Erin is new in town, and the local kids tell her a little story about an old witch...
The Legend of Widow's Vale
Erin Fitzgerald was a fourteen-year-old girl who moved into the small town of Widow’s Vale, New York. She moved there from Las Vegas, Nevada with her family. Her parents decided that they needed a change, so moved to this quiet little town.
They moved into a tiny quaint house that looked like a cottage on the outskirts of the town. Erin disagreed completely with their decision to move there.
“Are you kidding me?” She said. “There’s nothing here but this stupid house and a field of grass!”
“That’s what makes it so wonderful.” Her mother, Shannon, replied.
“I myself used to live in a house like this. What do you think of it?” Her father asked.
“Well, I hate it, and”, she gave both of her parents a look that would kill and said; “I hate the both of you!”
With this, Erin stormed out of the house. She walked to the nearest bus stop and got a ride into the town center. She hated this little town. She couldn’t understand why her parents had decided to move here. The town itself had only one diner and an old movie theatre. There were no malls, no fun houses, no carnivals, not even one grocery store.
When Erin was walking, she came upon a group of people who looked her age sitting on the benches near what looked like a park. When they spotted her, they walked over to her to say hello.
“Hey there. You new here?” A dark-haired boy asked.
“Yep.” She answered. “Name’s Erin . I just moved into some little house out in the middle of nowhere.”
“Oh,” a girl said, “do you live in that house on the outskirts?”
“Yeah. That’s me. ” she replied. “So, what are all your names?”
The dark-haired boy stepped forward to introduce himself.
“My name’s Hunter, and over there you have Mike, Bree, Taylor, and Anna.” He said, pointing them out to her.
“Hi.” she said, kind of waving to each one of them in turn.
“So, what do you want to do?” Anna asked Erin .
Erin thought about this for a moment and said, “Well, I don’t really know what there is to do here. What do you guys do for fun?”
“Actually, there’s not very much to do here.” Hunter answered. “We normally go up to Red Kill to do all of our shopping and stuff. We could go to the movies.”
“But there’s nothing playing at the theatre.” Tayler said. “Besides, we have no money, remember? We blew all our money on our trip to Red Kill last Saturday.”
“Oh yeah.” Bree said. “Well, we could just tell her the legend of Widow’s Vale.”
“Yeah!” They all shouted in unison.
Erin, who wasn’t really paying attention, finally asked, “What are you guys talking about?”
“Oh. We just decided that we were going to tell you about the legend of Widow’s Vale, and all about old Mrs. Carrington.” Hunter explained. “But if you want us to tell you it, you have to come with us into the forest, so that old lady Carrington won’t hear us.”
Erin, who thought that they were just trying to scare her, agreed to go. When they got there it was almost dark, and Erin really wanted to get home. She hoped that she would still be welcomed there.
“Okay. The legend of Widow’s Vale happened about eighty years ago.” Hunter said in a whisper, in order to scare people.
“Hunter! Stop being stupid and get on with the legend! It’s scary enough without you making that voice!” Bree exclaimed.
“Okay! It all happened eighty years ago, when Widow’s Vale was just a small farming town. It didn’t even have a name. In fact, it wasn’t even a town. It was just a town hall where the farmers would meet to discuss things like how their crops were growing.”
“Among these farmers were Mr. and Mrs. Carrington. You see, they weren’t really farmers, because they never had very much food to sell at the farmer’s market every weekend. It was usually only some tomatoes. All the rest were sweaters and things that Mrs. Carrington had made.” Hunter said.
“And?” Erin said, completely anxious to hear the rest of the story. “What happened?”
“Well, Mr. and Mrs. Carrington weren’t really that social. They kept to themselves and didn’t come to the meetings in the town hall. I don’t think they had any children either.” Hunter said. “Anyways, people back then used to say that Mrs. Carrington used magic to make her small bit of crops grow, because they’d never see either of the couple working the soil or planting the seeds when the time came.
“One night, it’s said that Mr. Carrington came home from a long walk and went inside the house to see Mrs. Carrington. Well, they saw a bright light come from the house, almost as if it were glowing, and once it went out, they heard a scream.
“It turned out that when Mr. Carrington was quarreling with Mrs. Carrington, he accidentally knocked a glass of water onto a lamp and was electrocuted. At least, that was how the police saw it. The rest of the town had a meeting, and again, Mrs. Carrington didn’t show up. They gossiped about her almost the whole night.
“Mr. and Mrs. Flanagan, my great grandparents, had said that they thought that old lady Carrington was lying and had put a spell on Mr. Carrington. They said that that was what killed him, and he wasn’t electrocuted.”
“How could they say such a thing?” Erin asked. “Poor Mrs. Carrington just lost her husband for crying out loud!”
“Wait! I’m not done.” Hunter replied. “In the next couple of weeks, all of the women’s husbands had gone missing, and each time they had, the women would see a bright light. This made the farmers think that anybody who had gossiped about Mrs. Carrington would lose theirs fathers and husbands too. So they stopped.
“All of the farmers children wound up staying in the small town and their children stayed after them. Soon enough, there were enough people to give the place a name. They decided on Widow’s Vale, sort of meaning the valley of the widows, to remind them of the tragic time when many of their relatives were lost forever, and to remind them not to say mean things about old lady Carrington.”
“Yeah right!” Erin said. “That’s all just a big lie to scare the new girl, isn’t it?”
“Don’t believe me?” Hunter said. “Ask Taylor what happened to his dad when he badmouthed old lady Carrington.”
“Fine, I will! Taylor , what happened when your dad badmouthed old lady Carrington?”
“My dad fell off a ladder trying to fix the roof and died.” Taylor said solemnly.
“Sure, sure!” Erin cried. She was getting tired of this. “I’m going home!”
“Stupid old lady Carrington!” She spat out the words, as though she had an extreme hate for the woman.
When Erin got home, she went to talk to her mother.
“Oh, hello Erin . Are you feeling better now?”
“Yes. Much better. You won’t believe how stupid the kids here must think I am.”
“Oh really? How stupid?”
“Well, they thought I was stupid enough to believe some legend about how this place was named.” Erin said.
“How did they say that it was named?” Her mother asked.
“They say it was named because some old lady cast a spell and made everyone’s husbands disappear.”
“That’s certainly not something you hear every day.” Her mother said with a chuckle. “By the way, have you seen your father lately?”
Erin ’s smile vanished. “No, why?” She asked with some trepidation.
“Well, he said that he was going out to look for you about three hours ago, and told me he’d be back in an hour. He hasn’t shown up yet.”
“Old lady Carrington.” Erin whispered to herself.