Grandma Fisher’s Oddities

Grandma Fisher’s Oddities

A story by Michael J. Pennington

What I’m about to tell you may sound crazy to you but it was normal to me. The way Grandma Fisher ran the house was just the way the world worked I had no reason to question it. Perhaps in your travels through this great nation you chanced upon a little roadside attraction called Grandma Fisher’s Oddities It’s a little novelty shop along a lonely dusty road the only thing to see for miles, well except for the farmhouse and the barn and a little heat controlled building that housed my Grandma Fishers wax museum. It was her pride and Joy.

Grandma didn’t look much like a grandma she was in her early forties. She had a daughter when she was seventeen and that daughter had me when she was seventeen. She was one of those people who didn’t age, taking about ten years off her appearance. Most people thought she was thirty. With her golden hair and her slim figure, they just assumed I was her son.

On occasion, Grandma would bring home a guest. She would invite them for dinner. She had a special pepper shaker which she would use to season their food. At first, I thought she was putting them to sleep when they would pass out while eating dinner. But before long I understood that she was giving them poison.

Grandma wasn’t killing them, she was making them into angels. She had a whole system. First, she would take them out to the shed where she trimmed off the hair on their arms and head. She groomed the fingernails to her liking. And took a plaster cast of their face and hands.

She had an underground room in the barn one side had a walk-in freezer the other she had a metal operating table where she removed the arms and head of her angel with a hacksaw. She would then boil (it was more of a simmer) in water with something she called sal soda. This made it easy to remove flesh from the bones. She had a stove and table workstation between the fridge and metal table. She then used the skull and finger bones as a base for her wax sculptures first building up the inner muscle structure with clay and then using was to make the outer skin layer. Finally, using the plaster cast she made as a guide. She would, of course, give them more pleasant expressions.

“They look so real!” That’s what everyone said about her wax sculptures. No one knew the extremes she went to to get such realism. She chose her ‘angels’ based on their likeness to celebrities.  “Oh! Isn’t he just the  image of Dwayne Johnson?” She would ask, or “I think she would make the perfect Emma Watson” she would say. She liked historical figures as well, Einstein, Susan B. Anthony, anyone famous.

“Grandma,” I said.

“Yes dear,” She said as she was working on a wax figure of Helen Keller.

“I want to be an Angel some day,” I said to her.

Grandma paused for a moment. She turned to me with a big smile. “You will dear, but you’re not ready yet. I can only make people into angels when they’re perfect.” I must have looked a little crestfallen cause she gave me a big hug. “Don’t worry Tobie! You just have a little more growing up to do! You’ll see! I’ll let you know when it’s time. Just promise me you’ll wait until then.”

I had no idea Grandma had promised to kill me. Or perhaps I did but to me being one of Grandma Fishers wax figures was the greatest gift that she could bestow on someone.  One day we had Pastor Manson show up. He would come over every so often and have dinner with us. Naturally, we made it to church almost every Sunday.

“So glad you could join us, Micheal.” Said, Grandma. “You know me and Tobie don’t get many visitors. Sides the occasional tourists.”

“Always happy to see you Elizabeth and little Tobie here!” Said, Mr. Manson.

The food was ready, and we all sat down. That’s when I got an idea, “Grandma?”

“Yes, dear?” she asked.

“Can I have a pop with dinner?” I asked.

“No dear,” said, Grandma. “Those are for customers, I only let you have them on special occasions.”

“It’s okay Liz,” said the Pastor handing me a dollar. “This one is on me.”

“Well, I guess it’s fine then,” said Grandma politely enough. The Pastor and grandma exchanged silent glances I took their distraction as an opportunity to use the “special” pepper on the pastor’s potatoes.

“Yay!” I exclaimed and ran out excitedly to get my soda. When we came back, the Pastor was sampling the potatoes.

“Michael!” exclaimed Grandma. “You of all people should know better.”

“Your right.” He said. We put our hands together and he began to pray. “Our father who art in heaven…”

He passed out right in the potatoes. I was so proud of myself for what I did. “Tobie!” cried, Grandma. “Why did you do that?”

I suddenly realized I was in trouble. “I’m sorry Grandma!” I said. “It’s just t-that I thought that if anyone deserved to be an angel it was Pastor Manson.” I was on the verge of tears.

Grandma grabbed me and hugged me up. “It’s alright dear! Grandma just got to figure out what we are going to do.”

Grandma had a system for body disposal. The first step after she made a plaster cast of them was the Freezer. She would then process their hands and skull for the making of the wax figures.  She would then take the bodies out to her secret compost heap. Near the back of the yard, she had her flower beds, but they one had a secret. The flower bed was actually a door. When she pulled on it the flower bed lifted out of its hole and set off to the side. This revealed a hidden area under the bed. One that was accessed by another door about three feet in. This is where Grandma kept her beetles. They were a special kind of beetle that removed flesh from bone. Once she got the bones she ground them up to make the plaster she used to fill the molds. It was a whole production line.

How did Grandma get all this stuff? She had the hook up from a guy named Sal, he was a taxidermist by trade but had found a market for among serial killers. He got them set up to keep and get rid of bodies and they gave him any clothes, money, cars they got from their victims. Sal made them disappear for a tidy profit.  Or so I understand.  After getting Pastor Manson into the beetle tank, Grandmas first action was to call Sal.

The phone picked up. “Hello, G-ma.” G-ma was Sal’s nickname for Grandma They used nicknames to keep things separate.

“Sal, I need a pickup!” said Grandma Fisher.

“You are not scheduled for a pickup,” said Sal.

“I know this one is urgent!” said Grandma.

“Are you in trouble?” asked Sal.

“No,” said, Grandma. “At least not that kind of trouble. We just had an unexpected guest who might cause people to start looking. It would be good if there were nothing here for them to find.”

“No,” said Grandma. “At least not that kind of trouble. We just had an unexpected guest who might cause people to start looking. It would be good if there were nothing here for them to find.”

Sal was making a special emergency pickup if a few day’s he wasn’t happy about it. If he even thought that that one of his customers was going to get caught he would burn them. Completely cease all contact with them. Grandma depended on Sal, so this was a concern, but she managed to convince him that it was okay. Grandma had made me promise not to make any more angels until I was older. She made a special angle with Pastor Manson’s face.

Grandma had just gotten the base clay over the skull of Pastor Manson She was getting ready to apply the first layer of wax, when someone said. “Is that facial reconstruction?”

“Oh! You startled me!” Said Grandma spinning around. It was the Sharif. Standing at the entrance, he wasn’t a tall man, but he seemed to keep himself in shape. He looked like Lou Diamond Phillips as grandma would say.

“Sorry Elizabeth,” said the Sharif. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you. The door was open.” I was sitting next to the plaster mold of the Pastor. While the Sharif was distracted I covered his face. Grandma didn’t want others to see the model before the finished project.

“It was nothing,” said Grandma to the Sharif. “What brings you to see us, Henry?”

“Well, it’s Pastor Manson mam has gone missing and last anybody heard of him he was on his way here,”sSaid Sharif Henry.

“Yes. He was supposed to come over the other night,” said, Grandma. “But he never showed up.”

“Did he call or anything?” asked Sharif Henry.

“No,” said Grandma shaking her head. “I just thought he got busy with stuff I didn’t think there was anything wrong.”

“Well do you mind if I have a look around?” asked Henry.

“Of course.” Said, Grandma.

The Sharif looked around, but all the important stuff was hidden. The beetle cage that was where the body was de-fleshed was hidden under a flower bed that looked exactly like the ones adjacent to it. It was placed next to the compost heap so that any bad smells had an explanation. Grandmas prep room the staircase and a winch she used to lower bodies were hidden by a false wall. Which was self-closing.

The pastor’s car was hidden in a secret garage on the edge of the property that was disguised as a pile of wood. The garage was hidden on a hill behind the woodpile. The wood pile disguised the door so you couldn’t see it unless you looked really close. The Sharif looked around for an hour or so, he didn’t see anything. I never stopped to think about why grandma went to such lengths to keep the truth of her angles secret. It was just how things were.

The whole time the Sharif was looking, grandma, watched him from the kitchen as she made cookies and lemonade. When he was done she invited him in to join us. “Did you find what you were looking for Henry?” asked grandma.

“Sure did!” said the Sharif taking a bite of a cookie. Grandma was behind him and she placed her hand on her butcher knife. She was staring intently at him. “Absolutely nothing,” said Henry with a mouth full of cookie.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that,” said Grandma.

Henry took a sip of his lemon aid. “Confidentially,” he said. “We got an anonymous tip that Pastor Manson was seen helping a stranded motorist four miles south of town.” Sal gave the tip to throw the cops off, this was another service that Sal offered.

“That sounds like him,” said Grandma. “Sometimes he could be too nice for his own good. You have to be careful out there.”

“Well, it’s our best lead anyway,” said the Sharif. “I’ll get back, thanks for the cookies Liz.” He started out the door with me and grandma waving him off.  “Hey, Liz!” He called before he got in the car. “We could really use your sculpting skills down at the department. Maybe just something to consider.”

“I’ll do that,” said Grandma. The Sharif gave a nod then got in the car and drove away.

Sal came to pick up the car and Pastor Manson other belongings. Sal showed up in disguise. He dressed like Tucker and wore thick heavy glasses. He was tall and skinny and covered in grease. You might think this is who he was but this was one of his many personas. He had a few vehicles with which he moved cars. Given that the pastor’s vehicle was being looked for he brought a semi-truck with a covered trailer. They loaded the car into the trailer overnight.

He parked out front for a full twenty-four hours. This was his cover story, he was an old friend of grandmas who passed through every so often when his root allowed. Sometimes Sal would come as a tourist who visited the museum. He would come in an RV with an empty trailer and leave with a car in tow. Other times he was in a moving van and he stopped to ask directions. Sometimes he would just show up and buy a car that my grandma was selling.

That is when something changed for me fundamentally. Things began to feel different. A small voice was growing inside me. I didn’t hear it I didn’t want to hear it. I ignored it. Pretended like it didn’t exist. I pushed it to the back of my mind and told it to go away. I kept telling myself: “Grandma is good and her Angels are perfect!” I kept this hidden from Grandma out of the shame I had for doubting her, and the fear of what she might do to me if thought I might tell her secret.

All the while that little voice grew a little bit bigger every day. Becoming harder to ignore with each passing moment. I was waking up from a pleasant dream into a living nightmare.

“Tobie,” said Grandma. “You need to go dust off the wax sculptures baby.”

“Okay Grandma…” I said. Slowly walking over to the temperature control building. This use to be my favorite job. Nothing made me happier than looking at grandmas angles. Now all I saw was the frozen faces of the people that she killed.

The worst was in the nativity scene one of the wise men had the face of Pastor Manson. His eyes seemed to follow me. Accusing me. “You killed me, Tobie.” I could hear him say.

I cleaned up as quickly as I could and got out of there.  I began spending as little time as I could in the building with the Angels. I couldn’t sleep. I would sit up a stare at the ceiling all night. When I did sleep I had nightmares about the angels coming to get me. Part of me wanted to understand it all.

I worked really hard to come up with a question, one that didn’t accuse and didn’t sound like I doubted her. Finally, I thought of one I thought sounded okay. “Grandma?” I asked one night while we were peeling potatoes.

I cleaned up as quickly as I could and got out of there.  I began spending as little time as I could in the building with the Angels. I couldn’t sleep. I would sit up a stare at the ceiling all night. When I did sleep I had nightmares about the angels coming to get me. Part of me wanted to understand it all.

I worked really hard to come up with a question, one that didn’t accuse and didn’t sound like I doubted her. Finally, I thought of one I thought sounded okay. “Grandma?” I asked one night while we were peeling potatoes.

“Yes,” she said her hands working quickly and precisely in smooth movements I could not master. She worked a knife like a master.

“Why do you keep your angels hidden?” I asked her while struggling with my potato peeler.

“Well… baby,” said grandma and as she spoke I watched her hands move. “Not everyone believes in angels.” As she peeled the skin off the potato I imagined it was a skull instead. “If people knew about the angels they wouldn’t understand.” She finished peeling the potato and got another one. The macabre process starting again. “They might want to take the angels, stop them from doing gods work.” She got another skull and began peeling that one too. I looked down at the bowl of tiny skulls sitting in water. “Besides the angels work in secret…”

“Toby!” said, Grandma pointing the knife at me. “Are you even paying attention to me?

“Yes, Grandma!” I said frightened.

“What has gotten into you?” she asked.

I don’t know grandma,” I said nervously. “Just jumpy I guess.”

“Well calm your shit baby.” She said to me. “Go play in the other room while I make dinner, I don’t want you making me all nervous too.”

“Yes Grandma. I will.” Grandma made dinner while I sat in the other room trying to calm down. I was finding it increasingly hard.

“The angels are good” I kept whispering to myself. As I sat by myself in the living room. Grandma called me in for dinner and I ate everything on my plate except for the potatoes.

“Aren’t you going to eat your potatoes?” asked Grandma.

“I don’t want them,” I said shyly.

“But they’re your favorite,” she said.

“I just don’t like them anymore,” I said.

“Alright,” said Grandma giving me a strange look. “Clean up the kitchen and go to bed.” I did as he asked.

No place was safe for me. The house was where she killed her victims the barn was where she processed them, the garden was where her special beetles ate the flesh off the bone, on the other side of the yard near the forest was grandma’s secret garage. Even the gift shop was not safe, that is where grandma found some of her victims. The worst of all of them was the temperature-controlled room, where the angels were kept.

I tried not to think about it, which means I thought about it all the time. I had to get away. Sometimes grandma would let me go for walks. There was a creek that ran through the back of the property. I escaped to it whenever I could.

In the forest behind my home, I could forget. I told my grandma I wanted to go fishing, but I didn’t fish. The last thing I wanted to do was catch and clean fish. Instead, I brought along my comic books. Spider-man was my favorite.

One of Grandma’s oldest displays was of Spider-man and Mary Jane. They were doing the classic kiss from the movie. The upside down one. They sat forever fixed in a position that was just an inch away from kissing. Only the Mary Jane didn’t really look like Kirsten Dunst. And Spider-man’s chin was too pointy. I sometimes saw Grandma talking to Mary Jane.  Part of me suspected, part of me even wanted it to be true. Could they be my parents?

“Is Spider-man your favorite?” asked an unfamiliar voice while I was reading one day.

I Jumped when I heard the voice. I looked up to see a girl who was about the same age as me. “Did I scare you?” she asked.

“Yeah. A little…” I replied.

“Sorry,” she said. “So is Spider-man your favorite?” Her brown eyes sparkling with excitement. She had long blond hair tied into pigtails. She was wearing a simple dress but had blue jeans underneath. She looked about the same age as me.

“Yeah, he is,” I said.

“Have you ever read Spider-Gwen?” she asked.

“What’s that?” I asked. I did know but she was someone to talk to and I just didn’t want her to go away.

“It’s where Gwen Stacy gets bitten instead and she becomes Ghost Spider!”

“Really?” I asked still pretending this was new information.

“Yeah, my names Penny by the way,” she said. We sat and talked for hours me and Penny. We became fast friends, and we would read comics together. Apparently, she lived in a camper with her parents. They parked it off the road about a mile so no one would see them, they weren’t parked legally. I told her I wouldn’t tell.

“Where were you?” asked Grandma as I came home.

“Sorry I lost track of time,” I said.

“Well, you’ve been neglecting your chores again.” Said, Grandma. “Go dust the angels.”

“Yes Grandma,” I said. So I went to see the Angels, it was already night which made it even scarier.

As before, Pastor Manson began to speak to me. “You killed me Tobie,” he said.

“It’s not real,” I said to myself, and he stopped talking. I finished my chores and went to dinner.

The angels still scared me, but all I had to do was think about Penny. She became an island of normal in a  sea of insanity. Things got better for a time, I could relax, I could even sleep.

It didn’t take grandma long to figure out something was up. I guess while I was working she went into the woods and found my little secret. It was on a day she wouldn’t let me go no matter how much I begged.  I snuck out to the woods but couldn’t find Penny. I came home to dinner and Grandma had a surprise of her own.

“Tobie,” said Grandma. “Look who I brought to dinner.”

Penny entered the room. I wasn’t sure what to say. “She’s not very talkative maybe you could tell me her name,” said Grandma.

“Penny,” I said. “Her name is Penny.” Fear was rising up inside of me.

Grandma paused for a moment. “What is Penny doing on my property?” asked Grandma impatiently.

Penny looked scared. I didn’t know what to say. “Her mom and dad have an RV about a mile away,” I said. “Please let them stay! They have no place to go.”

“Toby,” Said Grandma very carefully. “There is no RV, Penny has no parents. She has been squatting on our land.”

“Penny?” I asked and Penny looked down and shame.

“Don’t worry,” Said Grandma. “Penny can stay with us.”

“Really?” Penny and I asked together.

“Forever and ever,” said Grandma. “Let’s make dinner!”

It was so nice to make dinner with grandma and Penny. It was like we were a family. I couldn’t remember being happier. We made all my favorites.

Soon it was time to sit down to Dinner. We said prayers “Thanks for letting Penny stay.” I said to Grandma.

“Of course.” Said, Grandma. “She’s such a beautiful girl. She looks just like that Dakota Fanning…”

I looked at Penny as she was about to take a bite of mashed potatoes and I realized what Grandma meant by “forever.” I swatted the spoon out of her hand. “Don’t eat that!” I grabbed Penny by the hand. “Do eat anything she gives you! Ever!” As Grandma stood up to chase us I ran to the counter and grabbed Grandmas kitchen knife. I pointed it at Grandma she froze.

“You put that knife down Tobie!” Said Grandma firmly like the loving Grandparent everyone thought she was. “You put it down right now!”

“Tobie!” Cried, Penny. “I don’t understand! What’s going on?”

“It’s poison!” I said. “She want’s to kill you and make you into an angel!”

“Tobie.” Said, Grandma carefully. “You’re scaring me. Put the knife down.”

We kept backing up towards the back door. “No!” I screamed. “I won’t let you hurt her!”

“Put the knife down Tobie,” said, Grandma in soothing tones. “I’m not going to hurt you.” As she talked she was trying to move closer to us. “I’m your Grandma, I love you. Put it down and everything will be okay…”

“Stay back!” I said holding the knife at grandma. With Grandma looming over me edging ever closer, Penny and I edged closer to the door. I think grandma knew I didn’t have the heart to use the knife. If she got to us first it was all over for Penny. Grandma was going to kill her no matter what I said. We got close enough to the door to make a break for it. I dropped the knife and yelled, “Run!”

“Tobie!” Shouted Grandma as she chased after us.

At first, we ran with our hands together, but with grandma gaining on us I let go of her hand and yelled. “Split up!”

We ran in different directions. I knew grandma would follow me. She might be really mad when she caught me, but she would never hurt me. I still believed that. I ran as fast as I could, using the trees and bushes to my advantage. I made it to the creek where I knew there was a good hiding place. I hid and did my best not to make a sound.

I heard nothing for the longest time. Then I heard grandma shouting. “Tobie! I have your little friend! You better come get her!”

Oh no! I was wrong, Grandma didn’t follow me. She followed Penny, now she had her. I had to save Penny from Grandma, but how? Grandma would be waiting, I had to come up with a plan.

Grandma was watching the house and the Barn, she knew I would check those places, that was what she was counting on. I slept in the woods all night, and I got up early in the morning. I made my way to the shop. She kept it locked, but I knew where she had the key. I called the Sharif. “Hello?” answered his assistant.

I tried my best to disguise my voice. “There is something the Sharif needs to see inside Grandma Fishers wax museum. Tell him to come at 2:00 o’clock this afternoon.”

“Who is this?” Asked the assistant. “Is this a prank?”

“No,” I said. “Just tell him!” And I hung up.

I snuck over to the heat controlled room, it was locked up tight, but a few times grandma had forgotten her key’s in there and I had to shimmy through a small window on the side of the building. She kept it unlocked for this reason. Inside the building, I made my way to the main thermostat and turned it all the way up.

On my way out I grabbed one of Grandmas screwdrivers she used to help sculpt and build the wiring inside her angels. I made my way out to the flower garden. I carefully snuck my way into the planter and closed it on me. Inside I removed the screw supporting the hinges on the door to the beetle tank.

I waited in there until I heard the sheriff pull up. If I opened the bed just a little bit I could see everything. It was deathly hot out, I was burning up under the flower bed. Inside the wax museum, the wax figures were beginning to melt. Finally, I heard the Sharif’s car.

“Henry,” Said Grandma running out to meet him. “I didn’t expect you today.” With Grandma focused on the Sharif I could leave my hiding place and get closer.

“We got a call,” Said Henry. “Sounded like a prank but I thought I’d check it out.”

“It’s probably Tobie, he’s been acting strange lately. ” Said, Grandma. “I don’t know what’s got into him.”

“Well, would it be alright if I took a look at the museum?” Asked the Sharif.

“Sure let me go get the key.” Said, Grandma.

Grandma made her way to the house, she looked around as she did she was searching for me. I moved to the far side of the building so she didn’t see me. I kept out of sight of the Sharif as well.

The Sharif had taken out his phone and began to talk. “Didja find out was going on out there?” Asked the receptionist I recognized her voice.

“Elizabeth thinks Tobie started his teenage rebellion early.”

“What do you think?” Asked the receptionist.

“Something wrong out here.” Said Sharif Henry. “I can’t put my finger on it but something just don’t feel right about this place.” Grandma was coming back with the key. “I’ll call you back.” Said the Sharif.

Grandma opened the door which was still locked a blast of heat came from the building. “What the hell?” She asked. The two of them went inside to see all of Grandmas wax angels melting their thin wax covering revealing their clay-covered skulls underneath. I watched from the door as they made their way inside. “Goddammit!” Said Grandma visibly upset. “I’m going to kill that boy!”

“Now I know that this is bad Elizabeth,” Said Sharif Henry. “But you shouldn’t be too hard on the boy. He’s obviously acting out for some reason. Maybe I could get you in contact with a good counselor.”

“Maybe you’re right.” Said, Grandma. She whipped some wax off one of the figures. She picked up a support bar that she used to make the metal skeletons for the figures. “Will you just look at this. All of them ruined. Do you know how long it took me to make all of these.”

“I’m sorry Liz, but you’ll rebuild.” He said looking at one of the clay-covered skulls of grandmas victims. “Someday you and Tobie will look back and laugh…” He suddenly realized what he was looking at. He began to peel the clay off the surface of the skull. Revealing the grim truth that lies beneath. “Is this a skull?” He asked. “I admit your work always reminded me of facial reconstruction, but I didn’t know you used real skulls. Where do you…”

He didn’t get to finish his question. Grandma used the support bar in her hands to whack him on the back of the head it made a sort of hollow sound not unlike hitting a baseball with an aluminum bat. The Sharif fell limply to the ground and Granma loomed over him with a knife. “I guess you are going to find out Sharif Lou…” She stabbed him in the chest as hard as she could, and again and again, but no blood came out. She paused for a moment and ripped open his shirt to reveal a kevlar vest.

“Well, I got to admit that’s a quality vest you got there.” She said. “I’ll make sure to give it a good online review.” She tore the vest open and stabbed the Still unconscious Sharif. This time her knife hit home.

Crimson blossomed from the Sharifs chest as Grandmas knife was stabbed into it over and over. I watched from the door of the wax museum horrified fixated. I used to seeing death but Grandma always used poison. She almost seemed to revel in the act of violence. She got done their carnal at and panting she looked up and moved the hair from her face that’s when she saw me.

“See what you made me do?!” She asked.

I ran, she chased after me screaming. “Tobie! You get back here!” She had her blood-covered knife in her hand.  I ran to the flower bed. I jumped in and stood on the edge. When Grandma got close I would work myself to the others side always sure to stay on the edge. “Dammit, Tobie!” She said almost Grabbing my arm.  She finally got frustrated enough to follow me into the hole that was over the beetle tank.

Unlike me, she stepped on the door which I had removed the screws. The door collapsed and she went tumbling into the tank of flesh-eating beetles.

Grandma made an inhuman wailing sound as the beetles tore into her flesh, she had dropped her key’s as she fell and the lanyard was caught on a piece of wood and the key’s dangled above the tank. I reached out for them snagging them as they begin to fall. I looked down to see my grandma trashing as the flesh-eating beetles swarmed over her like ants on a piece of candy.

I didn’t want this for her, I just didn’t want my friend to die. I climbed out and ran into the house. Grandma kept the basement locked for some reason, and I didn’t think much about it. I just figured it was full of basement stuff. Maybe I should have thought more about it, but I didn’t.

I figured if Grandma was keeping Penny any place it had to be there. I didn’t know which key unlocked the basement, but I knew which ones it wasn’t and there were only three keys I didn’t know. The first two were wrong so it had to be the third. I opened the door.

Grandmas basement room was a chamber of horrors. I had never seen it before, and now I knew why. It was a soundproof room with tables with straps and all sorts of torture implements.  sitting on the side walls were all the busts she had made over the years, there seemed to be a lot more than I knew about. There was even the bust she used to make Mary Jane.

There were cells in the back. But they were empty, where was Penny? I walked up to one cell and saw a pool of blood in the bottom could it be her’s?

Before I could look closer grandma grabbed me by the arm and snatched the keys out of my hand. She then shoved me in the cell and locked it. Grandma looked pretty terrible, the beetles had done a number on her and she was bleeding all over. “Let me out! Let me out!” I shouted.

Next to my cell was a cabinet, Grandma leaned herself against it and let herself slide down until she was sitting on her butt. “Why did you do this to me, baby?” She asked. With tears in her eyes.

“I won’t let you hurt her,” I said to her.

“I couldn’t hurt her even if I tried.” Said, Grandma.

“Look Grandma you need help, your sick,” I said trying to appeal to her.

Grandma laughed, for what seemed like forever. “That’s funny coming from you.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Penny is not real,” said Grandma.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“You imagined her,” said, Grandma. “I was playing along at first because I thought it was some kind of game. Then when you ran away, I thought you’d come back if you thought I had her.”

“No,” I said. “It’s not true!”

Grandma got up and walked over to the plaster cast of the woman who became Mary Jane. “Penny was your mama’s name. Fool that she was decided that she needed to go get herself pregnant. She and her common-law husband thought they could blackmail me. That’s your Penny.”

“She was real!” I said. “You’re just messing with me. I want to see her.”

“It was Pastor Manson wasn’t it?” said Grandma. “You started acting differently after you killed him.” Grandma headed towards the door.

“What are you going to do?” I asked.

“I’ve got a mess to clean up.” Said, Grandma. closing the door. Leaving me alone.

A few years have passed since then and everything got back to normal. Well, as normal as it get’s at this little roadside attraction, Grandma was able to remake all of her angels, and even made one out of Sharif Henry, he’s that guy from that Netflix show. The one played by Lou Diamond Phillips.

I’m here too, of course, I’m the star attraction. I finally got my wish and became one of Grandma’s angels.

Penny’s here too, in a manner of speaking. She that little girl who is standing next to grandma, holding her hand. That’s quite a tale as well, but one for another time. If you’re ever driving down the road one day and you see a sign. “Grandma Fishers Oddities next right.” Stop in. You’ll see angels, and if your really lucky you might get to be one yourself…

END

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