March 2018 Prompt: Who wouldn't be angry? You ate all my cereal and faked your death for 3 years!
March 2018 Word: Loquacious
The moon shines, casting shadows on Old Orchard Road. I pull over. This was the spot I'd last seen her. Blonde hair blowing, an almost ghostly glow to her pale face.
The darkness shielding, hiding,.. something, I didn't know. I never knew. I never saw her again.
She was not the most loquacious person on the outside, but behind her eyes, there was fire. Making you wonder what you were missing out on. What was happening in that pretty head of hers?
This was our spot. Why someone planted an orchard next to a graveyard or whether it was the other way around, we never knew.
Both were the oldest things we could find and it somehow made us feel younger, more reckless, to be close to something so ancient.
We spent most all our free time hanging out and exploring our little town and in the last year or so before she,....died,....
had decided this abandoned road with its abandoned orchard and bones were ours. We picked the apples when they were ripe and scared ourselves reading tombstones.
She liked to play games. Do not picture two old men at a chess game. She liked puzzles. She liked them as much as I hated them. But she was everything I wanted to be. And she was my best friend.
She was here, then she was gone.
I watched her dark shape disappear one night after stargazing at the orchard. She said goodbye and that was it. Its been almost 3 years to the day. I was devastated.
But over the last year, I've felt different about it.
Maybe it just comes from wanting it so bad. Wanting her to be alive. But I feel watched. A tingle runs up my spine thinking about it even now. I feel like there is clues, but I am missing them.
She was always better at this then me. I sit in my car, headlights off. I think about the postcard I received two months ago. An apple tree in the middle of the ocean. No stamp. No address.
No post mark. She was telling me something. Leading me somewhere. There was something I was missing. I had to find it, then I'd find her.
The car door slams behind me. The darkness is ominous. I skirt the graveyard until I find her row. Her gravestone is the smallest.
I am offended by this, as if the size of the gravestone shows the size of the legacy a person left behind.
Kneeling down, I put my head on her stone. I can barely make out the inscription in the moonlight. I think about her, her smile, her laugh, singing her favorite song. It all comes back.
Then, a voice startles me out of my reverie. "So you found it." I jump, turn around, fists up. "I knew you would. I didn't think it would take this long though." The voice smiles.
It's her, After nearly three years of not visiting her grave, her ghost is here to collect its revenge.
"Who are you?!" I shout. "Get away from me. I mean you no harm!"
She laughs again. "It's me! You found it, didn't you?" I take a step back, toward the direction of my car. "You didn't find it?" She asks, a touch of irritation showing. I take another step back.
"I didn't find anything or do anything. I didn't mean to disturb your ghost house or whatever you ghosts live in.
I'm just leaving", I say, my voice trembling, my composure on the edge of breaking.
"I'm not a ghost! It's really me. How could you not find it? You're standing on it!" She says, frowning.
I stop stumbling backwards and instead turn and run.
"Stop!" She yells. "You can't go...I...Wait, I have your keys."
I wouldn't have stopped. No way. I would have kept on running all the way to town, no matter if I thought it was possible for a ghost to steal my keys or not.
But I tripped and fell flat on my face. Struggling to get up, covered in early spring mud, I look up. She is there, her white face and golden hair just the way she left me so long ago.
"It's me okay?" She says. "I'm a person, I'll prove it." Holding up a ziplock bag, she gives it a little shake. Cheerios. My Cheerios. From my emergency hanger stash in my car.
"Munch munch munch."
It is her. It has to be. Only she would do something like this. Now I am angry. "'Those are mine!" I shout. "And who do you think you are, that you can just do something like this!"
Her smile doesn't dim. "Calm down." She says.
"Calm down? You want me to calm down?" I scream at her.
"Why are you so angry? Didn't you find it?" She asks.
"Why am I so angry? Of course I am angry. You ate all my cereal and faked your death for 3 years!" I'm trembling I'm so mad, still struggling to get up.
"Faked my death?" She asks. "Wait. Didn't you go to the library? Didn't you get my post card? Didn't you follow the clues I left?"
"Clues? You left clues? You planned this?" I ask, incredulous.
"Well", she laughs, "I didn't think you'd be so slow." Then she takes my hand and it's real and alive. I can't believe it's her. "Come look", she says.
"I found this that day you were sick and I didn't want to ruin the adventure and just show you,...
so I planned this and you were supposed to follow the clues back here and don't be mad at me! You'll be happy when you see it. I found buried treasure.
Enough for us to travel to Ireland, like you wanted."
I was so happy. She was back. This is what I had hoped and begged God for all along. I turned back to look at the orchard as she led me away. And saw one set of footprints in the mud.