Huggin’ Molly

📅 Published on June 14, 2022

“Huggin’ Molly”

Written by Dale Thompson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 8.00/10. From 2 votes.
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Abraham had concluded his business in Abbeville. He had slept extemporaneously since he had arrived, but he was anxious to see home.  Home was several miles out of town, but it would be an easy walk.

Abraham walked everywhere.  Transportation for him had been a horse and buggy, but his horse had become sick with Equine Influenza.  Losing his mare because he did not have the money to treat the illness and was unable to keep the fever at bay, he did the only humane thing a man could do.  So, he was forced to be a methodical pedestrian and refused to settle for a sedentary life.

Abraham was a farm worker.  Not owning a farm of his own, he sought work wherever he could.  He had never traveled this far east.  He was from Troy but now lived between Troy and Abbeville, having worked as far west as Northport.

Abbeville was a quaint little town where everyone knew one another, and no secrets were kept.  They toiled the ground, planted and harvested crops, raised cattle, mended fences and cut trees for firewood from the forest.  These were simple folks, just good country people.  One fact which was very peculiar, Abraham discovered, was that many of the town’s residents were hard of hearing.  The residents, abstentious, even devout in their beliefs, were easy to get along with.  Abraham, who was not in the least a superstitious man, took most fables with a grain of salt.  His suspicions were slightly raised when he realized indiscriminately that most everyone he spoke with had deafness, at least in one ear.  He brushed it off.  He didn’t have time to dwell on such matters.  He had completed his work, and he may never be back this way again.

The town folk of Abbeville had encouraged Abraham not to travel so late in the evening.  They laid the claim that the road may be impassable once the sun set.  It was unfrequented by the living at night for the fear of what was unknown.  When Abraham inquired about why the road west would be impassable, he noticed the obvious eye contact of the few townsfolk who were seeing him off. It was as if they held some sort of unspoken secret.  Abraham wondered what in the world would influence these good people in such a way as to make them so adamant he wait until morning to start for home. Eventually, one of the ladies whom he worked the farm for spoke up loudly.  He figured the hearing losses were because people were marrying within families and possibly had caused this common birth defect.  She told a brief story about someone called Molly.

“Who is Molly?” Abraham asked, being less than fascinated with folklore and attributing their superstitions to rumors invented by their ancestors.

The woman explained, unintentionally boisterously, “Molly is not a person, but an ‘it,’ a thing, not human.  She sometimes waits for travelers making their way through the forest at night and bad things happen.”

Abraham was respectful yet brushed this warning off as some exaggerated tall-tale myth that made for great campfire banter.  But he was not a believer in paganism, witchcraft, mysticism, or any other hocus pocus.  He thanked them kindly for their warning of a possible threat and promised he would be vigilant on his journey back home.

Without trepidation, Abraham casually strolled down the street, not in a hurry and not in a slumber, but with assiduity.  With a normal gait, he made good strides.  Unfortunately for him, he had gotten a late start, and night had fallen.  As he proceeded to put distance between him and Abbeville, the street turned into a road, and he found himself alone.  With sparsely spaced street lamps, he thought he would have enough light to continue on his journey.  Forgetting his light was a big mistake; unintentional, of course, but he had not planned on being out after dark.  He walked on level ground mostly; bosky hills and forest ran along each side of the road.  He tried to shake off the wet cold as the brume rose like a faint cloud.  A creep came over him, and his eyes darted from left to right, then back again.  The feeling of being watched irritated him.  Could it be someone followed him out of town?  He had not much to steal, if someone might be in that frame of mind.  It was impossible for him to be ostentatious in any way, shape or form, and even in celebrated moments he never preferred to be in the spotlight.  All attention he ever received came unintentional and unwelcomed.

The story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman reared in his mind.  He glanced over his shoulder and saw the faint lights of the distant town through the mist.  The mist gently swirled as if in slow motion, almost like a faint exhale.

Abraham, a tall and lanky fellow but not muscular at all, had always been clumsy.  Though he appeared to be formidable by size, he was, in fact, impuissant.  Too awkward for sports growing up and with his legs so long, regrettably, he had seldom ridden a bicycle, which to his discredit left him fairly weak for his proportions.  He never had the advantage except in academics, where he excelled.  He had a thing for numbers and math.  He could decipher practically anything, and throughout his school years, his teachers were amazed at his computation abilities.

Strolling through the pellucid phantasmagoric night he remained cautious, even considering turning back, as he’d always said, “Follow your gut instinct.”  But he dismissed his acute distress response and pressed on into the mysterious and oneiric.  Abraham had a sense of unimaginable loneliness.  If he had been the last man standing, he could not be more threatened than right now.  The sempiternal night became ever more puissant, and Abraham had this irreconcilable notion, disappointingly, he was not cut out to be a wayfarer.  He was honestly convinced that wanton danger pursued him.  Silly as it may be, he heard only mournful sounds of the sylvan viridescent awakening in errant darkness.  This excited speculation in his mind.

Up ahead in the distance stood a figure directly in the middle of the road.  Who could it be?  They were too far away to make out if man, woman or beast obstructed the way.  His knees became weak during this arduous consideration as he paused and attempted to focus on the motionless figure.  This necessitated his immediate action; as he espied the unknown person from his vantage point, it appeared in all probability this person had their hands on a contraption.  He could testify, from his position that it seemed to be something one might push.  The figure broke the stand-off and turned to the right, and in doing so, revealed with clarion sight a woman and a pram.  She pushed a baby carriage. Abraham could not begin to imagine, nor did he try to source, the meaning of this.  Unfounded, outside the bounds of reason, he thought, ‘She doesn’t belong here.  Something is out of place.’  As if she was running late for an appointment, the woman hurriedly pushed the pram off the road and into the forest, completely disappearing.

“Unbelievable!  Simply the strangest thing I believe I have ever seen,” Abraham spoke out loud to himself, leaving his bottom jaw dropped in a stunned position, greatly facilitated by the odious haunting.  “Just not real.  It’s my imagination.  The fog, the absence of light, the shadows, surely, that has to be it.  My mind is playing tricks on me,” he hinted at a chuckle.  “Some sort of biological invasion caused by reading too many horror stories.”

Unaccountable noises resonated with lively echoes, brushing lightly upon his auditorial senses like mellifluous ministering spirits of the furtive world in this torpid forest.

Abraham attempted to disenthrall himself from the sight he now swore he did not see, but the image of the woman with the baby carriage weighed on his mind, as stifling as the night which seemed to be clawing its way inside his soul.  He picked up his step while doubting himself.  “Maybe I should have nixed leaving so late in the day?”  Frightened, he halted.  He looked back, and, stored way in the back of his mind, he remembered the verse of the Bible concerning Sodom and Gomorrah, two ancient cities destroyed by God who told Lot and his family in all expedience they could escape but do not look back on the city.  The story goes, according to the scriptures, Lot’s wife looked back and instantly transformed into a pillar of salt.  Upon allowing this to come into his mind, Abraham immediately turned away from the faint lights of the now-distant town and prayed in the hope that his fate would not be of Biblical proportions.

Abraham shivered, freezing cold, yet he felt like he had thermite coursing through his veins.  He assumed a cold had afflicted him, and he may soon be fevered.  A sudden awareness stopped him in his tracks when precisely up ahead, he saw another figure emerging from the forest.  He thought, ‘Oh no, caught in the concerto of death!’ Not at all familiar with this landscape, he had no advantage.  It was possible this stalker, whoever this stranger was, had either been following him or lying in wait.  The dizzying notions sickened him even more.  Abraham experienced a momentary fit of madness in his perfidy, believing he had done this to himself.  He knew all along it would have been to his advantage if he had turned back.  He could not be faulted or said to be cowardly in turning back.  It only made sense because daytime travel would have been easier to maneuver.  His courage was forfeited when he heard bellicose lips deliberately threatening him acerbically, in the tone of a woman.

‘Witches!’ Abraham panicked.  He spun around in every direction in order to locate the source of the voice.  It did not seem to have come from the direction of the figure standing in the middle of the road ahead.  The voice sounded much closer, almost directly in his ear.  He could see no one else.  In a not-so-rational move, he made a break into the forest.  He did not go deep into the woods in case he lost direction; he did not want to be lost among this timber.  Poking his head out from around a tree, he could see the road, and a dull moon created a silhouette around the figure he refused to approach.  On this unpleasantly grim, nefarious night, he eyed the derisive menace while attempting to push his dread down below the surface and deal with his uncertain fate in a calm manner.  As he contemplated, he eminently pressed himself to ascertain if this woman had a weakness.  Nonetheless, his outward emotions were masking a distressing entanglement of nerves, restricting their manifestation.  Abraham, ashamed to be the sort who could fall to pieces over spilled milk, endeavored to remain serene.  If he gave in to this harrowing event, he had serious doubts it would be possible for him to recover.  He had few other options to consider.  “Undoubtedly, she must have a weakness,” he thought, but his presumptions produced no revelation.  He realized his initial mistake; despite his nocturnal perambulations, he should have never have set out at such a late hour.

Something crashed through the tree tops above.  Abraham heard thudding sounds hitting the detritus duff in every direction.  The sky of terror convulsed and fell upon him.  At first, he only heard the crashing sounds, which resembled the sound of baseball-sized hailstones, but then he saw the reality of it all.  It was raining thrushes, multitudinously with heavy thumps and stout thwacks.  En-masse, dozens of black birds, dead as can be, plummeted with severe force.  Appalled, Abraham hugged the tree, which he stood behind, with his arms raised over his head in an attempt to protect himself from a direct strike of this eruption of blight.  Whole flocks in aggregated coordination were nose-diving suicidally in every direction.  This was when he noticed an unusual moisture on his hands from the tree.  He could not see clearly, but it appeared the tree wept a liquid substance.  It wasn’t gum, not sticky nor viscid like resin.  The secretion presented thinly.  He seemed to denote a familiar odor.

“What could this exudate be?”

The bird-bombing ceased as quickly as it began, leaving the forest floor littered with dead birds and broken tree limbs.  Abraham stepped back and looked for anywhere lighted where the moon’s glow shone brightest.  He moved into what little light he could find.  The consequences of this were mortifying.  His hands and forearms were smeared in red blood.  The trees were bleeding, hemorrhaging, and he was standing in an inch of the coagulating stuff, which confirmed supernatural forces were now in play.  All bravery vacated him in this indescribable gloom of defeatism.  His outlook seemed darker than the weight of the celebrated grief that produced the lugubrious moroseness eating away at the marrow of his bones.  He had lost sight of the unequivocally imposing figure on the road. An unaffordable annoyance for an inveterate fainthearted man, so incredulous, it posed a detriment to his psyche.  Unable to assuage his mental anguish, in crippling fashion he assumed all hope had been annulled in the vehement darkness.  Disinclined to go forward, the road behind him remained completely fogged over, erasing the town’s lights completely.  With encumbered awkwardness, he managed his way from the covering of the forest back onto the pavement of the road.  Fearing exposure, and with apprehension, he had only one choice; reluctantly, he must proceed.  ‘Where had the obscure figure gone?’  He worried himself with thoughts of solemn shadows turning dastardly, becoming spectral and cemetery ghouls of cadaver pall, and he imagined flesh-eating zombies.

Not totally incapacitated and still aware of the nebulousness of his being, his goal was to shake off consternation and extract himself from this indelicate dilemma.  He told himself positively that these calamities could be rationalized, and it would be his own transcendence that would rescue him from the amplified bleakness.

Not one single black bird had crashed upon the road.  He did not know how this was possible unless the birds all fell dead at once from the tree limbs.  Intriguingly, it did not make sense; trees bleeding human blood seemed implausible.  A chilling boreal breeze blew in, which caused Abraham to retrieve his jacket from his satchel.  What troubled him more than anything else were the dreadful miles yet to go, and thus far, the journey had been met with oddities and the unexplained.  What could be ahead? Invariably he would merely have to deal with it when it came, whatever it was.  He would not, could not be dissuaded.

Without some prescience of warning, a woman’s voice from the forest profoundly shouted out to him by name, “Abraham!  Oh, Abraham, my love!” A chill raked up his spine like pins and needles.

He broke out in a cold sweat. He began to run clumsily away from the direction of the voice, all the while trying to convince himself nothing was undecipherable.  He conscionably believed some evils simply take a little longer to master.  The stringent, tortured female voice called out his name again in immemorial yearning, “Abraham!  My love!”

Fighting off the dizzying bewitchment proved to be impossible.  Every time the witch cried out his name, it shattered bits of his life into shards, piercing the resolve of his heart, turning inward, erasing his memories in a hypnotizing, spellbound menagerie of universal grandiosity.  Abraham, as it were, labored, caught in some undefinable distorted gravitational pull, two ends of a see-saw.  Hysterically he ran for his life, losing his balance because he took a second to look behind him.  He stumbled and fell, then he tumbled, coming to a painfully bruised and scraped stop on his face.  His bleeding was superficial, with no broken bones; pure luck.  To his induced shock, standing nearly on top of him, the figure he had seen earlier hung over him.  The evil impression indelibly bore a resemblance to something conjured from the dead.  A hideous giant woman, a hellish visage, taller than he, the epitome of the grimalkin he had read about in books, dressed in black with a large brimmed hat, with leathered skin so coriaceous, flaking as if a dry leaf had been molded to her deeply wrinkled obscene face, now stared down upon him.  Her jet-black hair rippled with long tresses from beneath the hat, falling on her shoulders and cascading down her back and tumbling down her saggy breasts.  She conveyed an unspoken menace bearing the distinction of impulse.  Frightened to his core, Abraham uncontrollably shook and trembled all over.  He wanted to run again, but his limbs had lost all strength.  His legs were leaden weights.  His grief resumed its sway carelessly and duly, but he struggled, incapable of putting his motor skills to work.  He spoke through quivering lips, “Who are you?  What do you want?”  He diverted his eyes, conserving himself so as not to provoke the witch, as this could result in actions less than amenable.  He did not want to disturb the climate at all, knowing inexorably the possibility and probability it could induce a caprice which he would never come back from.  The mechanics of his reflexes were bogged in the mire of stagnant thought, confining him to reflect inwardly, and this reflection, in his calculations, was a sorry state.  He had one obligation: self-preservation.  But once again, he shrank, pursued by the very vivid impressions of negligence on his part rendering him defenseless.

In a vulgar tone, the witch spoke, “I am Molly.” Abraham recoiled, revulsed by her appearance.  She had an accursed countenance, no desirable qualities, and he stalled in the possibility that if he begged for his life, she might show him mercy.  He quickly saw there was no compassion, just the eyes of pure wickedness.  He could not fathom a woman of this size.  She stood enormously tall and incredibly robust.  Her breath burned his eyes and smelled of decay and unfettered stench.  Abraham turned his head and made it to his knees, facing away from her.  He prayed passionately, for a modicum of relief. He crawled, ill-fated, in her grisly hands, and he had no doubt about his end.  He believed death was imminent.  He convinced himself, hopelessly, it would be painful, and in the wake of this certainty, whatever method Molly’s puerile choice, it would be torturously long.

He heard the scampering of small feet coming from behind Molly.  Inordinately, she defined the word wide, and in a veridical, panoptic moment, when he turned to look, he saw nothing but her petticoat waving in his face.  He could not guess what approached and would be out of line to presume.  Fear magnified, Abraham was afraid to guess his fate and most assuredly did not want to assume the worst. He began to crawl away on his hands and knees.  His fingertips dug into the asphalt, and he could feel his nails being peeled back.  In suspended animation, in the creepy mode of locomotion clamoring faster than he could actually run, he felt he was crawling with the insects.  His knees were burning from the friction, and he could feel deep penetrating fragments of granules and tiny rocks from the road embedding into his skin.  Heaving, breathlessly, gasping with internal moans of desperations erupting from his throat, this shell of a man cried for mercy.  He did not know why, but he kept repeating, “No, no, no!”

Something rather small attached itself to his calf and was trying to crawl up his outer pants leg. Frightfully mortified, he now counted more than one.  He swatted at the unknown, hoping to keep his momentum and balance.  He touched something with hair.  “Rats!  It is rats!  I hate those vermin!” A legion of rats, in heated pursuit, bit at his heels, gnawed his ankles and if it were not for his tight-legged pants, they would have gotten to his legs.  In a miraculous lift, he found himself running, putting distance between himself and the rats and Molly.  Molly did not appear to be following, and the plethora of rats eventually peeled off the road and disappeared into the forest.  “At least now,” he thought, “I am heading back to town.  I’ve got to keep going.  I cannot stop.” These were painful contretemps, and if the intent was to initiate nonplussed bewilderment and fright, then the plan worked.

Exhausted, exacerbated, Abraham finally had to stop, expended on the outskirts of Abbeville.  He saw the street lights glowing through the persistent, dense fog.  The weather conditions had been insidious, leaving Abraham drenched in dew.  His clothes were heavy and clung to his rail of a frame.  He bent over and put his hands on his knees, desperately trying to catch his wind.  He heard Molly’s voice, “Abraham, my love, come to me.”  He nearly jumped out of his skin.  Sensationally alarmed, he looked in every direction.  He saw the forest behind him and the town straight ahead.  Again, Molly called for him, “Abraham my love, Molly needs a hug.”

“Go away, woman!” Abraham’s voice sounded despairing with defeated grief.  He had come so close, and now this foul woman had found him.  He fell backward from the terror onto his haunches and snorted from the intimidation in a maudlin bathos, almost comical way.  Severely jarred, even his jaw ached from the blunder.  The underlying truth, in detail, was ‘Resistance is futile.’  There was little to nothing left for him to do but to wilt like a flower.

Molly appeared directly behind him, between Abraham and the town.  Seemingly, he failed to determine a way around the gargantuan beast.  In his mind, Abraham thought she grew larger; either that, or he was impassively shrinking.  He thought she must be burgeoning because she now towered tall as the trees.  Nothing could be more absurd.  How is this woman becoming larger?  He felt like a tiny ant about to be squashed.  He closed his eyes, squeezing them tightly together, in hopes that if he opened them, he would be somewhere else, anywhere else, away from this oculate delusion.  Molly had deconstructed him from the time he started his walk out of town until this moment.  Everything had been unexpected, dramatic, deliberate in an unspoken epideictic of redundant contradictions. Abraham could contrive no riposte.  He withered defenselessly in the crepuscular gloaming of the night, becoming miniscule to everything in the surroundings.

Molly repeated again, “I want a hug!”  Subsequently, Abraham thought he had lost his mind, and in his panic attack, he had exaggerated what was really taking place, innocuous, but oh, how wrong could he be?  He found himself in a deleterious predicament.

Molly iterated, “I want a hug!”

Abraham opened his eyes, only to be crushed by the reality his prayers were unanswered.  Molly loomed over him in her malefic behemoth stance while he wrestled with temporary insanity.  If a man were ever devastated and needed his last rites, it was Abraham, right now.

Every ideology Abraham lived by, thought he knew or understood, meant very little at this point.  He thought, ‘Maybe I can bargain with her?  Maybe come to a compromise?’  What could he possibly say to make a difference to this simple-minded giant?  Instantaneously, he decided to become subservient; time to beg and plead for his life.  “Please don’t kill me.  Don’t eat me either!  Let’s talk about this.  I want to live!” Abraham entreated her.  In his nervousness, he unintentionally began a rant of pleonasm which was by no means going to successfully convince or entice Molly.

“You are such a beautiful woman.”  Stuttering, with depressing casuistry, Abraham continued the compliments.  “I would say you are gorgeous, uniquely ravishing, and, I would add, magnificent!” After his pathetic hopes of pulchritudinous accolades, Molly shouted in a polyphonic voice.

Disagreeable and frightening, this infernal illusion was more than an active imagination.  With the most abominable distinction, she announced in her most cretinous articulation yet, “Enough!  I want a hug!” With her enormous right hand, she scooped Abraham up effortlessly, no more than a straw man for her. Pissing himself would be an understatement.  The fear impaled him.  Molly brought him closer to her. He found no reason to fight or to struggle; without a doubt, her strength surpassed anything Abraham had imagined.  He braced himself for whatever would come later.  In this weary monotony, he cursed the day of his birth.  In this unprecedented here-and-now, he conceded to his finality.  He tried to extemporize a prayer of repentance and expected to hear the angels of heaven singing.  He was not a Godly man, but his reconsideration came unexpectedly, through whispering lips of great rapidity, and with much emphasis on his own personal deliverance.

Quivering, shivering, trembling and shuddering, he waited to hear the voice of the heavens welcome him through the pearly gates and onto the streets of gold.  But he heard no voices, not a single word at all.  Cheek to cheek with Molly now, no wiggle room existed.  Her coarse, rawhide-like face scratched him terribly.  Then came the scream from hell!  It came forth from her expansive lungs, a thick corporate agony of thousands of lamented souls.  The wail, mixed with gnashing of teeth and weeping without sympathy, bowed the tops of the trees practically to a snapping point.  A malaise of metaphysical excruciating, ear-splitting sound came bellowing up from unknown regions within her, diminishing all probability of surviving the exclamatory assault of profane laconic expression.  The ear-piercing roar caused Abraham a great deal of pain.  He perceived his head swelling; his brain seemed to be detached inside his skull in a dizzy, revolving, mad tumble, an elliptical spin on a collision course with the unfathomable unknown.  Molly squeezed the last breath from Abraham’s lungs.  She and he exclusively shared the exact concentric circle.  Abraham felt he was being somehow absorbed in this sphere beneath the layers of self and ego, rotating in the ring of divining fire.  In the equator of his thoughts, contracting and expanding, about to explode under the spell of affixation, Abraham strived to remain awake.  He could not fight it because there was nothing tangible to war against.  As he slipped into discomfited unconsciousness, he succumbed to incomprehensibility.  He imagined himself floating on a fluffy cloud in a blue sky, but the numbing bliss of oxygen deprivation smothered his nonresponsive body until it lowered down, resting unperturbed on the pavement.

Abraham awoke, groggy, disoriented, in a state of stupefaction at somehow escaping this phenomenon. He did not know how.  He breathed a sigh of relief at the improbability of life.  Daylight, with the sun gloriously on the cusp of rising over the horizon, greeted his tired eyes.  He had a bitter taste in his mouth.  His eyes came into focus.  No sign of Molly.  Abraham thanked God.  The town appeared much closer than before.  He realized Molly must have dropped him here.  A floral whiff caught his nose.  For the most part he was unharmed; he had no broken bones or missing body parts.  Waking from unconsciousness, he heard a dull hum that muted the world before him.  His conscious self realized, consequently, resulting from his previous diminished capacity, something had been subtracted.  He seemed not whole, not aligned with himself, impaired.  Then Abraham realized…

He was profoundly deaf.

Rating: 8.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Dale Thompson
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Dale Thompson

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

More Stories from Author Dale Thompson:

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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