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On the Rise

“So you’re going to take orders from the town drunk now?” Ted Pullman smirked in the glow of the backroom television.

Frank Stevens adjusted the badge on his chest, flashing it in Ted’s eyes. “Look, Marvin filed a formal report. I’m just doing my duty. You going to show me that footage, or do I need to get a subpoena?”

“Easy now, Frank,” Ted said. “You’ll get your footage. Probably won’t show anything, though. Our camera is pointed low, at the pumps. You’ll only see the base of the water tower at best.”

“I’ll take what I can get.”

Ted pressed the rewind button on the VCR, and it whirred to life.

“So you say Marvin saw a woman on top of the water tower?”

“That’s what he said.”

“You know there’s a big chain-link fence with razor wire on top all around that thing, right?” Ted rocked back and forth on his feet. “What, did she fly up there?”

“Just hush up and get us to midnight. This is serious.”

“Right, serious.” Ted pressed stop and checked the time on the screen — 11:45 pm. “Say, what was Marvin doing out by that tower at midnight, anyway.”

Stevens pursed his lips. “Just fast forward.”

Ted sighed but did as he was told.

“Slow down,” Stevens said as they passed 11:58. “Play it from there.”

For about a minute, there was nothing but blackness, except for a weak parabola of light from the gas station splashing onto the asphalt.

Then, a woman in a black dress appeared in the frame, entering from somewhere near the storefront.

She held something in her hands.

Ted lurched forward. “Is that a …?”

Stevens nodded. “Yep, it’s a broomstick.”

The woman rose off the ground and disappeared out of frame, toward the top of the water tower.

Published inFlash Fiction

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