Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rings and Roses

I am in a state of drowsiness, thanks to the medication I’ve received from the doctors the day before, and it is in this very state that I have decided to try my hand at writing a ghost story—or at least something ghostly and mysterious. Mind you, I’ve never quite written anything for the genre, though I’ve read a great many of the classics. With my inexperience in mind, I’ve decided to reinvent a dream I’ve had several months ago.
It goes like this…

It was a particularly misty night and Mary and her older brother Harry were taking the bus home from school. Their house rested on the other side of the hill, which was quite a walk from town, where their Primary school was located, so they inclined themselves to take the bus, which runs half an hour apart. It was quite the wait, especially if you were unlucky enough to miss it, but it was much better than walking on foot, since the route to their house was through the dark and mysterious forest and over a wooden bridge.

It was of course, quite unfortunate that the bus had decidedly broken down in the middle of forest, and right on top of that particular wooden bridge.
The bus had been mostly empty. It was only the driver, an old white haired man, and Mary and Harry, who were left with no other choice than to march back home on foot. 
Of course, with dark and mysterious forests, come dark and mysterious things. Who wouldn't jump when the wind sang through the trees, making them whisper ghastly secrets? Who wouldn't yelp when the glowing yellow eyes of witches and goblins blinked at you from behind the bushes?
Mary held Harry’s hand that was warm and firm because he was brave and strong and had promised to protect her no matter what. Promises were hard to keep, Mary thought as she held her brother’s hand tight.
There was song in the air as they passed by drooping trees and crying streams and they stopped in their footsteps to listen a moment.

Ring-a-ring o’ roses
The voices sang with glee and splendor. There was the sound of children and laughter in the distance beyond the trees and off the road. Harry tugged at Mary’s hand. 
“Perhaps there will be someone who is willing to give us a ride back home.” He reasoned and she followed. 
They stumbled over the bushes and Mary squealed when a prickly branch of a rose bush caught the hem of her dress. They walked until they reached a clearing. The sky was grey and the air smelled of flowers. Around the clearing was a large array of rose bushes, but as beautiful as these red roses were, Mary and Harry could not turn away from a sight as intriguing as the sight before them. 
There must have been at least a dozen of children in the field with their arms locked, skipping along to the sounds of the rustling trees. 
There was a tall thin man, with a raggedy suit and coattails. He turned to Mary and Harry slowly and held out his hand, a wide grin spreading across his face, showing too many teeth than a man should have. 
“Care to join us?” The voice was unrecognizable and Mary, feeling fear for children who looked pale and blue as they danced in circles, shook her little head. Harry on the other hand seemed to welcome the idea. A wide grin appeared on his face as he nodded;
A pocket full of posies
 “Yes,” Harry seemed to have forgotten the whole ordeal of getting home and was readily pulling Mary along to join in on the fun.
“No!” Mary yelped and yanked her hand free. She didn't know how Harry’s smile could get any wider, but it did as he beckoned her with a limp hand. Mary was fed up and ran back into the trees. Moments before the clearing disappeared completely, she turned back to see Harry, joining in the circle, his face pale and blue and that sickening wide grin on his face.
Ashes! Ashes!
Mary went stumbling into the forest, unsure where to turn. She ran and ran but the laughter and songs grew louder and louder nonetheless. No matter where she turned, the sound was still there. She huffed and puffed and cried when the rose bushes tore her skirt and cut her knee. She looked up to find herself wrapped in a sea of rose bushes. She stumbled out, with prickly thorns cutting her skin and found herself in the clearing once more.
The tall man was there before her and when she looked up, she never noticed how bone-white his face was, and how dark and deep his eyes were. He reached out his bony hand. 
“Care to join us?” Mary was tired and took the cold and bony hand in her small ones. She could hear fiddles now. The sound of merry strings singing a tune and children laughing and prancing was all around her. A grin crept to her face.

She skipped to the children, hooked her arm around her brother’s and danced and sang together so merrily that she didn't notice her skin turning blue and how cold her brother’s hand was.
We all fall down!

This ends the somewhat ghostly story and I hope you enjoyed it. Once again, this was written very quickly and has yet to be edited—I do apologize as I know most of my written works are unedited.
With that, I shall leave.


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