It's still Halloween and the day is only half through yet strange things have already happened.
Last night, after posting the first part of this Halloween Treat, I climbed into bed about 3 AM - all was quiet in the house when suddenly, I heard what sounded like a rattle. It was loud and very clear. Marco didn't react right away and Kevin kept sleeping. Suddenly, about 5 seconds after I heard the rattle which sounded like a pills in a bottle by the way, Marco let out a terrifed bark and came scurring into the bedroom. This woke Kevin who promptly yelled at him to be quiet. I asked Kevin about the rattle but he had heard nothing. Marco and I knew different.
A lot of strange things happen where we live because there is a long dark history surrounding the woods here in Widewater. The strangest things surround the oldest church in the area, Aquia Church. It's said that the ghost of a woman whose remains were found in the belfry still haunts the church and the surrounding woods. One of my works in progress is based on this story so I thought I'd share the prologue with you since it's Halloween. I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you would like to read more someday.
Happy Halloween Everyone!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
A WHISPER IN THE TREES
The day was hot. David felt rivlets of sweat trail down his back as he approached the woods. As soon as he entered the thick swath of trees, the temperature seemed to drop at least thirty degrees. The cold air raised goose flesh on his bare arms and he could have sworn he saw his breath as he exhaled. He had never ventured this far into the quiet woods behind the old church and certainly never alone as he was now. Suddenly, he wished he had stayed closer to the road.
"Jack, this isn’t funny." David Banks called out to his friend. His best friend, Jack Hunnicutt had run into the woods because he thought he saw something and now David couldn't see him anwhere.
David and Jack had known each other nearly since diapers and normally, they did everything together. Mostly they were compatriots in trouble. This time was different. It wasn't like Jack to run off like he had, at least without knowing that David was close behind. Jack had hollered something at David as he ran into the trees but David hadn’t understood those last words. Quite some time had passed since then or at least it seemed that way for David. When Jack hadn't returned right away, David waited but now had begun to worry. At least thirty minutes or even forty-five minutes had passed and his friend still hadn't returned.
"Jack!" David shouted at the unmoving trees. "Where are you? Come on, this isn’t funny and it’s getting late."
David listened. He cocked his head slightly to the left and then to the right in an attempt to hear any sign of his friend’s movements in the woods. He heard nothing. Suddenly it dawned on him that he heard nothing, absolutely nothing. There was no sound at all. No birds, bugs, rustle of leaves, not even the sound of cars as they passed on the road located not even a quarter of a mile from where he stood.
"Jack." David spoke cautiously, an anxious pleading in his voice. "Jack, please come out." David was beginning to get very nervous and wanted to leave but he couldn't leave without his friend. Or could he?
Just then a loud snapping sound echoed from off toward the right. David spun around with the hope that his old friend was trying to sneak up on him to scare him. What he saw made the hair on his neck and arms stand straight up. His voice caught in his throat as he opened his mouth to scream. Later, he remembered screaming but there was no memory of any sound coming from his throat. He was too frightened to move but he felt as if things were rushing past him; the trees, the wind, even his own heart beat as it pounded in his ears.
David Banks stared at the great white cloud of nothingness as it rose up in front of him and slowly took the form of a woman. She was dressed in a long pale dress and her golden hair hung loosely around her head and shoulders like a halo. There were bruises on her neck and arms. David wasn't sure but he thought he saw blood seeping from a wound on her head. The woman didn't speak. She stared at David with sad wet eyes, tears staining her cheeks. Her mouth opened in a silent plead as she slowly raised her hands toward David as if she was begging him to come forth to her. David actually found himself drawn to her even though he was terrified and his fear kept him planted firmly in place. The woman threw back her head and opened her mouth in a scream just as a crashing sound filled the air.
Jack Hunnicutt came bounding through the woods. The sound drew David's attention away from the weeping woman just for a moment but in that moment, she disappeared. David stared at the spot in the leaves where the woman had stood only moments earlier. His mouth open awaiting the scream he had yet to utter. That was how Jack found his old friend.
"Where have you been?" Jack exclaimed as he grabbed hold of David and spun him around to face him. His breath came in great puffs from the exertion of running up the hill. David stared at him with wide eyes. His mouth still open.
Suddenly, David snapped out of his trance. He blinked his eyes rapidly and took a deep rasping breath. "Did you see her?" He asked in a raspy voice as he released a great exhale of breath. Had he been holding his breath? He couldn't remember.
"See who?" Jack asked glancing around them. "No one here but you, silly. Why didn’t you answer me when I called to you? I’ve been waiting forever on the steps at the front of the church."
"I’ve been calling you. You disappeared and I couldn’t find you."
"Silly you. I was gone only a few minutes. I thought I saw a rabbit run around to the back of the church. I told you that." Jack reminded him. He crinkled his eyebrows as he stared at his friend curiously. "Why did you come up here to the cemetery when you saw me go around to the back of the church?"
"The cemetery?" David asked him. He glanced around and for the first time noticed that he was standing amidst the ancient tombstones of the church cemetery. "Holy Crap! Let’s get out of here." He exclaimed loudly and pulled free of Jack’s hold. "Hurry up, I don’t want to be here if she comes back."
"She, who?" Jack stared at his friend’s backside as David ran down the hill that led to the old church parking lot. If it hadn’t been for the sudden chill that rushed over his bare arms and legs, Jack might have laughed at his friend who suddenly stumbled and rolled partially down the hill. But just then, he decided that he didn’t want to be where he was standing any more than his friend had.
As Jack followed his friend down the hill, he could have sworn he heard a woman’s voice whisper in his ear. She said, "If only I’d waited." Jack stopped briefly to glance over his shoulder but there was no one there to whisper, only the trees. His eyes widened in sudden fear. He increased the speed of his steps only to stumble and roll partially down the hill just as David had. Neither boy laughed as they ran from the parking lot, down the hill to the road and into the bright warm sunshine.
Happy Reading Everyone! Next up: REGENCY ROMANCE