Thursday, February 19, 2015

I will never know

Written for Tale Weaver Prompt where we are to write short story with this image Sunday Skeleton by Lucas Grogan for inspiration...

I'm writing this down with pen on paper before I go to bed so that when I wake in the morning and see it on my desk I'll know it wasn't a dream.

It's a bitter February evening. I am desperate to get to the warmth of my home so I take a short cut though the cemetery. The air is as still as the graves that surround me. It’s dark yet everything around glistens white in the harsh winter frost.

My white breath drifts skyward as a shimmering moon shoots shafts of silver twixt the frozen trees and across a blanket of pure white snow.

So bright is the moonlight that long black shadows stretch out from the headstones lining the path. My own walks alongside me for company in this desolate place.

I see the vague figure of a man coming towards me. He wears a hooded cloak and although he becomes clearer in the moonlight as he approaches, I am unable to make out his face. It has no substance, just a hollow void. 

As we pass I nod my head in greeting, but it’s as if he doesn't see me. I look over my shoulder and notice he has no shadow, and leaves no footprints in the virgin snow.

Suddenly I am blasted with a rush of freezing wind that stings my face. A hooded cloak tumbles past me. Then the wind stops as suddenly as it started.

I turn around and I see a skeleton lying prostrate on the path. I must be imagining it.  I am dreaming. I must be dreaming. But I’m not, this really is happening.

I screw closed my eyes, wait a few seconds, and when I open them it has gone. Now I know it wasn’t real.

And then, before me, I see the cloak suspended from the branches of a tree. One arm is waving at me, mocking me, pointing at me. Scaring me.

I run. I dash between the gravestones desperate to leave the cemetery. I see bones here, bones there, bones scattered on the blanket of snow. Yet as fast as I spot them they disappear again.

I rush out into the street. Suddenly I am surrounded by people going about their business; traffic making its way along the busy road.  It’s noisy, bustling, normal.

What happened I will never know nor understand. But happen it did. And it terrified me.

Picture: Cloak by Keith's Ramblings


  1. Marvelous story to tell around a campfire (at least I hope it was a story).

  2. What a Halloween story...he was walking too long on that day, I guess, this is why it happened...also, what is normal in nowadays, how you said, noisy, bustling...and this the contrast.

    1. He won't be going that way again that's for sure!

    2. I bet you scared yourself! BOO!

  3. This fantastic and so vivid I felt I was the one experiencing it! I was holding my breath!

    mindlovemisery aka Yves

  4. This was a great take on this prompt Keith. You created excellent tension and took us on the journey with you leaving us like you grappling with the conundrum of what you saw. Thanks so much for partaking in this challenge. Michael

    1. It was a thoroughly enjoyable write Michael. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

  5. I take short cuts through cemeteries, but no more! Your story ensures I will take the long way round.
    Fantastic tale.

  6. Wow .. what a great ghost tale ... loved it! Bastet