Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Writer Wednesday: Excerpt of "My Haunting Love" by: J.S. Wilsoncroft
My Haunting Love
by: J.S. Wilsoncroft
As Sam and I walked through the yard, something else caught my attention. Between all the thick brush I noticed a small opening. It was barely visible, covered with shrubbery and weeds, but I could see it was definitely a path. I clapped my hands at Sam, motioning for him to follow me. I was curious to know where this path led to. Maybe it was some kind of secret hideout where the Lansberry kids used to play? Or maybe it was a secret hangout where local teenagers went to get drunk? Whatever the reason, I wanted to find out.
Pushing the weeds to the side, I slowly made my way down the path. I hadn’t realized how dark it was until I got deep into the woods. I looked behind me to see if I could see daylight, but there was just a dim light peeking through the thick branches. Sam, with his tail wagging, was eager to keep moving forward, but I wasn’t. It was bad enough that I couldn’t hear anything, but not being able to see made it ten times scarier. I looked ahead and decided it was way too dark to keep going. I glanced around hoping to find signs of a secret hideout, some empty pop cans or beer bottles, something that would show me what this place was used for, but there was nothing … just dead leaves, broken twigs, mud and …
“What is that?”I thought to myself.
I took a few steps closer to see what it was and stopped. A cold chill ran up my spine when I noticed that it was a headstone. Not one, but five of them, each lined up perfectly next to each other. Was this the reason for the small path? A cemetery?
I kneeled in front of the first headstone and brushed away the dead leaves and dirt. Sam walked past me, sniffing around a large tree nearby, looking for another place to pee. I brushed away a few dead pine cones and nearly choked when I recognized the name engraved in the headstone: John Richard Lansberry Sr. On my hands and knees, I quickly crawled over to the next headstone and brushed away the leaves and dirt from that one, too. Just as suspected, it read Helen Lansberry. The headstone said she was 36 when she passed away. Below her name the words “beloved wife and mother” were engraved.
Tears stung my eyes as I continued on to the next headstone. I don’t know if it was fear or dread that filled me up inside as I slowly brushed away the dead leaves from the front of the headstone. I was afraid to look at the name. I sucked in a deep breath and began to choke when I saw the name, John Richard Lansberry Jr. He was born on March 18, 1940, and died August 20, 1957. My heart stopped. It really was him in my bedroom. He really is seventeen.
By now, everything was blurry as tears trickled down my cheeks. I crawled two steps over to the next headstone and quickly brushed off the debris. My hands were a wet, grimy mess, but I didn’t care. I needed to know who else was buried there. My heart raced when I noticed the last name Lansberry again. I pulled away a chunk of mud and gasped when I saw the name Holly engraved in the stone. Not only was I shocked to see she was only twelve years old when she died, but she, too, died on the same day as her brother, August 20, 1957. I wondered what had happened to the two of them. How had they died? Was it a car accident? An illness?
My knees started to ache as I crawled to the last headstone setting farther away from the rest. I quickly removed the leaves and mud then stopped. It was Gloria, John Sr.’s second wife. As I read her headstone, a cold chill went up my spine. She, too, had died on August 20, 1957. I froze, shivering, wondering what had happened to this once happy looking family. What had happened to John, Holly and Gloria on August 20, 1957?
Join Write More Publications for the release of "My Haunting Love" by: J.S. Wilsoncroft, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 7, 2013, online for lots of fun, contests and prizes! Please tell your friends!
See you there!