Author Topic: Thirteen Curves (Part 1 of 3)  (Read 1702 times)

Offline davidleejones13

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Thirteen Curves (Part 1 of 3)
« on: August 13, 2008, 11:31:22 AM »
Every place you go has them. They are rooted in culture and loosely tied to faint wisps of mysterious history. Over years of retelling they become more extraordinary and embellished with the outlandish. But deep down they romantically tantalize our belief that there is more to this life than just this physical plane we exist within.

They are haunted places.

These locations stir the fear within one's soul and defy reality by playing tricks on the rational mind. I grew up in South Carolina, which has more than it's fair share of ghostly places and haunting tales, but the most intriguing spot I discovered was when I moved to upstate New York in the mid 1980's.

To explain my experience I must first tell the tale as it was relayed to me. It has several versions and variations, but we have all heard this urban legend in one form or another. This is how I first heard tell of the ghost of Cedarvale Drive, or more popularly known as, THIRTEEN CURVES.

When the great glaciers of the last ice age receded over the middle of New York state and dried up, they left behind one of the most awe inspiring spectacles of landscape known as the Finger Lakes. North of the largest finger lake, Skaneateles Lake, a slender creek not quite large enough to be a river ran through the hills. Over eons of time this small creek managed to cut a sizable gorge through the higher grounds connecting Lake Skaneateles with Onandaga Lake far to the north. Around this northern lake man would eventually settle and the town of Syracuse was born. The Lakes would soon be named and the small creek would become known as Nine Mile Creek.

In the mid 1800's Lake Skaneateles would become a popular boating destination and with the eventual invention of the car, roads would soon start snaking across the countryside. Because the beautiful finger lake began attracting such interest a road connecting the growing metropolis of Syracuse to this desirable location was eventually erected. Because the steep hillsides around this fingerlake were formidable obstacles to travel it was inevitable Nine Mile gorge, with it's small creek,  would become the  likely site for a connecting roadway. This would become known as Cedarvale Road.

The steepest part of the gorge cut through rugged rocky terrain and by fate just so happened to possess thirteen curves. The hairpin curve in the middle of this treacherous stretch was a ninety degree turn that claimed more than a few lives as the population around the area exploded and migrated regularly through the pass.

Our ghost story takes place several years later, centered sometime in the early 1940's. A wealthy Syracuse business man marries his sweetheart and decides to honeymoon on Lake Skeaneateles. Being financially solvent he was able to afford the luxury of a 1940 Packard Super Eight Limousine. This was the finest automobile of the time.

The happy couple climbed in their brand new black Limousine and headed to the countryside. Highways did not exist during this age so Cedarvale Road was the only route to reach the Bed and Breakfast that was their honeymoon destination. By the time they reached Nine Mile Gorge the sun had set and the moon had just begun to rise over the eastern lip of the Onondaga Valley. The lunar disc was magnified by the dusky atmosphere and glowed ominously red as if to warn them not to enter the gorge. The couple took little notice of the omen and entered the dark pass beyond.

As they reached the first curve fog that hung over the slow moving creek collected around them in a thick blanket that shrouded the surrounding landscape in a stubborn opaqueness. The glare of the head lamps intensified the effect and the businessman, who took his driving seriously, slowed the powerful car to a slow safe crawl. With each curve he knew they became sharper and more treacherous until they passed the infamously deadly seventh curve.

The man smiled as his new bride snuggled up against his arm having dozed off because of the exhausting day's wedding event. He grasped the wheel of the car with his soft brown leather driving gloves and sighed contently as the purr of the powerful engine came as a melody to his ears. Everything about this day had been perfect.

He felt a growing anxiety as he counted each curve. He had heard the stories of the hairpin curve that was just around the next few bends, and an involuntary chill ran down his spine. Gruesome tales of this stretch of road had been the subject of many fireside ghost stories throughout his childhood. He was determined that these would not put a damper on the happiest day of his life.

He rounded corner six and slowed the car even further, determined he was in absolute control of the car's considerable horsepower. The road straightened within the small window of visibility he sighted just ahead of the Packard through the blinding fog. His muscles tensed and his foot hovered over the break pedal as the road began to taper sharply to the left.

Suddenly the shoulder of the road came into view and to his horror he heard the engine leap to life, a deafening crescendo of powerful pistons pounding away under the hood. He slammed down upon the break pedal with all the strength he could summon to his right leg. The next few moments came as a blur highlighted by screams of terror, and the steely bite of stinging pain. His body was thrown high into the air as cool air kissed gaping wounds in his flesh through shredded gashes within the fabric of his clothing. After a dull thud of pain around his head he felt cold water lapping around him, seeping through his garments and onto his skin.

He lingered in his disorientated shock for just a few moments until his mind focused on his bride. He scrambled to his hands and knees and looked about trying to get his bearings. The fog around him was lit in a heavenly light that prompted him to look skyward. There in a great big oak above him like some huge macabre christmas ornament the crumpled car precariously hung within the trees branches.

Part Two: http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=16261.msg210375#msg210375

« Last Edit: August 16, 2008, 11:18:19 PM by davidleejones13 »