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|The Girl At The Overlook (standard:mystery, 1881 words)|
|Author: crowdog||Added: Nov 30 2001||Views/Reads: 1808/918||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A specter continues to haunt a sea-side hotel, and has an unexpected encounter with a guest.|
THE GIRL AT THE OVERLOOK Richard walked carefully down the dimly lit pathway. The summer night was warm, but dark due to the absence of the moon and the thick mist that had blown in from the ocean. The echo of the breaking waves at the bottom of the Overlook rumbled in the air. He stopped suddenly and shot an undecided look back at he hotel, the soft glow from the windows now barely visible through the mist. He knew he should turn back. He half turned to retreat to the safety of his room when the feeling gripped him again. He knew it was a terrible place. There was something about it, something that played on the edge of his memory that warned him to stay away. He struggled for only a moment before surrendering to the invisible pull of the Overlook. He rounded the corner of the path and there it was before him. Built in the grand Victorian style that was so popular in the 1930s, the Overlook was beautifully impressive. It was more than just a huge gazebo. It’s grand pillars and finely handcrafted wooden trim was truly a work of art. It sat majestically atop the cliffs that towered above the ocean below. Billows of flowers cradled the structure, and Richard could smell their sweet-smelling fragrance carried on the salty breeze. He turned to look again in the direction of the hotel. The trees along the winding path now hid the building from view. He knew he should get back before everyone missed him, but he still could not shake the unknown force that seemed to beckon him to this place. Yet, still there was the uneasy feeling of danger that stayed just outside the light of his mind, like a beast threatening to attack from the darkness. He tried to force it into the front of his mind. Was it something he had heard, something he had been told or seen? He knew there were many stories about the Overlook. Why then could he not bring one to mind? Just when he thought he might be able to grasp the memory it would retreat back into the darkness of his mind. He could feel it, waiting to show itself, but waiting for what? He did not know. He climbed the three steps that led to the platform covered on top, but open on all sides to allow the gentle breeze to skim through the sculptured pillars that supported the roof. The wooden, waist high railing that surrounded the structure also served as the backrest of several wooden benches that faced the open center of the platform. Standing in the center he could look back at the courtyard that spread itself out before the entrance. “How many bands had played here,” he thought, “how many dances in that courtyard?” He turned and walked slowly to the railing on the seaward side of the structure. The railing was the only thing that separated him from the several hundred-foot drop to the ocean below. He glanced down into the darkness. The sound of the waves breaking on the rocky shore below drifted up through the mist. He stared, unable to see waves. He could only listen to their battle with the face of the cliffs below. Fear suddenly gripped him. He didn’t know why, but he suddenly felt very afraid. The uneasy feeling that had been buried in the back of his mind suddenly reached out to strike. He backed away from the railing, and tried to pinpoint in his mind what he feared, but again, it stayed just out of reach of his consciousness. He had backed away several feet before he noticed the young woman standing to his right. The sudden realization that he wasn’t alone had taken him quite off guard. He could have sworn that when he walked up the steps the Overlook had been deserted. It was as though she had appeared out of the darkness of his mind along with that unknown fear that still hid there. She was a young woman, Richard would guess in her early twenties. She wore a somewhat formal dress, and although Richard was not schooled in the matter, he could tell the dress seemed out of place. At any rate, it was not in keeping with the fashions of the time. Equally as strange, was the young woman’s reaction to Richard. She too, seemed only to discover his presence at that moment. She was clearly startled. Click here to read the rest of this story (137 more lines)
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