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October 30, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dark, stormy, and spooky. Mommy!

Again. Standing at the back door.

Completely dressed. Neatly. She couldn’t have managed all those buttons herself.

What’s with that child?

ALL rights reserved for this blurry glass image. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

What? A sleep-walker? Can’t we ever have normal neighbors?©

Always so early.Too early. A light needed to even make coffee.

“Look, kid. Go home. No one’s ready to play.”

Obviously on the brink of tears, she wavered from side to side. Softy pleading. Eyes desperate.

Awkward.

Where does she belong and why aren’t they keeping up with her?

I turned. Went to check on our own, although I know there’s no need. A look back to see she’s left.

Now I know working parents do manage, but leaving this little one home alone before dawn is a bit pushing it. Happening far too often.

Each time awakened by that pleading little voice calling “Mommy”, I stumbled up worried it was ours. Only to stop half way seeing that little girl standing there.

Outside. Alone. Again.

No sign of her playing in the yards of any houses on the block during the day. Maybe she’s gets picked up for daycare or a grandparent arrives to  wrap her in her arms.

I hoped so. Worried that she wandered before dawn. Ours was the last street in the subdivision and we backed up to woods and fields.  It was a new neighborhood, I didn’t know everyone.

Days and I dragged on. More and more bleary. Being sleep deprived didn’t help with the exhaustion of moving.

Determined to put an end to this crazy situation.

Upon hearing that sad little “Mommy”, I jerked on jeans and sweatshirt. If I had to sit on her doorstep all day, I was going to talk to someone about her visits.

But at I stopped with hand on the sliding glass door.

Vintage dressed girl. 1900-1940 family portrait. Tropenmuseum, part of the National museum of World Cultures/Commons.wikimedia.org)

There she was again. (Tropenmuseum/National Museum of World Cultures/Commons.wikimedia.org)

She looked up hopefully. “Mommy? Where’s my mommy?”

“Honey, I don’t know, ” I relented. “She’s not here. You’re not my child.”

“I know, ” she pleaded, “but she’s gone.”

‘You need to go back. You need go back to sleep. She’ll find you.”

She drooped – dejectedly turned towards the old homestead in the field.

“But I’ve waited and waited. And she doesn’t come.”

Her pale eyes tore at me. “Do you think she’s forgotten me?”

“No, Baby, she couldn’t forget. She’s just stuck somewhere. You must go back and wait. Where she left you. That’s where she’ll look.”

“No one looks any more.” Her pain was enough to drown in.

“I’ll look. I’ll come by. Promise. OK?”

A hopeful smile as she left – into the big field.

Her little brown lace up boots darkening in the tall wet grasses.

Into the damp heavy fog. Just before dawn.

Later, I climbed through the barbed wire fence and started across that field. Didn’t have to go far to find it: a handful of gravestones – one belonging to a young girl, but no sign of her parents.

Alone. Restless. Left behind.

Ironwork cemetery fence. Alabama/American Building Survey by E.W.Russell/HABS/HALS/Nat.Parks Service/USPD by fed.employee/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Cemetery fences are ornamental. Don’t do much to keep things out or in. (Russell/HABS/HALS/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The rest of the story:

The family descendants had sold the property only with assurances that the graves would be not be disturbed. But developers have been known to do things in the middle of the night.

So that afternoon I grabbed some garden tools and tried to neaten up the place – just so it was obvious someone knew it was there. Propped up pieces of fallen iron fencing on the perimeter. Added a few flowers from the yard for her.

They did keep their word. Not long after, a new iron fence, some landscaping, and a plaque about the family were installed. A yard crew maintained the area – even planted some flowers. Park-like. A happy place.

People walking past sometimes said they caught a little blur out the corner of their eye – heard a little giggle. It could have been the wind, but it felt more like when a child first sees a birthday cake and presents.

A fine house was built next door to the cemetery and it sold. Several times.

The first woman only stayed a few months, then moved out saying she heard people talking. Someone was at the back door. Spooked.

Eventually the builder circled the small cemetery with a tall cedar wood fence. Looked like a fort. Not sure it soothed any misgivings.

Just before we moved, I walked across for one last visit.  One last flower placed with “Now don’t worry. You haven’t been forgotten. It’s safe here. Just sleep and wait. Sorry, baby, but I have to go.”

Then the small voice, “The good mommies always do.”

Told as a tale for a dark and stormy night. Yours to believe or not.

Phil, Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Enjoy your Holler-Ring, Día de muertos, All Saints Eve, or Dodge the Asteroid Party this weekend. (Might want to hide that Jack O’lantern from the Department of Energy…global warming and all. Snort.)

Ghostly image. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Be careful reaching out in the dark – never know what might be reaching back.©

 

 

 

 

 

35 Comments

  1. shoreacres / Oct 30 2015 12:54 pm

    Wonderful! And true? Probably. Factual? Who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2015 1:46 pm

      Odd, but true. An old early Texas settler’s homestead that remained in the family until mid 80’s and the last elderly relative who loved the land died. Gorgeous giant oaks around greyed wood house with one of the perfect wide porches across the front. The structure was carefully redone, for the sales office, then moved to East Texas site. Once I located the overgrown cemetery, the sleepwalker seemed more content. That house next door was always being quickly sold and then moved out of and sold again. Not surprised. And the giant ugly wood fence didn’t help at all – seemed to make it even more spooky. The area did have the oddest feeling even during the day. Thanks for floating through the mists.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. betterphotos4you / Oct 30 2015 1:00 pm

    Great Post Philosopher–Must keep Reblogging, I like your words//Images more everyday “Great work MF”

    Like

  3. Ally Bean / Oct 30 2015 1:35 pm

    A good story that reminds us of our shared humanity is true regardless of facts. Love this.

    Like

  4. The Coastal Crone / Oct 30 2015 1:48 pm

    Really hsunting – it will stay with me when i visit a cemetery!

    Like

  5. Roxie / Oct 30 2015 2:41 pm

    Ah the suspense, the gut-wrenching, “The good mommies always do.” Will stay with me past this weekend.
    Mist and haze, and all things odd, this ones very good, Phil.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2015 3:08 pm

      Ah, do glad you stopped by. I was going to leave to an invitation, but dog nanny duties have kept me busy this morning. Short stories have always come more easily rather than the epic novel. (O’Henry and Poe did leave a mark, I guess.) This one’s been simmering for years and wanted to do it justice. Really happy you think it worked. Thanks for wandering these fields. (and enjoy the little goblin this weekend!)

      Like

  6. Paul / Oct 30 2015 2:41 pm

    Oooooo!

    Like

  7. SingingTuna / Oct 30 2015 3:45 pm

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! ::shivers::

    🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2015 3:57 pm

      It was a pretty unsettling place.(Hope all your fur people are cuddled and warm at home now. Paw waves!!!) Thanks for peeking from behind the couch.

      Like

  8. Carrie Rubin / Oct 30 2015 4:27 pm

    Great story in time for Halloween. I love a good ghost story. Boo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2015 4:40 pm

      A story like this might seem out of place any other time.(Now several other spooky events are demanding equal time…not sure if I’ll be able to keep them tied up until next year…they say too many treats can be bad for you.) Thanks for digging up a spooky comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Littlesundog / Oct 30 2015 6:54 pm

    Great story for this blustery, rainy day in SW Oklahoma. I often get a feeling FD’s grandmother’s spirit still stops by this place. She was a lover of nature – especially the birds. I never met her, but I know we’re kindred spirits somehow. 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2015 10:08 pm

      Wouldn’t surprise me if she did stop by to check on things. She’s pleased no doubt on what y’all done with the place – or she’d let you know! Enjoy the dark and stormy night – somehow nicer in the country. Thanks for adding a ghostly comment

      Like

  10. The Hook / Oct 31 2015 6:47 pm

    What a great, timely tale, old friend.
    Well done.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 31 2015 7:28 pm

      Thanks for shake, rattling, and rolling along. Enjoy the goulish and goblins this Holler-Ring

      Like

  11. csroth3 / Oct 31 2015 10:21 pm

    Such a sweet story. I wish there were more stories like this that bridge the gap between spooky and heartfelt. It’s nice to know that some people are not afraid of spirits, and know what to do to help them.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 31 2015 10:52 pm

      Somehow bit of surreal writing seems more comfortable at this time of year. Appreciate you floating over to haunt this space for a while.

      Like

  12. PiedType / Nov 1 2015 3:03 am

    Creepy, yet sweet and sad.

    Like

  13. marthaschaefer / Nov 1 2015 7:10 pm

    An excellent tale, my friend. You have a gift!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 2 2015 1:58 pm

      Glad you got a shiver. It’s the time of year for spooky – better it’s tales than asteroid.Thanks for creeping over to leave a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  14. reneejohnsonwrites / Nov 1 2015 7:26 pm

    I love cemeteries and somehow always end up in them whenever I travel. Tidying up does make them less spooky. Great post, especially appropriate for the season!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 2 2015 2:01 pm

      DIfferent cultures/countries view cemeteries differently. Some are places for strolling, reading, or picnics in park-like surrounding. Overgrown forgotten graves are a bit sad….sooner or later, people, sooner or later? glad you wandered over to chat.

      Like

  15. roughwighting / Nov 1 2015 10:07 pm

    Spookily real and creepily sad. Wonderfully written.

    Like

  16. jmmcdowell / Nov 3 2015 9:10 pm

    Absolutely perfect! Might there be some real life experiences woven into the story? I wouldn’t be surprised….

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 4 2015 3:00 pm

      Pretty close real…a story that’s been simmering for a bit as I wanted to do it justice – and ones like these seem to slide in quietly without raising too many eyebrows during the Halloween season….there are a few others for perhaps a dark and stormy night. Thanks for slipping by tho chat

      Like

  17. EllaDee / Nov 3 2015 11:05 pm

    I am one who also remembers, and loves old cemeteries. Your tale is beautifully, skin shiveringly told 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 4 2015 3:07 pm

      Old overgrown cemeteries bother me. The stories there while life walks away unmoved. Maybe it’s the thought of morality or maybe something does reach out calling – maybe those are the same. Some feel it, some are only reminded on Halloween and rush to party over the feeling. Thanks for pausing.

      Like

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