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Rated: 13+ · Article · Tragedy · #727260
A tragedy/ghost story ezplaining the origins of crop circles
"Ring a ring a roses
A pocketful of poses
Atishoo, atishoo
We all fall down"

The four children fell to the floor, laughing and rolling about. Then the smallest of them started to cough and splutter.

One of the girls moved over to him
"John, John whats wrong? Mary get Ben, quickly, get Ben."
The smaller girl quickly ran in the direction of the house calling for her eldest brother as she went.

After a short time she came running back with her brother. He dashed over to John and propped him up.
"Come on John, take it easy, nice deep breaths. Thats its it John, nice and easy"
John coughing slowly passed an d a look of relief flashed over Ben's face. He looked around his four younger siblings - Sarah and Mary still had looks of concern over their face, James looked much more thoughtful.

"Ben" James began "Is John going to be okay, he's not going to get really ill like soem of the others is he?"

"No he isn't, it's just a cough okay James, just a cough." It sounded more as if he was trying to convince himself rather than his brother.

Over the next few days Johns cough continued, if anything it got worse, his skin also seemed to lose some of its colour, but other than that nothing seemd to be wrong.

It was late one afternoon when Ben trudged his way our to where the others where playing. Once again it was Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses, it seemed to be their favourite game at the moment. He leaned against a tree and wathched them unnoticed for quite some time, a wistful expression on his face. He seemed to be steeling himself up for something. He kept starting to step towards the others and then stopping. Finally he drew in a deep breath adn stepped away from the tree.

"Sarah, James, Mary, John" then a pause "Can you come over here a moment. I " his voice broke then he continued in a gruff voice "I need to tell you somthing."

"What is it Ben? Somethings wrong isn't it?" that was Sarah, she knew her brothers moods better than the others.

"Yes, I'm afraid there is sonmthing wrong. I..., I have to go away for a while. There's going to be some fighting and I've got to go. Look its nothing to worry about, I'm sure I'll be back in a few days, you'll be fine as long as you look after eah other."

The meal that night was subdued, Ben not wanting to leave his brothers and sisters, and they worried that he wouldn't return.

He left early the next morning, covered in a black cloak he walked up the track, away from his family.



It was late afternoon four months later and a figure slowly walked down the track, covered in a black cloak. As he walked forwards Ben looked eagerly around, they'd be in the field playing, probably still Ring-a-ring-a-roses. It would be good to see them. As the field came into view he paused. There was nothing to be seen. Maybe they were at home playing indoors. Yes that would be it he thought to himself they were in the house.

The house was now just visible in front and Ben could tell somthing wasn't right. It didn't have the feeling of a house that was lived, it seemed from the distance a house of the dead. As he moved closer he realised how accurate that feeling was - the doors was nailed shut from the outside and the whole house was daubed in plague warnings. A scream split the silence and he fell to his knees in tears.

How long he had been there he didn't know. But it was dark now, and he could hear somthing, just on the cusp of his hearing.

Voices. Childrens voices. They had a slightly echoey sound to them as if coming from a long distance away. He strained to hear them, but recoiled in horror as the words became clear to him.

"Ring-a-ring-a-roses
A pocket full of poses
Atishoo atishoo
We all fall down"

The voices sang the same verse again and again. Ben rocked back and forth on his knees. He knew who it was - his brothers and sisters. They had come back because they blamed him for their deaths. And they were right he should never have left them never.

Over the weeks he started to wonder the surrounding lands. Barey eating enough to survive, and continuously followed by the hauning voices of his family. Wherever he went he couldn't escape them and he slipped deeper and deeper into the black despair of his guilt.

One day he was sat in a field near a village, his sword in his hand. It had become somthing of a ritual to him. Maybe what they wanted was for him to take his own live, to join them. At least then they'd all be together. But no if they blamed him they wouldn't want him with them.

As he sat there a group of four children from the village came dancing into the field. They didn't notice the figure crouched there lost in his own madness. They joined hands and danced around singing.

"Ring-a-ring-a-roses
A pocketfull of poses
Atishoo atishoo
We all fall down".

"NO. Why are you doing this to me. Leave me alone. I know its my fault but leave me alone."

Ben jumped to his feet sword in his hand, but this time he could see his family, stood there looking at him their eyes full of blame. Before he knew what he was doing he flew at them blade swinging. Finally he had his chance to quiten his brothers and sisters. The four children had no chance to react, they were cut to the ground, blood flying. As the last of the children fell Ben once more dropped to his knees, bloody sword still in his hand.


And so it was the villagers found him later that day. Sat in a field the four missing children dead ariound him the sword still in his hand. Without pause for thought or reason they pulled him up, bound him hand and foot and carried him to the village. So angry where they that that they found a stake dragged him back to the murder spot, tied him to it and set a great fire.

As the flames crept ever closer he seemed unaware, the only sound he made was a repeated sentence.
"Gone, the singing has now gone."
He died there on the stake unmourned in his madness.

The next morning there was somthing new in the field. Set in a circle around where he died were four crop circles, one for each child killed before their time. Created by the dance of their restless spirits.


And ever since that time it has always been that way, when a child dies before their time, particularly if killed. Their restless spirit will dance and cause a crop circle.
© Copyright 2003 bencole (ghost81 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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