Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Letter... Continued, Part 3

Okay folks, here's the next part...Send me your thoughts. More tomorrow. -Loren

Never in her 62 years of life was Sherry compelled to leave her bed at three a.m. and rummage through a garbage dumpster. Today is a first.

To say that this ruthless business woman is spooked is putting it lightly. "The cold hands in the dream, and my neck pain..." Sherry shudders at the connection, talking to herself in her car as she pulls into the shop parking lot.

"This is stupid. I'm losing my mind."She complains, slamming the car door and walking toward the dumpster.

Sherry lifts the green metal lid and stands on her toes to peer inside, as she is a small woman in more ways than one. What she sees makes her shriek and fall backwards into a puddle. Peeking out of a white garbage bad is a knotty old hand with long red nails, a large opal ring on the pointer finger, iridescent in the moonlight. The lid crashes closed again. Somewhere off in the distance, a dog is barking and a porch light turns on.

"Can you hear me, Ma'am?" Sherry? Your husband is here." Sherry feels wet and muddy. Her eyes focus on a woman in a cop uniform, bent over her.

Her ponytail is so tight. She thinks. "Honey, does that hairdo give you headaches?" Sherry asks. The cop laughs. "Looks like she's gonna be OK. We'll have EMTs check her out, but I think she just passed out. There is no sign of assault.

Sherry looks up at Tom, remembering the dream, and the horrible discovery. "Did you see the body in the dumpster? I saw a hand with a jeweled ring, an opal I think?!" She tries to stand, recoiling as she glances in the direction of the garbage.

"I have to find the letter," Sherry says stumbling toward the garbage bin, but now it is being blocked off by law enforcement.

"You claim you saw a body in the garbage. There is a certain protocol that we have to follow now, Ma'am. Describe what you were looking for, and we'll search for it." The cop is clicking her pen, waiting.

Sherry doesn't know exactly how to describe the letter without sounding crazy.

"It mentions a murder that happened in 1948. It's signed: Agnes."

The cop stares at Sherry with an amused expression.

"Interesting," she says, making a call.

The dumpster is checked by crime scene detectives. There is no body and no letter, but her shop is destroyed on the inside. Furniture is flipped, and the floor is littered with broken glass. Sherry sobs on Tom's shoulder.

"There is no sign of a break in, and the doors were locked. Ma'am, who else has a key?"

"Just my son, but he left for an auction in New Jersey after work yesterday," Sherry says, wiping back tears. She dials his number on her cell phone. Eventually the rings go to voice mail.

"What's this?" Tom holds up a sticky note from the register and passes it to Sherry.

Written in a shaken hand is:

"Good Morning! It is now 3:25 a.m. and the problem with you is that you are a SELFISH scavenger. We have that in common, dear. Except my heart is VERY cold now. Find my property."

Sherry pales. She sits on a pile of torn encyclopedias. The cop hands her a bottle of water and takes Tom aside as she writes up the report.

"Sir, The only other person with a key is your wife. The person who wrote the note included the time, and that's odd. There were no body parts or weird letters in the garbage. Would there be any possibility that she made this mess herself and doesn't remember? I know her health is none of my business, but no one was here except her."

"What? Someone did this...AND damaged a whole lot of antiques. Excuse me but, my wife can't flip a Hoosier. She's not that big. Call this what it is, a robbery!"

"Alright sir, I'm sorry. The building is completely secured, no windows or locks broken. It's not personal."

Tom snorts and walks off to get some air outside. Somewhere in his mind a question lingers about his wife's judgement. "Could she have done this all in her sleep?"He wonders.

After dinner that evening he makes a call to a doctor who also happens to be an old friend.


Loren Christie said...

Hi Everyone!
Even though this blog is public, I know who most of the regular readers are (and I really appreciate your comments). I've been wondering who is coming in from East Meadow, NY. If it's you, please drop me a line in a comment, or if you don't feel comfortable, an email at I'm just curious. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Well, this has taken a turn I certainly wasn't expecting. I would have guessed Sherry would have gone back and done some decective work to trace the origin of the letter, but the supernatural spin is quite interesting as well.

Of course, now I am wondering if the ghost is angry because the letter was not delivered or if she will lead Sherry to find out the death was not quite a suicide as the note would have Sherry to believe, since it is my understanding that a reason ghosts are given to exist is that there life was tragecily and suddennly ended before its time and the soul is living on to reach that final "closure" if you will.

If you or your regular readers are looking for a great ghost story, I highly recommend "Something's Alive on the Titanic" by Robert Serling. One of two books that really scared me to the point of I had to stop reading for a bit before finally finishing it.


Loren Christie said...

Hi G. Sounds like a good book. Well, I believe everyone has a soul, but I'm not sure why people would want to stick around here when there is an opportunity to reach God, and loved ones lost. What interests me is the idea of purgatory, and how one gets out of that jam, (if you've done something horribly evil in life and leave it unresolved when you pass away). Based on my view of God, I think there is mercy for those in this situation. I'm trying to imagine how. Do I think souls can do physical "damage" like the character Agnes in this story- Nope. That's just fun scary stuff.

Loren Christie said...

As a clue to what's coming up tomorrow, here's a quote from my grandmother:
"It's not the dead you should fear, but the living." :0

rhymeswithplague said...

I missed coming over here for a couple of days and now there are Parts 5, 4, and 3 staring me in the face. I didn't peek at 5 or 4 and came directly here to part 3.

It's a bit like the television program called The Medium, isn't it?

Can't wait to read the rest!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Wow, lots of action here, so many ways this can go. What an exciting story! I do believe that some kind of negative energy can stay in a place where horrendous evil happened. There seems to be scientific evidence to back that up. I also believe we as Christians are supposed to stay far away from anything like that and avoid all occult. But stories are just stories and are great places to explore all of the possibilities. Of course the power of God is stronger than the power of evil, and we know who wins in the end.

Loren Christie said...

Thanks for reading Elizabeth! The question driving this story is two-fold: If a type of purgatory exists, can the living help those stuck in it through prayer? Also, why should people pray for those who have hurt or killed others?

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I do think our prayers for the dead will help them get out of purgatory and as for your second question St. Therese talks about a criminal whose soul she saved at the very end, and why that was so important. Because God gave his son to save ALL the world.

Loren Christie said...

Oh yeah I remember that story from her book. Well, you know I agree with you.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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