|The Race (standard:horror, 3371 words)|
|Author: crowdog||Added: Nov 12 2003||Views/Reads: 1910/1132||Story 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 Click here to read the rest of this story (231 more lines)
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