Little Richards Barn
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
They say the eyes are the window to your soul. If that is so, then laughter must be its’ voice. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they laugh. Some laughs are bubbly, others cautious. You have your twitterers and those loud guffaws. Then there is Little Richard. Little Richards laugh is soulless. The very sound chills you to the bones. His smile, for he always smiles, as though that alone will allow him to pass as one of human kind, is always plastered on his face, as though he is in a stupor, unaware of what is going on. This tends to lead people to believe he is rather dim witted...blooming idiot is a phrase I have heard some say on a few occasions, but if they had ever heard his laugh, they may have realized it was all a ruse. There is nothing idiotic about Little Richard at all, blooming or otherwise. And if they ever took the time to look into his eyes, their heart might skip a few beats when they see the emptiness that lies within. For Little Richard is neither one of human kinds, nor does he possess a soul. Not such as we possess. What does lie inside him is dark and disturbing, and he carries behind his smile a secret that would chill you to the bone, and quite possibly send you to an early grave.
Little Richard received his nickname on account of his short stature...and the way he walks around, as though he is Lord of all he surveys. He doesn’t work as far as anyone can tell, but spends his days walking around the town, slight smile to his face, stopping every now and then to tell whoever caught his attention how they could be doing their job a better way. Then he’d stand over them, waiting for them to take his advice, before walking on, apparently oblivious to their murderous stares. Of course, for the most part, folks tend to ignore Richard, feeling as though he’s missing a little in the brains department and deciding it is better to pity him rather than rip his head off, which some have suggested doing.
When Richard wasn’t wandering around town, he spent his time in his barn. It's bright red, Little Richards’ Barn, the color of blood, and we would sometimes speculate about what he might be doing in there, sometimes for days. But no one really was interested enough to find out what it was he spent his time at. As long as Little Richard was cooped up in his barn, he was out of everyone else’s hair, and that was just fine with us.
Richard moved here a few years back, moving into the home his grandparents had lived in all their lives. Little Richards’s grandparents had been well liked by everyone in the town, and we were all quite surprised when, upon their deaths, their will named their Grandson, Richard, as their only surviving heir. No one in town had even known they had any children, let alone grandchildren. They’d never mentioned it. This is quite surprising, since they’d lived here all their lives and you would think someone in town would remember their children.
Yet, here Richard is, his very presence seeming to indicate that none of us are as observant as we should have been. It has been suggested by some, who refuse to believe we are really that forgetful, that the Carters, Little Richards grandparents, had a child but something was wrong with him or her, so the child was sent off to be cared for by an institution. Of course, knowing what I know, I am aware that this story is complete fantasy, and that the Carter’s never had any children....let alone grandchildren. But knowing what I know, and how I know what I know, I am completely unable to warn anyone of whom, or actually what, Little Richard is.
It’s just that, being buried as I am, beneath the floor in Little Richards’ barn, I am unable to tell anyone what I discovered when I ran in here to escape the latest thunder storm. I can’t tell them of the secret experiments he’s been performing, nor that he’s been using mind control to keep them from realizing that the children in the town have been disappearing. I can’t tell them that this is where the kids that are missing are…nor that most are dead and buried alongside me. Those that aren’t soon will be, many begging for him to kill them now. I can’t tell them that he’s not even human and that before long; others like him will be invading the town. I can’t tell them of the horror that awaits them all, once Richard finishes his experiments on the children and they start on the adults.
Word Count: 800
copyright 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar