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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #1824694
Two girls take shelter in a cave until some unexplainable strange things happen to them.
Coming back from their two-week road trip, Lila and Janet found themselves in the middle of an oncoming blizzard. “It’ll be dark soon, we need to find a place to spend the night,” Janet said. “We are not going anywhere in this weather, and I don't want to get stuck riding out this storm in the car."

Large, fluffy snowflakes came down, covering everything around them. The wind howled as it picked up speed, swirling the snow into drifts. Janet rubbed her eyes as she stared out at the road; everything looked white, and she couldn't make out where the edge of the road ended. She just prayed, hoping she was driving straight.

"Hey, I wonder what that sign says?" Lila tried reading the lettering, but it was difficult because the sign was half-covered in snow. All she could just make out was B E L L. Whatever Bell is, I hope it's a place to bed down for the night. We got plenty of blankets and food to keep us comfortable enough. What do you think?”

Nodding her head in agreement, Janet slowed and turned down the road toward where Lisa directed her. The road blurred in front of the car and both girls strained their eyes to make sure they stayed on the road. Soon they found themselves in front of a big black gaping entrance. "It's a cave!" Lila bounced up and down on the seat. "This is the perfect place to stay the night."

Stopping in front of the mouth of the cave, Janet turned off the car, laid her head back, and closed her eyes. Lila couldn't wait any longer, she sprang into action grabbed whatever she thought she needed, and made a run for the shelter. Janet followed carrying a stack of blankets.

“Whew!” Lila said, shaking her blond hair free of snow. “It’s dry, but it looks a little spooky. I swear I can hear someone breathing hard.”

“I knew this was too good to be true. This cave is haunted! We need a flashlight, I'll go back to the car and get it,” Janet turned, but Lila stopped her.

“I’ll get it,” Lila said, shoving the box of food on top of the blankets and was gone before Janet could object.

As Janet waited, she felt her auburn hair lifted off her shoulders, and a strange vibe surrounded her. Mumbling to herself, “Come on, Lila, I need that flashlight.” Feeling something behind her, she turned and saw a white mist floating before her. Almost dropping the supplies, Janet caught them in time, staring at the white mist until it disappeared. Thinking she was seeing things after squinting at the white-out conditions for too long, she hummed a tune while waiting to make herself feel better.

“Here’s the flashlight,” Lila said, running up behind, making Janet jump.

The box and blankets slipped down, but she used her leg to catch them in time. When she had a firmer grip on it, Janet said. “Here Lila, you hold this for a while, I’ll use the flashlight to lead the way.”

Janet took off while Lila followed. “Let’s check this cave out. I'm tired and need some shut-eye.”

They walked through a tunnel before coming to a small room. Flashing the light around, she saw that there was another tunnel. Curious, she decided to investigate further and led the way once again. Instead of getting warmer, it seemed to grow colder. Before long, they reached a large room that had shelves running alongside the cave walls. The best part of this room as they were well away from the cold weather. “It's perfect! This is where we’ll spend the night.”

They spread out their blankets, putting their pillows and another blanket down on top. After that was accomplished, Janet's stomach growled. Using the flashlight to look around the room until satisfied that nothing looked out of the ordinary. She shook off the lingering spooky feeling that overtook her at the mouth of the cave and sat down Indian-style on her blankets. The girls ate chips, sandwiches, and soda pop listening to the sound of the cave echo as they talked and laughed about their trip to the Smokey Mountains.

Exhausted from the hair-raising journey in the blizzard, Janet yawned and lay down. Snuggling under her blanket for warmth, goosebumps still crawled up her arms at that apparition she saw. “Lila, do you feel cold, too?”

“A little, but caves are usually cold. Right?” Lila smiled at Janet before laying back and closing her eyes. Soon she drifted into a peaceful sleep. A blood-curdling scream made her jump a mile! She turned on the flashlight to see what scared her friend.

Holding up her arm to shield her face from the bright light directed at her, Janet's wild eyes stared back at Lila. “What’s gotten into you? I nearly jumped a yard when I heard your scream.”

“Something pulled my hair!” Looking all around, Janet couldn’t find anything unusual. Everything looked exactly like it did when she went to sleep. Shrugging her shoulders, she lay back down on the blanket.

Letting out a deep breath, Lila asked, “Do you want to go back to the car?”

“No, I’m alright.” Janet yawned "I must have caught my hair on something." She closed her eyes, but through slits, she peeked at Lila.

Reaching for the blanket she tossed away so abruptly, Lila tried covering herself up once more but found the blanket wouldn't budge. She tugged harder, but to no success, so she got up to check out the problem.

Janet asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Something heavy is on my blanket, but I can't see anything unusual.” Lila tugged harder, and whatever was on it let loose so suddenly she fell backward, bumping her head on the rock-hard surface of the cave’s floor. “Ow!”

A hideous laugh whispered throughout the cave, louder and louder; until the whole cave came alive with echoes of a witch’s cackle. Screaming like banshees themselves, Lila and Janet ran, their arms flailing wildly in the air to keep whatever was playing with them at bay. When they reached the mouth of the cave, there at the entrance was a man shining his flashlight at them. Janet stopped so suddenly that Lila plowed right into her, which in turn, the stranger stumbled backward with Janet in his arms.

He set a red-faced Janet back on her feet. Turning around, she punched Lila in the arm.

"Ow, what's that for?"

Janet ignored her and turned back to apologize profusely to the stranger before explaining why they were running towards the entrance.

The man smiled and said, “Come on, you both can stay with us where Carrie, my wife, most likely put the kettle on for tea.” He led the way back to a house that wasn't too far away from the cave.

His wife smiled at the girls as they all walked through the door. “Hi, I’m Carrie, I heard your screams and woke Walter. I figured our famous guest gave you a scare. Didn’t you know that the cave is haunted?” She handed each girl a cup of tea and told them to sit down at the table before continuing. "It’s called 'Bell Witch Cave' where a restless spirit has been known to haunt that cave. There are more, but one of them seems to like playing tricks on people who dare to enter. She is known as the evil queen of them all, 'The Bell Witch,' who the cave is named after. She loves to appear now and then to certain people, scare the wits out of them."

Lila and Janet’s eyes grew wide as saucers as they listened to Carrie. Chills ran up and down Janet’s spine as she listened. Looking over at Lila, she noticed her hands were shaking, too, as she gulped tea. Her eyes mirrored Janet's as she stared back.

“Lila, when you went out to get the flashlight, I saw something white float before me in the dark. I should have warned you then, but I figured it was just from staring at the whiteout conditions for so long.” She turned to ask Carrie, “Which ghost appears in that way?”

“That's the Bell Witch, and she's a nasty one at that,” Carrie answered. “Yup, that was her just warming up for a night of fright.”

“Oh, I see... I don’t think I’ll ever feel warm again.” Janet shivered, hugging herself.

Lila absently sipped from her teacup; her wild eyes looked over at Janet. A few minutes later, realizing her cup was empty, she asked Carrie for more tea. She felt cold as ice and needed to warm up.

1,448 words

© Copyright 2011 Jeannie (sjs55049 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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