Forgotten Path

Essay by CinnsationB+, November 2008

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Alexia and a couple of her friends slowly emerge from the theater. They are all still a bit shaken from the horror movie they just watched when Alexia realizes she has thirty minutes to be home. Quickly she parts ways with her friends and starts her walk home. She shivers as the sky seems to grow darker. An eerie fog hangs thick in the distance. Quickly she glances at her watch and notices that she only has twenty minutes to get home. She will never be there in time, unless she cuts through the haunted cemetery. She stops suddenly. Biting her bottom lip she takes a deep breath and begins her journey. As she passes the huge metal gates, they creak as if to warn her not to continue her path. Trying hard not to think of all the unexplained things told to have happened in this graveyard, she quickens her pace.

Out of nowhere, rustling sounds seem to be coming from the bushes. She looks all around, eyeing every bush, tree, and every tombstone, to try and locate the noises; then, all of a sudden, peace and quiet again. SNAP! She jumps at the sound of a breaking limb. “Hello? Is someone there,” she shouts to the darkness around her. Only silence follows. She could not deny the fact that she was scared out of her wits. Looking swiftly behind her, she begins to run, when out of nowhere something grabs her ankle. She screams as she falls to the ground. A loud thud follows. Was that her hitting the ground? No, someone or something was back there and after her. She had to get out of there, but where was she; the fog had surrounded her so densely, she wasn’t even sure which way she just came from.

Now all she could think about was that there was a horrible beast lurking in the fog, waiting to get her. It doesn’t help hearing the creepy noises surrounding her. Her mind has to be playing tricks on her, magnifying the haunting sounds. She tries to tell herself that the sounds are just in her head and not real. Crack, snap, crackle! The noise had to be real. She looks to the left, then to the right, nothing. She stood there in the cold; holding back from screaming in fright, and praying she made it home. Again, something brushed against her leg, not once but twice. She snapped to her senses and bolted in the direction she thought was home. Then there in the fog stood a man up ahead. That had to be the grounds keeper; he must have heard her screaming and came to help her.

As she neared the figure, doubts began to flood her head. What if that is a ghost. It seemed to be glowing and floating toward her. Now she could see it reaching for her. Terrified she turns to flee the other way, only to run straight into a tombstone, and fell right over it. She doesn’t even try to get up. Her instincts tell her to stay low and crawl as fast as possible. She tires but cannot seem to move. The figure caught her, she just knows it. Kicking and screaming she pleads to be released. Nothing happens. Trembling she opens her eyes to see where she is. At that moment she realizes she can see the back gate near her street. Only a few more yards and she will be safe. But what has the hold on her; she fumbles around and finds it to be her shirt, caught in a crack in the tombstone. She frees herself and jumps to her feet. Her eyes locked on the route to safety. Without a second thought she races down the path. She feels that there is something just waiting to lunge out from behind a tombstone and grab her. She has to block those thoughts out. How can she though, when all she hears is a moaning noise that sounds as if it’s telling her it’s too late. “NO” she screams and pushes herself even faster. The gate is right there and she can almost touch it. A few more strides, she clears the gate, and frees herself from the cemetery.

Once she is several feet beyond the cemetery, she slows to a stop and looks back. As she catches her breath, she swears to herself she will never cut through there again. Her parents will just have to deal with her being a few minutes late. With one last, long look and a deep breath, she turns to walk the remaining block to her house. As she does she could swear that a raspy voice called out, “next time, just you wait!” No way, her mind must be playing tricks on her, or it is?