Today I'm featuring a snippet from "Haints in Hollywood," a humorous short story featuring Darlene, Richie, and Tommy Ray, who were characters in "Laid to Rest." It's 1957 and they have left Mississippi on their way to Hollywood where Darlene hopes she'll become the next Marilyn Monroe.
They do end up in a town called Hollywood. But instead of being filled with movie stars, it has ghosts, vampires, zombies and even a spooky owl. Join the fun as Darlene ends up in a haunted hotel, gives a ghost advice on love, and finds a guy on Harley carrying a crossbow pretty hot.
“The sign says Hollywood.” He beamed a stream of light toward a small billboard where white magnolias decorated a dark green sign that read: Welcome to Hollywood.
“It’s not the right Hollywood,” I told Tommy Ray. “I’ve never heard of this town.” I hadn’t seen it listed on the road map either.
“Hold the light steady,” Richie said as he stepped onto the shoulder of the road and took a look at the sign. “Appears the population is dropping.”
Beneath the name of the town, the sign read: Pop. 852. A black X had been painted over the eight fifty-two. Next was five hundred six. There was an X over that, too. The numbers continued to dwindle until the last number, which was thirty-four, had been crossed out, too. The town must have come upon hard times.
“I guess they quit updating the sign,” I said.
“I don’t like it,” Richie said, glancing down the long, dark strip of pavement ahead of us. “Got a bad feeling about this. Real bad feeling.”