Muse Wednesday is a tradition of the YAFF critique group that I belong to. In which we choose something to write a story about. Usually, it runs 250 or so words but it can go beyond as mine tended to do this time. Hope you enjoy!! Don’t forget to click on the other YAFF ladies contributions that follow:
The distant sound of a train spiked her heartbeat. No, she wouldn’t let it scare her. She’d come to find out what had happened to her sister. The light shone down over the tracks. She could taste the rain in the night air. She shivered. It would be all right. These tracks weren’t haunted as her sister’s friends had told her. They’d bullied and harassed her sister until she’d agreed to a dare. That had been five days ago. Tonight, the chill hastened her fingers to pull her sweater tighter.Still no sign of the bogeyman. She’d prove her sister’s friends liars. She’d point her finger at the real culprits soon enough. Drat, the mist made it hard to see. Even a few feet ahead of her looked like a soupy mix.
“Alea,” she called to the silence. No answer returned. She swayed while she slogged further into the mist. Somewhere, an owl hooted. A serious of knocks sounded around her. She pulled back. Don’t be a scaredy-cat. It’s just the nightlife. No ghoul to feed upon her flesh. She stumbled on the tracks. Who knew that the combination of metal and wood could be so painful? Well, duh. Horror writers. They wrote about such things often. She clenched her fingers. Stop it. You’re being an idiot. Maybe she should’ve asked mom or dad to come with her. She frowned. Why so they could hold her hand? She could do this. She would do this.
The knocks tattooed the trees closer to her. She spun around. The hairs on her arms prickled. She was closer to where the body had been found now. Another step or two. Something growled. She froze. Good thing there wasn’t any wolves in Brislawn, Ohio. Coyotes maybe. She could handle them. A figure popped in the mist. Her sister’s height, the same way she wore her hair. “Alea?”
“Run, Jody. He’s coming for you.”
“Alea, what happened?”
She shook her head. “I don’t believe in the boogeyman. It was your friends.”
“Get away. Hurry.”
Footsteps crunched down behind her.She swung around. His kiss-curl hugged his forehead while he flexed his arm, one hand behind his back.
“Joseph?” she said. Her breath caught and her cheeks warmed.
Someone screamed beside her. She swiveled to see where Alea had gone. She’d vanished.
Joseph trailed his fingers down her arm. “It’s all right, Jody. I took care of everything.”
“Everything?” she squeaked.
“She won’t bother us anymore.”
“She?” She knotted her hands in her sweater.”
“Alea. She was going to hurt you.”
She stared at him, mouth open, her breaths hitched.
He pulled her close. “She’ll never come between us again.”
Some force dragged him from her. Alea. She took the ax he held in his hand and smacked him over the head with it. “Run, Jody.”
Jody hurtled down the tracks.
“You’re going the wrong way,” her sister’s voice said.
She scooted to a halt and struggled to get her bearings. She’d have to go back. It was the only way home. “Thank you, Alea.”
“Don’t thank me yet. The bogeyman’s still out there.”
She scrambled back the way she came, using the train tracks as a guide. She neared the spot where Joseph had gone down. He wasn’t there. Her pulse quickened. She searched her surroundings. Where could he be? A hand touched down upon her shoulders. She screamed.
“It’s me, Jody,” Joseph said. “Don’t be frightened but there’s someone else out here.”
She backed away. “You can’t fool me. You killed my sister.”
“For you,” he said.
“She was your girlfriend.”
“She wouldn’t let me break up with her.”
“I don’t believe you.” She surveyed the ground. There had to be a weapon. Something.
“Jody. I love you.”
Something barreled out of the night and slammed him into a tree. He fell to the ground, head bleeding.
“Alea? Thank you again.”
Alea appeared. “Don’t thank me.” Her grin widened. “Don’t you know these tracks are haunted? Lost souls turn into bogeymen. Like me.”
“Alea, what are you saying?”
The light snuffed out. And the screams lengthened.