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The First Time She Saw Kansas
Judy's mother lit another cigarette. Judy was sick and tired of having to smell them the whole ride to her Aunt Jennifer's. The smell made her want to puke out of the car window. But she didn't dare say a word to her mother.
The year was 1956, and Judy's mother was taking Judy to spend the summer with her Aunt in the Eastern part of Kansas. Her Aunt was a farmer and grew corn and wheat. She owned more than fifty acres so she had plenty of room to do the job.
"Mother, why I am going here again?" she asked in her cute, deep southern accent. She had lived in Mississippi all her life.
Her mother blew out the smoke from her lungs.
"Because I need to go look for a job somewhere out west. So we can build ourselves a home. You know your no good father left us nothing."
Judy stared out the window, they must have been getting close since Judy couldn't see anything other than corn stalks that towered over their small car on the sides.
"But why haven't I ever met Aunt Jennifer?" Judy asked.
"You have you just don't remember!" her mother said before stopping the car in front of a rail road crossing.
The arm that blocked off the cars from going over the tracks went down, and the red lights attached to it began blinking. A bell also began ringing.
The train whistled by, it wasn't very long, only maybe twenty box cars, so after the train had moved on, Judy's mother pushed on the gas peddle, and the car raced off toward Aunt Jennifer's.
An hour passed, and the old car began riding up Aunt Jennifer's driveway. It was long and consisted only of dirt.
The house sat up on a hill. It sat up high, and you could tell it had been sitting there for over a hundred years.
Aunt Jennifer was sitting on her front porch when Judy got out. Her mother didn't help her either, just sat in the car, anxious for Judy to be out of her life for a few weeks.
Judy stood in front of the house, Aunt Jennifer still sat on her front porch, not moving to help her or nothing.
Judy turned to her mother, hoping to get a kiss goodbye but instead was halfway down the driveway closest to the road.
Judy was 13 and stuck in an unfamiliar place that scared her and made her nervous, a feeling that came with no end.
She walked up onto the old porch and looked around. She saw her Aunt sipping a glass of Lemonade. It had large ice cubes inside and the glass was sweating from heat. After all, it was summer time in Eastern Kansas, it got pretty hot, sometimes up to one hundred degrees.
"Aunt Jennifer?" she asked.
"Yeah I'm your Aunt. I suppose," she answered. "How are you?"
"Okay? Just okay?"
Judy looked at her Aunt. "Well yes, ma'am frankly, I'm not that excited about my mom dropping me off here. With all do respect, I didn't know you were my Aunt until this morning."
Her Aunt got up, and walked inside. "Come on in, I'll make you some lemonade," she called from the hallway that lead into the kitchen.
Judy followed her Aunt into the home. It was dressed with floral wall paper, and antique furniture. Judy could see as she walked into the living room, that she had no television. Or radio.
"No television? Or radio?"
Aunt Jennifer looked at her. "Nope. No telephone either! I have the crops here that buy my time."
Judy's eyes got wide and she rolled them afterward. She couldn't imagine someone without a radio, better yet a television!
"So what do you do for fun?" Judy asked.
"Well quit frankly, farming is the only task I love, it's my only passion in this world. One man used to be my passion, I guess he would be your Uncle but..." she didn't finished. Judy could tell her aunt was then flooded with painful memories. Memories that haunted her, so Judy never asked about the man who was supposedly her Uncle ever again.
"So you're from Mississippi, huh?" Aunt Jennifer asked.
"Yes. I take it you've lived here all your life?" Judy replied.
"Why would you conclude that?" Aunt Jennifer asked.
Judy looked around, trying to think of a clever response, but she couldn't find one.
"Just because the house looks like it's been here since the dog days?" Judy asked with a tiny smile.
Aunt Jennifer handed Judy a glass of lemonade that she had just squeezed.
"Thank you kindly," she said.
Judy sipped the lemonade. It was sour and she hated the feeling she got when she downed something really sour such as the lemonade, it hurt her gums and made her make a painful face.
"I'll show you to your room now if you'd like?" Aunt Jennifer asked.
Aunt Jennifer took Judy's things in her hands, and led Judy to a large stairwell in the front of the house. In the middle of the foyer. It was large, and twisted to the left, off into a loft.
"Follow me," She instructed.
Judy followed her Aunt Jennifer up the long and twisting stair case well up to the second floor, it was a hard task for her Aunt since she was getting old her hips and legs giving out more than they should.
"Now, there's one more floor to go, I guess I'll let you sleep in tower one."
"There are two towers?" Judy asked amazed.
"No. Three," her Aunt said.
"I didn't see them in the front of the house."
"You can't see them from the front, they're in the back of the house."
Aunt Jennifer dropped the luggage at the bottom of the stair well that led up to the the first tower.
"You can walk it from here," she said.
She turned, leaving Judy with no information. Where the bathroom was, nothing. Except for...
"WAIT!" Aunt Jennifer called and spun back around before Judy began walking up the stairs.
"Listen carefully, do not, and I mean do NOT go in tower two or three, understood? Under any circumstances!"
Judy looked at her Aunt Jennifer for a second, wondering what she could be hiding in the towers.
"Hello? Am I clear?" she asked.
"Yes!" Judy said.
"Good," her Aunt Jennifer said, a dark expression coming over her face.
That was all that was said before Aunt Jennifer walked down the stairs to the main level, where she began humming a tune before grabbing her lemonade, and walking out of the house to once more gape at her view of the long stalks of corn that went on for what seemed like miles.
Judy climbed the stairs and sat her things down next to her bed. Her bed was covered in dust, and the wall that sat just next to her bed on the left was covered in mold. This was a bad thing. Of course it was, but Aunt Jennifer didn't have the money to repair such things, she only grew corn and wheat, she made a little over twenty thousand a year, not enough to pay for such expenses as getting men and women to come in her old home to repair and get rid of mold that lived in her walls. Nor did she want men and women to come in her home to repair such things.
Judy looked out one of the two windows that gave a view of the fields stretching from the back yard, to beyond, where a small garden of pumpkins, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, and wheat grew. After that small garden, it was all just corn stalks that stretched for what really seemed like miles.
Judy changed into a more comfortable dress, and put on a small coat over top, which kept her warm since the sun was going down, and it was getting a little chilly outside since there were no clouds that day to keep the sun's heat inside the world.
Aunt Jennifer kept her windows open, since there was no air condition so you didn't have to go outside to tell what the temperature was like.
Judy could only imagine what it was like in the winter when it was freezing cold without running heat. But then, Judy could remember seeing a large fire place in the living room. That's most likely where her Aunt spent most of her time during the cold and harsh months of winter.
Judy joined her Aunt on the porch to watch the sun go down. It was so pretty, Judy almost wept. It was full of colors, and a never ending beauty.
"What do you like to do?" her Aunt Jennifer asked suddenly.
"I like," Judy couldn't think of anything. She hadn't tried many things, but just then remembered the last time she wrote a short story in her English class at school and how she really enjoyed the experience. "I like writing," she finally said.
"Writing? Like stories?" her Aunt asked.
Her Aunt put her head to the right a bit. Her chair rocked a little.
"Have you ever used a typewriter?" her Aunt asked.
"No, I usually just use pencil and paper, we don't have a typewriter."
Her Aunt looked at her with a smirk on her wrinkling face. "Well I have a typewriter. I never use it. You could have mine."
"Are you sure?" Judy asked. She really wanted it, she had used one at school before and she loved it, it was such a quicker way of writing, plus she liked the noise it made when you punched in one of it's keys.
"Of course, I have a feeling you'll be able to write a pretty good story here shortly," her Aunt said.
"Why do you think that?"
"I just have a feeling," her Aunt said, and took another sip of her lemonade, still having that smirk on her face.
Judy laid in her dirty bed. Her Aunt had never cleaned it. Not once. It'd been sitting there without a person to lay in it for thirty years, that was the last time her Aunt had had a guest.
Judy let herself drift farther and farther into relaxation, well she tried to anyway, but it just wasn't working. Something her Aunt had said to her earlier was on her mind.
"Of course, I have a feeling you'll be able to write a pretty good story here shortly," she had said.
It kept going through her mind constantly, over and over. She decided she just needed to relax, that everything would fall into place, if there really was anything that needed to be placed.
But still, the typewriter was on her mind as well, and the thing about the other two towers, what were in them that needed to be hidden? Could it be something serious? A device sent from the future? No, no, now Judy was just thinking crazy, she'd been reading to many comic books. Even though she was a girl, she loved reading those comic books. Especially the science fiction ones, those were her all-time favorite! Whenever she'd read one, it would inspire her to write a story.
So now she wanted to do two things, go see what was in the two towers, and where the typewriter was.
She picked the one that was concerning her most: What was in the other two towers.
At that point when Judy decided to go through with a plan on going in the other towers, her stomach dropped, and all the sudden a cage of butterflies were released inside her stomach.
She put on her slippers, that were at the side of her bed, and began tip-toeing across the room to her door, and then to the hallway. Then to the stairwell that lead to the first tower.
She began walking up the stairs, each one creaking with each step. When she got to the top, where the door was that led to the room, she froze. Then, builded up just enough courage to put her hand on the doorknob.
Her face turned white. But she kept going. She had come this far, why stop now? But when she went to turn the door knob it was locked.
"Darn," she said in her sweet 13 year old voice, the voice that squeaked every now and then.
She assumed that the other door to the next tower would be locked to, but she just wanted to try.
She out her hand on the next door, to the next tower, she turned the doorknob, and it turned with her hand. It wasn't locked.
She opened the door slowly. What she saw next surprised her. When she opened the door, and looked inside the at the room, she saw nothing.
She walked in to get a closer look, there had to be something her Aunt Jennifer was hiding.
She inspected the walls but there was nothing to see. Just white dry wood with a layer of floral wallpaper over it.
But then, she noticed a whole bunch of papers, newspapers hung up along the wall behind her. She noticed this when she turned, looking for more evidence.
The newspapers where local, and had disturbing headlines on them. Some of them read in big bold black letters:
"Animals Being Eaten In The Night Farmers Worried For Their Livestock!"
"Is It An Animal? Teeth Marks In The Animals Are Larger Than Any Dogs Or Cats!"
"Farmer Of Eaten Livestock Now Missing!"
"Anyone Here Believe In Werewolves?"
"Werewolves-A Thing Of Fiction?"
That was all Judy needed to read. She was very frightened by her Aunt at this point, but that still didn't prove anything. They were just a bunch of newspapers that had been hung up.
But what if they were more than that? What if they were evidence of an enormous secret her Aunt was hiding?
But suddenly, Judy's foot hit something, she tripped, and fell to the floor. When she looked to see what had tripped her, she saw a plank of wood that had come up from the rest of the wood that was the floor, almost as if that piece of wood hadn't been nailed to the floor, perhaps on purpose.
She took off the piece of floor board, and threw it to the side. She looked in to see what was resting in the floor.
She saw a large ball of black fur, that looked like it was from a cat, but this clump of fur was large, and couldn't have been a hair ball from some old cat of her Aunt's.
When she went to pick it up, she found that it was attached to something, she tugged, and pulled on it, fearful that there would be something on the other end of the string of fur that would frighten the life out of her.
Judy continued to pull at the fur, something heavy was attached to it.
She jumped and through the animal skins across the room as soon as she picked them out from underneath those floor boards. It took her a second to understand what they were, but she she did, she lost her sanity, and made a bit of racket.
Judy was now terrified. Paralyzed in utter fear and horror. Her eyes widened, and filled with tears that were ready to run down her cheek at any moment. She didn't want to know anymore. She didn't want to find anything else that would make her want to get out of that house.
Judy ran from the room, shutting the door behind her. She ran down the upstairs hallway, and into her room. She shut and locked the door.
But suddenly, she heard footsteps. They were coming from the stairs that led to her room.
She got out her suitcase as fast as she could, and put all of her things in it. The footsteps were getting closer, and her heart began racing faster.
Just then she opened one of the two windows that faced the backyard. She threw her suite case out the window. She was next to go. But she couldn't jump, she was three stories up, so she got a good footing on a large piece of molding that surrounded the window and led to the roof, she began stepping toward the larger section of the roof, which led to the front of the house.
Judy was scared of heights, but now she had forgotten about her fear and just wanted out.
The sun began rising, and a thin layer of light began warming the entire land around her and her Aunt.
Judy could hear from inside that her Aunt had smashed through the door, and was searching for her.
Before long, Judy saw her Aunt's head come out around the window, she was looking for Judy.
She saw her on the roof, and they locked eyes.
"Judy! I told you not to go up there! I knew you wouldn't like what you'd see!"
Judy said nothing, and continued climbing to the front of the house. The roof was metal, and slippery, therefore Judy had to be real careful about where she stepped.
"I'm not a monster, Judy!"
Judy never replied back, just ran for her life. Knowing that that night was a full moon, and she knew what happened when it was a full moon, she remembered from all those comic books she had read. That's when the werewolves come out and play.
Judy got a footing on the covered porch's roof, and it wasn't that far from the ground, so she jumped. As soon as her legs hit the ground, they snapped in two.
"OH MY GOD!" Judy let out a blood churning scream, and began crying harder than she ever had before, she began to fear she would choke to death on her own spit.
She crawled into the corn field when she heard her Aunt come out of the back door, yelling Judy's name in the raspy voice she always carried with her.
Judy would hide there, in the corn field and wait for the right moment to try and escape, but where would she go? Her legs were broken!
She tried not to scream or cry from the pain, she tried to keep quiet, and try to elude her Aunt. But the utter pain that radiated from her legs was overpowering her.
She crawled deeper into the corn, and began smelling something odd. She tried to figure out what it was, it smelled like copper but then she knew since her hand was in a pool the the smelly substance. It was blood. It wasn't Judy's blood, no indeed, it was a random pool that has been sitting there when she stuck her hand right in it.
It was still warm, so Judy let out a scream. Now her Aunt knew exactly where she was.
Judy began crawling further and faster, trying to wipe the blood from her palm. She crawled as fast as she could, but she knew her Aunt would find her, eventually.
It was dawn, and still a little dark. The sun had just begun to let the sky glow in the colors that included gold, orange and purple. Suddenly, the corn field lit up with light. It came from a large flood light her Aunt had been keeping in the shed, for moments like this, when she needed to find something that lingered in the corn. Like a victim.
Judy ducked down and got next to an old log sitting in the corn field, but without warning, a rattle snake came from underneath, and rattled at Judy.
Judy let out a scream, her fear wrapping around her, and suddenly, the flood light went on her. Her Aunt now spotted her and began running toward her.
The corn behind Judy began moving back and forth, from her Aunt running through it.
All Judy could really think about now, was getting away from the rattle snake. So she crawled away from it, faster than she has ever crawled before.
Judy crawled back into a small clearing. She laid there for a second her eyes looking up, but then closed them for a moment, tired of crawling. But when she opened them, two men, a woman, and her Aunt Jennifer were standing right there looking down on her.
They all leaned in, and bit Judy, who let out one last scream for the rest of her life. The rest or her mortal life that is.
She had been bitten, and now every full moon, Judy turns into a snarling, menacing creature of the night.
Now her mother is coming to pick her up in a week, and boy is she in for a treat...