This story is my contribution to the Halloween story contest. I am thankful for all votes, comments and feedback.
However, I have one word of warning: I submitted the story to the category of Erotic Horror, but the emphasis in this case lies on the Horror. There are erotic parts, but it takes a while to get to them. If what you want is mainly a sex story, this might not be the right story for you. I do hope though, that you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
"I hate you! I hope I never see you again!"
I remember the day I screamed these words as if it was yesterday. It was the day before Halloween, and I was twelve years old. The person those words were directed at was my mother. She had arranged for me to visit my grandparents for a few days, but I wanted to go to a party at my best friend Sharon's house. Sharon had her birthday just the day after Halloween.
My mother and I had argued about this topic several times. Now my grandparents had arrived, and the dispute was breaking out again. I had no choice, however, my mom had the last word. Angrily I grabbed my bag and ran to my grandparents' car, shouting those very words before with a loud bang I shut the car door behind me.
My grandparents consoled my mother – that's what girls this age are like. When she returns home on Sunday she will be fine again – and then they followed me to the car.
"I never want to see you again," I growled angrily, staring at our house. I did not yet know that my wish was to come true.
In the night of the 30th of October, our house burned down, leaving only the black carcass of a building. Inside, a body was found, but it resembled more charcoal than a human being. It was impossible to identify the remains. Everyone knew, however, that it couldn't be anyone but my mother. I had grown up without a father – I was the result of a one night stand, and whoever had begat me most likely did not even know of my existence. So it had always been only my mother and me.
When I heard of my mother's death, I had a breakdown. While everyone went to my hometown for her funeral, I was lying in bed, delirious from fever. The doctors attributed my illness to the shock, but I am sure I became ill on purpose: The cemetery was right next to where our house had been, and by no means did I want to return there.
I wasn't well enough to go to school again until after New Year. My grandparents had found a new school for me near where they lived. I did not get along well with others there; I was a loner and a troublemaker. The doctors and psychologists said it was normal for me to be angry. I should express the anger I felt towards my mother for dying. I expressed it through stubborn silence when I was asked something, through stealing little things from the stores, through drinking – drugs were hard to get in this little town – and through not paying any attention in school. The usual.
The other kids avoided me, and I was glad for it. I had called Sharon once, when my fever was getting better, and I could hear her embarrassment at the situation in her voice, her loss of things to say. Every word she said told me she wished I had not called. I hung up soon afterwards and decided I didn't need friends.
During my sophomore year, my grandfather died. It was then that I realized how much I needed to depend on myself. My grandmother was the only relative I had left, and she was not the youngest person. It was then that I softened my attitude. I remained quiet and an outsider, but I stopped shoplifting, drank only in measures that would not make anyone notice that I had an alcohol problem before my sexteenth birthday, and I started studying. Since I had no friends and did not want any, I had enough time to catch up on what I had missed in school. By the time I was a senior, my grades were the best in my class, and I managed to get a scholarship to one of the most well-known universities in the country. My grandmother called it the proudest day of her life when I went off to university to study History.
I remained a good student throughout my BA and MA studies – and I kept my aura of someone unapproachable. Fellow students would ask me about my results in homework, but nothing personal.
This also ensured that none of the guys ever dared to ask me out, even though I could tell some of them were watching me with interest. I looked very much like my mother had when she was young; I had her silky, light skin, just that mine showed some freckles when exposed to the sun, whereas hers didn't. I had her almond shaped dark eyes, her even features, her slim yet feminine shape. I also had her wavy, full hair,just that hers had been dark brown, whereas mine was auburn. When I graduated I was still a virgin, but I did not care much. I couldn't see myself with any of the guys I had known, and though I dreamt of one day meeting someone who was different, someone who would understand me and help me defeat the demons that were still in my head and appeared in my dreams, I preferred to be alone than with any of the guys I knew. Their talk of what was cool and what wasn't, and their desperate dependance of friends and entertainment just reminded me that I was different. The naive happiness, with which they approached life, had been taken from me.
Apart from that, since the passing of my mother any act of intimacy scared me, and I would not even allow my grandparents to hug me. Only on the long and lonely walks I took in the forests near my university, my soul found some kind of happiness at the warmth of the sun on my skin and the fresh smell of leafs and grass in summer, or of snow in winter. At these moments I was glad to be alive, and to be part of this world.
A few weeks after my graduation, my grandmother passed away. She had been sick for months already, so her death did not come as a shock. I spent the following weeks putting her affairs in order. While doing so, I realized I had not only inherited her house, but I was also the owner of the property my mother's house had stood on. I decided to sell both, and use the money for a new start in Europe – there was nothing left to keep me here.
Selling my grandmother's house was easy. Concerning the piece of land in my old home town, however, the real estate agents caused trouble. None of them could get the land sold at a reasonable price. In fact, there were no offers at all. One agent after another withdrew their contracts with me. In the end they simply refused to help me sell the land, and they couldn't give any reason why. The land was situated in a nice place close to town, yet quiet, and the area was reasonably large. There was nothing wrong with it. One real estate agent went as far as to tell me it was haunted. I did not believe in that kind of thing, so I finally decided to take matters into my own hands.
However, there was one drawback: I was forced to travel back to my home town to see the place myself again. I would have to show it to potential buyers, and I figured I would need first-hand knowledge of the property.
I must admit, I was curious to see the place where I had spent my early years again. Somewhere deep down inside of me, there was something that drew me there. I hadn't seen the home of my childhood for thirteen years, and while i knew the house had burned down, I wondered if there was some of it left at all. I was also curious to see the garden, the trees I had climbed as a little girl, and the tall wall that seperated our property from the cemetery.
Something inside me told me that it also was time to visit my mother's grave. The shock of her death was still in me. Sometimes I dreamt of her, and when I woke up those last words I had shouted at her echoed in my head. If I really wanted to go and start a new life I needed to make peace. Maybe, the psychologist I was still occasionally seeing agreed with me, the symbolic nature of visiting her grave on the thirteenth anniversary of her death would be helpful in that.
Thus, on the morning of Halloween, I got into the little car my grandmother had given me, when she three years ago, had started to have too many problems with her eye sight and her health to keep driving.
The car wasn't the newest anymore and it was prone to break downs. I knew that, but I had no other car. I had to risk it, and actually, the journey went quite well. I needed only seven hours for a journey that with a well functioning car should have taken four. That was good by my standards.
When I arrived in the little town I had once called home, the sun was starting to go down. I booked a room in a run down hotel. The girl working at the reception was in her late teens and thus fortunately too young to recognize my name. She must have been just a child when my mother died.
The little room she gave me was bleak. It only had a bed and a chair, but I didn't need anything else. I left my suitcase there, and then went back outside.
It was almost dark now, and some children in costumes roamed the streets. Their parents were nowhere to be seen, but in this little town everyone knew everyone, and people trusted their neighbours, so they always let their children go from house to house without worry.
Just when I was about to open my car door, I felt something bump into me. Looking down, I saw a little boy on the ground. He had run right into my legs and then fallen down. He was wearing a spider man costume, but the mask had fallen off. He looked for it first, and when he found it he moved his face up to check what the obstacle had been, that he had encountered while running down the street. I looked back at him and directly into what looked like Sharon's big brown eyes. The boy was maybe five years old.
"Sorry Miss," he said in a somewhat carefree tone. He didn't seem too worried that he had run into someone, and falling down didn't seem to have shaken him. He stood up and shook the dirt off his costume.
I knelt down a bit, to be more at his level.
"That's no problem," I said, and then continued to ask: "What's your name?"
He looked at me, with the same big eyes and a suspecting look, again, the same as Sharon would always have looked when she was a little girl.
"David Adamson", he said quickly.
My heart started beating faster. Sharon's last name. Just to make sure I asked on, "And your dad?"
"I have no dad," the little boy said. "It's just my mommy and me. But that's better anyway."
Sharon. I remembered how jealous I had been of her having both a mother and a father, and how I would never have admitted that. When we were still quite little, maybe as old as her little son here, we had a big fight. I had told her nobody needed a dad, and just me and my mom was better anyway. Of course she hadn't agreed. She loved her daddy. Every child should have a daddy, she had told me. When I complained to my mom, she said that Sharon probably just copied what her parents were saying. Anyway, Sharon and I didn't speak for days. Later on, when we were friends again, we avoided the topic, but every now and then she would repeat that once she was big and had children she would make sure they had a very nice dad, as nice as hers.
"Sorry Miss," the boy interrupted my thoughts. "May I go now?" He looked a bit insecure about whether running into me might have consequences for him after all.
I smiled and opened my purse. "I am sorry I have no candy with me," I said and took out a dollar. "But I am sure you will get enough sweets anyway." I handed him the dollar. "Say hi for me to your mom. Tell her you met a very old friend, who will visit her tomorrow, okay?"
The boy looked a bit puzzled, unsure what to think of me, but one look at the dollar made him assume I was alright.
"Thank you, Miss," he shouted as he ran off.
I stopped the car near the gate to our old garden. It was almost completely dark now, and in between the tall trees I could hardly recognize anything. I had to go to the cemetery first anyway. Some flowers were lying on the other seat, and I took them with me to bring them to my mothers grave.
A cold wind chilled me, as soon as I opened the car door. I heard the tall trees creak in the wind while I walked towards the little gate that would let me into the cemetary. The rest of the graveyard was surrounded by a tall wall. The gate looked old and as if one strong kick would make it fall out of its place. That, however, was not necessary: It was open.
I stepped into the cemetary and looked around. It wasn't very big, and the tall grass that grew between the gravestones, some of which seemed to be mere moments from falling over, gave it an abandoned look. A slight fog had started rising, hindering sight even more than the darkness. Still, I could tell there was no one here. Probably, no one had been here in months to take care of their loved ones's graves. I had caught up a bit with my towns history before I went here, reading various internet sites. I thus knew, that a new cemetary had been founded about ten years ago, closer to the town's centre. When my mother had died, however, this had still been the only cemetary in town.
I had been told that my mother's grave was in the far left corner, quite a way away from the gate. My instinct and the memory of various creepy movies told me to turn around, to go back to the car, drive to the hotel, and postpone my plan to see my mother's grave and our old garden for tomorrow. I banned these thoughts from my mind. Today was the thirteenth anniversary of her death. I wanted to visit her grave today. Without further hesitation I started walking to the left, my foot steps muffled by the fog and the wet grass.
Every now and then I had to stop to look at gravestones, I recognized familiar names – I had played in the graveyard as a child, I had never been scared of it, so why should I now? – but I didn't find my mother's grave.
Just when I was deciphering the name of "Matthew Wilson *02.09.1913, ┼11.02.1995", I heard a loud cracking sound somewhere behind me. I froze. The sound of the wind howled through the night, else it was quiet. Maybe it had just been one of the trees, I decided. But before I could walk on, I heard another cracking sound. The sound of a twig or something similar breaking under the weight of a human foot. And I heard the footsteps of someone who tries to walk quietly, of someone who doesn't want to be heard.
I didn't dare to look around, I just stood in front of Mr. Wilson's grave, staring at the weathered old stone. Waiting. I could feel the presence of someone else now, very close, just behind me. I could almost hear him breathe.
Then something touched my shoulder. I jumped and turned around. Behind me, there stood a tall man in torn clothes and with a face that appeared more like a grimace. He looked like someone from some bad horror movie, saliva was drooling from the side of his mouth, and his greasy hair hung unkempt down to his shoulders.
I had uttered a little scream when he had grabbed my shoulder, and he looked taken aback by the sound. For a few seconds we just stared at each other.
"Eric!?" The name had returned suddenly to my memory.
The man nodded and made a sound that vaguely resembled my name. The next moment I flung my arms around his neck, laughing and crying at the same time from the relief of that it was really him, that I wasn't alone on this old graveyard, but with the best friend of my earliest childhood years. That it was him and not some mad stranger who had followed me.
That is, while Eric wasn't a stranger, he was mad. Most children in our village had made fun of him, but not me. He had been the first friend I had ever known – when I was little, my mother had let him take care of me. Despite his mental problems, the fact that he could barely take care of himself, that he just spent all day running around at the graveyard and the forests, she had trusted him. And so had I. Eric looked like a grown up, he was tall and strong, but he did not mind playing children's games, he enjoyed them as I did. And he never questioned them, he never refused to do what I said, he never tried to impose his own ideas. The older I got, the more I put it down to him being crazy, and once I started school, I started playing with other children. Sharon became my best friend then, and often I ignored Eric, when he came to our garden. On other days though, when things at school hadn't gone so well, or when I had a fight with my mom, when I needed to be assured that all was still as it had always been, at those days I went on long walks through the forests with him, or we played hide and go seek on the grave yard in the evening, after the last visitors had left. And sometimes there were moments, when Eric's eyes cleared up, when his grimace eased, and he didn't look mad at all. At those moments he looked at me with an expression of sadness, pride, and the nostalgia of something that could have been but never happened. I didn't understand, why he looked at me that way, but for some reason the look in his eyes made me sad and happy at the same time, and it made me feel that I was safe with him.
Seeing Eric again made it feel somehow like I had really come home. I forgot that I was on a dark graveyard, looking for my mother's grave, that thirteen years had passed since I had last been here.
Eric took my hand, and led me to the far corner of the cemetary. There, on a small stone, I found my mother's name. I read it, and then looked up at him. He had tears in his eyes. This grave, although it was small and the stone was a simple one, was the best kept on the whole graveyard. There even were fresh flowers.
"Did you take care of her, for all these years?" I asked.
Eric nodded and mumbled something incomprehensable. As far back as I could think, he never could pronounce words well, but I always knew what he wanted to say. There was something about him that made me understand.
"Thank you," I whispered.
I took the flowers I had brought and put them into a little vase, with the flowers Eric couldn't have brought more than three days ago, as they were still fresh and pretty.
While I knelt down to arrange the flowers nicely, I felt Eric putting his hand on my head. Suddenly the sight of the flowers, that looked pale in the darkness, of the gravestone and my mother's name on it and of the whole cemetary around us blurred as tears filled my eyes. A strange sound escaped my lips, a sigh that had been caught in me for thirteen years, and a knot that had existed in my throat since that fateful day seemed to burst as I broke down to cry over my mother's death for the first time in my life. Eric stood motionless beside me.
Finally I stood up, cleared my throat, and said "I have to go. I still want to visit the house. Do you want to come with me?"
Eric grew pale and shook his head. There was fear in his face, and he now looked truely mad. When I started going towards the gate of the cemetary, he held on to my hand and tried to keep me from going. He was stronger than me, but one angry look was enough for him to let go. When I reached the gate of the graveyard, I turned around for just a moment. He still stood in the far corner and I could barely see his outline. He stood between the gravestones, his head hanging down and he didn't look at me, but stared at the ground. I felt an urge to run back to him, ask him to join me in some restaurant in town instead. I could offer to buy him some new clothes, he surely need them, maybe I could help him get a passport and take him with me to Europe, so I wouldn't be all alone there.
My mind, however, was set on visiting my childhood home still today. I turned back to the gate and exited the graveyard.
The street was not paved at these parts, it was sandy and in the middle a stripe was overgrown with grass. This time of the year was rainy, and thus the sandy parts had turned into mud. My shoes and socks were already soaked from the walk in the graveyard, but I didn't care. Somewhere in front of me stood my car, and across the street from the car there was the gate to my old garden.