Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Fox Lane"

"Fox Lane" was published in Seasons in the Night, Volume 4 (the same issue in which "A Town Full of Holes" made its second appearance).

The story came to me by accident in a way. I was asked to write a short story (at the time no one knew that I was a writer) for a Halloween party; one that could be read while the group was being led through a spooky field to an old dilapidated house.

Most of the elements of the story are true. There is a Fox Lane that is little more than a driveway. There is a withered old house. And yes, there was even a mummified cat in the house. But as for Ida May and her coven of kitties – I told you I had a strange imagination.

The party went well, the haunted house was scary, and the story ... well, you can figure out the rest.

Fox Lane
Gabriel Beyers

There is a road in Monroe County, Indiana, called Fox Lane, that is nothing more than an old winding driveway leading to an abandoned farmhouse. This house once belonged to Tom and Ida May Fox.

Tom and Ida May never had any children, and neither had any living relatives, so when Tom passed away in 1939, Ida May found herself completely alone. Ida May began taking in stray cats to keep her company. It was just one or two at first, but soon the number grew to around twenty. When Ida May went to town (which she rarely did) she would talk to everyone she could about her adorable little babies. It wasn’t long before the local kids nicknamed her the Cat Lady.

Sometimes on a full-moon night, when there wasn’t much else to do, the children would sneak out to the Cat Lady’s house to watch her walk down the path leading to her husband Tom’s grave. She would be dressed all in white, carrying a single rose, with the largest pack of stray cats anyone had seen tagging along behind her.

One night two drifters came by and, thinking no one was home, decided to sneak in to see what they could find. They broke a window and climbed in. The sound of breaking glass woke Ida May, and she went downstairs thinking that her babies must have knocked over a vase.


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