25. Adelicia Acklen

It works best if you have two young, suggestible pre-teen girls in your back seat.  You take them to Bobby’s Dairy Dip and then start filling their heads with ghost stories about Adelicia Acklen.  It doesn’t matter which stories you choose to tell.

Start with the ones about how greedy she was and so she never left her home because she couldn’t bear to be without her things.  Go on to the ones about how she sold her soul to the Devil in exchange for prosperity, even in the darkest days of war and reconstruction, and so is doomed to walk the land.

Or tell them about her grief for her dead children and how she cannot bear to leave them behind.

Just tell those stories as you drive across town towards Mount Olivet Cemetery.  As you’re pulling up the long drive, be sure to tell them how people have seen her figure around her mausoleum.  And yes, you’re going to have to explain what a mausoleum is.

But it will be worth it, when you pull up in front of the Acklen mausoleum and you dare them to go take a peek in and you make like you’re going with them, but you hang back.

They walk towards the door, the closer they get, the slower they go.  Slower and slower until finally, they are pushing each other and daring each other to look in.

And they do.

And they will see the figure and they will scream.

And you’re laughing, because you know it’s just a statue, a marble angel.

But when you hear the laughter of another woman, and you look around and see there’s no one there but you, then, maybe you’re the one who’s screaming next.


People, if there is ever another time when I have to pee in a cup for 24 hours straight, would you please just, I don’t know, at least make sure I have found my pile of books. I cleaned the kitchen and learned that the tiny cat, who claims to not be able to get on the kitchen counter without help is a total liar. I did a bunch of laundry.

I scratched the dog’s belly all a person could stand.

We went for a walk. I danced around the house. I contemplated how much the bathroom needs cleaning, but… alas, someone is peeing into a cup in there and then pouring it into a jug.  No sense cleaning it until that mess is done.

We went to Sonic for lunch.

I had some bread for dinner.  I lamented the fact that I seem to have lost the chocolate milk I purchased on Friday.

I discovered that my dad’s people are some cousin-marrying motherfuckers. I thought about compiling a list, but I did not. I recharged my phone and my iPod. I contemplated whether my ancestors Luke and Patience Phillips just sprang fully formed from the earth in 1850 and were lying about being from New York.

I was so bored I couldn’t even think of things to do.

I should have called my mom and whined at her.