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Dead of Night...Halloween story (conclusion)

posted 11/1/2013 11:02:23 AM |
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Conclusion

She stood between them and Augustus. Now she glowed. She was stunningly beautiful and peace shown from her face. Her gown billowed and shimmered in its whiteness giving off a soft light.

She approached Arabelle and the soft light radiating from her touched Arabelle. Arabelle was no longer a skeleton but a body that was black, leathered and shriveled. She cringed away from Adeline.

“You, Arabelle, brought this hell to our home. You will burn in Hell.”

Turning to Augustus she pointed a finger at him and said, “And you, Augustus, your selfishness has cost you your freedom. You will join Arabelle. Neither of you will ever be free again!”

Then she turned to Doc Milford, Pastor O’Conner and Sheriff Allen. Pointing down the hallway, she said, “There. There is a back stairway to the kitchen. Take it. Take the diary, reveal its contents. Be free of the Stanbury Estate forever as I and the children will be free.”

There was little strength left in their legs but they didn’t wait for another invitation to leave. Still clutching one another, they staggered down the hallway. Before descending the stairs, they couldn’t resist looking behind them. There was nothing, no one.

As they took the stairs, they could hear a low rumble of thunder in the background. The hadn’t noticed the storm had subsided but another seemed to be approaching. At the bottom of the stairs, they were disoriented. Why hadn’t they found this stairway before? And it seemed to come to an end at the bottom, no door, just a solid wall. Now what?

They tried pushing on the wall but nothing happened. In no time, the storm built to a fever pitch. They could hear the cracking of lightning and thunder crashed around them. They looked at one another and each of them thought, “This is it…”

Then with a rumble, a section of the wall slid open. A quick succession of lightning flashes showed a woman standing in the kitchen. She wasn’t very tall and she was chunky…and old. Her white hair was pulled severly back in a bun, and she wore a gingham dress with an a granny apron…Caroline! She was smiling as she said, “Go! You must go now!” As they hurried past them, they heard her say, “Thank you and may God bless you and the town of Stanbury.”

“You’re very welcome, Caroline.” Pastor O’Conner said back to her. “And may God’s peace be with you always.”

Once outside, they ran as best they could using the lightning flashes to guide them. They’d never seen a storm like this one. Jagged lightning streaked and cut through the black angry sky. The thunder was deafening. They stumbled, fell, got up and ran. When they made it to the truck, they were laughing hysterically but tears poured from their eyes in relief. Maneuvering the truck around, the fire road was easy to travel now. It brought them out on Route 7 that ran in front of the Estate. They drove slowly, trying to see the house from a distance. Softly, the Pastor said, “Stop. We’re about to see the wrath of God upon this house of evil.”

Charlie brought the truck to a stop and now they could feel the ground shaking. It was like an earthquake. Then a huge, jagged streak of lightning shot down from the sky striking the old house. Sparks flew! Then nothing. It wasn’t but a few minutes and in the distance, there was a slight clearing on the horizon. The storm was passing without one raindrop.

Then in the pre-dawn they saw it…a spiraling line of smoke. Within another minute, they saw the flames. The old Stanbury house was burning! It was five o’clock in the morning. Very few folks would be up yet. Probably no one would notice the fire at this time of the morning…and if they did, Charlie said he’d bet they’d not call it in. Hadn’t it been a long standing joke of ‘what a shame if it just burned down’? But mostly it hadn’t been a joke. They all wanted it gone and now it would be.

Charlie, bein’ he was the sheriff, called the fire department and told them the old Stanbury house was burning. He gave them orders to bring the trucks to make sure the fire didn’t spread but not to use their sirens…just monitor the situation and keep it under control. Just let the damn thing burn to the ground!

Epilogue

For days the town was a’buzz. Folks had to go gawk. Charlie was busy for weeks just keeping people (mostly kids) from stealing onto the Estate grounds to get a closer look. The place burned nicely, everything that could burn, did. They’d let it cool and settle over the winter and next spring they’d clean up the mess. They hadn’t a clue who owned the place now or if there was any remaining relatives. Hell, they’d just do the cleanup job themselves. That’s the way the town worked, together.

City council had a meeting and changing the town’s name was discussed. They all agreed it should be done but they didn’t know what to call it. They’d talk about it over the winter.

Continued in comments...

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Comments:

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soft_touch938

Nov 1 @ 11:02AM  
Three days after the fire was out, Doc, Pastor and Charlie took the old fire road again. They needed to see the burnt-out ruins close-up. They needed closure, assurance that it was truly over. They retraced their steps onto the back of the property. Then they broke into back-slapping and high fives when they saw the graveyard…

No more gaping graves with coffins jutting out of them. Headstones, although some were akilter, they were somewhat upright. A few were broken but hell, they were old! They walked among the headstones. Some names could be read but most, not. All was in order as graveyards go with one exception…

In the back corner of the graveyard there were flowers growing, pushing up between dead leaves. They thought it strange for November. Pastor walked around the patch of flowers then stooped down and parted the pretty blossoms. Beneath them lay two grave markers and they looked almost new.

One said, Amanda Sue Stanbury (No mention of the Kerrington name.) The other said, Alfred Benjamin Stanbury, Jr. (Again no Kerrington.)

New markers? Flowers growing over just those two graves…in November? They looked at one another and just grinned. It didn’t matter how this came to be…the children were free and happy.

The End

©bl David
All rights reserved
sugarnspice005

Nov 1 @ 11:51AM  
That was another great read Softie. Thank you for your hard work and for posting it here.
soft_touch938

Nov 1 @ 6:34PM  
Thanks Sugar! I did work hard on this one but it came together faster than I wanted. I really didn't have time to proof read and I really had to be careful to get them posted in order. Sometimes I was so tired and my eyes so bleary and my brain felt muddled that I worried I would screw it up big time. I still need to proof read it several times before I print it...that's for another day.
Wordsofwit

Nov 2 @ 12:49AM  
I like a story where everybody dies happily ever after
soft_touch938

Nov 2 @ 11:19AM  
Aw c'mon Bruce...you did not read my story! Maybe the last paragraph of the last chapter but never all of it...I know you better than that! (Big laughing face here!)

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Dead of Night...Halloween story (conclusion)