BumpaMy grandparents' house felt more like a time machine than anything else. The wood-paneled walls were covered with countless faded portraits of family members. The room was dark except for a single light source, an out-dated TV. It blared a live baseball game, the hoots and hollers of the crowd reverberating through the house. Across from the TV sat a massive, red recliner. In the chair rested my grandfather, Bumpa. He let out laborious breaths as he proudly displayed his Marines baseball cap. A pipe perched in his wrinkled hand as wisps of smoke and tobacco fumes filled the room. Click, clack. A scurry of claws hit the wooden floorboards as a golden Labrador Retriever bounded in, her tail rapidly swishing. Bumpa's eye instantly sparked with joy, "Is that you, Shelby?"
With a great heave of strength, he hoisted his large body forward to pet his beloved friend. He looked up and saw his youngest granddaughter, me. I leaned over and embraced him while he kissed me three times on the
Concrete NightmareAs I walked around a corner, shadows immediately cascaded upon me, the unavoidable fear creeping up my spine like witchy nails. The dull street lights emitted a dim, orange beacon of hope that casted one pitch-black being from my shoes, its long appendages stretching farther into the alleyway until they melted into the darkness. The human from another dimension. A horrid stench of rotten eggs and sulfur wafted into my nose, making me reel back in disgust. Without a doubt, the source was an old dumpster nearby, its green paint cracked and peeled back like scabs on rotting flesh. The plastic cover was thrown over and crumbled, leaving an opening for a monster to crawl out and swallow me whole. My frightened gaze shifted to the faded brick walls that towered above me, blocking any connection to the outside world. Rusted pipes slithered from the tops of the buildings and burrowed their way into the stone below. As my eyes followed the pipes, I couldn't help but notice the concrete undernea