That Day in the Park

That Day in the Park

A Story by bba
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A mischievous day in the park comes back to haunt a man.

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“Green means go, Daddy,” Janet said. You lose your attention for about a minute then the car following you would cuss you with their car horn.  I released the handbrake and hit the gas.

“So, how’s school, honey?” I asked.

“We had a Math exam,” she answered. When I was her age I hated Math. She was ten.

“So, how’d you do?”

“I aced it,” she said proudly.

“That’s my little girl.” I smiled at her.

I turned right and took the road along the park. There wasn’t much crowd in the park unlike in weekends where it was packed with faces enjoying the afternoon sun. Today, it seemed almost desolated; just a few office individuals walking home and the usual old people, sitting on the benches and feeding the birds.

“Mr. Johnson broke his leg.”

“Oh, really now. Poor chap.” Ryan Johnson’s the PE teacher. He and I were close friends way back in our teens, when everything was about getting into trouble and having fun. I see him in Janet’s school once in a while. We don’t talk much now though. Ever since Dave died, we pursued different interests then grew apart.

“Yeah, it’s really sad. I hope he’d get well soon Mrs. Lane stinks,” she said.

“Who’s that?”

Mrs. Lane the substitute. She’s really old, and she stinks. She smells really bad,” she irked.

Old? How old?”

“Old. Like grandma old.”

“That’s weird. An old lady teaching PE,” I said, laughing.

“I know,” she giggled.

“What do you think of her?”

“She’s okay, I guess. She said I have a lovely name because her name was also Janet.”

“She right. The both of you have lovely names,” I added. “What else did you do?”

“She made me run,” she answered.

 

I’ve just tucked in Janet and kissed her goodnight when the phone rang. 9 PM. Nobody would usually call at this hour. I picked up the receiver.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Allen. It’s Ryan.” I never thought he knew my number. He might have gotten it in Janet’s school file.

“Oh hey man, been a long time. How you doin’? I heard you broke your leg.” I tried to sound casual as possible. I really didn’t want to talk to the guy. Last time I actually talked to him was at Dave’s funeral.

“That’s the least of my problem. Listen man, you remember that old lady?”

“What old lady?” I lied. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

“You know. The old lady. The one that nearly caught you. The old lady with the bag,” he asserted.

“Yeah, sure. What about her?” I hated to be reminded of what happened that day. I’m starting to regret answering the phone.

“She’s back,” he said gravely.

 

I tried to understand what he meant. I wanted to think that the old lady was back from some kind of a vacation or moved back in town or something but hearing Ryan’s tone and the way he said it, the only meaning I could think of was she’s back from the dead.

Of course, that was just an exaggeration. Ghosts didn’t exist. But she was already a very old lady back then. Twenty years ago.

 

We were quite young, Dave, Ryan and I. The three of us were wild and thought the law didn’t apply to us. We never really cared for any one except when we wanted something from them. And we always got everything we wanted.

We followed the old lady from the bank one afternoon. We knew she had at least some cash in her bag since it took some time for her to leave the bank. She made a few stops, looking through the display windows of some of the shops, getting in and out - we knew she was just looking around and didn’t really want to buy anything. We hang back outside the shop and eyed her while she talked to the person behind the counter. My heart was beating hard as we followed her walked slowly on the sidewalk. She took the road to the park and found herself a bench to sit on.

The plan was simple. The three of us would walk up to her. I would grab the bag. Then we would run, meet up at the back alley, and split the goods. It was supposed to be easy making off with the little old lady’s bag.

We were very wrong.

The moment I grabbed her bag she bolted from the bench and ran after me. This old lady was crazy. There no way she could outrun me, and I knew that if I run hard enough she would get tired and eventually give up. I dashed to the corner of the park and down to the next street. Ryan crossed the street, and Dave went the other way. But the old lady knew I had her bag. She screamed and ran as if her life depended on it.

By the time I reached the grounds of the nearby hotel, I was terrified of the old lady. I never thought she run that fast. And her screaming could attract some hero who might try to stop me, and I didn’t want that. Then I felt her fingers grazed the back of my neck as she grabbed my collar, flinging me down to the ground.  I dropped the bag and thrashed around working to get free. I thought I was finished but I manage to free myself and ran for my life.

I knew that day my life would change whether I was caught or not. I was just lucky I didn’t spend my childhood in the correctional.

 

“What do you mean she’s back?” I asked, trying not to accept the unbelievable.

“She ran after me. At the park. Last night,” Ryan’s voice was slightly trembling. “I was walking back home - you know - through the park. And there she was. Sitting at the same bench and holding her bag.”

“What? Wait. Wait, you’re telling me that the old lady that ran after us twenty years ago ran after you last night?” I tried to make sense of it all.

“Yes! Yes! I walked pass her bench then she - she stood up and screamed at me,” he said frantically. I hated it when someone was tense over the phone; their tensions contaminated me.

“She screamed and ran towards me. Well, of course I - I thought she might hit me or something so I ran away. But she ran after me, Allen. She ran after me! And she kept on screaming. I didn’t know where to go. I - I ran down the corner then up to the old hotel. Then I tripped. I was on the ground, waiting for her to come but - but she was gone. I could still hear her screaming but I couldn’t see her anywhere. And then I realized where I was. I was where Dave - where Dave got stabbed.”

“Are you kidding me? Really?” Ryan’s story sounded crazy but I believed him. I was starting to get scared. I never wanted to make a connection where Dave got killed and that day in the park. But that was where the little old lady caught up with me. The very same spot.

“That’s why I called you, man. And - ” he paused.

“And what?” I asked.

“She’s in Janet’s school. I looked her up and - she’s that Mrs. Lane.”

“Son of a b***h,” I murmured.

“I think she’s after us. She wants to - to kill us all. What are we goin’ to do, Allen?”

“I don’t know.” I thought about my little girl, Janet. What if that hag does something to her? I had to do something.

“I’ll come over to your place, Ryan. Let’s talk there.”

 

It was half past ten when I got to the block before the park. I knew it was a mistake walking but taking the car meant waking Janet up, and I didn’t want to involve her in this mess. She had no idea what stupid things I did when I was young, and I didn’t intend telling her. For now.

I stepped in the park, and the hair at the back of my head stood up. For the first time in a very long time I felt fear. I knew the old lady was nearby. Even if I couldn’t see from the darkness I knew she was there.

The old lady sat motionless on the bench; her brown leather bag nestled neatly on her lap like an old cat. I could barely see her from the faint streetlight. She stared at the empty street as if waiting for her bus. But she wasn’t waiting for any bus - she was waiting for me.

I tried not to look at her, fearing that she might sense that I was looking. But the moment I stepped on the curb to cross the street the old lady stood up.

She looked at me with her sunken dark eyes. Every wrinkle on her aged face appeared to deepen. Then she opened her mouth.

There was a faint ringing in my ears then the sound grew louder and louder.

I ran.

Half way down the road she appeared in front of me, blocking my way. I turned around to run back to the street that led to my house, but she was already there guarding my escape.

I knew what she was doing. She was leading me towards the old hotel. I cleared my mind and ran where she wanted me to run. Might as well get there and be done with it. I felt the blood rushing to my head, and I ran till my veins pumped battery acid.

The old hotel loomed near. I couldn’t see the old lady but I knew she was still on to me - I could hear her screaming all around me as if she was inside my head.

Up ahead, I could see the spot where I dropped the bag of the old lady twenty years ago.

Ten meters…

My whole body was trembling. I could feel my legs swell and my heart burst painful.

Eight meters…

The scream resounded on the wall of the old hotel and on the ground. Everything was so loud that I placed my hands on my ears.

Six meters…

The cold night air that blew on my face didn’t keep me from sweating profusely. I didn’t know if it was sweat on my face or was it tears.

Four meter…

I thought about my little girl; Janet’s wonderful smile, her high pitched giggles, her beautiful face. Would I ever see my baby again?

Two meters…

Then I stumbled. My knees exploded when I hit the ground. There were two sickening snaps on my feet then the stabbing pain rushed up to my thigh. I felt all the bones on my legs twisted and cracked as if being run over by a car.

Slowly, my legs twisted and cracked.

Twisted and cracked.

My pants were saturated with piss and blood. I realized it was my own scream that I was hearing. I lay supine and felt nothing but the pain of my crippled legs.

 

The school appointed a new PE teacher. Ryan left town that morning after calling the paramedics to the old hotel grounds. Mrs. Janet Lane was never seen again at school or anywhere else for that matter.

I knew she wouldn’t come back.

Even if I passed the park everyday on my wheelchair I knew she would not come back.

 

The End

 

© 2011 bba


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Featured Review

this story really made me pay attention until the end. i knew that if i skip something in the story, i would be confused throughout the rest. Your writing skill is a like a professional, although there were grammatical slips. What i really appreciated in this story is your writing style. You really described well your feelings. You also have put the reader into the story instead of being just an observer. Thanks for sharing this story. You can be a great suspense writer someday. :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

i don't know why the heck i was laughing when i ws reading that rotten memory of the naarrator....i mean an old woman.ops!.not a "Super old woman".running in a desperate pace .....that was really humourous for me.....but ofcourse it was a bit different this time.now that he gas got a cute sweet daughter with him.so as the distance was decreasing my heart was coming at the edge.and i'm glad that she didn't killed him....

the only question which awakened in me was that.......why on earth she wants to take revenge from them.i mean she gave them a chase.prevented them from stealing her bag.then what's the need!!!.they've already got their lesson at that tome!!!
the conclusion which i came upon was that.may be she was too angered that she has to run in such a great speed.so better cut off their legs so that they can never run again!!!
anyway.it's a nice work and i enjoyed it!!!!!!


Posted 6 Years Ago


this story really made me pay attention until the end. i knew that if i skip something in the story, i would be confused throughout the rest. Your writing skill is a like a professional, although there were grammatical slips. What i really appreciated in this story is your writing style. You really described well your feelings. You also have put the reader into the story instead of being just an observer. Thanks for sharing this story. You can be a great suspense writer someday. :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Crazy stuff! This is really crazy. Revenge of the old lady! Lol

Posted 8 Years Ago


Great story...well written. Thankyou

Posted 8 Years Ago


Pretty good read and a great moral lesson. Watch the grammar and repeating of words though because it can distract from the story.

Posted 8 Years Ago


This i really good. I agree with FyreHeart that this could be considered a moral lesson. It's a good read and a great write.

Posted 8 Years Ago


XD A well written take on a the classic idea of a ghost story. A well done end to it, it could even be considered a moral or lesson :-P

Posted 8 Years Ago



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Added on December 24, 2010
Last Updated on March 4, 2011
Tags: Short Story, Fiction, Park, Old Lady, Running, Horror, Brian Ayson, I really don't know how to tag m

Author

bba
bba

Philippines



About
I write short stories mostly, somewhere within the realms of horror, fantasy, drama, dark fantasy. Please feel free to read and write a quick review of what you think of my stories. Any comments gr.. more..

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