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The Race (standard:horror, 3371 words)
Author: crowdogAdded: Nov 12 2003Views/Reads: 1965/1164Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The trip home from a Halloween party at school, will haunt a young boy for the rest of his life.
 



It was a pleasant late October evening as I left Willow Brook Elementary
School and headed home. One of the few perks about living in a small 
town in those days was even a twelve year old could walk home late in 
the evening and not worry about the horrors of today. That's not to say 
those evils weren't present then, they just did a much better job at 
hiding themselves. 

Although it was still three days until Halloween, the school had hosted
its Halloween party on that cool Friday night so that the students and 
family could better enjoy the party. After all, a Halloween party on a 
Monday night just wouldn't be as much fun. I had originally planned on 
meeting my best friend, Kenny Joy, at the party then leaving with him 
and his parents to spend the night at his house on the other side of 
town. Unfortunately for me, neither Kenny nor his parents had made it 
to the party. 

It was a two-mile walk to my house on South Hickory Lane, and although
it was nearly ten o'clock I was not afraid to make the journey on such 
a clear night. The trek home would take me along Jefferson Lane, 
several blocks north on Illinois Avenue; a right on Hillside then 
another right would place me on my own street. I could make much better 
time and cut the distance in half by cutting along the cemetery to the 
east of the school, then hiking a short distance through a small sliver 
of wood to the very bottom of my own dead end street. Not one to 
struggle with the usual fears of childhood, I headed for the cemetery 
trail. 

The night air seemed chilly after being inside at the party, but the
moon was bright, the night was clear and the stars hovered overhead. 
The smell of fall was in the air; that somewhat spicy smell of fallen 
leaves that always seems to remind me of pumpkin pie. A silent wind 
swept dry, multicolored leaves across the rear of the parking lot as I 
approached the trail. The trail ran alongside the old wooden fence that 
separated the cemetery from the school property. As I entered the trail 
I glanced at the headstones that stood silently just across the fence. 
The pallid moon gave a dull gray color to the landscape, and the 
headstones and trees cast long shadows across the autumn hillside. 

Something stirred within me. I wouldn't call it fear, but rather an
anxiousness that seemed to settle barely noticeably in my stomach. I 
glanced back at the now nearly empty school parking lot. It was almost 
hidden now by the trees that lined the trail. Looking forward I could 
see the end of the fencerow and beyond that, the dark entrance to the 
wood that would eventually lead me home. After only a moment of 
hesitation, I resumed walking toward the darker woods. 

It was then that I first heard it. I hesitate to call it a voice, but
rather a whisper. The kind made by a cool October evening wind winding 
its way through the slats of a wooden fence. It wasn't loud, on the 
contrary it was barely audible, but it was enough to stop me in my 
tracks and I strained my ears to identify its location. Only the 
distant putter of the last car engine as it left the parking lot could 
be heard. I stood and listened as the engine faded into the distance. I 
was now almost to the end of the fencerow. 

As I approached the end of the fence, I heard the whisper again. This
time more pronounced. It made me think of the “shoshing” sound the 
librarian makes when telling you to quiet down. This time however, I 
knew the sound came from a small group of headstones just on the other 
side of the fence behind me. I turned my head slowly to try and make 
out what were now whispered words. I could hear a quiet voice 
whispering but I could not make out the words. 

I suddenly saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Turning back along
the path I had just traveled I saw a small figure, a shadow really. It 
moved swiftly across the path across the fence vanishing among the same 
small group of headstones that I was sure was the source of the 
whispers. I suddenly realized the decision to take the wooded trail 
home was a mistake. I also realized that to get back to the more safely 
lit parking lot and roadway; I'd have to walk past the headstones that 
now hid the shadowy figure. 

I could see shadows moving in the background between the spaces of the
stones. There was no definite shape to the figure, no way to tell just 
how big it was, but I was certain that something was there. I dared a 


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