Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Legend of the Black Widow

The first time I saw her I was running home on a cold October night.
The brisk autumn wind made my eyes water as the dead leaves crunched beneath my feet. The sky was black and the street lamps offered little light, but I knew the way even in the dark. As I turned the corner a black figure ahead walked slowly and deliberately, silhouetted by the moon in such eerie light that I felt I was seeing a ghost. I slowed my pace and a chill began at the base of my spine and made it's way straight up to my neck as I grew closer to the object of my unease.

Suddenly the girl stopped, turned and gazed at me with the coldest eyes I had ever seen. For what seemed like hours but was surely mere seconds I stood ensnared in the vacuous pull of her gaze. Then, without warning she snapped her neck back as if gazing up at the stars and released a sound that I will never forget nor do I ever wish to hear again. Her slack jaw and lifeless limbs gave her the appearance of a rag doll as the sickening, guttural scream ripped through her.

Just as quickly as it began it ceased. Her body regained it's rigidity and she straightened, perfectly composed. Without a word she turned and walked up the path into a large white home that I knew to be Mr. Black's estate. The house that once seemed so benign now sat dark and sinister, one broken shutter banging in the wind.

No lights appeared inside the house as I ran past the looming wrought iron gates, willing my legs to go faster. I felt sure that her eyes watched me from one of the darkened windows, though I was too afraid to look.

Mr. Black had passed away rather suddenly, just days after bringing his new wife to live with him. Few had seen Mr. Black's widow, but rumors had run wild since his death. She rarely left the house and was not present at Mr. Black's funeral. When she went out she carried a large umbrella and spoke to no one. Some would venture towards her to offer condolences, but something in her demeanor dissuaded them from conversing.

Some said she was a witch. Others assumed that she was after Mr. Black's fortune. Still others pressed a hand to their throat when the subject came up, offering only a silent prayer for the deceased. Speculation and rumors surrounding his death persisted even after the coroner determined that a heart condition was to blame.

Black's widow left soon after his death and never returned again. Black's house was sold and the town soon forget the entire affair. I never told a soul what I saw that night and the image of her haunting face and that scream, that horrifying scream, faded with time. I grew older and rationalized the events of that night as the creation of a young boy's active imagination.

Years passed. I married, moved away and started a family of my own. My black hair turned to gray and God took my sweet wife in the Spring of '52. I returned to my hometown and buried her next to an empty plot that waits for me. I rented a small house within walking distance to her resting place and I visited her often.

One cold October night I walked the winding path through the graveyard, stooping when I reached her grave to brush the grass and dirt from her stone. As I stood, a figure caught my eye. Standing over Mr. Black's grave, silhouetted by the moon.
I recognized her instantly.
My pulse pounded in my ears as my breath grew shallow. Her cold, hallow eyes found mine and even in the fading twilight I knew it was her.
Unchanged by the years, defying all logic and reason, there she stood.
The black widow.

I wrote this story just for fun and I hope it was a little bit fun to read:)