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Nightmare on Woody Lane

Jane stepped out into the darkness of the street. She could make out the shadowy silhouette of her friend, Elaine, at the edge of the lamplight. She walked quickly towards the light. It was only 6:30, yet it was already darker than midnight.

“It’s a bit chilly,” said Elaine.

“It was worse yesterday.”

“We should get going. The show starts at 7:00!”
Elaine and Jane walked down the cobblestone streets towards the business district. Elaine looked down at her gold-plated watch.

“It’s 6:50 already!”

“Let’s take the shortcut.”

“But Jane, the paper said that two women went missing yesterday in the woods!”
Jane sighed with exasperation and turned slowly towards Elaine.

“Nothing is going to happen to us,” said Jane in a tenuous voice. “Besides, it’s the only way we’re going to get to the show on time.

“Fine!”
The shadows beneath the overhanging branches seemed to creep into the street with soft feet. The trees arched over the gap like silent sentinels holding back the abyss. Elaine clutched Jane’s arm as they passed in the ominous gap between two elm trees that marked the the entrance to “Woody Lane.”

As Jane and Elaine walked, Elaine jumped at every sound from the wind in the leaves to the snapping of tree branches. Five minutes later, they emerged in the back alley of the opera house a bit worse for wear.

“See, nothing to worry about,” said Jane confidently as they walked into the brightly lit halls towards the ticket office.

It was almost 10:00 when Jane and Elaine finally stepped back out into the cold darkened alley. It was pitch black except for the streetlights, and the only people around were those leaving the opera house.

“Jane, let’s go by street this time?”

“No, let’s cut through the woods.”
Elaine crossed her arms indignantly.

“Jane, I will not let you go in there again!”

“Don’t worry. There is NOTHING in there.”

“At least call me when you get home.”
Jane walked into the dark alley alone looking back at the receding figure of Elaine moving away on the dimly lit sidewalk. She slipped between two ancient oak trees back into Woody Lane. This time the shadows seemed darker and more oppressive. The woods seemed to creep up behind her. Jane felt the uneasy cold sensation creeping up the back of her neck. She quickened her pace. The light of the the street was just ahead.

Elaine arrived home and quickly locked the door behind her. She had the uneasy feeling that someone or something was following her. She ran over to the phone and immediately dialed Jane’s number.

“She should be home by now,” Elaine thought to herself.
She heard one prolonged ring. Then another. Then click. The phone went dead.



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