Is life really worth living when you have nothing to live for? What is our role or purpose in this world? My life didn’t really seem significant anymore; till I met her.
Life was really difficult for me after my mother died. I used to cry every night for the first four months. I isolated myself from all reality; the outside world seemed distant and unrealistic. I was scared to leave my room; you could also say I was ashamed to leave. Why did I deserve to live? Why was I still here? It should have been me that day in the forest not her.
She stared at me, with eyes like liquid fire which burned through my soul. She stood there alone, dressed in a white silk gown. Her hair like strands of gold swayed in the forest breeze.
Is she some sort of nymph, or maybe an angel? I thought to myself.
She extended her hand, beckoning me to follow. Her hand was small and her skin seemed translucent. The forest surrounding me was dark, the moon was being covered by an ominous looking cloud, yet I could see her clearly.
“Come with me.” her voice was sweet and calming. “Please, come.” She smiled, as if letting me know I could trust her.
She seemed familiar, yet I knew I’d never met her before. Even in the pitch black darkness of the forest, I felt a sense of safety and peace.
I slowly made my way to her; the forest was silent except for the dead leaves and twigs crunching under my feet with each step. She was standing bare footed on top of what looked like a tomb stone sticking out of the forest floor. As I looked around, I could see more of these strange looking tomb stones; there must have been at least a hundred of them scattered throughout the forest.
The girl put her hand up soliciting me to stop. Like snow falling from the heavens, she began descending slowly off the tomb stone towards me. She looked so hauntingly beautiful the way she gracefully seemed to glide before touching the forest floor. I hadn’t noticed but she must have been at least six or seven inches smaller than I was.
She raised her delicate hand in front of me as if telling me to take it. Her hand seemed fragile as if it was made of porcelain. I raised my hand a little hesitantly, not sure if I would hurt her. She must have noticed my hesitance because she met me the rest of the way. Her skin felt icy cold but there was a warmth inside me that I couldn’t explain.
“I need to show you something.” She said with a bit of uncertainty in her voice. She stared at me with her emerald green eyes. But to my surprise they were filled with sadness.
“Umm….are you alright?” I tried to sound comforting. But for some reason I felt a little uneasy.
She opened her mouth as if to say something but no words came out.
“Have we met before?” I said, uncertain what her response would be.
She gave me an innocent smile, and pointed to one of the tomb stones.
“It’s just up ahead.” She gently tugged my arm, and began leading me towards the closest tomb stone which was about two yards away from where we were standing.
The forest seemed to get darker the closer we got to our destination. The once gentle breeze became more of a wind pushing me back, as if trying to prevent me from reaching the tomb stone. This didn’t seem to faze her. She just kept moving; her golden hair dancing violently in the wind. I got startled when she suddenly stopped; I hadn’t realized that we had arrived. The wind had also mysteriously stopped. The whole forest seemed to have frozen in time. She released my hand and made her way toward the first tomb stone. I reluctantly followed, not sure of what would happen next. The tomb stone looked ancient and cracked; I noticed there was an inscription etched on the stone that was barely visible.
Vincent Richardson III
Born 1720 Died 1750
Under this was another inscription that I could barely make out because a piece of the stone was missing.
May his soul live for eternity in the....
What does this mean? I thought to myself. Why is she showing me this?
I turned around to face the beautiful girl in white. But she seemed to have forgotten that I was here. She was standing about fifteen feet away from where I was standing. She was staring into the forest; her back was towards me. I followed her gaze but it was too dark to see through the trees. She also seemed to be chanting something under her breath.
“What could she be doing?” I said to my self in a whisper.
She must have heard me because she stopped her chanting and she turned around to face me. Her face seemed serious and her eyes seemed to have gotten darker. It was like she was staring right through me. She didn’t speak a word; she just raised her hand and pointed to the next tomb stone that was only about two feet away from me. I opened my mouth to try to speak but it was like someone had stolen my voice, all I could do was just continue towards the next tomb stone. My heart began to race with each step I took. I wasn’t sure where this fear was coming from; it was as if it just crept up unbeknownst to me. No, maybe I was always scared, but I was just too overwhelmed by the mysterious girl’s beauty that I lost myself.
This particular tomb stone seemed even more ancient than the last one. It was shaped like a cross but part of the top half was broken off. It was full of cob webs and fallen leaves. I leaned in closer to try to decipher the inscription (it was a little more difficult to read than the last stone).
Hear Lies Eloise Walker
Born 1700 Died 1715
Under this was yet another inscription.
We can never comprehend why thou
Was taken from us so young.
Ye were full of life and innocence.....
I looked around trying to find the missing chunk of stone, but the darkness that surrounded me was too overpowering. I stood up, trying to understand what I just read. Is this supposed to have meaning to me? I thought to myself.
I suddenly had a strange feeling like I might be in danger. I slowly backed away from the grave; I stared towards the direction where the mysterious girl was standing, but she was gone. I searched frantically for her but it was too dark to see anything. The peace that I once had turned to fear and terror. It suddenly felt as if everything around me started spinning. The sky above me turned a violent shade of crimson. The ground began to shake and the tomb stones started to crumble. I could hear moans coming from deep within the earth.
I was frozen in place like a marble statue. I could feel sweat dripping down my forehead. I opened my mouth, trying to yell for help but no sound came out. The moans began getting louder and louder as if they were in my head. I raised my hands to my ears trying to silence the noise. Stop, please stop.
"Murder!" The moans continued to yell.
I gazed at the direction of the graves but there was nothing left but hundreds of deep pits. I heard the sound of leaves crunching near one of the graves that was closest to me. My heart was pounding on my chest so hard it began to ache. I stared at the grave, and to my horror a thin rotted hand began ascending from the pit.
Someone’s down there. I thought to myself. I tried with all my strength to move. But it was no use; I was scared stiff.
Another rotted hand slowly crept its way over the pit. Pulling on dead leaves, its fingers scraped through the dirt trying to pull itself out of the grave. I glanced at other grave pits only to find more hands scraping on dead leaves and dirt. One by one, disfigured heads of corpses began slowly emerging from the top of the grave pits. Chunks of rotted flesh from their faces began dropping to the forest floor. They each began crawling out from the pits; their bodies twisted and mutilated.
I tried harder and harder to shake the fear away so I could run.
"Murder!" The corpses stood up but seemed unable to support their bodies as if they were missing there spinal cords. They began walking towards me, their upper bodies dangling like rubber bands. Their eyes were as red as the crimson skies. Their boney legs seemed as if they would crumble to pieces at any second.
I pulled myself up with my arms and reluctantly regained control over my body; I began running opposite of where the rotting corpses stood. I ran and I ran, afraid to look back. It seemed as though I was running for hours and hours but it must have just been a few minutes. I didn’t stop until their moans became just whispers in the wind. I stopped in the middle of the forest to try to catch my breath.
“Is anyone out there?” I yelled, startled by the sound of my voice. My voice sounded shaky and my mouth felt dry. “Someone please help me.” There was no response. The only sound was that of trees swaying in the breeze.
I could see hints of light from the moon that was still being covered by clouds and trees. I began walking towards the nearest tree hoping to find a spot to rest. I hadn’t noticed but my entire body was shaking. When I reached the tree I could see some sort of white fabric lying just behind it, on a pile of dead leaves. I made my way towards the fabric to inspect it closer and gasped.
The body of the beautiful girl in white lay on the pile of dead leaves her back facing towards me. I knelt down beside her unmoving body.
What is she doing here? I thought myself. Her body was in an odd position.
“Please be ok.” I whispered.
I gently lay my hand on her shoulder and began moving her hair away from her face. I brushed off some dead leaves and small bugs from her white gown. I rested my head on her back to check if she was breathing. But there was no sound.
“No, no, no, she can’t be dead.” Tears slowly began to roll down my cheeks.
I slowly began to turn her around to face me one last time. But to my ghastly horror in my arms lay the mutilated face of my mother in her place.
“Murder!” My mother yelled, blood dripping down her face and falling to the forest floor; her head suddenly began spinning violently like a top. It rolled off her body and began advancing towards me.
“Murder!” Her head yelled; blood spewing out of her mouth.
“No, no, no!” I stepped back to try to run but I felt as though someone had pushed me and I began to fall, but to my surprise the forest floor shattered and I continued falling, falling, falling, falling…..
“Noah, wake up honey.”
“Noah, you're having a nightmare.” The sweet voice of my mother called out to me.