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Short story

preacherman76

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Hey guys. I decided to write a short story. I try not to go to long without writing something, so I don't lose it. This was done kinda quickly, and is unedited for the most part, but I thought it was ok. Let me know what you think. I haven't titled it yet.

    

     It was a mid January night in the winter of ‘94. The moonlight reflected off our billowing breath from the deep cold and cast our long shadows on the railroad tracks as we walked to our small ice skating pond that was a stone's throw from the Hudson River.

     We would both be graduating high school at the end of this year, and not knowing where either of us would be, or what we would end up doing in the fast approaching new phase of our lives, we decided to take advantage of one last midnight skate. Before the first winter storm of the year that was coming the next day ruined the ice.

     “Jay the ice is perfect” Matt said as we stepped off the tracks and down the rocky embankment to the frozen ice below. The ice almost seemed to glow in the glimmering moonlight and brightly lit the surrounding trees. The stars shined through the still air as we  quickly took off our boots and put on our hockey skates.

     Neither of us said a word as we got up to begin our last of many nights over the last 5 years skating on this forsaken little pond. Just a quick glance towards each other told the story of how we would both miss these nights, and how grateful we were that the last night here was as perfect as it could possibly be.

     I was saddened at the thought that there would be no one to come visit this place after we were gone, but I quickly shook that feeling as I exploded across the ice. “Wait for me” Matt yelled out as he tied his last skate.

     The sound of our skates gliding across the ice almost sounded like rolling thunder. We began to shed layers of clothes as our body temperatures climbed. Even in this cold night air.

     I was skating the edge of the pond along side the thick brush going about as fast as I could go, when I noticed something strange stuck in side a bush I had just past. Ice shredded under my skates as I quickly came to a full stop. Matt wasn't as good at stopping as I was, and he nearly knocked me right over as he slammed into me from behind.

     “What did you stop for?” Matt asked me curiously, as he struggled to keep his balance. I told him that I had seen something in one of the bushes, as I back tracked to find the mystery object. It only took a few seconds to find it. We both looked at each other puzzled as I pulled a small pink winter hat out of the thorny brush.

     “I wonder who that belongs to” Matt said. We both stood there puzzled as we examined the pink hat. It is a difficult walk for two strong teenage boys to get here in the winter. Who ever this hat belonged to certainly couldn't have made it this far on their own.

     As we stood there pondering, Matt shrugged his shoulders as if to say he gave up trying to solve the mystery, and he began to take off across the ice again.

     Not anywhere near as satisfied as Matt was trying to solve this mystery I began to inspect the pink hat much more closely. On the back side of the hat the name Becky was stitched into the cloth. A cold shiver ran down my spine when I turned the hat inside out to reveal what looked like a large blood stain.

     Keeping my focus on the stain, I yelled out to Matt to come back. I could hear his skates begin to dig into the ice as he tried to come to a stop. Then I heard a loud thud.

     I quickly turned to see Matt laid out face first in the middle of the pond. He never did quite get the hang of stopping quickly, and like had happened before I figured his feet must have come out from underneath him as he dug his blades into the ice. The last time this happened we ended up in a emergency room. 12 stitches later he was as good as new.

     I dropped the hat and skated over to him as quickly as I could. Face down he laid there motionless. At his side I dropped to my knees and began to try and wake him up. I started nudging him, lightly at first, but when I got no response I began to nudge him harder. I could see his breath like a pausing smoke stack, so I knew he was still alive. I thanked God for that much.

     "Matt” I yelled frantically, “wake up”. Again no response. He was out cold. So I grabbed one arm and one leg, and started to roll him over onto his back. Wondering to myself how I was going to get him all the way home if he didn't come to. Knowing no way could I leave him there even to get help. He’d freeze to death before I could get back to him.

     I nearly had him flipped over when suddenly for one moment I felt a cold tingling blast, almost like electricity going right into my back, then right through my chest. I looked down at Matt now lying face up when his eyes instantly opened wide.

     For one moment I felt a sense of relief that he had woken up. That feeling left me quickly when I realized that his large eye’s had become as white as the snow surrounding the pond. Horrified I tried to stand up. Never taking my eyes off his evil looking stare. That's when Matt reached over and grabbed my arm.

     As soon as he grabbed me that same electric like feeling I had just felt blow through me was now coursing through my entire body. Like every cell in me began to hold a high frequency pitch. I tried to pull away, but there was no use. He had me in a death grip, and my senses were being overridden by this terrifying vibration.

     My mind had begun to get very cloudy. It felt as though I was beginning to lose consciousness. I closed my eyes and fell onto the ice.

     The next thing I knew I could see a bright light behind my eyelids. The cold breeze that had redend our cheeks and nose went completely away. I could no longer feel the cold at all. I opened my eyes and for a moment I was blinded by what looked like the midday sun.

     It was the middle of the day. Light beams from the sun were glistening off ice sickles hanging off the tree’s. The white snow magnified the sunlight all around nearly blinding me for a moment. I looked to my side to see Matt standing there looking as confused as I felt. Before either of us could say a word, we heard what sounded like someone coming down off the railroad tracks and on to the frozen pond.

     A large man in a thick winter coat came down the hill. He was slowly stepping onto the ice, as though he wasn't sure it could hold his weight. He took a few small steps, and bounced up and down slightly to make sure. Then he turned around and yelled out “it’s safe Rebecca, come on down”.

      A little girl around 7 maybe 8 years old with ice skates hanging around her neck began to make her way down the hill. She nearly stumbled down, then she decided to sit down and slide on her butt the rest of the way. As she put her skates on the man was making his way towards us.

     He was looking at the ground has he came near. I said out loud to him, “hello”, but he never even looked up. It was as though he completely ignored me.  He was heading directly towards us. When I noticed he was going to walk right into us. I tried to move aside, but it was too late.

     That's when he walked right through me. As he did, I felt a darkness like cold chills running up and down my spine. The kind of feeling you get when the hairs on the back of your neck stand in attention. I began to question if I was going crazy. There is no way to rationally explain what was happening, yet there I was living it, breathing it. We had become like ghosts, unable to be heard or touched. I turned to Mat and asked if this was a dream. He said to me “I don't think so” with a look of panic on his face.

     Just then the little girl began to skate across the pond. “Look at me Uncle Toni” she yelled out as she awkwardly stumbled one foot in front of the other. “That's great Becky” he yelled back to her.

     Becky? I thought to myself. Where I have I heard that name recently? An ice cold chill ran down my spine, as she skated past me. I saw her little pink hat with the name Becky stitched on the front, and instantly my heart sank into my chest.

     Frantically I yelled out to her, but she couldn't hear me at all. In desperation both me and Mat began to follow her towards the brush at the other end of the pond. I felt as helpless as I knew Becky was right then. Knowing there was nothing I could do but watch whatever horror that was about to play out in front of us.

     As she approached the man I could see he was taking something out of his coat pocket. It was a short metal pipe. I stood frozen in silence as I heard Mat scream NO, as the man raised the pipe high in the air. Before I could see what happened I suddenly became very dizzy and lightheaded. I could see the twisted evil look on the mans face. It was as if for one moment time had completely stood still. Then everything went black.

     “Jay wake up” I could hear someone yelling at me. My eyes were closed but I could see through my eyelids that it had become dark again. I felt the cold wind hit me in the face as I opened my eyes to see Mat sitting by side shaking me.

     “Alright” I said “stop shaking me”. We then both just looked at each other for what seemed like forever. “Did you see”, Before I could get the sentence out he abruptly said “Yes, I saw it too”. We sat in silence again. I turned to look across the pond to see Becky’s little pink hat still sitting on the ice where I had dropped it.

     “Let's get the hell out of here” Mat said as he turned towards his boots sitting on the edge of the ice. He reached down to help me to my feet. We just looked at each other again, unable to process what had just happened. We were just about to leave when suddenly we heard a small voice call out from the bush across the pond.

     My heart dropped to my stomach. There in the brush just a little ways beyond the ice stood a little girl in a pink hat. I could see lines of blood that had run down her face. There were stains of mud and blood all over her.

     We both began to race towards her. I know that sounds crazy but we both had the overwhelming feeling that she needed our help. I don't know how, but we both knew she didn't mean us any harm. I shredded ice to stop as I reached the end of the pond. Mat slammed into me, again. She was no more than 10 feet in front of us.

     “I'm here” said as she looked and pointed to the ground right in front of her. Then like smoke she faded away in the cold winter breeze.

     After long consideration we decided a unanimous call to the police would be the best course of action. Neither one of us ever told anyone what had happened. We both felt a sense of peace as we read in the local paper how they had found Becky’s body. We also felt a sense of justice reading about how “Uncle Toni” was arrested for her murder. I got chills the first time I saw his picture on the front page.

     Over the next few years me and Mat would visit her grave site at Hilltop Cemetery, just down the road from where went to high school.  Turns out neither of us moved far from where we grew up. And we still get in the occasional midnight skate. 

     We never did see or hear from Becky again. Accept from time to time in a dream.

 

Thanks for taking the time folks.

 



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