The Strange Shape of Anne's Grief Part 4
by Shane MIgliavacca
The Strange Shape Of Anne’s Grief Chapter Four Sam
Sam Lang watched the fall leaves blow across the parking lot. She was sitting on the edge of the loading dock. Her legs dangling over the side. Drumming against the chipped concrete. In the distance, the clouds were a dark blue. Closing in fast, like a shark in the water. There was quite a storm coming. That was fine by her. Sam liked a good storm. They made her feel alive. Especially a thunder storm. Unfortunately, her break was almost over. She’d more then likely miss the downpour inside.
Getting up, Sam walked back into the factory. Slipping on her ear muffs. A fork truck drove past her. Carrying a large pallet of boxes. The driver stopped and motioned Sam over. The driver, Curt, they weren’t what she’d call friends. But they hung out on break sometimes and bullshitted.
“Hey, how was break?” He shouted over the noise.
Sam shrugged. “It was, that’s about it.”
“My sister was talking about you the other day.”
Sam had gone to school with his sister, Becky. Becky the bitch. Not a nice girl. Sam had legitimately her. Becky went out of her way to treat her and Anne like turds o the bottom of her sneaker. One of Sam’s big regrets was not decking Becky while they were still in high school.
“Oh yeah? Hope she said something nice.”
Curt shook his head and they both laughed. He knew how his sister was and smarty stayed out of it.
“Give her a message for me.” Sam held up her middle finger.
Curt smiled. “Will do.” He started the fork truck and continued on his way.
Sam passed by the large Blow Mold machines. Crawford Inc. Where Sam worked for the last couple years made plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes for other businesses. She worked on the second floor, the warehouse for the finished bottles. They were boxed up and stored they till they were ready to be shipped out. It was Sam’s job to organize them. And to find the ones that were getting shipped out. Sending them down on the large cargo elevator.
Sam bounds up the concrete staircase. She worked alone up here. It wasn’t that hard a job. The main problem was boredom. There was long stretches of not having anything to do but sweep the floor. Sometimes someone would call in sick downstairs and Sam would have to help out. It was a nice break from being surround by rows and rows of boxes all the time.
From the small office, next to the stairwell a radio blasted The Ramones. That was one perk being up here. She had the radio all to herself. Sam could listen to the shit she liked. The office was mostly there to keep all the invoices. And assorted other records. Wasn’t Sam’s office per see. It just happened to be there.
She didn’t mind being up here alone. It was nice. Especially having to go home to a roommate. Sam figured that’s why her and Anne got along so well. They both liked their solitude. The two of them could spend half the day hanging out at the apartment sometimes without saying all that much. Usually listening to music and reading. Other times Sam would work on her bike outside whilst Anne would lie on the grass staring at the sky. Anne was pretty handy with tools herself. Having picked up some skills from her dad. She was more than willing to help Sam work on the bike if need be. For Sam, mechanical stuff came natural. No one had ever taught her to work on cars or motorcycle. She could be a mechanic if she wanted. It was too bad that Sam had no idea what she wanted yet. She could picture herself working in a garage somewhere. Is that what she really wanted though? She had the skill. That’s for sure.
Sam just picked it just by trying. It could have something to do with the Lang family’s sixth sense. That’s what her mom claimed anyway. Both Sam’s grandmother and mother had an “extra” sense. They could see things, things not part of the natural world. They were both adapt at Tarot cards as well. Her grandmother did readings for some of the people in town. It wasn’t really talked about. The more vocal religious elements in town weren’t too keen on such things. So, her grandmother would visit their houses giving readings.
Sam herself didn’t believe in any of it. She’d never seen anything that made her believe any of it. But the both of them did, if that’s what brought them joy, then so be it. Did it hurt anybody? Sam didn’t think so. Her grandmother barley charged anything. Half the time she didn’t even take money as payment, accepting some food or trinket if the customer didn’t have much money.
Her mother ran a small magic shop outside of town. They sold a little bit of everything. Candles, Tarot cards, crystals and various books on the paranormal. Both women did readings there too. It was far enough outside of town not to get Miss Beal or the others upset. Sam worked the register there sometimes helping out, but like her father, mostly left it to the two women.
A loud thunder clap signaled the storm’s arrival. It was followed immediately by a heavy downpour. Sam looked up at the skylight as the rain battered the think glass. There was another loud thunder clap. This time the lights in the building went off. The radio went silent. The emergency lights kicked on. Illuminating the edges of the large warehouse.
This was nothing new. Every time there was a big lighting storm the power went off. Sometime a few minutes. Sometimes an hour or two. Sam stood there a few minutes in the near darkness. She listened as the rain continued to pelt the roof. How long would this one last?
As Sam contemplated trying to make it over to the office. The lights came back on. The radio coming to life once more. T. Rex sang out from its speakers.
The downpour lessened. The rumble of thunder was more distant now. Slowly fading out as the storm left. Slouching off like some great beast. Trampling all in its wake.
After work Sam pulled into the Save-Mart parking lot. The ground was still wet from the storm. She’d put off getting a Halloween costume together long enough. Anne had told her she’d already picked one out.
Could it be Anne was looking forward to going to the party? Sam had figured on having to drag her there. Instead she’d already got a costume. Sam walked into the store. It didn’t seem all that busy tonight. Maybe the storm scared them off. She couldn’t quite remember if Anne worked today. Sam thought about getting her to help her choose a costume. Although, it might be better to surprise her come party time. Sam felt good about this. She’d been trying like hell to get Anne away from that house. All she did was work and go home. Sam had seen the change in Anne lately. She rested the blamed-on Anne’s mom. The woman had lost it after her husband died. Since then she’d been dragging Anne down with her.
Anne was committed to doing right by her mother. Whether because she taught it was the right thing or she’d promised her father, Sam had no clue.
As she neared the Halloween aisle, Sam heard a argument of some kind. Miss Beal stood there arguing with the store manager Arlo Hendricks.
“We do this every Halloween ma’am. Can’t you just let people enjoy Halloween?”
“Enjoy Halloween? They’re damning their souls! How could I rest at night with those little children’s souls in eternal torment?”
Sam watched them go back and forth a bit. Before she decided she’d go to McReady’s department store over in Sawyer’s Mill. They had a fairly good selection and no Miss Beal throwing her yearly temper tantrum.
Sam turned on her heel and started back towards the exit. Well that was a short shopping spree. She didn’t need Beal seeing her. Sam was in no mood for a lecture about her “demonic” family. And hearing about how she should repent.
Sam stopped, looking around she saw Anne walking towards her.
“What are you up to?” Anne asked.
“I was going to check out the Halloween shit but-”
“Miss Beal.” Anne said, her face draining of color.
“Someone should show that witch how it feels.” Anne’s expression darkened. Sam had never seen her look like that. She felt a chill run down her spine. Anne’s voice sounded so cold.
“You okay?” Sam manged after a couple unconformable minutes of silence.
Anne touched her forehead. “Just a headache. And stress. Miss Beal’s been here every day since the Halloween stuff was put up.”
“Don’t let her get to you, kiddo. She ain’t shit.”
“I know. Thanks. So where are you headed?”
“McReady’s.” Sam felt a little guilty saying another store’s name. Which was foolish. This wasn’t Anne’s store. But it felt like it for whatever reason. “They have a good selection.”
Anne smiled weakly. “About the party…”
Here it comes. “No, please don’t.” Sam interrupted. “You have to go. You need to have fun.”
“Yeah.” Anne said, halfhearted.
Oh Anne. Can’t you see I’m trying to help you?
back to Horror