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Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Hook

Jennifer and her friends, Neil, Amy and Nathan, were all sitting around the camp fire telling ghostly stories, attempting to scare the bejesus out of one another.

Neil had just finished his story of the a creepy, skinned ghost that only appeared to warn men of an adulterous woman.

“No way is that true,” Nathan retorted, taking a swig from the bottle of scotch he held in his hand. He wrapped his arm around Amy, pulling her close.

“I swear it is,” Neil insisted, glancing over the flickering flames at Jennifer. “My dad's friend's brother said he saw it. And when he did some investigating, it turned out that the woman was indeed married.”

“Yeah right.” Nathan took another drink. “You notice how it never happens to someone that you know first hand. It's always someone else's brother's best friend or something like that. That's why they're stories. They're not real.”

Neil held his hand up as though he were a boy scout. “I'm telling you guys that it really happened.” 

Amy waved her hand in disbelief. “Sorry, love, I have to agree with Nathan on this one. There is no way that's true.”

Neil stared at Jennifer. “Please tell me that you believe me?” he begged.

Jennifer smile. “I do. But not all stories are about someone's brothers best friend. I have one that happened to Lara Thompson who lives on Redwood Lane.”

“Lana Thompson? Was she the chick that was suspended from school after having a psychotic break down last year and now lives in a room with white padded walls?”

Jennifer nodded.

She licked her lips, scooting forward on the old tree log. “Lara use to come camping out here a lot. She loved nature and always found inspiration for her stories and poetry.

'Anyway, she came out here the last weekend of Summer vacation. She camped out in this exact spot. She loved it. But this weekend was different. There was that Summer storm that destroyed Main Street.

'Lara shivered in her tent, wishing she hadn't have come out. That's when a tree branch cracked from a bolt of lightning and fell on top of her tent. Lara screamed as the log crashed down onto her leg, breaking it.

'Writhing in pain, Lara screamed for help. She must have screamed for hours before someone came along to help her. 

'He was a creepy man, unshaven, dishevelled. He was like one of those crazy people in horror movies that always tell the characters not to go somewhere. He picked her up, draping her over his shoulder, he carried her to his shack.

'He bandaged her leg, using an old gardening stake as a splint. He made sure she was comfortable, even fetching her some soup from his stove. But there was something about him that Lara didn't trust. Maybe it was because he hadn't bathed in a month, or that his hair was more screwy than Mrs. Blaine when had that perm done.

'While she was eating, Lara keep one eye on him at all times.

'The hobo had a radio that he turned on while he ate. A news report flashed on that there was an armed man on the run from police. Apparently he had escaped police custody as he was being transported from the station house to the sanatorium in Orange Grove.

'Lara listened to the report as the announcer said that the man was not to be approached because he was considered dangerous. Lara kept her eye on the man, wondering if this was the man they were talking about.

'Her eyes lingered around the room and that's when she saw it. A gun. It was sitting on the table, near the front door. And from where Lara was, it looked like a cop gun.

'The report continued stating the the prisoner had shot two officers that were transporting him before taking off into the woods near Eerie Lake. 

'Lara was feeling very afraid by this point, especially considering that the hobo was now looking at her with a strange expression his face.

'The report continued, warning people that the man on the run was missing his right hand and that there was a metal hook in it's place.

'Lara looked at the man's hands. Her eyes grew wide with panic when she saw that there was no right hand.

'Springing upright, Lara screamed as she put pressure on her broken leg. But through the pain, she lunged for the gun, gripping the trigger she squeezed and BANG. The man dropped to the ground, blood pouring from his chest.

'When police found her the next day, she was delirious, claiming she had shot the man responsible for the shooting of two officers. The police stared at the body of the hobo. One of them pulled his sleeve up to reveal that he in fact had his right hand.

'They arrested Lara for shooting and killing an unarmed man. The man they were looking for was never found, although police still think he's hiding out in these woods.”

The others fell silent. An owl hooted, breaking the silence.

“How do you know that?” Neil asked.

Jennifer smiled. “My uncle was one of the policemen who found her. He told it to me when he knew we were coming out here.”

Nathan, who had dropped the bottle of scotch, stared at her in disbelief. The amber liquid pooled at his feet in the soft dirt and pine needles. “You're not serious?”

Jennifer nodded, a solemn look on her face. “I am,” she said, watching as the flames grew low, casting an eerie shadow over the woods.

A twig snapped causing them all to jump.

“Maybe we should call it a night,” Amy said, scanning the woods nervously.

Neil and Nathan seconded the motion and began pouring water over the smouldering ashes of the fire.

They hurried back to the car, the light from their flash lights bounced over the ground. 

Neil fumbled around in his pocket trying to find the keys when Jennifer gripped his arm, digging her nails into the flesh.

“What the - ?” he asked.

Jennifer didn't say a word. Her eyes were wide as she just stared into the distance. Nathan and Amy had the same expression on their faces too.

Neil followed their line of gaze.

The keys fell from his hand as he gasped in shock.

Hanging on the door handle of the car was a large, shiny, metal hook.

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering when this legend would appear on here. Great story. I love the camp fire theme that runs through them. Perfect for scaring the shit out of people. Well done.