Her


Colorado is a fairly large place. It holds many cities, towns, and counties. Some of them are easily seen, others are quite well hidden. One of the quieter of the 'visible' ones is that of Northglenn. Three blocks from one of its middle schools, it is said that there used to live a very peculiar old woman.

She was quite malicious, predatory even. Many called her 'The Witch', or simply 'Her,' even the elders of the neighborhood. She was considered the Holder of Dreams by some, the precursor to those foul guardians by others. But I can not say much about that, only that she was quite unpleasant. She rarely said much of anything, mostly tending to her garden. When she did say anything, it was almost always to her son Matthias. The most you could generally hope for upon approaching her (and you'd have to be quite foolish to do so), was an unnerving glare or another of her seemingly endless complaints. She seemed to be misery personified.

Sometimes the neighborhood children would ride past her house on their bicycles. She would frequently throw pebbles, sticks, even hot coals at them. She claimed the sidewalk was her territory, and none were allowed to pass. Frightful as this was, this did not deter people from attempting to enter her domain. For some ungodly reason, people felt compelled to do so. Many said their minds seemed to wander into the depths of her house in their sleep, festering in the putrid, boiling pit she called her cellar. Those who did not know her were free of this fate, or so the towns people claimed.

They say that the Cellar held all of the trauma of childhood. Every scrape, every taunt, every terror faced would overwhelm you once more. Your only respite were the rotting, cedar-steps leading up to the entrance. And you would feel the sweaty hands of all manner of nameless specters, those terrible things you swore lived beneath your bed, accosting you once more as you made your way out. And if you slipped, what awaited you was far worse.

But the entrance was not the end of it all. For if you opened the door, you would enter the rest of the house. It was always the same as your own, save for a vague but undeniable darkness that seemed to saturate everything. You could gaze upon the windows, but doing so would not yield any sights saved for the now gaunt and unspeakably cruel visage of that hag.

Eventually, after much wandering the walls would turn a bright and blinding red. The hallways would then collapse, enveloping you in a vast and unending abyss. You could at that point hear her chanting the words 'THEY CAN NOT BE SAVED' and laughing. It was always a dry and gravely cackle, far worse than anything you might have heard before or since. And then you would wake up.

It was not that the dream's sights and sounds that made it truly disturbing, though those were quite unsettling on their own. Nor was it repeated itself, often at the most unexpected of times. What truly made it unbearable was the familiarity, the utter plausibility of it all. It was not surreal or fog like like so many other nightmares, but rather as incomprehensible and awful as the worst of your life's moments.

Not too long ago, I heard that the Witch had passed away. Matthias moved somewhere out west to the desert, to tend to some ghastly and alien looking seeds of his. He said that he would be back in due time with his crops when he left, or so his neighbors claimed. Soon after a young couple moved into the house, which at that point looked remarkably restored despite its prior decrepitness. Though the Witch was gone, the townspeople claimed her presence remained. The dreams did not cease. And from time to time, the towns people claimed to see a pale young woman tending her garden.

I know this not because I have heard of this, but because I lived next to her. I have had the dream consume me. I have tried to exorcise it from myself. But none have been so lucky as to purge it from me. And there are still others I know who continue to be haunted by it. But over time, I have come to accept it, and warn others of similar dangers. For you see, every town bears its own monstrous secret. Sometimes it is human, others something else entirely. But it is always present. You just need to know where to look.

Categories: | The Forgotten and the Unknown |

Last modified on 2009-05-23 16:37:20Viewed 7458 times

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