Shuddersome Shorts

Tales of Eerie Terror


Two hobos, an abandoned house by the railroad tracks, and things that go bump in the night...Mix them together and what have you got? This haunting little homily and a severe case of the heebie jeebies...This one just gets better the more you think about it...

Two Sides to Every Coin

By Will Jenkins
About the author

It was a cold, misty, November night. Two hobos were looking for a place to get out of the cold and darkness for the night. As they walked along the old road that led from the railroad yard, they came upon an old abandoned house.

“This looks like a good place to hide out till the next train to Florida arrives”, says Pauly.

“Yeah, but kinda scary,” says Jimbo.

“AWW, now quit that, we’ve stayed in the exact same kinda place hundreds of times, nuttin’ ever happened before,” says Pauly.

“Yeah, I guess you're right,” says Jimbo.

So the two go to the front door of the abandoned house, slowly open the loudly squeaking door, and enter to find sparse furnishings consisting of an old couch and a few battered old wooden kitchen chairs. Luckily there’s a fireplace.

“At least we can keep a little warm tonight,” says Pauly. So the two begin to break up the chairs and the couch to start a warm fire for the night. After the fire is blazing, and the room is warming, the two decide to curl up next to the fire and get the best night's rest they have had in days since they began their journey south for the winter.

It can't be more than 30 minutes later that Jimbo is awakened by a scuffling sound in the upstairs hallway.

Whispering, he says, “Pauly, wake up, I told you this place was not right, listen.”

Pauly listens to the scuffling for a few seconds, and says, “Go back to sleep, knucklehead, just some mice or rats.”

“No,” says Jimbo. “That's footsteps, I can tell.”

Pauly sits up, slightly angry now, and listens more carefully. There is definitely footstep sounds now, very definable. “Jesus,” says Pauly, “you're right.”

The footsteps come closer to the top of the stairs. The two hobos are now clinging to each other in fright. The footsteps begin to descend the stairs. Pauly wets himself, and Jimbo begins to moan. As they look towards the stairs, they see a woman and a man descending the stairs carrying candles.


Jimbo is already three steps ahead of Pauly and heading for the road. They do not stop running until they can stop seeing the smoke from the fireplace.

The man and woman stop at the bottom of the stairs: “Did you see them that time, honey! Every freaking night at the same time! The breaking up of furniture noises, the snoring noises, I tell you it’s the two hobos that burned themselves up that night about six years ago before we bought this old place to renovate it.”

The man just stood there shaking his head, “God, honey, you could see right through them, just like you said. At least they were more afraid of us than we were of them.”

The next night, two hobos jump off a train and begin walking down the old road that leads from the train yard.....

The End.

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Two Sides to Every Coin is copyright Will Jenkins. It may not be copied or used for any commercial purpose except for short excerpts used for reviews. (Obviously, you can copy it or print it out if you want to read it!)