Before After - Sample Chapter

Before After
Jethro Ford (author)

Even though we agreed to wear dark clothes, Chunk showed up in a white t-shirt. You could always count on one guy to screw up. I ran into the house and grabbed an old Bills sweatshirt for him. He was wasting our valuable time.

It was another cool and cloudy night. However, no rain in the forecast. That also meant no lightning. There wasn’t much moonlight either. A good night to be sneaking around. When we arrived, Chunk kicked out the street light closest to the house. It was pretty damn dark on this end of Goundry Street at around 1AM.

Everybody was fired up. I reminded them that there were other houses around that had actual people in them and that we needed to stay quiet.

“So a Priest, a Rabbi and a-----------."

“Shut up. If you’re scared, go home.”

“Why the hell are we here again?”

Cash came running up to us, all out of breath. It was like he’d seen a ghost.

“What’s up Cash? I haven’t seen you move that fast since you heard there was a naked guy in the park.”

“I was around the other side of the house, and f**k you, by the way. There’s a light on in the rear of the house. It’s a steady light, like someone’s in there. Follow me.”

We all crawled around the corner to the spot where there was supposed to be a light. The grass hadn’t been cut in so long that I think we could have stood up and not been seen. The grass was also wet with night time dew. Cash pointed out the window where he said he saw the light. The window was so dirty that I don’t know how anyone could see inside or out.

That reminded me of cleaning the inside and outside of our basement windows. I hated that job. But not as much as I hated shoveling snow after a blizzard. I would just finish shoveling the end of the driveway and the city plow would come by and block it again. I wanted to run down the snow-plow driver and beat him to death with my shovel.

“I don’t see a light.”

“What kind of light was that?”

“The kind that glows.”

“I know I saw it.” Cash sounded like he was trying to convince himself there was a light. “Maybe it went out for a minute.”

“Maybe it was Paul Revere warning the ghosts that we’re out here.” Butt was the only one who knew enough history to come up with that one.

“Cash’s right, I just seen a flash. Did you see it? It flashed a few seconds.”

“All you guys saw was the reflection on your glasses from my shiny white ass when I dropped my pants to piss.”

“Why do you pull your pants down to piss? Why don’t you pull your dick out like the rest of us?”

“I bet it’s because it’s too small to get a grip.”

“There’s the flash of light again.”

“So what do we do?

“I say we go inside to get a closer look.”

“It’s only a light. It could be a reflection or something. Why would someone keep turning a light on and off?”

“He’d have to be a real fast reader.”

“That reminds me of that Cheech and Chong------------.”

“What do you think Geno?”

“Let’s go in. That’s why we’re here. Besides, we may get on TV as the guys who solved the mystery of the haunted house.”

“ Or better yet, the jerk-off teens that need to grow up, get a f*****g life, and quit playing in other peoples’ houses.”

“Scotty, I’m begging you, please beam me outta here.”

“No. No. They’ll make a TV show about us.”

“It’ll be called ‘The Assholes.’”

“I don’t think they can say that on TV.”

“What do they call that when you can’t say something on TV?”

“Not being able to say something on TV.”

“Yeah. That’s it.”

“To be famous, we have to have proof. Lucky for you guys, I thought of that. I brought my mom’s Polaroid.”

“She’d kick your ass if she knew you took it.”

“No she wouldn’t. She’d tell his old man and he’d kick his ass.”

“She won’t know. She and dad went to some dinner thing. Dad will get drunk, and the last thing Mom’ll be looking for is her camera.”

“Let’s get this circle-jerk going. What do you think Detective Butt?”

“I think we should cover all the doors.”

“That’s what I was gonna say.”

“Chunk’s awfully quiet. I think he’s so scared that he shit himself.”

“Eat me! I’ve been trying to figure out what my old man’ll say when we’re famous, in the paper and on the news? He thinks I’m a loser.”

“Too bad he’s right.”

“Me and Cash will take the back door and the main floor. Butt and Chunk, you go in the front door and up the stairs. Jap, you get the basement.”

“We only have one camera.”

“Can you take pictures of ghosts?”

“I don’t see how.”

“How ‘bout this? When somebody sees something, yell out where you’re at and I come running with the camera.”


“Makes sense to me.”

“Keep your voices down or the cops will beat us to the doors.”

“What about those flashes of light?”

“Let’s go already.”

We split up and headed to our respective doors. I told everybody to stay low just in case the cops cruised by the house. I wondered to myself what we would actually do if there was someone or something in this house. I was trying to decide who would piss their pants and who would fight. Now would be a good time for Star Trek communicators.

Me and Cash circled around to the back door. I was trying to be quiet, however, the rusted, beat up screen door, minus the screen, made a hundred different noises as I slowly opened it. There goes the element of surprise.

The floor was wooden and covered in dust and dirt. The floor was uneven and warped; walking on it was like swaying after one too many beers.

“This place stinks. Did you f*****g fart? “

“Eat my scrotum.”

“Do you hear somebody walking around upstairs? “

“Yeah. Butt and Chunk are up there.”

“Right. I knew that.”

“I thought there was supposed to be an elevator in here?”

“It’s a big house. Besides, I doubt there’s a sign that says ‘elevator this way’.”

“I bet the rats in here are as big as dogs.”

“ I didn’t think of rats.”

“You better get that cheese out of your pocket unless you want them to nibble on your dick.”

“That’s your job. Damn!”


“I just ran into the corner of a table. That smarts.”

“We’re doing a great job of being quiet.”

By this time everyone’s eyes should have adjusted to the darkness. The house was being inspected room by room. The rooms contained lots of furniture covered by sheets and carpet on the floors. The clouds must have lifted outside because there was some light coming in the windows that weren’t boarded up. There was probably some good shit in here that we should take for the fort. We’re already trespassing and probably committing some other crimes, so we might as well add stealing to the list.

This adventure was proving to be a dead end. The only peculiar thing about this house was that it seemed larger on the outside.

Cash interrupted my astute analysis. “One of the windows is open.”


“I think it was opened recently.”

“I give up, Columbo. Why do you think that?”

“The carpet and curtains are dry. It rained liked a motherf****r early this morning, this shit should be wet.”

“You mean like the front of your pants?”

“Look how long of a drop it is to the ground. If someone jumped out this window, he’d be laying down there with broken legs.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“I hear that a lot.”

“We’re done here. This place is as empty as Chunk’s head. No ghosts to report, except for the ones that flew out your open window. I’m gonna go down to the basement to get Jap. You go upstairs to get the others. It’s time to go before the cops show up.”


Chunk and Butt, upstairs in the house, didn’t make any great discoveries. Butt did report, however, that he could tell Chunk was staring at his ass when they were first crawling around.

“No ghost shit in sight.” Chunk reported to Cash.

“What would you consider ghost shit? How could you tell it belonged to a ghost? And if it did belong to a ghost, wouldn’t it be invisible like the ghost?”

“Quit asking so many questions. You’re making me feel like I’m back in high school. Besides, you’re the one that wanted to do this.”

“Butt, I just saw something move by that door over there.”

“What was it?”

“Made you look.”

“That’s a new one. Grow up.”

“I think I know the perfect caption for this adventure. Abbott and Costello and their three homo friends go ghost hunting, and all they end up with is their dicks in their hands.”

“That’s too many words for a movie title, I think it should be ---------.”

A loud scream echoed through the old house. It sounded like it came from the basement. The three friends were falling all over each other looking for the stairs that would lead them down to the main floor and then into the basement. Down one flight of stairs, taking two stairs at a time, out the door and around the house to the basement entrance. They headed down the basement stairs when there was a loud crash. Chunk’s leg busted through one of the stairs. They pulled Chunk’s leg out and continued down into the basement. Chunk complained about the pain, but nobody cared and they reached the basement as fast as they could.

The basement was the stinkiest part of the house. It smelled like somebody was storing dead bodies down there.

“Geno. Jap. Where are you guys?”

“We’re over here.” Jap and Geno were standing there with a light trained on a lump on the floor. Was that a body?

“What the hell happened?”

Jap was leaning against a back wall, a wall that was slowly crumbling from the rain and melting snow that followed the paths of the deep cracks in the foundation.

“I thought somebody was coming at me. I have this.” Jap showed us a large knife that seemed to fit comfortably in his big hand. “But I don’t remember using it.”

“What the f**k are you doin’ with a knife? Are you out of your f*****g mind? We didn’t say nothin’ about weapons when we were planning this. I can’t believe this. What the f**k were you thinking? Don’t answer that, you couldn’t have been thinking. Is he dead?”

“He ain’t movin’.”

“Butt, feel his wrist like they do on Gunsmoke. Old Doc Adams always grabs their wrist and says they’re dead.”

“What am I feeling for?”

“Do you feel a beating?”

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doin’!”

“Pinch him, if he flinches, he’s alive.” Everybody started pinching him. He was dead as a doornail. And we were majorly f****d. How was I going to get us out of this one?

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