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Alice (standard:horror, 1615 words)
Author: kendall thomasAdded: Oct 30 2002Views/Reads: 1946/1201Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Halloween
 



Alice 

By Twisted Wrabbit 

It seems like only the blink of an eye, a mere moment in time, but it
happened over forty years ago. 

A girl I had met on campus and had dated a few times called me one
morning and asked if I would drive her to Cave Hill Cemetery that 
afternoon. 

Her name was Alice, and it was October thirty-first -- a gray, dismal
day.  Dark clouds hung heavily on the horizon, threatening rain and 
bringing with them an early night. 

Her house was set back among old, wind-whispering oaks that sheltered a
small, leaf-covered lawn rising steeply from the sidewalk. 

She was waiting for me, as usual,  at the base of concrete steps that
led up to a German-style bungalow with a brick-columned vestibule.  
Orange and yellow leaves covered its peaked roof. 

In her hands she held a bouquet of flowers as yellow as the fallen
leaves and was wearing a blue dress with an unbuttoned gray sweater.  
Her blonde hair was fixed in a ponytail. 

As we drove, she told me she wanted to put the flowers on her sister's
grave.  She didn't explain further and, as she looked so sad, I didn't 
have the heart to ask her for any details, though I was quite curious. 

The cemetery was large, hundreds of rolling acres covered with the
barren trees of fall.  She guided me -- finger pointing this way and 
that -- through a series of avenues and lanes that wound among old 
tombs, towering monuments and tombstones of all shapes and sizes.  
After a time she indicated a spot where she wanted me to stop. 

I knew she needed to be alone, so I waited in the car and watched her
disappear down a corridor of tree-lined tombstones, clutching the 
bundle of fragile, yellow flowers to her chest.  She looked so lost and 
small amongst the hard, indifferent angles of granite and marble that I 
felt an overwhelming sadness for her -- and for all of mankind.  A 
gargoyle glared down at me from the cornice of a nearby tomb, a frank 
warning to trespassers. 

When she didn't return after a long wait I began to worry.  The sky was
getting darker and darker as purple clouds obscured it.  Soon it would 
be too dark to find her, and I was beginning to think that in the early 
darkness she might have become confused and lost her way -- not hard to 
imagine in such a labyrinth of twisting stone alleyways. 

I turned my headlights on and beeped the horn several times, waiting,
but still she didn't show. 

I got out of the car and started down the way she had gone.  I hadn't
walked far when I realized I was becoming disoriented.  I looked back 
hoping to see the car lights, but couldn't. 

I walked on calling out her name, modestly at first, then louder as my
annoyance grew. 

I stopped finally.  It was hopeless.  It would be easier to find a
needle in a hay stack.  Where could she have gotten to? 

I felt a few raindrops.  What on earth could she be doing? 

I found myself upon a rise, and I looked around in the fading light. 
Shadows lengthened and darkened everywhere.  Bare branches scraped 
along the roofs of tombs.  A small bird scurried across the sky as if 
fleeing some unseen danger. 

At first I thought it was the shadow of a weeping angel by a tombstone,
but then I saw a slight movement, a wisp of hair caught in a breeze. 

Her face bore such a look of anguish and sadness that I almost couldn't
bring myself to disturb her -- but I had to.  It would be raining soon. 


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