The short story - some loved it, some didn't get it. Someone said it was scary.
I repeat that I'm not a fan of horror but I think there is fun to be had in scaring others. Here's an attempt to do so. I think I was successful - I managed to scare myself with my own writing.
Mary Jane’s Shoes
Her red, red hair trailed behind her like the coloured streamers of a pom pom in mid celebration. She flew higher into the air. Up, up, up, the swing carried her.
Shrieks of laughter erupted as her white chubby thighs wobbled, her polka dotted skirt flapping up and down in sync with the motion of the swing. Shoes were kicked off gaily in upswing - red little jellies that sparkled like rubies in the sun landing at the edge of the garden where the mowed lawn ended and the great redwoods began.
She leaned her weight back so that her hair swept the ground like a broom. Knuckles white as she clutched the yellow painted metal chain that kept her head from scraping the bottom.
“Mommy! Mommy”, she laughed “Look at me!”
“Mary Jane!” Mommy answered from inside the candy-blue house. “Come in and wash your hands at once!”
Mary Jane, obedient to the very fibre of the silk ribbons in her hair waited slowly for the swing to slow its dance and before she herself danced into the house. Humming Pat A Cake as she went.
From beyond the trees, it watched silently with ragged breath. For that was what it had become. The soil underneath escaping with each rushed exhale.
It watched as the noises from the house receded, as Mary Jane washed her snowy white hands under the dripping tap in the bathroom at the front of the house. It reached out for the left sandal and slowly pulled it into the woods.
“Mary Jane! Where are your shoes?”
Mommy’s holler rang out loud and clear in the open as white fluffy slippers shuffled around the slabs that held the swing in place.
Mutterings and a big sigh and Mommy disappeared into the house again. Mission unaccomplished.
The house fell silent again. A cloven hoof closed over the right shoe and pulled it into the ominous blackness, its pink laces clutching desperately at each blade of grass as it trailed past in graceful finale.