Sunday, October 1, 2017

Creepy Samples Offering: The Caretaker

 October has arrived, and with it a growing anticipation that speaks of Halloween drawing near. With the special night only 30 days away, and its spirit growing in intensity with each passing day, what better Creepy Samples Offering could I feature at this time than a ghost story involving a cemetery caretaker who happens upon an old, previously undiscovered grave in the nearby woods?

This week's offering is taken from my book entitled "The Darkness Beyond the Misty Veil: More Tales of the Macabre." The name of the story, perhaps not surprisingly, is "The Caretaker:"

The caretaker examined every bit of ground in the vicinity. As the minutes passed, the brightness of the rising moon increased, illuminating the terrain well enough that Elena's grave marker, although small, should easily have been seen. Yet, his search remained fruitless, and his frustration grew. Damn it! I know I'm in the right place. Why can't I find it?

The discomfited man, having covered the entire area to no avail, paused momentarily. As he gazed toward the forest beyond his field of operation, he couldn't help noticing how uncannily foreign the surrounding landscape had become. The trees now seemed larger, older than before; their thick, majestic trunks and limbs reaching toward the heavens. He was struck with a sudden realization that the cold northerly breeze, which had accompanied him into the forest, was absent. In its place was a translucent, swirling fog that seemed to emanate a dull light of its own. The moon was no longer visible. Nothing was recognizable, and he felt as though he had been snatched from the world with which he was familiar and placed into a new, unfamiliar reality; one much more eerie and portentous than his own. The sudden stillness of the place unnerved him.

Suddenly, the sound of approaching footsteps broke the silence. These were unlike the earlier disturbances. They were slower, more deliberate—human! For the moment the thick fog continued to block his vision as well as that of whoever was approaching.
The caretaker took advantage of the opportunity to take cover behind the thick trunk of a nearby tree. The sound grew louder with every step and then...

Is that a woman's voice I hear? It is indeed, and she's singing!

With that realization the object of his attention emerged into view. The lady moving in his direction seemed the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She continued walking slowly, pensively, all the while singing words of love to a tune he'd never before heard. She sported a stylish wide-brimmed hat, which partially covered her flaming red mane--hair that cascaded well over her shoulders. Her beige dress, although voguish, reminded him of something folks would wear to civil war re-enactments. And then he noticed it—a necklace bearing what appeared to be a heart made of ruby. His mind raced as the exquisite female drew near. Pieces of the puzzle began falling into place.

My dream, she looks just like the woman I dreamed about a couple of weeks ago. And that ruby heart, could it be her prize....

“Hey lady, Lady! Hold up a minute!”

She paused and looked back disdainfully at a dirty-looking man running in her direction. Taking her eyes off him for just a moment, she tucked the ruby heart under the cover of her dress before turning around to confront him.

“Want some company?” He asked her. “After all, a pretty lady like you ought not to be walking in the woods alone; 'specially, not in the early evenin' like this.”

He stared at her with beady eyes, not removing his gaze from her. Feelings of anger and even jealousy began gripping at the caretaker as the uncouth man continued with his nauseating pursuit of the woman.

Well that about does it for this week's sample. I hope you enjoyed it. I'll be back with another Creepy Sample's Offering around the 15th. Until then, don't forget to keep it spooky! 

Artwork and photo by Marina Bocharova. You can visit her website by following this link.

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