Dana Garrow lives in the duplex, the only building on the street – and she’s the sole occupant.
She recently moved to the sleepy town of Goss Hollow to get away from the hectic city life.
As a newly college graduate with a degree in History Education, she has accepted a job here as the local historian.
Tomorrow’s her first day on the job, but tonight, she has a specific duty to fulfill.
Donning her faded jeans and dark sweatshirt, Dana grabs the smartphone and flashlight, and heads outside.
It’s nearly midnight, and there isn’t a moon to help her navigate the wooded area as she carefully makes her way for the road.
The air is filled with the cacophony of the night.
Standing on the paved surface, she whips out the phone and turns it on.
“Hey all!” Her breaths float in the air as white vapor. “As you know, I’m now living in this quaint village in the mountains. And if you think that sounds boring – well, it really isn’t!”
She sees herself in the live video box of the MeTube app. Under it are numbers that contain her followers.
She smiles at the triple digits.
Thank goodness for modern technology for she never truly feels alone.
“You’re probably wondering why I am outside in the dark – well, truth be known, someone dared me – no, double dared me to visit a local cemetery which by the way is only a short walk from where I live!”
Dana quickens her pace as she sweeps the beam from the flashlight in front of her.
Her cell does have its own flashlight, but to venture in an unfamiliar area, she thought she needed something a bit stronger.
A decision she knows was the correct one especially as she maneuvers around the potholes that peppered the road.
Sounds of cricket chirping and a pair of crows’ caws fill her ears.
“Guys, you know me and cemeteries as they are ripe with history and creepy stories! And this one has it all!”
The brisk wind sends chills down her back as her long hair lashes at her face.
She should have put on a hat. Oh well.
“Goss Hollow Cemetery lies on both sides of the road. On the left is the modern one while the one on the right dates to the late 1700s.”
Dana pans the phone to show her followers what she is seeing.
Through the light, one can just make out the gravestones with dark shadowy forms of trees in the background.
Here all sounds seem to be somewhat muffled by the nearby thick canopy.
She moves to the right and strolls over the grass that crunches under her boots with each step.
“Ten years ago on Halloween eve, a seventeen-year-old girl and her friends were exploring the old gravesites when a terrifying scream scared the living heck out of them. When they stopped running, they realized she wasn’t with them. A search party looked for her for days but never found her body or any clue to what had happened to her. To this day, it remains an unsolved mystery.”
Dana stops to catch her breath.
Must be the excitement. Or maybe it’s due to the swarm of butterflies in her stomach.
A single crow cries in the distance.
“Every once a while, the locals report they can hear a woman’s scream from this very cemetery whom they believe comes from this missing girl. There are a number of theories behind this scream.”
Dana pauses next to a partial broken gravestone, its etched content faded to near obscurity.
“One, this scream is indeed caused by the spirit of the girl. Two, there are a few animals who can mimic the sound of a screaming or wailing human like a fox or an owl.”
She turns the cell until the image of the gravestone comes into view on the screen.
Bogdan & Tomila Dulka
D. October 29, 1856
“Perfect!” She exclaims. “For a period of three decades in the mid to late 19th century, a group of Slav gypsies lived near here. With them came the story of the Drekavac – a bestial creature with a large hideous head on a body of a kid. To announce its presence, this creature emits a sound very much like a scream of a woman or a child.”
Dana halts and listens.
She switches the view on the phone to reflect her face.
“Guys, this place is starting to creep me out.” Her eyes wide as they scan the dark surrounding.
“Everything just went completely quiet!”
She stares off into the nearby patch of shrubs.
“I see an outline of a building not far from here. It might be a groundskeeper’s shed or something.”
Suddenly, a horrendous high-pitched shrill pierces the silence causing her to nearly drop the cell.
She grips it tightly in her shaking hands.
“U-um, that did not sound like a scream of a-any kind.” Her voice lowers to a quivering whisper.
Dana’s face appears pale in the screen of the live video.
“S-something is coming from the shed.”
Her mouth drops.
“W-wrong on all acc-accounts!”
The phone is knocked to the cold ground.
It is still recording as it auto-focuses on to the base of the gravestone.
Dana is on her knees beside the granite, but only the view is seen from her waist down.
“N-no…no, please god no!”
The legs are lifted off the ground.
A spine-chilling scream reverberates through the cemetery as the legs jerk spasmodically before falling completely limp.
No more sounds come from Dana.
The image in the cell jitters violently.
Before it loses power, a menacing hiss could be heard.
Tagline: Some dares end with a scream.
Word Count: 942
Feedback: Any is welcome!
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