Today is Friday and that means another opportunity to ‘free write’ and on this day I have decided to do just that…FREE Write! Halloween has passed but memories of its haunting still linger. On Wednesday Kellie Elmore placed a call for submissions asking for Halloween photos and a chance to have a well-chosen image offered up as this week’s FWF prompt. The winning photo was taken by Missy Upton and pictures Oak Alley Plantation, which was the location for the movie Interview with the Vampire. The photo is displayed at the bottom of the writing.
Thank you, Missy for a great photograph and Kellie for the opportunity to use imagination to write. [OOPS! Being the educator that I am, I must admit I did correct some of the errors along the way.]
Here is my contribution. . .
Rain, pelting the road and windshield, was unrelenting as the drive seemed to be never ending. When we left home, it wasn’t so bad, except the sun had already begun its decent and shades of deep purple projected an eerie feeling to this already spooky day. “Why did we decide to get on the road on Halloween?” I ponder. ”And, of all things, now it is pouring rain and getting darker by the minute.”
“John, do we have to go to Aunt Mary’s?” I ask in a trembling voice. “You know I don’t feel comfortable in that big old house of hers and the weather, well, it is terrible and frightening.” At that exact moment, lightning bolts zig-zag across the sky followed by sharp, loud cracks of thunder. ”Please, let’s go back home. Please!”
“Settle down. Not for you to worry your pretty little self, my darling, I am driving and all you need to do is lay your head back, close your eyes and we will be there before you know it. Give Aunt Mary a chance and think of the house as a historical landmark. Step back in time. Just think, you would make a great Scarlet from Gone With the Wind! The way you are acting one would think the house is haunted for Pete’s sake!” John laughs as he tenderly takes my hand and presses sweet, tender kisses across the top of my fingers. “I love you,Scarlet!”
No way was I going to relax. Absolutely no way was I going to close my eyes! Too many visions within blood-curdling scenes scream thirstily as they whirl around and around with eyes wide open: knives, axes, scissors, villainous apparitions float effortlessly through the winding corridors of my mind. Understand it isn’t that I don’t like Aunt Mary or that she herself is frightening. She is wonderful and loves to cook and every year at Halloween she tries to outdo herself from the year before as she concocts the most unusual Halloween treats. It is the house…it seems to cast a spell as though dear sweet auntie is Bloody Mary. ”Snap out of it!” I slap myself subconsciously.
Thoughts begin to turn away from tales of ghostly encounters and unexplainable happenings that had been reported from one generation to the next in THAT house. I began to surmise whether they are true or simply the fabrication of chilling whispers within the wind of souls crying out to be released. Some say fact, others proclaim fiction. Me? I don’t know but I do know one thing for sure— I don’t want to find out on this night.
“We’re here!” John exclaims as he slows down to make the turn into the driveway. There it was…Oak Alley Plantation. Nestled back off a private drive, the secluded house stood hauntingly still. The gaze down the driveway becomes absorbed in massive oaks stretching outward forming a canopy of moss-laden limbs. Shadows creep along the driveway as the wind wrestles with the moss clinging to the oak limbs. The scene is like arms above and below reaching for anything along their path to bring into the clutches of its grasp.
We are not ten feet into the driveway when the car begins to shake. Spine chilling, hair raising, heart pounding sounds howl within the night wind. Rattling chains, feet dragging along the driveway, freightening moans and groans pierce the air synchronizing their echoes with the thunder as it claps in the distance. Are the chains symbolic of slaves owned by the former plantation masters? Do the sounds of feet dragging mimic those of the tired workers coming in from the cotton fields? Are the moans and groans typical sounds of constant hunger and thirst for something better?
Now, I ask you: Is it real? Are the haunting tales of horror coming to life? Is the plantation truly haunted or is it Uncle Harry playing a practical joke?
What is your perception as to the ending to the story?
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing
guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity
is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath