|Homeward (standard:Ghost stories, 772 words)|
|Author: Lev821||Added: Jun 28 2012||Views/Reads: 2378/0||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Who is the little boy that just wants to go home?|
She drew back the bedroom curtain to see what the weather was like. Grey clouds slowly roiled above, threatening rain. She was about to turn away when she saw a little boy looking through an iron gate into a pig-pen. Susan Thompson owned a farm with her husband who was down in London for a meeting discussing proposed changes in income for farming supplies. The farm wasn't large. There were two horses, three pigs and eight chickens which saved them purchasing eggs. The boy had appeared in the yard for the past four days. Everytime Susan went out to talk to him, to see who he was and what he was doing here, he had disappeared, and despite extensive searches, was never to be found. Now he was there again, looking at a Tamworth pig who stood there impassive in the cold. Sometimes he would wander around, looking lost, and sometimes he would just look at the animals. Susan was 51 and had long curly black hair, dressed for going out because the fridge was almost empty and it was a three mile drive to the nearest shops. She closed the curtain and walked out onto the landing to go downstairs, and stopped on the top step, as there, at the bottom, the boy stood looking up at her. The front door was wide open, and she couldn't remember leaving it unlocked. After a few moments, she walked slowly down towards him. "I want to go home," said the child who looked to be about seven, with black trousers, black shoes, a red pullover, and dark brown hair. "I'm lost," he said. All Susan could do was look down at him with a mixture of sympathy and curiosity. "What's your name?" she asked. "James, and I want to go home". The best thing she could do, she thought, was drive him into the town to the police station. Maybe they could help him out. She had locked up the farm and was driving slowly along the lane. The boy was quiet, sat strapped into the passenger seat. She wanted to ask him all sorts of questions, and find out what he was doing here, but found herself simply glancing at him from time to time, maybe unsure of whether she should say what's on her mind, undecisive as to whether she should bother the child at all as he was clearly lost and wanted to go home as he had said, so Susan simply drove in silence. As the Mitsubishi shogun wound through the narrow lanes, she noticed that the boy was staring at something in the distance. Following his gaze, she saw that he was looking at a church. After a few minutes, the route into the town passed by the building, and when Susan drove near, the boy undone his seatbelt. "Stop the car," he said, calmly, and she could do nothing else but pull over. She was about to speak when the child opened the door, got out, and ran towards the church. Susan switched off the engine and left the vehicle. She saw him disappear through an archway and thought there was no point in running, he couldn't go far. The only sound came from nearby rustling trees. There was no-one around, and it didn't seem that there had been for a long time. Susan searched for a few moments and found him in the grave-yard near the back, amongst the older graves. She approached slowly, and he turned around and smiled. "I'm home," he said. He stepped over to one of the graves. It had a simple headstone, and was dotted with moss and lichen, the grave covered with weeds and long grass. Susan didn't know if it was a trick of the light, or her eyes needed testing, but the boy seemed to be blurred, and transparent, sinking slowly. He disappeared, and she walked slowly across to look at the gravestone: 'Here lies James Taylor, who departed this life aged 6, 1902. Sadly missed'. She knew now why the boy was lost, even though the area had once been his home. He recognised the church and perhaps some of the hills and fields, and for a boy of his age, had probably never ventured all the way to where the farm was now situated, which had not been built when the boy was alive. That was only twenty-five years old. Far younger than the boy as he had not recognised it. The graves on either side of his were from the same family. She smiled mournfully, bowed her head and walked slowly back to the car. Tweet
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