a entry for the short shots contest for oct. 2018
The Valley of fear
By Lisa Noe
It was a brisk autumn day in the hills of Kentucky, the eastern mountains of the state. The fog sprayed the valleys like an eerie haunted place.
Few people were ever seen in the early mornings along the roadway.
The town was sparsely populated and black bears were often spotted looking for food in the area. The sun barely peeked through the many trees that hung over the road. It was a scary, but still yet, a beautiful sight.
Cameran Shelby was a young woman who was on her own, and had experienced much trauma and turmoil over the past year. Her Husband had left her, and his friend took advantage of her, stealing
Everything that she owned. She went to the sheriff’s office and filed a complaint, but the friend was an informant for the sheriff, and they didn’t do anything to him.
Cameran was heartbroken and destitute, she was living alone deep in the woods of the rural community. One morning she decided to take a walk to clear her mind from all the frustration and aggravation she had been dealing with. As she walked, she heard a funny noise coming from beyond the trees. It was a frightening noise, she thought.
It sort of sounded like someone moaning in a very deep voice. Her heart began to race, beating faster by the minute. She turned to walk back to her home, which was about ten minutes away from where she was now. Again as she was walking she heard a rustling of the weeds and she became even more frightened. Cameran recalled what her husband used to tell her about the woods being haunted by a woman, who had been killed as a teen-ager in a car accident. It was said that she had been decapitated. It was said that she would walk along side the road holding her head in her hands, looking for someone to inhabit.
Cameran had never really believed the story, however it was very frightening to be outside in the dusky morning light, with a thick fog hanging overhead. She began to walk faster and faster, trying to flee the area and get away from the eery noise. She was now in view of her home and she started to run towards it as quick as she could. She was breathless and tired, but she made it to her front porch, yet she still heard the deep and scary sound of moaning in a deep gruff voice.
She then saw the weeds moving and she ran inside the house and closed the door behind her. She was curious, though and wanted to peep out of the window to see what was going on. All of a sudden out of the weeds jumped a huge black bear, moaning and running to her garbage can to pilfer through it and find it some food. Although the bear was frightening, she was relieved that it was not the headless ghost she had always heard of.
That evening she began to feel ill, her lungs hurt as if she had breathed in too much smoke or too cold of a breeze, which she had. As she ran, breathing deep, taking in the brisk air of the early fall morning. She was coughing and she also had a sore throat. She had weak lungs and had been on oxygen therapy for the past seven years, because she suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.
She knew the next morning, she would have to go to the doctor to be prescribed steroid drugs called Prednisone and antibiotics.
The next morning when she awoke, she was even worst than she had been the night before. She dressed herself and drove into town to visit
Dr. Colby. The doctor took one listen to her lungs and put her in the hospital, saying that she had pneumonia. She was diagnosed with double pneumonia or what the radiologist called, Whiteout, because both sides of the lungs was completely white on the X-ray. She thought about her experience with the bear and giggled to herself that she had ever believed it could have been the headless ghost. She was very sick and stayed in the hospital for six days.
When she arrived back home she was still very weak and tired so she lay down on the couch and pulled a blanket over her. She lay there until it was dark and a loud noise woke her from her deep sleep. She heard a moaning sound again, it was a little different from the one she had heard a week ago. It was a higher pitch and sounded more miserable, almost desperate. She dismissed the sound, believing it was the bear or perhaps it’s cub that she was hearing. Later she continued to hear the mournful sound and so she thought she would glance outside to see which bear it was.
She peeped out of the window and as she did she screamed and her heart about stopped from the shock of seeing the headless ghost peering right back at her with her head being held up by her own hands.
The ghost moaned and then said, “help me, help me please”.
Cameran ran from the window and fell to the floor. The ghost came through the window, still moaning and pleading for help. Cameran was terrified and didn’t know what to do.
“Are you going to possess me.” Cameran cried.
“No, I just want to be put to rest so I might go to Heaven.”
“How can I help you to go to Heaven?” Cameran asked.
“Just find the person who hit me, it was a drunk driver, I can not rest until he is brought to justice.”
“How can I possibly find out who hit you so many years ago? And how can I see that justice is done?”
“It is easy, the man who hit me is the father of the man who took advantage of you, stealing everything you own. Find him and see that you turn him in to the police and then I will rest in peace.”
“But the police will not help me, I’ve already tried to turn in the son and they more or less just laughed at me because he is their informant.”
“Just bring him here to your house and I will see to it he admits on tape what he did. He will see me and will confess to everything.”
Cameran phoned the man, Christopher Pratt, who had wronged her. She asked him and his father to please come to dinner at her house.
They gladly accepted for that Friday night.
There was a knocking at the door. Cameran looked out, seeing Christopher and his father standing at the there. She opened the door and invited the pair in.
“ Would you like something to drink, I have plenty?”
“Yes, I’ll have a Vodka and orange juice.” said Mr Pratt.
“And I’ll have the same.” Christopher included.
The three of them sat on the couch to wait until dinner was ready, It was lasagna and would not take too much longer. Then the lights flickered on and off several times. A moaning could be heard and here came the headless ghost screaming to Mr. Pratt,
“You killed me, You killed me.”
He recognized the girl from the newspaper and from the night of the accident. He and Christopher jumped up and began to flee the area.
However, The doors were locked and could not be opened without a key. Mr. Pratt began to sob and apologize for hitting her and killing her, He was scared to death literally as he had a heart attack and died right then, knowing that he had killed the teen-ager. Christopher was also frightened and confessed that he had stolen from Cameran and had stolen everything she owned. He promised to give it all back and to confess to the police, if only she would allow him to live. Cameran agreed. She allowed him to leave, telling him if he did not keep up his end of the deal the headless ghost would be back to possess his soul.
He left with the fear of God put in him. And he would most certainly
Keep his deal.
The headless teen-ager, thanked Cameran and told her she would finally rest after all of these years. She sat her head upon her shoulders and it was mysteriously reconnected. She slowly turned and left through the window, knowing that now she would finally have peace. And now that Cameran had justice against Christopher, she would too.