Ghost Story
by Charles Rammelkamp

We tumble down to the beach, teenagers
frisky as a pack of wild dogs,
only a flashlight and dim stars
in a cloudy midnight sky
to guide our way.

We huddle together against the cold,
cozy as a litter of kittens,
and one by one tell stories –
haunted houses, driverless cars,
unexplained phenomena, tragic deaths.

Unaware of her effect,
Megan presses against my back,
her breasts pillowing
either side of my spine.
I feel myself swell, stiffen in the dark – titillated
not so much by Megan’s warm softness alone
but by the combination with the ghoulish,
seductive whisper in which Ashley,
the current storyteller, evokes images
of a graveyard encounter with a demented halfwit.

I find it difficult to concentrate on the story,
the straining in my shorts so distracting,
and then, at the climactic moment,
Ashley cries, a banshee howl,
“Off with his head!”

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