The Ghost on Forest Lane


On Forest Lane a ghost resides, who in the darkness howls and cries. In moonless night he strolls outside, to find a victim for his plight. A careless soul he’ll bind and tow, into his basement down below. To use his soul for better or worse to find a way, to break the curse This silly rhyme was told to scare the young children of the town of Woodbury. Fifty years ago a tragic event had occurred in the quiet town with their sleepy inhabitant. The local doctor had died in a ‘tragic accident’ as it was communicated by the sister of the doctor. Woodbury was a very small town, almost forgotten by time; it crawled its way into history minding its own business. Surrounded by hills, hidden in a valley, the town could indeed have easily been overlooked by time as it hurried its way forward. There was, however, one peculiar family that occasionally had managed to speed up the heartbeat of the inhabitants. This particular family was the Vandergeest family. They lived in a big Victorian house on the edge of town and as it were, this house was the residence of the town’s only doctor. But besides the fact that for generations the family had brought forth the town’s doctor, there was something else the family was well known for: extravagant parties. The amount of food that was served, the music, the decorations, there was no doubt that the family spent a lot of money on each party. And when the mood is good and the alcohol is flowing richly, things sometimes just happen, someone would get overfriendly with his married neighbour, or the handsome tailor’s son would sneak off into a quiet corner with the baker’s daughter. It all didn’t matter, because it was said that what happened between the grey walls of the house should remain there. And although gossiping was a popular pastime in the small town, especially for the elderly, people seemed to abide by this unspoken rule for fear of not being invited to the next party. When Frederik, the only son of the family, had just graduated and was officially a doctor, he assisted his father until his father had enough confidence in his son’s ability to let Frederik run the doctor’s practice by himself. Father and mother went on a trip by car leaving Frederik and his younger sister, Catherine, at home. They hadn’t been on holiday since grandfather died, leaving them with no grandparents. Then disaster struck. While crossing a railroad in misty weather, a freight train unexpectedly came thundering down the hill. The car was ripped apart: a mere piece of paper for the train as it collided with the car with unstoppable force, killing off its passengers. When the news reached Woodbury, the whole town went into mourning and for a year no parties were held. But after a year passed by, Frederik decided that to keep the memory of their parents – their family – alive, he should continue the tradition and soon invitations went round for another party. His sister did not share the same idea and refrained from attending the parties. Instead she locked herself up in her room during these parties. On the 31st of October, 1960, Halloween, another party was held. The party was, as always, merry and entertaining, and people went home satisfied. The following morning, however, news went around the town that a terrible accident has happened inside the house. Apparently, Frederik had fallen down the stairs and broken his neck. When the town heard that the family had been struck by a tragic accident yet again, it was received with great horror and disbelief. But as the sister kept all the details of this tragic event quiet, soon a rumour started to spread that it wasn’t an accident at all. Wild speculations of what really happened that day were making their way around town. Some said it was murder, others claimed he committed suicide but no one actually knew the real cause. Rumours eventually died down and a sort of emptiness fell over the town. Frederik’s sister would not and could not continue the tradition of throwing extravagant parties and the once cheerful residence fell somewhat into decay. The new doctor settled in a house close to the market square. And as time went by, the parties became just a mere memory in the people’s minds. But then new rumours started to spread. A voice had been heard in the large forest just behind the Vandergeest house. People had seen lights flicker through the attic windows late at night. Brave children who dared to skip through a gap in the hedge said they had felt an eerie feeling that made them shiver in anxiety. Something unexplainable was present in the house. Or, as wise old men, smoking pipes and sitting on the bench overlooking the market square, said, “The spirit of the doctor has some unfinished business to deal with. Better watch out when you venture near that house!” Soon stories went around about the ghost of the doctor chasing people through the forest, or actually catching people and experimenting on them in his cellar. People made sure to avoid the house, especially at night. And on Halloween none of the local children dared to ring the doorbell of Forest Lane no.1 when on their trick-or-treat round through town. Elizabeth, however, remained in the house. Relatives had tried to convince her to sell the house and move somewhere else, to move on with her life, but she didn’t Ankara bayan escort listen. On Fridays she would appear in the market to buy her weekly fruits and vegetables, but no one dared to approach her to ask her their burning questions, to satisfy their own curiosity. The market salesmen sometimes inquired about her well being, but as their questions were only met with a weary smile they soon gave up questioning her altogether. Although living in seclusion, Elizabeth wasn’t living entirely in solitude. She had a few friends; all of them knew her before the tragic family events, that were still troubling her mind, had taken place. There was a grumpy man by the name of Richard Walker, better known as Rusty Walker as he owned a small scrap yard a few miles out of town. He had been a good friend of her brother and now sometimes came to visit and help out in the maintenance of the house. Margaret Jones, a quaint painter. Her family had been close friends with the Vandergeests and had often visited the house on Forest Lane. Now it was only Margaret who was occasionally seen making her way to the house. And there was Catherine Turner; she had been friends with Elizabeth since they were kids, at times inseparable, playing, gossiping, and giggling to the annoyance of their teachers. But after Elizabeth’s brother died Catherine had never been seen entering the house again. This in itself was odd because Elizabeth and Catherine were believed to be best friends. There was a rumour that Elizabeth’s brother fancied Catherine. Although it could be questioned which girl Elizabeth’s brother didn’t fancy. At that time it had indeed raised some eyebrows by overly inquisitive women. But when Catherine married a man from the neighbouring town of Lakeville and moved there to settle down with him, Catherine slipped out of their minds. ——– Now, fifty years to the day of that tragic day, Catherine was sitting in the passenger seat of her granddaughter’s Ford. She looked sideways to her granddaughter, Karina. She always thought Karina was the striking image of her when she was Karina’s age. And she wasn’t the only one. People who knew Catherine from when she was young said so too. Karina had the same flowing brown hair, the same piercing green eyes, the same facial expressions and even the same slender body Catherine once had. And the necklace, Catherine’s necklace she had given her granddaughter on her eighteenth birthday two years ago, made the striking image complete. As they rounded the hill and descended down, Catherine’s eyes were drawn towards the town of Woodbury. It was already past noon, but the sleepy town was still covered in mist. The watery autumn sun had already given up the fight to free the town of its foggy blanket and was descending upon the earth. Catherine’s aging eyes observed the houses she was able to make out through the mist. She knew every street of this little town all to well, and although it had been a while since she last visited the town where she was born and raised, there was no doubt in her mind that, save the occasional new building here and there, it would all still be the same. As they were driving through the main street of Woodbury and Catherine was confronted with familiar sights, with familiar feelings, her thoughts drifted off to Elizabeth. Although Catherine had moved to a different town, she had never broken contact with Elizabeth. At least once a year Elizabeth would come to visit her, although she had never returned the favour, not until today. Somehow they always managed to avoid the subject of the death of Elizabeth’s brother. She always figured that if Elizabeth wanted to talk about it, she would do just that and Catherine herself didn’t feel the urge to talk about this sensitive subject. While it was kind of awkward at first, it soon became natural to avoid the subject when recollecting memories of the days past. However, Elizabeth’s last visit had been different. She had urged Catherine to come to her house. Elizabeth said she needed to break the spell, to find closure. Her words had puzzled Catherine. Closure from what? And what spell? But the normally saddened look in Elizabeth’s eyes was now mixed with urgency, fear almost. Catherine conceded and agreed to visit her on the 31st of October. ——– Karina glanced quickly at her grandmother as she turned her Ford into the driveway of Forest Lane no.1. Her grandmother had been awfully quiet the whole trip. And now that they were almost at their destination, she could feel her grandmother getting tenser by the minute. She could even see it as her grandmother gripped the armrest of the car door tight, so tight that Grandma’s already pale knuckles turned almost transparent white. “Grandma, are you ok?” ”Yes, dear,” Grandma said breathing deep, “I’m fine, really.” Karina watched her grandmother closely from the corner of her eyes as she slowly drove her car up the gravel road. Maybe this trip wasn’t such a good idea for Grandma. But it was Grandma herself who suggested this trip. Karina had overheard Grandma and her mother as they quarrelled in the kitchen. Grandma had asked Karina’s mother if she could drive her to Woodbury, to the house of Ms. Vandergeest. However Karina’s parents were planning a Halloween Escort bayan Ankara party and her mother wasn’t going to cancel that just so she could drive Grandma to see some ‘crazy old woman.’ Karina had been looking for an excuse to get away from that Halloween party ever since she broke up with her boyfriend more than four months ago. She avoided parties, partly because she still hadn’t gotten over the one year relationship and partly because she wasn’t much of a party girl in the first place. The twenty year old college student preferred to invest her energy in studying and the effort was certainly showing in her grades. There was also the fact that Karina possessed a pair of large breasts. A heritage of your grandma, her mother sometimes jokingly referred to them. Karina’s grandmother seemed to have the same chest size in her days. Karina had always been a bit shy and introverted and she didn’t like the attention she was getting because of her breasts at all. She usually wore loose sweaters or tee shirts to somewhat hide them. And since all nice Halloween costumes mostly consisted of tight fitted clothing, Karina didn’t feel like running around and having all the men at the party ogling at her. So when Karina had overheard her mother and her grandma arguing, she walked into the kitchen and offered to drive her. ——– Karina parked the car close to the front door and stepped out. She hurried around the car to help her grandma, but her grandma had already swung the car door open and struggled herself onto her feet. “No need to help, I’m fine.” “Ok, Grandma,” Karina replied as she turned and gazed at the house. Something about it made it look eerie. The big windows seemed to be covered with a layer of dust or dirt and a few broken windows had been replaced by wooden planks. Parts of the framework and the front door seemed to be rotten and the layer of paint had ruptured open, exposing dark, moldy cracks. No one seemed to have stopped nature taking its course through the garden as it was overgrown with weeds and brambles. The hedges had grown wildly in all directions. Ivy covered a large part of the side wall, all the way up to the roof. “Are you sure we’re at the right house, Grandma?” Karina asked as she lifted her bag and Grandma’s small suitcase out of the trunk. The house looked so grey, almost deserted. Karina shivered, not knowing if it was because of the cold October wind or this creepy looking place. “I’m pretty sure,” Grandma said, her voice soft as if she was deep in thought. They walked towards the front door and Grandma pulled on a small rope that Karina figured would be the doorbell. Indeed Karina could hear the faint clanging of a bell inside the house as Grandma pulled the rope twice. Soon after, she heard the shuffling of feet that were approaching the door. The door opened and an old lady appeared from behind the door. Her wrinkled face turned into a bright smile when she saw Karina’s grandmother. “Oooh, I’m so glad you made it.” The two women hugged each other. Then the old woman looked at Karina. “Oooh look at you, you’ve grown so much since the last time I saw you. I hope you still remember me?” “Of course, Miss Vandergeest,” Karina replied shyly. Karina found it a bit weird to refer to a woman more than thrice her own age as Miss, but she knew Miss Vandergeest never got married. She wondered why, but didn’t have the nerve to ask her about it. “Please, call me Elizabeth. Now come on in, I see you are cold.” Karina and her grandmother stepped inside. The hallway was lit with a few small lights on the walls, bathing it in a soft yellow glow. The walls were made of wood, with paintings on them for decoration. As Elizabeth guided them through the hallway, Karina curiously examined the paintings. They all seemed to be of family members as the names and dates of birth and death were written below them. Elizabeth opened two big doors to what appeared to be a living room, but it was so big, it could have easily been a ball room. Several old leather couches were positioned to the sides, accompanied with coffee tables. In the center stood a black piano with a silver chandelier above it decorated with glass, but it could have easily been diamonds as the light of the small light bulbs made the glass sparkle. The chandelier, however, seemed to be the only object that sparkled in the room. The piano seemed scratched and dull. Wear was clearly visible on the couches, their pillows flattened. And on the left side of the room, the varnish on the wide wooden stairs that led the way to the floor above had been worn-out. Karina felt as if she had stepped back in time, it looked all so old, like it was never touched in years. Karina also didn’t see a television. Who in the world didn’t have one? And no computer, just an old record player. She wondered if that thing actually worked. “I will show you your rooms to get rid of your luggage,” Elizabeth said, walking towards the stairs. When she reached the top of the stairs, Karina looked into a small carpeted hallway. Again small lights were hanging on the wall and wooden doors were on either side. “There are two bathrooms. One here,” said Elizabeth as she pointed to a door, “and one on the other end, so you can take all the time you Bayan escort Ankara need in there.” “Karina, you can take the last bedroom. It’s the last door to the left. You’ll have the second bathroom just across the hallway, very convenient.” Elizabeth smiled, looking at Karina. Karina had thought that Elizabeth was staring at her, but she quickly dismissed that thought. “I don’t think you’ll need my help, therefore I’ll show your grandmother her bedroom.” Karina nodded, gave Grandma her suitcase and started walking towards the end of the hallway. She stopped halfway and turned around. “Eh, Miss… I mean, Elizabeth. Where do those stairs lead?” Karina asked, pointing at a winding staircase at the other end, barely visible in the dimly lit hallway. “Those lead to the attic. My late brother’s study is up there. I would advise you not to go up there, young lady.” “Sure thing, Miss,” Karina replied, although the fact that Elizabeth had mentioned not to go up there made her curious about what actually was up there. But thinking the better of it, Karina walked towards the last door. “When you’re done freshening up, come see us in the kitchen,” Elizabeth shouted. “Ok, I will,” Karina answered, as she stepping inside the room. She put her bag on the old wooden bed and looked around the room. It wasn’t a spacious room, but big enough to fit a desk and the queen sized bed in. The room was decorated in the same old style as the rest of the house. She opened her bag and pulled out her laptop. “No point turning this on now,” she thought, not expecting to have any wireless internet connection here. She put the laptop on the desk and started looking for her toiletry. A warm shower would do her good. ——– After Karina tweaked the knobs of the shower and warm water was streaming out of the copper colored showerhead, she stepped into the bathtub and let the water wash over her body. It was still late afternoon, but Karina somehow felt tired and she hoped a warm shower would make her come to life again. As she was massaging her body with soap, her hands lingered at her breasts. For some reason massaging her breasts always turned her on; let alone when someone else touched them. When her ex-boyfriend had massaged them, she had always become wet in and instant and when he wrapped his mouth around them and sucked on her nipples…Oooh my! As she was moulding her breasts, her mind drifted off to her ex, to the sex they had. He might have ended up being a jerk, but the sex had always been good. Karina dreamily let her right hand slide down from her breast over her stomach, and onto her mound. She arched her back, leaning against the wall, letting the warm water stream down over her belly, her abdomen, and her vagina. Her fingers caressed her labia, and a soft moan escaped her lips. Maybe she should have gone to a Halloween party from one of her friends. She was still a girl with hormones and she still had needs. It had already been five months since the last time she had sex. But she wasn’t that type of girl. She couldn’t have a one night stand and she didn’t want to. Still the desire in her body was there as the tip of her fingers slowly rubbed her clitoris, her body responding in little pleasurable shocks. She began to breathe heavier, closing her eyes as her fingers accelerated the circling motion over her clit, applying more pressure. Her hips were moving slowly, grinding up against her hand, she started to whimper softly. Her body heated up, closer and closer to its boiling point. Thud. A dull sound broke her out of her daze. It came from above. Karina froze, still leaning against the wall, listening. There it was again, a soft thud. She turned off the shower and stepped out. Was there someone upstairs? Karina thought Grandma and Elizabeth were the only other people in the house and she had heard them go downstairs together before she went in the shower. Wrapping a towel around her dripping body, she opened the door quietly, and stepped outside into the hallway, almost under the stairs that went up. She listened carefully, but she didn’t hear another thud. She did hear a soft rattling sound coming from upstairs. It sounded like a window was open and the wind was playing with it, opening and closing it. After listening quietly for a minute, frozen in place, she didn’t hear any more thuds, only the soft rattling of the window. Karina shook her head and went back into the bathroom. She started to imagine things she thought to herself. After Karina was done in the bathroom, she stayed in her room, or at least her temporary room. She had brought her homework with her as she still had a paper to write and exams were fast approaching. And she figured her grandmother and Elizabeth would have enough to talk about that she didn’t need to hear. After a few hours she couldn’t really focus on studying any longer. Her stomach was giving small hints that food had to be consumed soon as it rumbled slightly. It was time to go and find the kitchen. Karina found her grandmother and Elizabeth sitting in what appeared to be the dining room, at a long table with five chairs on either side and one chair at both ends of the table. Elizabeth was sitting at the head of the table with her grandmother at her right side. Two long stemmed wine glasses and an open bottle of red wine were in front of them. The table was already prepared for dinner for three people. “Karina, we thought you were lost in the house,” Grandma said as she noticed Karina walked towards them. “I could have easily, it’s a really big house,” Karina said, sliding into the chair opposite her grandmother.

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