Author Guest Post: Myra Nour
Bill’s General Store
An unpublished short story I wrote many years ago. I never could figure out where this belonged. It is a paranormal with literary leanings. Now, I offer it to the public via Indie publishing.
The old general store was well-loved and iconic. After it is swept away by a tornado, the residents of the small town were devastated, none more than the elderly Bob. When a new store is built, it doesn’t take long for him to notice transformations every day. Changes that are reversing the newness back to the older version of the general store – old floor boards erupting through the tile and the chairs that used to sit near the front door mysteriously appearing.
Note: This is based on a true event. My Uncle’s General Store was destroyed by a tornado. A paranormal story set in a small town in the South, highlighting the colloquialisms of the region. I loved my uncle’s store and the character of the country hill people who frequented its doors. Writing this story is the only way I could bring the store back to life and share with others the quaintness of a time/place reminiscent of many other old general stores that are no longer with us.
Bob glanced at the three chairs. His left hand unconsciously rubbed the area underneath the curved handle and he gripped the wood as his fingers felt the familiar initials. Letting out his breath slowly, he ran his fingers along the carving again. No mistake, they were his. Carved with his pen knife when he was eight, while young Bill had been bringing stock from the back and packing the shelves.
That knife was a gift from his pa on his eighth birthday, given to him the same day he decided to set his seal on the chair. Seemed like his fingers were itching to carve his name somewhere and try out his new knife. He’d thought the chair was the perfect choice, no one would ever know. and they hadn’t for a long time. It eventually was discovered and pa had given him a whopping even though Bill didn’t seem to mind.
His fingers ran along the worn carving in a slow rhythm. Now, those initials were ghosting him, reminding him of the past, aching to live again.
Bob continued his survey, his eyes drawn to an anomaly on the back wall. Something looked different but it was too far to tell what. He got up, mumbled that he needed a can of beans to prevent any questions, and went directly to the pressed board wall.
Slowly, not believing his eyes, Bob touched the strip of ancient beaded boards that sat in the center of one of the panels. It looked as if the old boards had been covered by the new pressed panel; looked as if they were pushing from beneath. But he knew that couldn’t be so. All the old boards had been sucked up by the twister, never to be seen again.
Even as Bob examined the exposed strip, a barely noticeable crackling sound heralded a further crumbling away of the new board paneling. It curled and flaked, falling slowly toward the shelf below…then just disappeared. Bob reached his trembling hand and placed it against the old boards. They felt warm, welcoming.
“Welcome home,” he whispered and rubbed the golden boards gently, then turned back toward the front.
Myra Nour is the author of several best-selling romance novels, including Love’s Captive. She retired as CEO of BTSeMag in January 2016 and began focusing on her horror books. She is a huge fan of horror, loves The Walking Dead and devours zombie books.