There is a park atop a hill in a quiet suburban town. At night, when the wind is still and all local residents are asleep in their beds, the swings pendulum back and forth, footsteps appear in the gravel and mulch; There is a barely perceptible echo of children’s laughter. An owl hoots in the distance, hungry. The haunting lasts throughout the darkness, until a sliver of sunlight appears. And right about the time vampires close back down their coffins, belly full, the play equipment stops moving, the voice die down, and the owl heads back to slumber (his belly full as well). And when the children come to play during the daytime, there is no way for them or their parents to know what happens here at night, how the swings come to life and how paranormal energy ricochets and bounces off the metal slide and monkey bars. It is all animal crackers and juice boxes and scraped knees. Benevolent spirits wishing they could take a sip, having a bite, play tag. When the last car leaves the lot, tires squealing goodbye, it gets awful lonely. There is a sadness that hangs in the park after dark. But one evening, something is left behind. A cell phone from a multi-tasking parent. It buzzes and vibrates, the parent in question no doubt calling herself. Of course no one answers, but the after-dusk residents of the park are intrigued. The owl hoots, disturbed, not trusting this great, big, buzzing light that has been left on the bench. The vampires ignore it, as it does not smell like blood – and the light is too much for them to bare; The avoid it all together. The child spirits are fascinated by it, but cannot pick it up, cannot hold it, but find a way to keep the battery charged by surrounding this mysterious device. On the witching hour, there are tires against the gravel the start and stop. Car door slam. Footsteps. The swings stop swinging, the children stop laughing, and the owl decides to go hunt somewhere else as this park is not as peaceful as it once was, and with beak upturned, flies away. The metal gate to the park creaks open, as it internally prays for oil. Mom has another phone with her and and she’s calling hers.

Author: Roe

30. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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