Twenty Questions/Twenty Answers


From The Haunted WordsmithI will admit, I am bored right now and I love to pass time by starting searching online for thing and seeing where I end up. Today I ended up at a conversation starter website and some of the questions are absolutely hilarious and fit for the blogging community (some with a little tweaking). So, if anyone wants to play along, here are 20 questions:


  1. What movie would be “improved” if it was turned into a musical? Deliverance. Can you imagine?
  2. What is the weirdest thing you have ever found on someone else’s blog? This person who listed every name imaginable and its meaning. That’s what the whole blog was about .Names.
  3. Have you ever been scared by a kid’s movie? Not since I was a kid.
  4. If you were arrested, what would others assume you had done? Assault with a deadly weapon.
  5. What is the most ridiculous fact you know? That there is a penis museum in Iceland that has a specimen from almost every species.
  6. What is one unwritten rule where you work/used to work? No swearing. Ever.
  7. What is the best type of cheese? Jarlsberg. Yum! 
  8. If blogs were food, which food best represents your blog? A glass of Cristal champagne with a shot of Jack Daniels.
  9. What conspiracy would you like to start? That the reckless act of multiplying letters (algebra) is the primary cause of evil in the world.
  10. What fictional character would you like to hang out with for a day? Vito Corleone: The Godfather.
  11. When you fart in public, do you blame others? No. I act like nothing happened.
  12. What fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life? Anybody from Sesame Street.
  13. What is the worst thing that has happened in your kitchen? One time in Jackson, MS the sewer backed up and there was other people’s poop in the kitchen sink and the bathtub! No idea how such a thing could have happened.
  14. If you could swap places with a fictional character for a day, who would it be and why? Huckleberry Finn. It would be fun to be care-free & barefoot for a day.
  15. How much money would it take for you to give up a vice? I have several so it would depend on which one. On the average, probably 2.5M.
  16. What three items would you take to a deserted island that had plenty of food, fresh water, and a cabin? Hopefully there would be Wi-Fi, if not then a notebook, several pens, and my cats.
  17. Which fictional couple would you like to break up the most? I can’t think of any fictional couples at the moment.
  18. When you see someone yawn, do you yawn? Yes. Every time.
  19. What is something you used to think was true, but then found out it wasn’t? That eating bread crusts would make your hair curly.
  20. Have you ever misheard song lyrics? Is yes, which one and what did you think it was? Yes, in Hotel California by The Eagles, I thought they were saying “We threw up in the middle of the night, just to hear them say….”


Susan Marie Shuman? SusanWritesPrecise

Written for The Haunted Wordsmith 

It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

The full moon was silhouetted with gnarled tree branches scarring its face. The late October wind gusting off Lake Superior could chill a person to the bone. And it was dead quiet. No kids came trick-or-treating around this house.

The Mitchell house creaked as if in pain; its boards, beams, and what was left of its roofing was warped and rotting.

“Lily?” Garnet began. “I don’t know about this.”

“Whaddaya mean? This was your idea!”

“I know, but….that was during the day. Nighttime is, well, different…” Garnet looked around fearfully. “It’s so dark!”

“Well, no kidding.” Lily’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “I’ve been jazzed about this since you talked me into it yesterday. Been thinking about it all day! Now, c’mon!”

Lily led the way and Garnet followed reluctantly.

“Didja bring candles?” Garnet asked hopefully. “’Cause I didn’t.”

“No, but I brought my dad’s super-dooper flashlight” Lily flicked it on.

The girls reached the three splintered wooden steps leading to the porch.

“You ready?” Lily asked.

“I guess….”

The steps groaned and cracked as the girls gingerly stepped on them. The old door hung crooked from just one rusted hinge. Its doorknob dangled precariously. The door opened easily with just a nudge.

Lily and Garnet were glued to one another as they made their way through the dark, dust, and cobwebs.

“How about here? This table looks sturdy and the chairs aren’t likely to collapse.” Lily shook them to make sure. “We’ll just dust ‘em off.”

“Aren’t you scared?” Garnet whispered. “You act like we do this every day!”

“Did you surround yourself with the White Light and do the Shield of Protection thing?”


“Then quit worrying. We’re fine!”

After dusting off the table and two chairs, the girls sat down and Lily placed her flashlight on-end like a lamp.

Next, they set the Ouija board in the middle of the table, and they each placed their fingers gently upon the “mystifying oracle.” After a few minutes — much sooner than usual — the oracle began to move of its own accord. Soon, it was moving in circles around the board, indicating that the spirit who inhabited it was ready for questions.

“Hi! What’s your name?” Lily asked.

The oracle spelled out the name AXEL.

“Did you live here?” Garnet asked.

The answer was YES.

It was Lily’s turn to ask a question again. “Does Bobby Pendleton like me?”

The oracle then began circling the board faster. It indicated the letters NO HE LIKE BOY

“Which boy?” Garnet said.

The Oracle then spelled SLUT



Lily and Garnet made eye contact across the table, but neither spoke.

“We didn’t mean to make you mad.”

The Oracle didn’t answer. Instead, it sped ‘round the board faster and crazier until it flew off entirely and hit the wall.

Garnet grabbed the flashlight and Lily hung on to Garnet as they ran out of the house and toward their own familiar neighborhood.

The girls never spoke about that night to anyone, even to each other.

The Mitchell place was torn down several months later to make way for a new subdivision called Axelrod Estates.

SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jon Santa Cruz / Rex Features (582062k)
Ouija board with pointer
VARIOUS – 2006








Today’s writing prompt at The Haunted Wordsmith Blog is witch doctor.

Samantha was in love Kenny. Everybody at Riverview High knew it — even Kenny, but he didn’t love her back. She tried everything to get his attention; he was a quarterback on the football team, so she became a cheerleader. He took chemistry, so she did too, even though she hated it. When the Sadie Hawkins Dance rolled around, she asked him to be her date and he turned her down flat.

The whole problem was a girl named Natasha. Kenny and Natasha had been a couple since 7th grade. That’s five years, which might as well be a lifetime when you are seventeen. You rarely saw one without the other. Eventually they became known as KenTasha.

This irked Samantha to hell and back.

It wasn’t like Samantha was homely. In fact, she was an attractive girl and lots of guys liked her. But she only had eyes for Kenney.

The day Kenny gave Natasha a promise ring was the last straw. Samantha knew she had to think of something quick if she was ever to have a chance with Kenny.

Then she remembered a guy on the other side of town who was supposed to be a witchdoctor— just like in the old Alvin & the Chipmunks song, except this dude was for real. His name was Zane. Just Zane.

The following day, Samantha ditched school and drove herself over to Zane’s place. If not for GPS, she’d have surely gotten lost. Zane lived at the end of a dead end street as one might expect, but in a charming Tudor house. It wasn’t the least bit creepy and Samantha was disappointed.

Maybe this whole witchdoctor thing was a load of crap…

But, she was desperate and this Zane guy was her only chance.

Samantha touched up her make-up in the rearview mirror, then boldly walked up to his door and rang the doorbell. It made a fancy sound like you see in the movies when someone rings a mansion’s doorbell. She was about to walk away when finally, the door opened.

It was an old guy dressed like a waiter, so Samantha assumed he must be the butler.

A witchdoctor who has a butler? Weird…

“Yes, Miss?

“Uh…Is Zane around?”

“Have you an appointment, Miss?”

“Well, n-no. Do I need one?”

“It is customary,” he said in a condescending tone.

“This is very important, sir.” Samantha’s eyes welled up. “Would you please see if he’ll talk to me?”

The butler heaved a deep sigh. “Your name?”


“One moment.” He shut the door in her face. Samantha felt like an idiot standing alone on the portico, or whatever rich people called their porches.

After about ten forevers, the butler returned. “Mr. Curtis will see you now.” He stood aside and allowed her to pass.

So he does have a last name!

“Follow me…”

He led her through a labyrinth of hallways and up two flights of spiral staircases. She’d never been in such an extravagant home.

Witchdoctors must really rake in the bucks…

Finally, they came to a large entryway to an even larger office. It was as big as her parent’s living room.

“Sir, may I present Samantha.” It was more of a statement than a question. The butler turned on his heel and walked away, leaving Samantha in the doorway, gawking at Zane.

He was not at all what she had expected. He was young; mid-20s at the most. He had dark curly hair that touched his shoulders, and penetrating blue-violet eyes enclosed by a thicket of dark lashes. His beard and mustache were neatly trimmed and he wore a Grateful Dead T-shirt.

Zane stood up and walked around his desk. “May I help you?”

Hell, yeah! “Oh! Umm…” Samantha felt her cheeks flush. “Yes, I was wondering about your services.”

“My services?” He smiled a disarming smile.

“Well, yeah. I mean…aren’t you a witchdoctor?”

Zane threw his head back and laughed. “No, that was my grandfather! I’m just an investment broker.”

Now Samantha really felt like an idiot. She stared at the floor, wishing it would swallow her up. A tear trickled down her cheek.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Zane asked. “Come here, sit down.” He led her to a comfortable overstuffed chair.

“Wanna talk about it?”

So, Samantha spilled her guts about Kenny and Natasha.

“I see,” Zane said. “Kenny’s a jerk. Forget about him.”

“How old are you?” Samantha blurted.

“Twenty-three. And you?”

“Eighteen next month, right after I graduate.”

“Would you like to have lunch sometime next month?” Zane smiled.

“Okay.” Samantha’s heart pounded in her chest. “Sure!”

“Great! Listen, I’d love to chat with you some more, Samantha, but I’ve got to get back to work.”

They exchanged phone numbers and made plans to keep in touch. Zane then walked Samantha to her car and watched her drive away.

The minute he was back in the house, he leaned against the door in a cold sweat. Thick blotches of hair began to grow on his hands and arms. Fangs contorted his mouth and soon, he was salivating.

“Merriweather! Quick!” Zane cried. “It’s happening again!”


SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman






Zachariah Beldash

SusanWritesPrecise/Susan Marie Shuman

Today’s writing prompt over at The Haunted Wordsmith is Pumpkin Patch.

For over a century The Pumpkin Patch, located in Chicago’s sketchy west side, has been a popular neighborhood hang-out. But when the first week of October rolls around, curious folks from all over Chicagoland descend on the bar in hopes of catching a glimpse of Zachariah Beldash. Well, not Zachariah himself, of course,—he’d be well over 100-years-old by now— but his ghost.

Legend has it that Zachariah Beldash and his brother Barnabas built The Pumpkin Patch knowing a Kaskaskia Indian burial ground lay beneath. They figured since the Indians were already dead, they wouldn’t care whether they were beneath a bar, or a pumpkin patch. The Kaskaskia tribal leaders counseled against it and pleaded with the brothers to build elsewhere, but the Beldash brothers paid no attention. They continued with their plan and built upon the sacred burial ground.

Trouble started almost the moment the doors opened for business. Glasses sitting on the back bar arbitrarily shattered. Bar stools toppled over while patrons sat upon them. Occasionally, the exit doors would slam shut, not allowing anyone in or out. One time, the long wooden bar suddenly cracked right down the middle.

Oddly, none of these occurrences frightened away the patrons. If anything, it brought in more business. The Beldash brothers were thrilled!

One night after closing time, Zachariah stayed late to do the books. It was a cold October night, so he tossed a few logs into the dying fire. He then poured himself a brandy and commenced to work. It had been a long day though and wasn’t long before Zachariah became drowsy. He’d decided to pack it in for the night.

He doused the fire and double checked to make sure everything was put away. When he as convinced that all was right in The Pumpkin Patch, Zachariah headed for the door.

But it wouldn’t open. He tried prying it, kicking, and slamming his body against it, but the door would not budge. It may as well have been a solid piece of wood; a mere extension of the wall.

Then, Zachariah heard a whooshing sound from behind. A conflagration had taken over the fireplace. The giant flames spread quickly throughout the bar. Zachariah had no way out and burned to death.

Some time later, the surviving brother Barnabas rebuilt The Pumpkin Patch. This time, it was across the street from the burial ground.

Over the years there have been numerous reported sightings of Zachariah, hovering near the burial ground where the original Pumpkin Patch once stood.


SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman

Robinson Woods Burial Ground (