Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Halloween Story


Mandy walked down the path toward home on her way from choir practice one fall evening. She practiced her parts for the church program as she strolled along beside a split rail fence. There was tall grass growing beside the fence, so she could only see glimpes here and there of the field on the other side. The field wasn't large, and was surrounded by long leafed pine forest. The breeze that came off the ocean carried this far inland and made the pines seem to sing along with her. As she ambled on, she suddenly heard a sound. The sound was like something - maybe a dog - running on the other side of the fence. But she couldn't see it. When she stopped to listen more carefully, the noise stopped, also. Figuring it to be something only harmless, she continued walking in the direction of home, but did not sing anymore, as she wanted to keep her ears peeled for whatever the noise might be. Darkness fell to the east and the sky to the west was orange on the horizon. That side of the road was just forest with no field and no fence, so she could only see the orange of the sky in broken pieces through the trees. The rutted path was becoming very dark, indeed. However, she could still barely make out her shadow falling across the tall grass on the eastern side of the road. She watched her shadow from the corner of her eye. This was the time of evening when bats flew about catching insects. She saw a few bats flutter by here and there, and was watching them, when, from the corner of that right eye, she saw another shadow approaching behind her. There was no sound of anything coming, but still she quickly turned, her heart racing. There was nothing there on the path behind her, but a quick glance to the tall grass, and the shadow was still there. It was a shadow about her size, and almost exactly the same as hers. It looked like a girl of ten - like her. From the field side there came a swarm of gnats traveling through the air as gnats will do. They flew into the space in front of her where whatever was making the shadow would be, and something very strange began to appear before Mandy. The gnats began to stick to something...it was the outline of a something that looked very much like a little girl just Mandy's size. Together the something and the shadow reached out for Mandy and began to walk toward her. Mandy could not move as she was filled with terror. As the something came closer and closer, the breeze picked up and blew the gnats away. The something disappeared little by little, and so did the shadow. The pines sang a solemn song that seemed louder than ever before. Mandy's heart pounded a rhythm so fast and loud in her ears that it almost drowned out the pines' song. At once, the sky was completely dark. There was no light around at all. Even the fireflies had dwindled to almost none this time of the year. Mandy began to dispair and cry, thinking she'd never get home in this darkness, and besides she was so afraid and confused by what she'd seen. Or had she really seen it? Had she been sleep walking again? She began walking again in the darkness and ran into the fence. Right as she began to cry even harder, an ice cold hand took hold of hers and pulled her softly away from the fence. She was scared, but she followed, as she really didn't feel she had any choice at this point. As the chill hand led her down the lane slowly, she heard the sound of humming. It was the tune of the song she'd been singing when she heard the first noise. She began to sing along, and another young voice joined hers, only this voice sounded almost like it had bells in it. Before the two had finished the end of the last chorus, Mandy found herself facing her home. The lantern outside was burning brightly. The bell voice faded and Mandy sang the last line on her own. Her hand was cold, but the guide was no longer holding it. In the distance behind her, she could hear a wild cat howling. It sounded almost like a child screaming, and made the hair stand up on the back of her neck. She ran up the front porch steps and into the house, where dinner was being set on the table. She went to the bathroom to wash her hands. Through the bathroom window, out on the path between the woods and the field, was a foggy glow that drifted back toward the church slowly.

4 Comments:

Blogger jobwich said...

The attention to detail is what sells this. Are you left handed?

7:14 AM  
Blogger Bitter Bi+ch said...

No, I only steer with my left hand.

2:48 PM  
Blogger jobwich said...

Is is at 12-'o-clock, or six?

7:38 AM  
Blogger Apollo's Mermaid said...

9:00

1:34 AM  

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