The Spirit Within

Margret Thomson lived in a small house built by her parents near the
town of Petersville. It was April 30, in the country, far away from any town,
at a time when telephones hadn’t even been thought of yet. She went out with
a friend of hers, Lilly Thatcher, to explore the woods behind their newly
built cow pasture. Come dark time, the two had not returned and the families
were getting worried.

Gossip travels quick in the country, for there are few people to tell
about such matters. Soon, the whole area knew and the men gathered up their
horses and dogs and told the wives to stay behind while they searched for the
two girls. They galloped out in the direction where the old pig slaughter
house used to be, thinking they found it as shelter and decided to stay there
for a while.

Upon arriving, they found no traces of the girls. So, they searched
for hours until the dogs picked up a scent and started following it. The men
were so excited! They raced their horses through the woods trying their best
not to run into a branch, or worse a tree, and hoping the dogs hadn’t picked
up some wild beast by mistake.

It turned out the dogs were right; they had found the girls, lying on
the ground, their stomachs chewed away leaving a hollow abdomen already
filled with flies and insects. The stench of rotting flesh filled the air
along with the smell of wet dogs from the dew on the ground. It was dark,
and the light from the lanterns the men carried provided little help in
discerning the matter.

There was nothing that could be done, and the smell and sight of them
would make everyone sick if they brought them back into town. One of the
members of the search party was a priest, so he properly did the “burial”
and they left the bodies there. They would prove to be a delicasy for animals
far and wide.

They told the families of what they saw who quietly took the news and
went to bed, sobbing in each others arms over the loss of their precious
daughters. Still, no one knows exactly what happened, and no one really
wants to know.

* * *

Will sat alone in his bedroom on the floor after everyone had gone
to bed. He decided to meditate, something one of his friends had joked about
one time. He joked about traveling to new places, seeing things no one has
ever seen before. Will decided to see for himself. Not really sure about
how to go about this, he sat there for 2 hours, in the dark, almost nude.
After quite a while his mind became so weary, he drifted off to sleep.

In his dream, he could hear a voice, telling him that she is there
for him, and to never give up. The dream seemed so real, but he really
thought nothing of it. That was until the day when he was daydreaming,
and he heard a voice in his head. He thought he was crazy at first, but Will
decided to answer back. A conversation began in his head that lasted for
hours, and when he went to bed that night, he could not stop. After
lots of questions, he finally found out several things about this “voice”.

Her name was Linda, she was 27 years old, and she was there to
protect Will. Most of the questions he asked were about his future, which
turned out to be true, so Will put a lot of trust and respect in Linda.
Using other medians like crystals, and gemstones, Will found out a lot
about the after life from her. When she died, she was given a choice.
She could either travel to another place, or stay on earth, but
she must choose someone to protect, be a guide to. She choose Will, he
would become someone special one day, she told him.

Years went by, Will had grown enough where he had gotten married,
acquired a great job, and even kids. His daughter, Emily was as cute as
anything in the world. Her long, silky black hair, and sweet smile showed
enough innocence that she could get away with anything. During all this time,
Will had been in constant contact with Linda, talking to her when he was alone,
and especially at night when he needed help in various matters. Will had
asked many times for Linda to show herself, but he was almost too scared to
allow her to do so for he didn’t think his mind could handle it.

After thinking about it for a long time, Will finally got the courage
to ask Linda to show herself, to take on a physical form. She warned him
many times about how frightened he may become, but he insisted that after
all these years, he must see her, touch her. She agreed, and they set a
date, Halloween. Halloween was the closest date where spirits could
travel freely to the other dimensions. Sometime during October 31, Linda
would show herself to Will in her physical form, be that her true form
or a fake one, Will would at least know that he hasn’t been crazy all these

Carla, Wills wife, took Emily to a neighbors house and dropped her off
so she could go trick-or-treating with some of her friends. Will was left
at home alone. The perfect time for him to contact Linda again. He tried
and tried to talk to her, but she would never respond. All his efforts
had failed. After hours, he finally gave up. He went downstairs to the
kitchen to get something to eat and realized something. Carla hadn’t gotten
back yet. It was 10 o’clock and both Carla and Emily should have returned.
Maybe something happened, they attended a party or some sort. He didn’t worry.

It was 11 o’clock and Will started to get upset that his wife
and daughter had not returned. It had not been 24 hours yet, so the police
would not help. He decided to go looking with some friends. He called
them and those that were sober enough to come along did. They all met at Wills
house, jumped in his Explorer and took off around the neighborhood to find
Carla and Emily.

Upon reaching the beginning of a street, they parked the vehicle and
everyone got out to search homes. They split up, half the group taking
one side of the street, the other half the opposite. Will, being in such a
hurry to find his family, walked faster than the others, and soon left them
behind. He hadn’t even noticed that the rest of his friends were a ways back
in the darkness.

Walking towards the final house, the light from a distant street
lamp struck some object a few dozen feet away from the road. Curious,
he wandered towards it, carefull not to alert whatever animal it could have
been, for it could have attacked. Bending down to get it, it was a small
chain, one that looked exactly like the one he gave to Carla for their wedding

All his hopes just heightened at the possiblilty that they might be
near. Listening carefully, he heard his name called from the treeline.
He ran towards the woods, stopping just before hitting a tree dead on, and
couldn’t see anyone. His name was called again, deeper in the woods, so
he walked in a few more feet. He heard Carlas voice, “Hey, sweetheart.”
He could barely see two figures lying on the ground for the light shining
in his eyes. He stepped forward so a nearby tree would put him in the shadow
of the street light. He could now see Carla and Emily lying on the gound.
Behind them, another … being… completely nude, deep, blood red skin.
It’s brown hair hung below it’s back and it had large, green eyes. Its body
was gleaming in the light, it’s empty, shrunk veins could be seen easily
through the skin. With blood dripping from all over it’s face and flesh
dangling from it’s mouth, it uttered the words, “Nice to finally meet you,

He could do nothing but stare at this sight, until he finally realized
that this being was the least of his problems. He kneeled down towards Carla
and held her hand.

“I’m so sorry that I couldn’t find you sooner, but I’m here now.”
He turned to Emily, “Hey, girl! Get up, let’s go home now.”

They did not move, and Will felt Carlas hand limp. He looked closer,
moving his head in awkward positions to avoid the light, and noticed they
were not breathing. He put his arms around them in a warm-felt hug, tears
beginning to run down his face and told them that he was sorry. Under his arm,
he could feel a coldness, a liquid feeling. He lifted their shirts, and they
both had their stomachs eaten away, clean to the spinal cord. The leaves and
dirt below their bodies could be seen through the hole.

He looked at the being in a stare like a cat eyes it’s prey
and it spoke: “Don’t you recognize me? I’m Linda, I told you we’d meet

“Why did you do this,” questioned Will.

“It was my duty, this is what I do.”

Will looked down in sorrow, shooing the flies that seem to be
getting greater in number. He looked up again at Linda. Now, she was
in a more human form, with brown hair flowing down her back, beautiful
flower dress on, and an inviting smile on her face.

“We had some great times together, Will. I loved our talks at night,
I loved the way you put your trust in me. It was amusing. After all those
years, you still believed in me. I was always with you, as I have been
with many other people. But, when you met Carla, and had Emily, you
made me jealous. Now, you are mine.”

Will looked at her in awe, not knowing what to say, for he was too
busy thinking back, remembering how much he had trusted her, how much he
wanted to meet her, and most of all, how she warned him against it.

She paused, looked at him with a sorrow filled look in her eye, and
said, “Now you see me…” In an instant, she was gone, no trace she had ever
been there, except for the two bodies lying on the ground. In Will’s mind he
heard, “now you don’t.” There was a short pause. “Now, say goodbye.”

Will thought for a minute, and said his farewells to Carla and Emily.
He stood up, looked around, and said, “Goodbye.”

He then disappeared, along with the bodies of Carla and Emily, leaving
nothing behind.