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
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
“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.