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Tales & Wails: Molly

Entry 3: Maybe the world's spookiest sound isn't BOO, but instead, MOO!!!


Emily Holewczynski


Come. On.

What’s the point of moving to the country if you can’t even enjoy the peace and quiet? That’s the only way my parents sold me on this deal. "At least you won’t hear the L train rumbling by every fifteen minutes." That, and I didn’t actually have much of a choice.

Our new neighbors have chickens, cats, dogs, even cows. If I had to guess, I bet Molly’s a cow.

Man, I could really go for a Big Mac right now.

But it’s late, so that’ll have to wait.


Ugh, this town. Mom and Dad are at a tupperware party at Village Hall. Can you believe that?! A tupperware party. That’s what people do for fun around here! They said they’d be back by nine, but I can’t wait that long. Lights out, time to slee—


Just because you live in the middle-of-nowhere doesn’t mean your neighbors can’t hear you. Molly’s probably onto greener pastures. Or better yet, asleep. Like I should be. Now, where the heck did I put my noise-canceling—


OKAY, I’m awake. Are you happy? I’m awake, I’m dressed, and I’m mad. This has absolutely got to stop, If I find Molly, I’m keeping her.

That’s a lie. I have absolutely no desire to own a cow. Unless it’s covered in special sauce.

Tip-toeing down the creaky wooden stairs, I slink towards the back porch. No lights anywhere, but plenty of stars. Another benefit of the wide-open-nothing, I guess.

I click the flashlight on my phone. Nine-thirty-one. That must be some tupperware. I’m sure my folks will be home soon.

Behind our house, huge, rolling hills collide into each other, covered by thick, healthy-looking grass. Cow caviar. Big, tall oak trees dot the pastures next to us, old and strong and sturdy. My neighbor’s house isn’t quite as close as it looked in the daytime.

Wandering a little further into pasture, I'm surrounded by grass, sky, and stars.

How long have I been walking?

The trees are behind me now, and there’s nothing but nothing.


Except for whatever the heck this thing is.

Bending down, I find a clump of old wooden boards nailed together on top of what looks like an old stone circle. Shining my flashlight on the spot, it doesn’t take long to find more rocks cobbled together as a support.

A well.


The sound is a whisper now, but where is it coming from?

Turning slowly, I see nothing. No one.

Thud, thud, thud.

My heart is pounding in my ears now. A cold sweat prickles my skin as the night breeze whips through the grass all around me.


There are absolutely no cows in this field.

Gingerly stepping onto the boards to test their strength, the wood splits in half with a loud SNAP.

I’m falling.

Black night.

No stars.

A loud, wet drop.



Falling into…

Blue skies.

A brand new day.



Arms around me.

Wet tears in my dry hair.

Thud, thud, thud.

But it’s not the sound of my heartbeat that I’m hearing.

It’s the steady beat of hooves against the soft earth.

I reach for my phone, but I have no phone.

I have no hands.

"There, there, girl. Don’t you worry. We boarded up the well."

Snorting loudly, I trace "HELP ME" in the dirt.

But no one sees.

"We almost lost you. But you’re safe now."

My tail swats at a fly.

"No more trouble from here on out."

I release a thunderous “MOO” into the great wide nothing.

"Only peace and quiet."

About the story

I am the oldest of five kids. We are an incredibly close family, but we are all so different! This year, my thirty year-old sister Molly decided she wants to buy a cow. We've been teasing her about it for months. I wrote this story to make sure she knows EXACTLY what's she getting herself into. Maybe the world's spookiest sound isn't BOO, but instead, MOO!!!

Connect with Emily

Tales & Wails is a short story competition is a chilling combination of spine-tingling stories and visuals co-hosted by the Slush Pile Monster Writing Group and Fantasticarium.

All lovers of the macabre, gothic, and spooky stories are encouraged to participate. Whether you’re a writer, ghost hunter, or just want to get into the Halloween spirit, join us!

Don’t forget to join our mailing list so you never miss any of the games or competitions for bookworms! We also share resources for writers. It's much more reliable than getting updated on Twitter, and we also have special mailing list-only content!

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