies.
“Oh.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out two crisp one-dollar bills, dropping them into her hat.
That’s what I’m talking about. She gave the man a widening smile and a hasty bow in thanks. Behind her came the soft clinks of a few more coins being released into her hat.
Every Saturday, and most Sundays, Tuesday spent her weekends performing mime tricks right outside the edge of the subway at Grand Central Station. In the background, the subway swished on by, gathering passengers as bagpipes, a saxophone, and a violin were played. Other entertainers inside were breakdancing, painting portraits, doing anything they could to break out and get noticed.
All Tuesday wanted was to be the next great mime artist, like Marcel Marceau. However, she felt as though she’d been born decades, or even centuries, too late. It was a mostly dead trade. But she didn’t care, because this was the weekend, her weekend. And one day, she would get that Broadway play, or that film, or even join Cirque du Soleil.
The morning sun was already beating down on her heavily-painted face. Not breaking character, she pretended to pick up heavy boxes as she searched around the walking civilians, the leafless trees of autumn, the glass buildings. Her pantomime partner was nowhere to be found. Where the hell was Francis? Francis was always late for everything. She was late every Saturday. Hell, half the time Francis forgot the day was Saturday and didn’t show up. It was as though she didn’t take this as seriously as Tuesday, even though it had been Francis’s idea to start coming out here on the weekends in the first place.
Tuesday bet it had to do with Francis’s new boyfriend, or possibly an old one… She placed her hand in position, as if she was holding a glass, and chugged the invisible drink. As her head lowered back down, she wiped a gloved hand across her mouth and her heart stopped. Literally stopped. There was a microsecond where she broke character, but no one noticed except for her.
Before her stood a boy, a boy she knew incredibly well, one from school. Maybe not “knew” in a close friend sense, but he was Francis’s cousin. Her very, very cute cousin. Becker Barber. Beck. Why was he here? His bleached hair hung right at his pitch-black brows. He wore a long-sleeved Guns N’ Roses shirt paired with tight black jeans and checkerboard Vans.
She wanted to topple over and die right there. Seriously, just vanish. But she kept miming, hoping he wouldn’t notice that the mime was indeed her.
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