Come Play with Me in the Dark

 

Come Play with Me in the Dark”

 

… starring darkest author Cassandra Lee (as herself), horror writer Scott Nicholson (as Elmer Whitehead),  Paranormal investigator and author Tony Hart Wilden of ‘Chasing Midnight’   (as himself) & the warm and lovely spirit of  the fascinating fortune teller Miss Mayhayley Lancaster. 

 

Part 1: Come play with me in the dark.

 

“The dark and mysterious tales of such have been passed down over the years and nothing but folklore to most, and though many of the town locals hold deep admiration and respect for the woman,  some seem to fear the mention of her name. Tony minimized the biographical article of the old fortune teller.  It is apparent that no investigative groups had yet tread into the small town, or if they had, none were successful.  There wasn’t one investigative report to be found, no pictures, nothing.  

 

It wasn’t that big a deal. Tony would be the first, but it always helped to have some up to date shots and whereabouts before heading out to a location. Tony was an Englishman in New York, a paranormal investigator for more than twenty years, and having visited over a hundred haunted locations around the world, finding nothing, he had little faith left that there was anything to find.

 

He restored Maddie’s web page.  ‘Come play with me in the dark’ it always greeted. He’d kept an eye on the page routinely since she mysteriously vanished but had she disappeared in ‘real life’? He wasn’t sure.   

 

He made  routine anonymous visits to the Stephen King website. It was there he found info she had not posted on his site. Along with an abundance of information and photographs of the old fortune teller with whom she’d become seemingly obsessed, the post revealed a sort of back and forth  between herself and a local there in Heard County thru emails, a woman who had written a book of praise for the fortuneteller.  Greetings like ‘Who are you? Where are you from?  What is your interest in Mayhayley?!’

 

Her last post on his own website was a few days later informed that she was returning to Heard County and get some photos of the gravestone, particularly the ‘original creepy stone’ that the author there  had admitted existed and claims is housed in a historical museum.  If shes been to Heard County, he will soon find out.

 

He gazed at the circled date on his calender marking  his trip down south. The fortune tellers birthday. He briefly reflected on the tale of the out of towner passing the church one day to stop and find he was visiting on her birthday, creeped out enough to ask a local store clerk who she was and then Maddie researching her for the very first time and realizing it was her birthday. Theres ‘something’ about this woman’s birthday that stirs her spirit, he thought.

 

He had scrolled back up the page and  noticed her best friend Cassie was logged in. He’d visited her page now more than a few times, a cute horror writer from Canada. He clicked on her page, then email and began typing her a message.

 

Cassie went straight to her best friends page to see if she had logged back in yet, still she hadn’t. She was worried. Outside the internet she had no other way of reaching her, but they had become close. She knew that if her system was down, she still had other access, and she wouldn’t just disappear. Cassie was the sweetest thing you’ll ever meet and the meanest bitch you ever seen.

 

She ran her mouse across the handsome face of Elmer Whitehead with a raised brow. The famed hillbilly horror writer Maddie  had been chatting with, the one she was just ‘playing’ with. The one she wanted to rendezvous with in a graveyard. She pretended to be his obsessed Annie, but what if he was really  twisted and demented? What if he was a stalker? She was keeping an eye on him. Writers tell on themselves she thought and his blog is always booming.

 

‘Come play with me in the dark’ popped up on the screen, as her page finally loaded, it always took forever it seemed. Elmer scrolled down the page and clicked on the guy guzzling the bottle of liquor again. He’s seen this page a hundred times now. ‘ya Fuckin basturd’ he said out loud.  This is the guy,  the guy she gave her address to send her them Stephen King books.   It was him, he dropped her those disturbing comments, ‘I fucking love you!’ he said. Elmer turned up his bottle of Jack Daniels and looked at the framed picture of Maddie on his desk,  he picked it up and kissed her cold glass lips, ‘Im coming to find you my sweet’.

 

 

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Come Play with Me in the Dark

 

Part 2: Come Pray with Me in the Dark

 

Cassandra had dozed off at the computer, damn,  kids had wore her out again turning mommy time into sweet drool time. She lifted her head to see Elmer’s face on the screen. ‘Oucchhh’ escaped her lips, her ass hurt, as she’d been forced to sit on the stack of phone books just to reach the keyboard for days now. Damn kids destroyed her chair! She was about to log out when she saw she had a new message. It was from midnightman, aka Tony. She opened it to find he knew nothing more of Maddie’s whereabouts than she did, asking if she knew anything about her planning a trip to a graveyard. It surprized her that she had told him about her rendezvous with Elmer. She replied to tell him that they were meeting somewhere on the state line, but she wasn’t sure what town that would be.

 

Her message was a bit confusing to Tony. The Lancaster grave wasn’t located on any state lines he didn’t think, and what state lines? And who were ‘they’? Who was she meeting? He replied back to ask. He went back to Maddie’s page and went to pics and began printing a few. All of the website data and posts were neatly stacked in his bag just underneath his gold framed picture of Tara Reid. He could understand the thing Maddie had about King now that he’d found Tara. He’d give anything to get his hands on her. He’d went back to Maddie’s page and was scrolling down when he decided to click on the visitor map. There were a few scattered locations, but  hits from Franklin, Georgia all but filled the entire listing over a period of days. He decided to map it’s distance from his destination.

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The room was lit only by the glare of the computer screen. Elmer leaned back in his chair, his hand fumbling  thru his trouser pocket. He wrapped his fingers around a lacy fabric.  He put it to his face and rubbed it along his cheek. Mmm he came here for her and he was going to have her, just like she promised.  His thoughts were  suddenly  interrupted by a tap on the door. He pulled the sleazy motel curtain back to spy his expected visitor, the grouchy old bastard from the country store up the road.  Quickly he shoved the garment back into his pocket and opened the door.

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‘Come on in, have a seat’ Elmer told him, he reached for the bottle of Jack, ‘have a drink’ he added. He took the bottle and turned it up guzzling.  After about four good swigs, he took a seat on the edge of the bed. The man took a crumpled photo of Maddie from his pocket and handed it to Elmer. ‘So whats the story mornin’ glory? Elmer asked. “Well aint a damn soul seen her. You sure she was here? and another thing, that graveyard she was meetin’ ya at is haunted”. Elmer laughed. The man sighed, “Laugh if you wont to Mr. Whitehead, but Im tellin’ you the truth. Its the trouble with you horror writers, you write about shit you don’t even believe in, which reminds me…..” the old man reached into his pocket and came out with a copy of The Backyard, handed it to Elmer. Elmer opened its front cover, ‘Whats your wife’s name again?….’ he asked.  “Maybelline, but we just call her Maybell” Elmer scribbled on the page and handed it back. “Well my boy Bubba will be here first thang tomorrow to take ya out huntin’ her in his jeep, so you be ready”. He shook Elmer’s hand and saw himself to the door.

 

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She couldn’t see out of the painted and boarded windows. She was exactly where she was supposed to meet Elmer at the abandoned church, but she was in it ! Slight beams of moonlight peered over the leftover paint of some of the old forgotten windows. Candlelight danced and flickered throughout the small rundown chapel enough that Maddie could see the Stephen King covered walls. There were portraits of him and movie posters. His books were  scattered all over the place.  There was lots of food and blankets, it was like a hunters cabin at church right beside a cemetery.

 

She had been there since yesterday, when he left her ‘locked in’ to get her a ‘special surprise’ and not yet returned, certain now she didn’t lose her cell phone but he must have stole it!  She knew that wasn’t fucking Elmer that greeted her to begin with but played along.  It was that crazy guy Steve from Hickville,  in black framed nerd glasses and a shirt that had ‘Elmer’ on it. She honestly thought it was funny that he liked her sooo much to attempt such a charade!  That he was ‘working on a story’ just for her and their meeting here would be part of it as would the ‘surprise’ he has for her.  

 

 

The guy loved Stephen King too, even went to Maine! He sent her those Dark Tower books!   She’d once told him that closest she might ever get to hanging with Stephen would be hanging  with a guy who loved him as much as she did.   Well now she got herself a real piece of work!  All she could do was bundle in a blanket to try to get some sleep in the heavenly hell hole, and await his return.  

 

 

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*Part 3  Come Play with Me in the Dark: and the door will open                                          

 

 

 

Maddie  awoke to the sound of birds cawing. She did so enjoy the sounds of a murder of crows. . She grabbed her bag and made her way to a small beat up bathroom , at the front, behind the alter section. She poured some water from one of the many jugs that  lined the wall and splashed it on her face. Then she did her makeup.  Stephen was staring at her from the wall in his ‘We Never Sleep’ shirt and she smiled back at him.  Hopefully someone would be coming soon for Mayhayleys birthday?  Well that is as legend has it!   She began tearing away at some torn plaster on the wall.

 

Tony was waiting impatiently at the Dark Horizon Airport. Cassandra had spontaneously insisted on coming with him as a result of their messaging. He prefers to go alone, but he had caved.  How is it that women always have a way of doing that?  The info she’d given him about the rooftop zooms on the site maps had been very helpful. He was able to get an exact location of her most common page visitor, not surprizingly located close to the haunted location. Trees had blocked the rooftop view, but he had the name of the road and that would be enough. ‘Midnightman?’, a sultry voice spoke from behind him. He turned to her, she looked every bit like her pictures. ‘Yes’ he said, ‘Cassandra Lee’, she held out her hand and he kissed it. ‘A pleasure’ he said.  ‘The car is a 30 minute walk from here, so shall we?’ and he took her bag, surprized at how very heavy it was. Neither speaking more, they headed for his car. A good 12 hour drive ahead of them, there would be plenty of time for talking.

 

Bubba was just as Elmer expected, just like his Daddy, a country smart ass, but younger and definetly better lookin’, not that Elmer was into judging guys, if there was one thing he wasn’t it was gay. The boy just wasn’t all that bright, they’d been down tons of country roads allready, he even  wanted to check out a fresh mound of dirt at an old cemetery in bum fuck. ‘Nah, thats okay’ Elmer told him. ‘But its the perfect place to hide a body’, the boy said. ‘Caney Head’ Elmer said. ‘thats where we were meetin”. Bubba sighed. ‘Okay, I’ll let ya out up the road and wait for ya, but I’m not goin’ down there’. ‘Whats so bad about goin’ down there?’ Elmer asked. ‘Its haunted like Pa told ya, bad things happen to people who go there, usually after they leave the place, not while they’re there’. ‘What kind of things?’ Elmer asked. ‘Sickness, car crashes, even death. but I don’t know of any happenin’s to those who go to have their fortune read so just throw some money on the grave and maybe you’ll be allright’. Elmer didn’t consider this anything but hogwash. ‘Okay, I’ll do that’ he said…’Whose grave?’ ‘Miss Mayhayley Lancaster’, said Bubba, ‘the fortune teller’.   ‘Ya ever heard of Murder in Coweta County?’ Elmer nodded yes.  ‘Well this here is the real her, and folks dont feel shes dead around  these parts’. ‘Fair enough’ Elmer said, and they were finally enroute to Caney Head Methodist Church.

 

 

Maddie was knocking more and more of the sheetrock away and found a door!  The doorknob had been removed. She kicked it with her foot and it flew open.  The room was small and dusty.  Old desk, old filing cabinet, flyers and programs scattered around. She was looking at dates on some and a name caught her eye. July 8, 1840,  Ice Cream Social! Sister Amanda Smith will host the festivity    She looked up and saw her way out.

 

 

Cassandra couldn’t get over the awesome ride. Beautiful black Ford Mustang. He called it his Parastang. It couldn’t be more perfect for a paranormal investigator, especially a midnightman. He was kind of quiet, not much of a talker, but an English accent to die for. ‘So where are we going first’ she asked. ‘ I think first we’ll head into the general area and get some rooms, if they have any’, he laughed.  She laughed. ‘And then tomorrow to the graveyard, right?’ she added. ‘Yes’, he said, ‘ on her birthday’. ‘Ah shit, really?’ she said.  Then he added ‘but before we go there, I want to check around with some locals to see if Maddie ever went there’. ‘Yeah my thoughts exactly’ she said, ‘and I brought along a picture of Elmer, see if anybody seen him too.’ ‘Good thinking’ Tony said, and cranked up the Sex Pistols.

 

 

Well dogdammnit, he could have gotten a little fuckin’ closer than this Elmer thought. He’d been walking for a good ten minutes allready and still hadn’t reached the graveyard. He stopped for a minute to take a big sip of his Jack, and noticed there were some vultures circling on up ahead, lots of them.  Crows were filling the trees. He began around a curve and thought he could see the church, or it might be a house, he could see a red car.

 

 

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*Come Play with Me in the Dark

 

Part 4: Pleasure and pane

 

Ancient old graves scattered off to the right of the road near the trees looked like sad runaway graves. It gave Elmer an idea for a story. Definetly the church ahead, but someone was there. Maybe a caretaker he thought.  He stepped off the road and trod through the knee high grass toward the many cemetery lots. Might as well see the old witches grave while he was here and toss a quarter on it for good luck, hell it couldn’t hurt. The birds circling the skies above was a little creepy, but what the hell, it was a creepy place. Wandering slowly through the graveyard checking out names on each headstone, Elmer thought he heard something. It sounded like someone preaching. Nah who the fuck would be up there preachin’ in a boarded up church? he thought.  He stopped to listen, and there was nothing, just the birds. Ah shit he thought, he sat down on the wall of a family plot  and unzipped his bag, his best friend Jack was always there to calm a rattled nerve. He gazed again at the red Camaro parked at the side of the church, not a soul in sight, but fuckin’ weird.

 

 

He was feeling better now and was up to check out some more of the headstones. He heard it again, this time plain as day…definetly preaching… ‘you call yourself righteous? yet you deliver the devil’s whispers?!’ rang out in subtle echos from the direction of the church. Elmer knew one thing, he wasn’t going anywhere near that church. He was thinking of heading right out on out when there to his right, it was. A. Mayhayley Lancaster October 18, 1875 to … a small basket on the left in some shrubs caught his eye. The rusty top of a big  old mason jar with a slit cut in the top. ‘Well Ill just be damned’  he muttered. The boy said people left money here and damn sure enough there it was. He reached down and pulled it from the basket. The jar was packed with money, not just coins, but bills, lots of them.  A ghostly preacher preached ‘you are a sinner, we are all sinners!!!’ Elmer quickly stuffed the jar into his bag, ‘Its been a pleasure meetin’ ya Miss Mayhayley’ as he nodded to her gravestone,  and headed back towards the road.

 

 

 

Tony’s thunderous black mustang roared down yet another desolate highway, it had been too many miles since they entered what was supposed to be a town. Cassandra was fumbling around through Tony’s data and maps, ‘here it is, we’re on the right road’ she said. ‘There should be something on the left, somewhere, around here’ she said, but there had been nothing for many miles. Tony slowed to read a small ground sign on the side of the road…’Fresh peaches, fresh turnips, fresh melons and boiled peanuts..10 miles ahead on the right’. ‘Well theres something ahead’ he told Cassandra, ‘but its on the right’. They had gotten about a few miles further when they saw the sign on the left… ‘Hog Warts Hotel’ $25.day/night hanging from a broken chain on a pole.  ‘Oh My God’  Cassandra said laughing, ‘they stole that from Harry Potter movies  thats fucking hilarious.’ Tony was laughing too…’Well lets see if its as prestigious as the school’ he said, ‘and I don’t think so’ he added, still laughing. They turned down the dirt road creating a massive dust cloud.

 

 

Maddie reached up and grabbed the tattered rope that hung from the ceiling and as she pulled it  harder a stairwell began unfolding but only half way. It was stuck.  She found a chair to lift herself up to it and climbed up what she could of it. Squeaky creaks! Her fingers touched into a mass of unseen webs as she reached the top.  She found an attic! She was suddenly startled by an abrupt but faint ‘you shall be redeemed!’  almost like an echo from the wall.  The birds were very loud.   A bunch of old boxes lined the wall and there was  a cracked mirror that seemed a bit illuminated.   She slid it over and there was a window!  She began trying to lift it which was never going to happen, and she saw something out the window! The shiny red back end of the car.  Hes back!  She thought …  Hes here, but where???   

 

‘Dammnit how long is this driveway?!’ Tony said angrily, and finally through the dust they could see it. ‘Hotel my ass’ he said… ‘Yea its a dump motel for sure’ Cassandra said, ‘looks old as the dirt’. They parked the car by what appeared to be an office and went inside. It looked nothing more than a living room but there was a counter, Tony rang the bell. A woman in about her 50s with tons of makeup appeared from behind a floral curtain that covered a doorway. ‘Welcome to Hog Wart Hotel , would you two like a room?’  she asked. Tony looked at Cassandra as if asking, and she nodded, ‘Yes we would’ he said and pulled out his wallet to pay.The woman stepped to the back to get some change. Cass whispered to Tony ‘Well the stalker is here somewhere right?”and why are visions of Norman Bates dancing through my head?’ ‘Cause you’re a horror writer’ he told her, and smiled.

 

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*Come Play with Me in the Dark

Part 5: Grave understandings

 

Maddie  had sat quietly for a while since she’d seen the car, just thinking, to only the sound of the  birds.  The glass was so thick. She laid back and tried to  kick it out but only rotten wood around it fell away.  She looked out again at the car.  It was covered in bird shit.  A movement in the distance caught her eye.  There was a man walking on the side of the road.  ‘Heyyyyy up heeere’ she began yelling as she pounded on the windows.   

 

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Well, Elmer thought he heard something. It sounded like someone knocking in an echo he couldnt tell where it was coming from. He glanced over his shoulder back towards the church, grabbed a tighter hold of his bag and moved more hurriedly. ‘bad things happen to people who go there’ the boy had said, not while theyre there, but after they leave¦. ‘aaahhh it’s a bunch of hogwash and bullshit’ he said to himself. He was hoping the little bastard was still waiting for him up around the curve, he better be. Sure as shit, he wasn’t, left him out here in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere. “You sawed off son of a bitchin’ little bastard!!!!!” he cursed to the heavens. He headed off the road to have a seat under an old oak and kill off the rest of his JD. He guzzled it down and tossed the bottle as far as he could throw it. A car was coming. ‘Ooooh shit, fuckin’ cops’! He was a law abidin’ citizen but for some reason they always made him feel nervous. An old black and white, the car was a fuckin’ antique! ‘Quick thinkin’ Elmer, he consulted with himself, do you sit still and let it pass on by or flag it down for a ride? You stole that money, but they got no reasons to search you’ “Flag it down for a ride” he answered, and ran towards the road,  just a waving.

 

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Cassandra and Tony were waiting at the counter as the woman once more returned from behind the floral curtain with Tony’s change, along with Compliments of the house, two plastic cups, a two liter Mountain Dew, two cans of sardines and a large pack of crackers. ‘I hope you all enjoy your stay’ she said smiling. ‘Thank you’ Tony said, ‘and may I ask before we leave if you’ve seen this woman, pulling a photo of Maddie  from his pocket. ‘No I haven’t’ she answered, but theres a gentleman who stays here who’s lookin’ for her too’. ‘This man?’ Cassandra asked as she pulled out her photocopy of Elmer. ‘Yes it is’ she said, ‘and just about an hour ago, Officer Retnek was here, lookin’ for him’. ‘Well did he say why?’ Cassie asked. ‘Nope, just said there was some suspicious behaviors but I told him we aint had no problems with him here, hes been one of the best guests we ever had and he even signed my books. Is he a friend of yours?’ the woman asked. ‘Yes he is, Im a writer too and hes helping me’ Cass said. ‘Oooh good, well then maybe he’ll be along here shortly, the room I gave ya is right beside his’, the woman smiled. With that, Tony and Cassandra were off to their room at Hogworts. ‘Well what do you think?’ Cass asked him. ‘Well I think the map has led us to the stalker and the stalker is Elmer, but if hes looking for her too, then where in the hell is she?’

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Maddie  watched as the man faded away into the distance. How could he not have heard her way out here, it didn’t make sense! The day was half over.  She couldnt believe she had a front row view of the cemetery where Mayhayley Lancaster is actually buried!  .  The huge black birds were settling a bit. One sat atop a memorial, several were on the roof above her and another was on the hood of the car. Tap, tap, tapping sounds emerged. It was pecking on the windshield of the car. Several more flew down and joined it as though a bazar orchestration. A deep chill came over her as she watched this and something suddenly disrupted the birds causing them to all fly up, from the car!   

 

A nostalgic rendition of Amazing Grace blasting from the car radio?   She wondered if the subtle sounds of preaching she’d been hearing all along had been coming from the car and had it been out there the whole time?  If so, where was  he?   What were the birds after?

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The police car was slowly coming to a halt for Elmer. ‘Hello Officer’ he said, ‘boy am I glad to see you, I’ve been, uh, well, it seems I got myself stranded out here, could you give me a lift back to town?’ ‘You Elmer Whitehead?’ the officer seemed to have growled. A puzzled look filled Elmer’s eyes. ‘Why yes Sir I am’ he said. ‘Well you’re just the man I’m lookin’ for, get in’. Elmer couldn’t stop his hand from shaking as he reached for the door handle. “Hell of a place to get stuck all the way out here aint it Mr. Whitehead?’ the officer said to Elmer. ‘Yea, the, well I guess my friend couldn’t wait for me’, Elmer said. “And what exactly was that you were lookin’ for out here? a young lady?’ the Officer asked. Elmer bit his lip. He wasn’t exactly sure what the fuck was going on here.

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When Tony and Cass got inside their room, it wasn’t any less than either expected. Cheap, sleazy motel room, one full size bed, table, chair, phone and tv, all antiques no doubt. Tony pulled out his laptop to test the map by hitting Maddie’s page from this location . Cassie was going through her bag. ‘I know youre a ghost hunter, she said to Tony, and you have all that equipment for that, but do you carry any weapons?’ she asked. “My bare hands” he laughed. ‘Well I have these’, she said, and began laying across the bed a 44 revolver, authentic medieval sword, some kind of spray called Halt, a huge crucifix and last but not least, a wooden stake. ‘Just in case’, she said. ‘Yea just in case’ he said, managing to give her a smile though something about it stirred his inner creepy alarm.

 

He was looking at the map. ‘hmmnnnn, its odd, he said, before this location has always appeared as Franklin Georgia, but here its listing Heard County’, are we in Heard County right now?’ he asked Cassandra. ‘I don’t know she said, I don’t think so, but, that’s where the graveyard is though right?’ ‘Yes’ he said and clicked on the aerial map to get a rooftop view. ‘Oh shit’ he said as he zoomed closer and closer, ‘youre not going to believe this’ he said, she leaned over his shoulder and ‘Oh shit’ fell exactly from her lips as well, ‘that’s some spooky shit’! she added. There on the screen was a country road, a popup sign with, in a place of a city -‘Caney Head Methodist Church’, in place of a house – the church, and its grave filled back yard, they could count the gravestones. ‘Someone visiting her page from the dead that’s not fucking possible, but I see it!’ Cassandra said. Tony sighed,  ‘I think it implies us’.

 

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*Part 6 …… skies begin to darken…..

 

Tony and Cassandra stood looking at the graveyard image on the computer screen. ‘So you think its some kind of weird omen? ‘ she asked.’I just don’t know’ he answered. At full zoom the names on the graves were not readable. Unable to print it out, he did a quick sketch of it . ‘What do you say we get a bite to eat somewhere and then head on to the cemetery before the midnight hour?’ She agreed and they began getting their stuff together, him equipment, her, weapons.

 

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Officer Retnek was a real rude country bastard.  Elmer sat pretty still in the passenger seat of the police car thinking to himself.  Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’ not quite cutting through the thick silence. ‘You ever seen this before Mr. Whitehead?’ Elmer turned to see the lacy garment that must have fallen from his pocket in the boys jeep.  ‘Yeah thats mine’ Elmer said.  Expression of surprise filled the Officers face that he had admitted this. ‘Oh is that right?’ he asked, adding ‘You like wearin’ lady stuff  Mr. Whitehead?’ Elmer didn’t answer. Fuckin’, proddin’, nosy, pokin’ bastard cop was givin’ him no choice but to take matters to his own hands and he best damn sure believe he would. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted with a shriek from Officer Retnek of ‘What the Fuckkkkk’? and Elmer looked ahead just as a woman in a long black dress appeared standing in the road, with her hand held out for them to stop, but it was too late and the car skidded on its brakes off the road and into a field. ‘Ya hit that old woman’ Elmer said with a slight grin. ‘I didn’t hit a damn thang but the brakes, I swear to it!’ he replied. ‘You might better double check on that Officer cause I was a witness’, Elmer glared.

 

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Maddie sat by the window still looking out.  The sun was slowly going down and the birds were still hanging around but getting quieter. The low sound of gospel music was in and out. She was looking into the cemetery,  thinking.  She always thought that the reason strangers would visit her grave on her birthday were to perhaps set attention to the error on the date of the gravestone.  How maybe it angered her spirit, that the least we can do in remembrance is get the date right! She’d gotten comfortable by the wall and with this thought she began dozzzing off.

 

 

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After driving for some time, Tony and Cass finally found their dinner in a small country cafe called the Dairy Bar and Grill, just inside Heard County. The kind of place where everyone but them, obviously, was a regular. Someone was playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ over and over on an old Jukebox. The waitress named ‘Gail’ by her nametag had not yet returned with their orders. ‘Im hatin’ this  song about now’ Cass mumbled. Tony laughed and got up, headed for the jukebox. He soon returned and whispered to her that it was the only song in working order, apparently, to which they had to laugh. The waitress, who appeared to be middle aged, looked like she pretty much run the place, had arrived back at their table and set their hamburger plates down. She was extremely friendly. ‘Ya know’, Cass said, pulling out her photo of Elmer, ‘we’re looking for a couple of friends here, have you seen’ she nudged at Tony for his photo of Maddie, ‘either of these people?’ she asked the woman. ‘No I aint seen the guy before but I seen the woman in here, few days ago. ‘A few days ago?’ Cass repeated¦. ‘Yeah she was in here with Steve, you know, Steve King, one who wrote Cujo and Carrie, that stuff, hes a regular round here’ the woman said. ‘Oh really, the writer Stephen King?’ Tony added. ‘Yea comes in here all the time, drives a red Camaro, name is on his license plate,  hes a hell of a nice guy, everybody loves him’ she said.  ‘Let me know if you two need anything else Ill just be over here at the bar’ she said in her very Southern accent as she was already heading toward the bar.

 

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Officer Retnek was still trying to catch his breath. ‘Boy, I know who that was and there aint nothing back there! She stopped us, shes not gone let us leave!  You was back there today, what ta fuck did you do back there?! Elmer looked at him very surprised.’I didn’t do a dod damn thang!’ he muttered. The Officer reached for his gun and drew it slowly up and towards Elmer ‘open that bag boy!’ Elmer opened the bag to reveal the mason jar filled with money. ‘that’s what I thought’!  the cop said, ‘well you about to pay Miss Mayhayley another visit, and you owe her a big apology for that you fuckin’ idiot!’

 

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Come Play with Me in the Dark: Pt 7

……Red dirt……

 

Maddie was sleeping.   Ghostly  fingers trailed through her hair and gently along her face and she smiled, dreaming of meeting Stephen King.

*****************************************

Officer Retnek and Elmer were skidding back onto  the road. ‘See you like stealin from dead folks but she is not completely dead’, Retnek said. Elmer sat quietly thinking about knocking the bastard out and taking the car. ‘So tell me about this girl you lookin’ for,’ he added. ‘Well ya know she never showed up, I never even seen her’. Elmer answered. ‘So what you think happened to her?’ asked Retnek. ‘Got lost, hell she might of went home, I don’t know where she lives’ Elmer said. The Officer slipped a Pallmall between his lips and offered one to Elmer. ‘Ya know, I don’t smoke, but I think I will’ Elmer said. ‘Yea smoke up, cause you and me is in some deep shit together’ Retnek said.

 

A few more miles up the road and the church was in view. ‘Well looky here we got company’ Retnek said. He pulled into the gravel driveway behind the red car. It’s license plate read STPHNKNG. ‘Oh hell, that’s Steve King, wonder what hes doing all the way out here’ Retnek said. Elmer laughed¦.’So the guys name is Stephen King?’ ‘Yea that’s right, you a writer, you know who he is’ Retnek replied. ‘And there aint no damn way that’s Stephen King’ ¦said Elmer. ‘The hell it aint’ Retnek said with a pleased smile. ‘Come on I’ll introduce ya’. They got out and were approaching the red car. ‘Hold up’ Retnek said, ‘slowly’ with his hand at his gun. He leaned down to peer through the cracked driver window. ‘I’ll be damned! He shrieked. Elmer leaned in for a look at the huge  stuffed animal in the back seat.  A Real ‘stuffed animal’!  The name tag around its neck read Cujo.  Right beneath the name in smaller letters was ‘Eds Taxidurmy’.    ‘Well Heeeres Cujo’ Elmer said,  laughing.  ‘Yea, but what the hell happened to him’,  said Retnek, ‘and wheres Steve?’  

*******************************************************

Over the hills and not so far away, a speeding old black hearse came to a screeching halt, parking just beside the Black Ford Mustang in the lot of the old fashioned diner. A man in a vintage black suit and hat exited, eyeing the mustang intently before making his way to the entrance. Everything came to a standstill inside. Dead silence. The man was very tall and thin, very pale. He stood staring at Tony and Cass for a moment before making his way towards them. ‘Oh shit! Hes coming over here’ Cass whispered. ‘Evenin’, he tipped his hat. ‘Good evening’ they greeted back simultaneously. ‘Sir are you a priest?’ Cassie asked. ‘No ma’am, I’m an undertaker, name ‘s Red Dirt’. ‘ ‘ I saw your car out in the lot, thought I’d stop in and welcome ya.  We love outsiders, and I know what brings you here.’   ‘Oh, how is that?’  Tony asked.  ‘The same reason they always come here,  morbid curiosities.’  he said.

  

 

‘Well  on that note, would you like to accompany us to a cemetery Mr. Dirt?’ Cassie asked. ‘No I best be getting home now its time for supper,  but if I was you I’d just be careful, and if I was you, I’d have her tell my fortune too’,  ‘she likes that’ he added with a disturbing grin as he winked, and then he was off.    ‘Check please’, Cassandra called to their waitress. ‘What a nice man, but creepy, an actual undertaker named Red Dirt’ Cassandra was saying to Tony.  ‘Did you say Red Dirt?’ the waitress asked Cass. ‘Yes, the undertaker,  he was just here…’ she replied.   A look of worry filled her face …  ‘Well that’s a bad omen if you get a visit from Red Dirt’.

To be continued …

and while youre waiting for THAT  Our storybook theme song is here. ; )

Come Play with Me in the Dark:  Part 8

….  sneaky revelations ….  

 

The doors were locked.  Officer Retnek and Elmer were peering thru the windows of the red Camaro that sat vacant in the church driveway.  The driver window was cracked just enough for a hand to ease in and unlock it.  Doing so, the officer then reached for the volume knob to shut down the static preaching that was suddenly  blasting from the speakers.  ‘What ta hell Steve been listenin’ to ?!’  he mumbled.  Elmer was laughing.  He was fumbling through his bag for his back up bottle of Jack Daniels and found it!  He knew he had it!  ‘Halleluliah!’  he toasted the sky and  screwed the top off the bottle and took a big swallow. He glanced back down into his bag at the mason jar packed with money peeking out at him  and quickly shoved it to the bottom covering it with other stuff , sure the old officer had forgotten about it.    

 

Officer Retnek was leaning into the car with a foul expression on his face that reflected the foul odor that greeted him. What he knew had to be one  hell of a fouled up taxi job on Cujo.  He was looking into scattered objects on the floor board. There were books, tee shirts and lots of trash.  He picked up a white tee shirt with something written on the front of it and held it up.  ‘Hmmmnn looky what we have here’…  he said to Elmer.  Right across the shirt in big black letters, was the name ELMER in a horror style blood dripping red font. ‘You got a lot of fuckin’ explainin’ to do Mr. Whitehead, this aint no damn coincidence! He said, ‘ I’m gone have to take you down to the station’.  Elmer stood staring at the shirt with wild eyed surprise…’Oooh no you fucking don’t that aint mine!’ Elmer snapped at him. They were both suddenly startled by a black van with tinted windows that was  slowwwly creeping by along the dark desolate road.

 

 

 ****************************

 

The waitress Gail’s words about Red Dirt were far from disenchanting.  Tony and Cass sat in the old fashioned diner looking at each other for moment.  ‘Tell us what that means’ Tony said to her.  ‘I don’t know what it  means, but thats what I heard’  she answered.   ‘Well didn’t we All just get a visit from Red Dirt?’ …Cassie asked.  ‘I know I didn’t! ’ Gail replied very sharply.  ‘Oooh Hell no, I didn’t see him,  I aint seen nobody been through that door since you two arrived, Nobody !’ she added as she  hurriedly, worriedly,  tidied up the table and took their plates.  Tony smiled, he had to keep from laughing. ‘Well before we go can I ask you one more thing… its about Stephen King, you said he was here with our friend, and, well what were they doing?’  ‘They were grabbin’ a bite to eat, just like you two, and she said she was his number one fan and he said he was writin’ a story. Thats all they were doin’ .   Tony pulled his wallet out to pay for their meal with cash and gave her a 10 dollar tip which she shoved into her apron pocket.  ‘Thank you Gail’ …..  ‘I just have one more question, does Stephen live around here?’.   

**********************

‘Well, …. ‘ she looked around, and leaned down as to whisper ‘No, he stays somewhere up the road a ways but he comes down here to write stories and get away from the city, he loves it here, this is the home of the real Cujo!’ she said very excitedly, there was the real one here  he got bit by a bat!’  Cassie began to smile and gave Tony a little ‘lets go’ kick under the table to which he arose and then she, inquiring as she did  if there were a ‘ladies room’ she could use before leaving.  She followed Gail.  

 

 

**********************

Maddie suddenly opened her eyes to the vague remaining daylight shone through the window, the only hint of light in the dusty attic room.  Holysh!t the sun had gone down and it was near dark.   She made her way to the trap door opening to climb back down to where there were candles. She slowly eased herself back down cringing the whole time until her feet touched the floor.  She hurried to light the candles before darkness consumed the room.  The flames began to dance and flicker one by one as she lit them and Stephen watched from the walls.  It was in that moment, she thought she heard something .  She suddenly remembered that Steves car had been out there.  She crept over to the bench and sat quietly to listen.

 

 

‘Lets go’ …  Retnek said to Elmer, suddenly approaching his patrol car in a hurry,  ‘I need to track that strange van Pronto!’  ‘For fucking what driving too slow?’ … Elmer scoffed.  ‘I got my reasons Mr. Whitehead, now get your ass in the car, you have to come with me, you a suspect!’   Elmer grabbed his bag and said ‘The HELL I am!’  and took off running towards the wooded area behind the church like a bat out of hell.  He stumbled and fell several times as Retnek watched knowing he couldn’t make it too damn far.  He then jumped in his police cruiser to hot tail that mysterious van for it gets too far gone but as slow as its going, that wont be too big a damn problem.           

 

To be continued …..

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Come Play with Me in the Dark

  1. Red Dirt, if only you had twisted him to RF… mayhaps,
    Red Faster-
    Red Forest-
    Red Father- (is he s priest )

    or

    Mr Foster- Mr richard Foster …RF – nudge nudge wink wink 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. omg, I have to tell you about Red Dirt. Red Dirt magically became part of the story, when I noticed that someone had mysteriously anonymously ‘subscribed’ to that story for updates, under a page that they created just for that purpose and it had no other information on it, but their ‘name’ was Red Dirt. and sooooo I thought what a pleasant surprise for this anonymous reader to find themselves in the story when they tune in for the next chapter… and sooooooo entered, Red Dirt! and I was laughing my ass off the whole time imagining this person reading that!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the only other info was that they were from Monroe Georgia, and as I’m from Georgia too, we have here the red Georgia clay and I was pretty sure they were referring to the actual ‘ground’ with their ‘dirt’, and cemeteries and undertakers were all I could think of when I saw red dirt! *winks* never had one sneak into my story like that but he sure as hell did and cant wait to see what hes up to! nudge nudge ! oh and wink wink! ; ) oh and thanks you for reading it too and your inputs, I know how busy you are writing real masters in pieces!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ha – pieces of something aye.
    a private stalker- awesome. morning red dirt, how ya going fella?
    don’t spook the spooker!

    drop us a note , let’s hear your story!

    good luck Mads – keep clicking the keys. how’s the traffic? i posted your story on a writing blog

    Liked by 1 person

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