His father scowled.
“So, you’re telling me that the lawnmower is haunted?”
“Probably possessed. Maybe not haunted.”
“Is there a difference?”
“I think so.”
“Possessed by what?”
“Or maybe Mr. Hutchinson. He never really liked me and I didn’t go to his viewing at the funeral home.”
“That sounds more like a haunting.”
“I’m not sure what’s really happening. The mower runs whenever it wants to run. It turns on and shuts off. The gasoline somehow leaks out but I can’t find a leak. The grass clippings go everywhere.”
“Sounds like an old lawnmower to me. I didn’t have any problems mowing when you went to visit your grandparents.”
“Yeah but this mower is trying to kill me. It literally just ran away from me in the front yard yesterday. That’s what I tried to explain to Mom. I couldn’t keep up with it. It turned and came right at me! It has a mind of its own!”
He kicked the mower. His foot caught under the deck and he nearly flipped the machine over.
“Hey! Knock that off. This is the one mower we have right now. Are you trying to get out of mowing the back?”
“No! Not at all!”
“Your mother told me your trying to get the neighbor girl to go to the movies tonight. I told you that you needed to have the grass cut. I even drove out and filled the gasoline can for you.”
“I know. I’ve waited for a year for her and her boyfriend to split. This is my big chance!”
“And the mower is haunted?”
His father shook his head.
“We had a deal. I pay your cell phone bill and your car insurance. You handle the garbage, wash the dishes, and keep the yard looking the way that I would.”
“Go inside and help your mother put away the groceries. I’ll cut the lawn. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have any problems.”
“What about tonight?”
“You’re staying in tonight. This is ridiculous. You can ask that girl tomorrow. I’ve got plenty of weeds in the garden that you can pull to make up for this nonsense. Just pray that this girl and her man don’t reconcile tonight.”
He didn’t want to argue with his father, so he held his tongue and walked purposefully into the kitchen. The mower roared to life just a few minutes later. The lawn was cut without any supernatural occurrences.
The neighbor girl run away that night. The neighbors actually didn’t seem too concerned.
“This kid she’s seeing is bad news. I’m sure she ran to his house. She’s done this before. The wife and I are going to drive over there before church, and I’m probably going to end up arrested. I’m absolutely done with that kid.”
That made perfect sense. The neighbor girl was heartbroken and desperate to win her boyfriend back.
When the neighbors returned later that morning without their daughter, shredded jeans were found between the houses. The denim was soaked in motor oil and blood.