Monday, October 6, 2014

A Halloween and Samhain Story: Just A Quiet Walk

A Halloween Happening


Courtesy Of Flickr Creative Commons
I heard the sounds again behind me in the dark as I reached the middle of the cemetery.  I stopped and listened for a moment and then continued when I heard nothing.

It had been a nice evening of beer and hot wings at a little sports bar close to home.  I had some flirtatious conversation with a very well built young lady who had flaming red hair.  It must have come out of a bottle to have been that red.  Still, it had its effect on me.  She was a newbie to the bar and talked my ear off while I was trying to talk her clothes off.  No luck there but still a pleasant interlude.  She helped me finish my last pitcher of draught and we parted with promises to do it again soon.

There it was again.  Definitely a sound that didn't belong here.  Dead is dead and no amount of overactive imagination is going to bring them back to life.  I never had a case of the heebie jeebies as a child and it was too late to start now.

One of the advantages to living in a smaller city is being able to live downtown where most of the places I need or want to go are within walking distance.  I own a car but am older and wiser when it comes to driving after I had a few or more than a few mugs of beer.  When I left the bar I walked to the cemetery entrance and entered through the iron gates that were always open.  As I said I don't suffer from the heebie jeebies and it cut off about three blocks by not walking around it.

I had reached the center of the cemetery where most of the crypts were located and while I don't put any stock in spirits and ghouls I do believe in muggers and weirdos and, "The Ghost," as they were calling him.  I stepped behind a crypt into the night shadows and waited.

One of the topics of conversation around the tables tonight was the, "Ghost."  Not the spook kind, the crazy kind.  In the last three months some nut had hacked up three people with what they deduced was a large butcher knife and had covered the bodies with a sheet prior to his handiwork.  Thus the name, "The Ghost." Theory was it kept the killer from being splattered with the victims DNA. Another case for educational television.

I only had to wait a couple of minutes until I could make out a figure coming down the path in the moonlight.  Staying in the shadows I watched as the figure shuffled past, that was the sound I had been hearing.  Just another night person taking the same shortcut I was.  I might even have known them but I refrained from hailing them for fear of giving them a heart attack.

Common sense tells you that in a city this big there will be nuts of all kinds and occasionally one that is really off the deep end.  The odds of having contact with a person like this in the wrong place at wrong time are probably higher than hitting the lottery.  Someone always wins though or loses in this train of thought.

Well here I am skulking around in the shadows under a full moon in a cemetery at midnight.  If the cops were to see me I would only have to have as much as a fingernail file and a white handkerchief on me and they would swear they had captured, "The Ghost."  I would have laughed out loud had it not been for the arm that came around my neck.

Sometimes you wonder if maybe there is a reason for things that happen in your life that just don't make sense at the time.  Several years ago I had taken a fall from a second story window, no jealous husbands or anything like that, I was painting the trim and the ladder collapsed.  Since the day that happened I have had a pinched nerve in my neck that goes nuclear when my neck is put in a strain.  I have cursed that nerve every day since it happened...........until now.

When my neck was pulled forcefully back I saw an unspeakable white pain behind my eyes. Screaming I grabbed the wrist with my left hand and snaked my right up to the bicep and gave it an adrenalin rush yank that could have moved a car.  I slung them into a family plot of tombstones to my right and heard a thud.  I ran for my life.

Well I don't walk through cemeteries or even drink anymore.  I flagged a police car down two blocks from the cemetery while I was having my third heart attack and the whole area came alive with blue lights.  The neighborhood was sealed off but they never caught anyone.  They did find a large carving knife where we had our encounter and I feel that if I were a cat I had one less life to lose.  I'm not a fatalist but it just wasn't my time.  The scariest part of the night was yet to come.

When I got home I went to wash up and found some strands of flaming red hair around my fingers.......the kind that has to come out of a bottle to be that red.