Author Topic: Legends Grow (Short Story)  (Read 2416 times)

Offline SteveJ

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Legends Grow (Short Story)
« on: May 06, 2008, 09:37:58 AM »


   A huge, dark shadow fell across the tent, but sadly, it wasn't a vampire.
 Instead, Mark poked his smiling face inside, and said loudly:

  'Bet that scared you all!'

  'No, we knew it was you all the time, idiot!', shouted Adrian, putting down his torch.

  'I was laughing at your Dracula story, David - it was rubbish!'

  'It was alright, but Shaun's are more scary', Adrian said, 'Tell us one!'

  'If you want...', I mumbled.

  'He'll just lie again, he always does', moaned Mark.

    I suppose most children make up horror stories to frighten eachother, and we were
  no different. We'd invent silly tales of ghosts and evil aliens, camping in eachother's
  gardens was always such fun, and the scary stories were an integral part of that fun.
  But sometimes the tales marred our sleep...they had the ring of truth, by accident or design.
  We lived in our imaginations, and so in time did the witches and phantoms of our fables;
  and here was another one to keep us company at night...

  'This one's true, though', I said. The dark-haired girl in the corner stared as I began.

   Lisa had always hated my brother Alex. Something about his shyness, his silence,
 confirmed her suspicion of his complete weakness. She had moved to our neighbour-
rhood a few months before, our parents soon became friendly, and so my circle of
of friends were obliged to include her in our games and adventures.
We were carefree kids, content to kick a ball around all day, or play hide and seek
until teatime; Lisa altered all that, for the worse.

  She soon took over, and some of the games changed, became ever more dangerous and disquieting.
No one stood up to her, no one dared - she was older than the rest of us, more outspoken, and the kind of
tomboy who could hold her own even with the toughest boy in our little gang. In truth, we were all scared
of her, no one more so than Alex.

 Our parents wrote off her bullying as a necessary, even essential, part of growing up. As for Lisa's
folks...did they know what a devil their little angel was? How were they all to know that Lisa would scar
Alex's life, and cut short her own life, through sheer devilment?

  The tragedy happened one Summer evening. A neverending game of football was interrupted by half-
time soft drinks and cheap, chewy sweets which bore resemblence to flavoured plastic. Then we headed
for the mass of old blankets and branches which constituted our makeshift tent. Lisa then took charge, as

  'Let's sneak into the train station. Don't be scared.', she said, 'Come on, unless you're frightened of the
Tunnel Lady...ha, you all are, aren't you?'

  'Who?', questioned Mark.

  'Never heard of her', said Adrian.

  'Don't tell us, she died there...big deal', jeered Mark.

  'It really happened!', Lisa pleaded, almost believing it herself.

  We left the garden and soon we were walking besides the tracks, the old stone railway bridge ahead.
The four of us trailed lazily behind Lisa, and I noticed that day was fast becoming night. Alex shrank
behind me - out of sight, out of mind - as our leader tried to scare us again, once more with feeling...

  'Years ago, a rich man and his wife were on a train, right on this track! He was a very mean man, and he
was sure that his wife wanted his money for herself. So they were arguing, an' he waited 'til the train went
into the tunnel, an' he pushed her! Right out of the door! And now, if you're on a train an' you go into the
tunnel, in the dark, she looks right through the window an' screams; she stares right at you.'

  Mark broke our silence:
  'Yeah, and if you look closer, you can see 'er 'usband grabbing her diamond necklace as she falls!'

  We all laughed at his joke. But I could see the gloomy tunnel in the distance, and couldn't help but shiver 
a little.

  'We'll go there when it's really dark, and then she'll...GRAB YOU!'

  Lisa reached out and clutched Alex's face with both hands. He cried out, and she laughed at him. And
despite her youth, her 'innocence' as it were, even back then I felt that all the scorn and malice in the world
lived within that laugh. Yes, I was naive to think that, yet in some strange way I believe I was right.
  Once Alex had settled down again, and stopped blushing, David started the tale-telling again:
  'I've got a good one, about a vampire', he said loudly.

  'Oh not again!'

  'This one's different! It's Dracula - in space!'

  Everyone except David laughed freely.
  'Forget it! What about the witch who lives in the house near the woods?', Mark exclaimed.

  'I thought I saw her once...'. Adrian seemed uneasy.

  'Liar...but the Tunnel Lady is real!', an excited Lisa protested.

  'Don't believe you', sneered Mark.

  'Well you won't mind waiting in the tunnel then, will you?', Lisa countered.

  'Beat you to the bridge!'

  David sprinted, and the rest of us gave chase. We raced up the metal steps, and caught our breath
when we reached the bridge's centre. We had gathered gravel and larger stones from the track, and
Mark began to dispatch these at anything that moved, or indeed, anything which didn't. Lisa, of course,
aimed solely at my brother, and he swiftly moved out of her range.

  Endless minutes passed, and no train arrived for us to target. The boys, bored and restless, leaneed
over the edge of the bridge. Lisa was more bored than anyone else, naturally.

  'Tell us another story, Lisa', Mark suggested.

  'No, wait until it's really dark - it's better then', she said.

  'I'll tell you one, if you want...'

  Suddenly, Lisa clambered up onto the top of the bridge walkway, and slowly began to walk on the thin
metal rail, splaying her arms wide, showing off to us all of us; we were dubbed 'scaredy-cats', and we
bore our shame accordingly, with blushes, empty denials, and silence.

  'Don't, Lisa! You'll fall!' avid was genuinely alarmed, as were all the gang.

  'No I won't. None of you's got the guts to do this.'

  She began to sing a nonsensical song as she walked hesitantly across the rail. Then she slowly turned
around to face us, and tried to grab Alex. Panic-stricken, I pushed Lisa away from him, and that's when it
happened...she fell.

  After the first wave of shock, when we'd all stopped screaming, we nervously looked over the walkway's
edge. Lisa lay at the bottom, her body broken, a collection of unnatural angles, like an insect crushed on a

  The boys were in a frenzy, two ran off, and Mark tore my shirt in his efforts to drag me away.
But I couldn't stop myself staring, and thinking about what I'd done. Mark gave up on me, and
joined the others in their rush. The parents would be here soon, and with them, the police, but
I didn't fear that at all - I only feared that Lisa was still alive, somehow, and would want her revenge;
I just
knew that Alex, still by my side, feared this too.

  But Lisa was dead, no one could have survived that fall, that impact. I felt a mixture of relief and dread -
I'd never see her again, the bullying would cease, but...but...I knew there were nightmares ahead.
Still, I think the feeling of guilt never visited me, it passed me by completely, and perhaps went on to
a more deserving case; I was young, and untouched by by the moral coding of an immoral society.
We had escaped her at last...

 But then she moved. And her eyes opened, staring out between strands of dark hair.
She looked up at us, and her hands gripped the spiked gravel which we had gratefully
assumed was her grave. There was agony in her eyes, oh yes, but something other
than that, something truly other...vengeance, a revenge and a hatred that even death
couldn't kill.

  One of her thin arms reached upwards, and that was the signal for us to run, at last.
Minutes later, out of breath and nearly out of my mind, I stopped, my head spinning
to a gradual halt. There was no sign of Lisa, thankfully, or Alex, worringly - maybe I
had imagined it all? Would I wake up in our homemade tent, and laugh at the dreams
borne of our terrible tales of grisly ghosts, and vampires in space? No. My brother
caught me up, and we ran towards home, towards the lights in the distance, the
artificial safety of night turned into electric day.

  For years aftwards, Alex and I never spoke of Lisa, not even to the adults who woke
us from nightmares, the ones who assured us that this would all end. We had imagined
it all, they said - what did they know? Only our friends, who had shared the horror, who
shared our tales, knew and understood; it was our secret story. And eventually, life went
on, and took us along with it.

  But Lisa lived on too, even after they buried her. She reached for me in the dark of night,
she kept my brother company in his sullen solitude. She never really died, you see...she
lives on in dreams, and she breathes through the whispered stories told by children while
they happily throw stones from the old railway bridge...

« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 06:49:53 AM by Steve08 »
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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2008, 01:16:52 PM »
I loved it Steve!
You never dissappoint.

Offline Ninny

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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 04:42:40 PM »
Hi Steve, again, rich and deep, very macarbe, very you!...Loved it!!  :D've got a fan club!! ;D ;D


Offline ma100

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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2008, 06:11:20 PM »
Yep!! It's a goodun Dink
Well done :)

Offline fire-fly

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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2008, 11:39:40 PM »
Ooh, I have goosebumps Steve. I'm glad its daytime here, I'm a woose. ;D ;D
I'm A Binge Thinker: Do It A Lot Somedays, Then Not Much At All.

Don't take life too seriously, none of us get out of it alive. >:D

Offline SteveJ

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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 07:23:17 AM »
Thanks, everyone :) :)
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Re: Legends Grow (Short Story)
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 12:51:25 PM »
Where in the hell is SALVATORE HOUSE?
WHy is it not HERE!?!
It sure should be.

Lee ;)