Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2100196-Old-Route-33
by Espero
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #2100196
What is happenng on Old Route 33?
Billy and Johnny couldn't wait to get home after school. They were working on a go-kart at Johnny's house; a project that had taken all summer and continued into the fall season. Johnny's Dad had gotten them a motor for the cart, and they were going to install it tonight. If all went well, they might be able to take it for a spin on the weekend. They hopped on their bikes and headed for Old Route 33, a now defunct road that was a shortcut between the boy's two homes. Overgrown with trees and plants, the road was now nothing more than a lane that was used by bikers, hikers and recreational vehicles; all which had worn a path through the woods.

“There it is, there it is,” shouted Johnny, as they rounded the corner and approached the garage. “Dad got it, see it Billy?”

Billy grinned, “I see it.”

The boys worked steadily, and it was soon approaching darkness which came early this time of year.

The back door opened, and Johnny's Mom called out, “Billy, can you stay for supper? John can give you a ride home later.”

“No, I can't, have to watch Megan tonight. Mom and Dad are going to a movie. Geez, I'd better get going or I'll be late. Sorry Johnny, we'll have to finish tomorrow.”

“OK, see ya. Better go around, it'll be hard to see in the woods.”

“No, can't, I”m already late, that'll take longer. See you at school.”

Billy flew like lightening out of the yard and headed down Old Route 33 as fast as he could go with the limited light in the now darkening woods. He knew he'd be in trouble for coming home so late. Suddenly, ahead, animals were scurrying in front of him and the corner of his eye caught sight of a flock of birds rising out the trees.

“Huh,” he said to himself, “wonder what they're all in such a flurry about?” He slowed down, fearful that he would hit a rock and then he heard a fluttering sound above his head.

“What the heck?” He turned his head slightly but saw nothing. Again, a fluttering sound, this time louder and closer. He threw his hand up over his head but there was nothing there except empty air. Frightened now, he started pedaling faster and faster, but it seemed he couldn't get away from the sound. Then he hit a stump and down he went, bike and all. He looked above him but there was nothing there and now it was silent in the woods; eerily silent. Quickly he remounted his bike, ignoring his bleeding arm and sore leg, which was now pounding from the impact. Moving again, he emitted a sound of relief and finally emerged onto the sidewalk that butted a busy street. He stood there a minute catching his breath and took a look behind him. Shaken, he headed for home.

In the yard, Billy threw his bike on the grass and entered the house.

“Billy, where in the world have you been, you were supposed to be home early tonight? What is the matter with you, you're as white as a sheet!”

“Nothing Ma, we were working on the go-kart and lost track of time.” Billy was not about to tell his mom nor anyone else what happened. They would think he was stark­ raving mad.

“Well get cleaned up, I've got supper ready for you and Megan.”

Billy went to the upstairs bathroom where he cleaned his arm and looked at his leg which already had a bruise. He would search the internet later to see if anyone else in White Lake had experienced something similar.

Dad called upstairs, “Billy, why did you throw your bike out on the lawn, get down here and put it away; supper's ready.”

Mom and Dad had left, Megan was doing the dishes, and Billy got out his laptop, but he couldn't find anything at all.

That night Billy fell into a deep sleep.

It was 1850. A tired farmer was traveling home from the market with his horse and wagon on Route 33 when he saw a face appear in front of him with no body. He rubbed his eyes thinking they were playing tricks on him but when he opened them again the leering face was still there. The man cowered in the wagon, throwing a blanket over his head. When he finally had the courage to uncover himself, the image was gone.

Billy turned in his restless sleep and once again began to dream. It was 1860. A young man was walking down Route 33 after having left the home of his finance. He felt the lash of a whip but when he turned to look there was no one there. Again and again he felt the lash. In terror, he ran faster and faster until he reached the edge of the woods and collapsed. Later, he examined his body to find that he had the marks of a whip on his back.

The dream continued. It was 1840. Men were drinking at a bar in White Lake and a fight erupted. Two of the men were taken outside and viciously attacked by the others. One was kicked and beaten into unconsciousness, then burned to death. The other escaped but was found a week later drowned. The men had been brothers named Johansen who lived in a house on Route 33.

The next morning a groggy Billy once again got out his laptop and looked up the Brothers Johansen from White Lake. There were several stories about hauntings on Route 33 that took on different forms. The hauntings started in 1950 and seemed to reoccur about every ten years. All the old people swear, that he is out there somewhere. I know they are both there.

Word Count 1000
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