Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Forgotten

The Forgotten: For Scribbit's Write Away Contest, the topic: Ghosts

I was out walking as I did every evening and if I was tired I took a short-cut home through the woods. I lived in a rural area so when darkness falls, is falls quickly and hard. Everything is covered with a blanket of darkness, and you can only see the stars and the moon. One night when taking my short-cut I noticed a big dark structure through a patch of trees heavily draped in moss. I only had a small bit of light left in the sky illuminating my way home so I didn’t want to explore the abandoned house tonight. I would come back tomorrow when I had plenty of light.

I thought of the old house all night wondering why I had never seen it before and who may have lived there, why it was left to dilapidate into the ground. Funny how buildings seem to just fall apart when humanity has left; nobody running in and out the doors, no windows opening and closing, no breeze flowing through, no chatter among the walls, no electricity crawling through the wires.

The next day came and I was anxious to go back and discover what lay in the woods. I set out my front door and down my short-cut path to explore the old house. I walked back to the very spot on the path where I could look back through the patch of trees with the moss dripping from the limbs and I did not see a structure, no house, no building, nothing. I was puzzled, flabbergasted, and speechless. I spun around looking in all directions to see if I was in the wrong spot. I began to run up and down the path going back and forth looking everywhere and saw nothing. The morning was stretching into lunch time and I was hungry and returned home. I thought to myself, well, I’ll get some lunch, go into town to run some errands and go out on my walk tonight to see if I see things differently.

While in town I ran into an old man that might just be our oldest inhabitant. He has seen the growth and changes of our town and everyone in it over his eighty years of life. I asked him if he knew of an old house in the woods out past the edge of town and down the dirt road where I lived. He said that he did remember there used to be a house there when he was a child but that it was torn down about twenty years ago or so because the word was that it was haunted and nobody wanted to buy the place.

This new information really sent chills down my spine and made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The old man didn’t ask me why I was asking about this old structure but gave me a sly grin that just added to my uneasiness.

When I went back home that afternoon I made a plan to return to the spot in the woods where I saw the house. I waited until dusk and I gathered up a flashlight, a camera, and leashed up my dog. We took the short-cut path to the patch of trees and the moss now looked spooky blowing in the wind, the daylight dwindled down and I started to take some photographs. My dog started to whimper. I tried to speak to him calmly but there was a quiver in my voice and I had a sick feeling come over me. There were noises coming from where the structure had been and it was now pitch dark. I clumsily snapped shot after shot after shot. The noises grew louder as if they were getting closer. I shone my flashlight out into the woods and the structure I had seen the night before loomed there before my eyes. I was frozen with fear. As I flashed my light back and forth I could see the porch, the door, the windows and ghostly apparitions glowing from inside the house. The noises seemed to shrill and scream and I dropped my flashlight, pulled my dog and ran the race of my life back out of the woods and toward my home. My heart was beating so fast I could feel it thumping inside my head, deafening my ears. I got back to my door and began to flip on every light in my house as if that was going to somehow calm me down and keep the spirits from following me home and entering my house. I didn’t sleep all night.

The next morning, I was exhausted and anxious। I drove into town to have my film developed. I was absolutely terrified about what might turn up in the photographs. I waited in agony as the camera shop carefully developed my film. When they were done the clerk had a funny look on his face and asked exactly what I had been photographing. I asked why and could I see the photos. He said that nothing really turned out; they seemed to be overexposed quite a bit but each photo had the same word scrawled across the grayish photo as if scratched by a fingernail. The word on each photo simply read “forgotten”.

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2 comments:

Scribbit said...

Love it--from the word "moss" I was getting shivers :)

Sarah said...

GREAT story! very creepy...