May 8, 2009

Creative Friday

It was tempting to give Creative Friday a pass because my lap top is still under the care of the computer doctor. That's not to say I haven't been doing any writing, I just haven't been writing on the computer.

The desk top computer I'm using right now is not my friend. There's something wrong with the refresh rate on the monitor because I can only look at it for so long before my eyes go buggy and I start getting a headache, and the mouse . . . *sigh* you have to click the mouse button in just the right way or it either works too well (like instead of opening one window it opens three) or it doesn't work at all. And forget trying to copy/paste from a document! I learned that when I tried to post a poem over on the Poetic Asides site.

Anyway, today's story is just a short one I wrote based on a local legend. There is a cemetery on Beagle Club Road in the Northumberland forest, and Willie and his mother are buried together near the tree. There's more written on the headstone, but I've always been too chicken to go back to find out what. Something bad might happen if I do. :-)

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The Legend of Weird Willie

"Oh children now as you pass by
Repent in time for you must die
Heed this rhyme no time delay
For I in my prime have passed away."

So it says on the grave stone for the one known only as Weird Willie. Legend has it that if you pass by his grave at midnight, or if you visit his grave but three times, then you will join him in eternity.

The stars do not shine above the graveyard where Weird Willie lies. Nor do insects enter the boundaries or birds fly over it. Your flashlight will only work for as long as it takes to read the tombstone, then you will be left in total darkness . . .

Weird Willie, to the best of anyone's recollection, was a half-breed Indian. He lived with his ma in a shack at the edge of the highway. He didn't have much schooling, spent most of his days fetching and carrying for his ma. She was something of an herb woman. Knew all sorts of cures and such made from plants.

Saturday nights would find Willie sitting on the rickety old front porch, with his ma in her rocking chair, watching the cars go by on the highway. Willie's ma ruled him with an iron glove. She loved her boy, didn't want him to come to no harm. Just so long as she was alive she'd see to that.

Now Willie had a secret, a secret that not even his ma knew about. He and the neighbor's girl up the highway had been keeping company. Someday, Willie figured, he'd make her his wife.

Well, Willie's ma got wind of what was going on, secrets don't last long round these parts, and she didn't say a word. They just sat there that next Saturday, her in her rocking chair and Willie sitting beside her, and they watched the cars going by. She didn't even say anything that week when Willie was too busy with his girl to fetch her some plants from the woods.

But next thing you know, Willie's ma ups and invites his girl to come visit. It's a real shame, she told the girl, that Willie has to be working, but no reason you and I can't get acquainted. So Willie's girl comes over to visit and Willie's ma makes her a cup of tea and serves her up a piece of her famous cherry pie.

That night Willie's girl took sick. Died the next morning.

Willie, he didn't say a word. Walked into town and got himself a bottle of whiskey. Took him the better part of the day to drink it all, out there in the woods all by his lonesome. He staggered on home 'round about sunset and his ma was sitting on the porch in her rocker. Willie went on into the house and came back with his shotgun. Before his ma knew what he was up to he short her right through the heart. Folks say they could hear his wild laughter ringing through the woods as he started taking pot shots at the cars going by on the highway.

Next morning, when everything was quiet, they found Willie's ma, still in her rocking chair, dead as a stone. They didn't find Willie until later, hanging from the tree in the graveyard where his sweetheart was buried.

They say on a clear night, but only on a Saturday night, you can still hear Willie's laughter rining through the woods, and if you're not careful, you might hear the sound of his shotgun. The last sound you'll ever hear.


Jamie said...

Wow! I'm glad you didn't skip, even with the computer problems! That is spectacularly haunting, gave me shivers. I feel for poor Willie & his love...

Wonderful story. I hope you get your laptop back soon...

C R Ward said...

Thanks, Jamie! Willie was part of an experiment I tried a few years ago in writing short, scarey stories.