Scarlett's Grave

March 30, 2009
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I rolled over as the bright sun glared in my eyes. Johnathan’s eyes were watching me from under his blonde hair and he was grinning. I felt those butterflies that I always felt when I was with him, and felt myself grinning too.

“Good morning John”, I greeted him groggily.

“Good morning to you as well Hayley darling”, he replied happily.

I stood up and Johnathan turned his back politely as I pulled on my day clothes. I folded my sleeping gown and laid it on my bed. Johnathan walked to me and kissed my forehead once I had finished changing.

“So what are we going to do today Hayley?” he asked me. I thought about all the other adventures we had taken and thought. My legs were weary from an uphill hike only two days earlier and I thought maybe something calmer would be nice for today.

“Why not go for a walk through the forest?” I proposed.

“Sure why not”, he agreed

We pulled on our boots and I grabbed the small bag that I always carried with me to collect things I found on our little adventures. Johnathan grabbed a handful of berries out of the fruit bowl on the small wooden dining table and munched on them on the way out the door. I followed him quickly, my tiny feet tapping the floor as I walked.

The trees were dull in the gray light of the sun shining through the quickly darkening sky. Johnathan took no notice of the ominous clouds and jumped up to hand on one of the thick branches of a large tree in the opening of the forest. I watched him swing to the ground, a few feet ahead and walked faster to keep up.

The trees flew by us and an icy breeze blew over my cheeks. I huddled closer to Johnathan in an attempt to warm my blood with his body heat. He draped his arm over my shoulders and squeezed me to him. A thick blue-grey fog built up around the forest. I pressed closer to Johnathan’s side as fear built up inside me. We walked for what seemed like hours toward what we thought was the way home.

The forest opened up and we walked into an old graveyard. I looked around and felt a familiar feeling come about me. Then it hit me. This was the graveyard where we buried my mother once she had died. A building sadness crept inside me and John led me to a small wooden cabin in the corner of the graveyard.

“A grave keeper must live here… what else could this cabin’s purpose be?” he tried to sound reassuring but I could still feel a cold fear inside of me.

I just nodded and we pressed on to the cabin. John rapped his knuckles against the wooden door and a woman opened it. She was tall, and was wearing a peculiar black gown adorned with raven feathers around the neck to the sides. Her hair was a matching black that tumbled down her back in a long wavy cascade.

“Hello. What do you require?” she asked demandingly. “I am busy, if this is not an emergency, I suggest you leave or make it very quick.”

“Begging your pardon madam, me and this maid here were taking a peaceful walk in the forest. A thick fog grew and we became lost… we ended up here in this graveyard.” He waved his arms around as if taking in the scene. “Could we please maybe have some water and some food? Or maybe you could show us the way back home,” he asked calmly.

“Oh poor children. Please do come into my home. I am Scarlett.” she invited.

We walked into her house and saw full bottles of grotesque items stacked onto endless shelves. A tiny crackling fire burned in the corner of the cabin. There was a bubbling, gurgling, cauldron boiling in the center of the room, and lamps hanging from the ceiling swung, making the shadows creep eerily.

“If it is not too bold, what is the purpose of these items and this cauldron? Are you a believer of witchcraft?” I asked her.

She started cackling and Johnathan glared at me anxiously.

“Well this is wear I raise my pets.” she replied maliciously.

“I’m sorry?” I asked her.

“My wonderful, beautiful pets.” She replied.

As if on cue a reanimated corpse rose out of the cauldron, the purple liquid dripping from its limbs. It stepped toward us hungrily and I screamed. Johnathan clutched me to him as Scarlett started cackling.

“What a great time it is to have you here! My babies are terribly hungry. You will make an excellent supper for them. This way I won’t have to go get their food myself.” Scarlett jeered, grinning.

I stood frozen in fear as John tried desperately to move me from where I stood. She walked to the cauldron and stirred more of the bubbling goo, adding a few pinches of hair and some other unidentified components. A bit of the mixture sloshed out and went toward her feet, causing her to jump aside, cursing.

John’s eyes followed her every move and he stood grinning, completely nonchalant as my mouth was torn in a perfect O while ripping screeches tore out. He scooped me up and stood me in the corner, planting himself right in front of me.

“Get away you demon!” he cried.

Scarlett kept cackling as another corpse came limping out of the cauldron toward us. A torch lay burning in the fireplace and John grabbed it, and began waving it in front of the creatures. They cowered and spat, mumbling non audible words at us and I sat shuddering silently, John looked like he knew what he was doing. I only hoped that he did.

Scarlett started putting more components in the cauldron and John thrust the torch at me.

“Do not let this go”, he demanded.

I waved it in their faces like e had done while I watched him go toward Scarlett. He went behind the cauldron and tried with all his might to tip it over, dodging the monsters carefully. He succeeded in dumping it onto Scarlett. A huge, glowing, flood of purple bubbles oozed onto her legs and a scream of pain flew from her lips. Her legs disappeared from out under her and her face burned to look like one of the reanimated corpses she raised from the cauldron.

The creatures in front of me got a look of delight upon their faces and laid down as if in sleep. I sat in pure shock and Johnathan walked over toward me.

“Hayley, are you all right?” he asked hugging me to him as hard has he could.

“Yes… Yes I suppose I am.” I replied.

John scooped me up and kicked open the door to the cabin. The now shining sun gleamed on us and the fog was creeping into the ground where the grave stones stood. I wriggled so John would set me down and I walked over to my mother’s grave. I set a tulip I had plucked from the ground nearby on the small mound of dirt in front of her tombstone. A silent tear fell down my cheek and I pressed one hand on the soft, cool soil, and placed the other hand on my heart. I stood back up and Johnathan and I walked back to the trees, another adventure behind us, a thousand more in our future.

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Nichole E. said...
May 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Ooh that's good Becca :D
I still think you should rewrite Ruby's Tears... I was so looking forward to reading that :/
You spelled 'where' wrong when Scarlett's saying, "This is where I raise my pets." You spelled it wear :P
<3 it though, wonderful, as always!
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