Don't Believe What You See

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: The Thrilling Ways
Story I wrote. More than a short story but less than a book. Please give feedback and tell me what you think.

Submitted: July 11, 2016

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Submitted: July 11, 2016

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DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE

It was the beginning of 1937. A farmer, his daughter, who was 19 years of age, and their dog, Brody, had just moved to Cashtown so they could have a farm. Where they were from, farm animals were banned, but the farmer loved animals so much he got them anyways. This caused the farmer to get kicked out because the landlord didn't want the farm animals in his well-gardened yard. Gianna, the farmers’ daughter, got so furious because the landlord had a dog of his own. His dog, Tiger, would always tear up the yard and Brody got blamed for it. “How could anyone not love all animals? Plus, they would be in the barn,” Gianna said to herself. She stormed away and didn't talk to that landlord again. Her father, Joe, was so upset as he saw Gianna leaving. Joe remembered how quiet it was as they packed the wagon. He wished none of this had ever happened. Joe had been a peaceful man, but family always came first for him. All of a sudden, Brody started whimpering. Joe figured it was because they were leaving, but it wasn't the same usual whimper. It was definitely very loud. Joe and Gianna had no idea what was wrong with him. Without getting frantic, Joe calmly told Gianna to help ease Brody. But he would need more than that. It turned out that the poor dog was shot. A million thoughts flooded Joe’s mind. He then tended to the dogs’ wound. Both Joe and Gianna had worked tirelessly to get to the bullet. Once they had found the bullet, Joe had to look in amazement at what was happening. The bullet was definitely there, but every time he would try to pull it out it disappeared. After witnessing this occur a few times, it was beginning to be a little suspicious. But was this the beginning of what was to come or the end for this family??

 

Friday, October 13, 1937, it was a very stormy night. A farmer and his daughter were in their barn starting the after dinner chores. Their dog, Brody, was running around the barn chasing the chickens. He would always do this, even though he never caught up to those damn things. After “exercising”, Brody would always go inside the house. This was a routine that pleased the dog, along with the farmer. It gave Joe, the farmer, some reassurance that Brody was done for the night. Joe and Gianna, his daughter, also became happy with the entertainment they had just witnessed. Brody was always full of energy and entertained them often. With Brody in the house, they continued with the after dinner chores. Suddenly, Joe heard a noise. It came from within the house. Gianna, who was brushing the horses’, became frightened. She pulled on the horses’ reins to calm them down, but pulled too tightly. It caused the horse to buck lightly. She then gave the horse a feed bag, which she knew would always calm it down. Joe looked at his daughter and told her to stay in the barn. Gianna nods shyly while still brushing the horse. Joe went towards the farmhouse to see what had caused that noise. Before entering, the farmer thought that Brody might have seen a mouse, and to scare it off he chased it off. He could hear the dog barking, but it was very faint. When Joe entered the house, he found his most prized possession on the floor. It was a flowered vase Gianna had made, when her mother had passed away. “Damn! Smashed to pieces,” Joe angrily shouted. “Sorry, Georgia. Not sure what happened?” he said to himself. Joe had missed his wife, Georgia, very much. The vase was the only way he felt like he could still connect to her. She loved flowers and always picked a variety every chance she got. While reminiscing, Joe noticed it was quiet. Almost too quiet. All that was heard now was the sound of thunder and splashes of lightning in-between. He realized that Brody wasn'tt in the vicinity. Had he been the culprit? Joe wasn't sure but determined to find out what had happened. He went back outside, towards the barn, to see if Gianna was okay. As he was approaching the barn door, Joe started to say to himself, “I haven’t a clue what happened, but one thing is for sure…” He stopped in his tracks. He couldn't believe what he wasn't’t seeing. NO daughter or dog? What was going on? As this thought crossed his mind, lightning flashed and the farmer gasped in horror. Joe fell to his knees and cried out, “How could this happen?” and “Why?”. The scene unfolding before the farmers’ eyes was one he didn't think he would be seeing again. upon returning to the barn, Joe had seen his beautiful, 19-year old daughter, Gianna, hanging from the low beams. Joe, tears running down his face, took his daughter down. He couldn't understand why she had done this. First, Georgia and now Gianna. When he found out Georgia had hung herself, he couldn't bare it. But now, to lose his daughter, the spitting image of her mother. It’s just indescribable.

Joe then noticed Brody was still nowhere to be found. Where in the world was he? Carefully, he took Gianna towards the farmhouse. With it raining, it made it difficult to carry her and not slip a time or two. Joe tried to be as quick as he could. He finally reached the house and began calling for the dog. “Brody? Here boy,” Joe called and whistled for him. When that didn't work, he went into the living room. He placed his freshly hung daughter onto the couch. That’s when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. It was Brody! “Where the hell did you come from boy?” Joe said, still upset from the event that just occurred. He walked over towards him, wiping tears from his eyes. Brody was whimpering, like a time Joe would never forget. Thinking that this night couldn't get worse, he saw Brody was shot, again. Just like that horrible night, leaving their landlords’ house. But this time wasn't exactly the same. Blood wasn't gushing out of the wound, but it did look bad. It only looked bad because Brody was a ghost! The farmer did not realize that until he turned on the fireplace to warm up the wide-eyed, droopy-eared, petite dog. He just vanished into thin air. Joe will never forget this stormy Friday, October 13th night.

 

About 66 years later, it was Friday the 13th in 2003. Another stormy night, a 19-year old boy was driving towards Cashtown, to see his girlfriend, who was also 19-years old. His name was Josh and hers Savannah. Driving along the damp road, Josh heard a “whimpering thud” out of nowhere. He slammed on his brakes, almost hydroplaning while trying to stop. Looking into his rear-view mirror, he noticed a small animal on the road. It seemed to be just lying there motionless. Josh got out of his car and upon closer inspection, he saw it was a dog. “Hope I didn't kill him,” Josh thought to himself. Remembering he had some blankets, he ran back to his car. While gathering and fixing up the blankets in his car, Josh heard the weatherman on the radio. ‘Severe thunderstorms and possible hail for the Cashtown area. If you don’t need to be out, please stay inside. Power outages are becoming frequent as the severity of the storm continues. For more news, stay tuned.’ Josh hated storms and couldn't believe that of all nights this was going to be a big one. Was he ever going to get to Savannah’s before anything major happens? He wasn't sure, but the dog, he believed he hit, was top priority. He took the blankets he didn't lay on the seat and headed to go pick up the dog. Josh turned towards where the dog was, but it had disappeared. “I did see a dog, or was it my imagination?” Josh said wonderingly. He decided to just get back in his car and leave before the weather worsened. Just as he was close to his girlfriends’, he noticed the “whimpering” noise again. He knew he didn't hit anything though. Maybe it was just the wind playing tricks on his mind, but he really thought the dog was back. Josh definitely needed sleep and for the storm to be over. He would feel much better and not like he was going insane. As that thought crossed his mind, Josh felt his eyes getting heavier and heavier.

Savannah was just waiting patiently for Josh. She knew he had been waiting for when they would be together. Both were putting in extra hours at work to take the much needed vacation. Even though, this storm was going on right now. It wouldn't last long. Just for tonight and tomorrow. Then, it would be beautiful sunshine and cool temperatures for the well-deserved vacation. Savannah decided to call Josh, when it started to get late. But no answer. “Well, maybe he’s at a bad spot or he is close”, she started thinking. Just then a crash of thunder and spark of lightning startled her. This made her more worried that something could’ve happened to Josh. She made the blunt decision to go out in the storm. As soon as she stepped out, her umbrella folded up and almost flew away, from the heavy winds. This made her run to the car. Savannah put the key into the ignition. It took a few tries for the car to finally start. “Damn fucking storm.” She hoped that it wouldn't be as bad as what the weatherman was saying earlier that day. She turned the radio volume up, so she could hear if there were accidents or more severe weather. But of course, with a storm like this, it was just static. Great, now her nerves were really setting in. She pulled from the driveway. Just as she was turning from the corner, “thud”. “What the fuck?” she mumbled to herself. A faint whimper followed the thud. She looks through her driver side and passenger mirrors, but nothing. It wasn't until she looked in her rear-view that she saw a dog. It couldn't have been no bigger than a puppy. Savannah began to tear up. How could she have hit this innocent animal? Had did she not see it? Thoughts were flooding her mind while getting out of her car. But something strange happened when she approached behind her car. The “dog” she thought she hit turned out to be a person! Looking even closer, it was Josh. Frantically, Savannah ran up to him. He was unconscious, breathing, but barely. She grabbed him and as quick as she could, with some struggle, took him inside. Shortly after getting inside, she laid him on the couch and ran to grab the First Aid kit. On the way back from gathering everything she needed, she started to dial 911. No ring. Perfect, the phone lines are down. This was not what either of them needed. Savannah set down the phone and tended to Josh, patching him up as best as she could. All the while checking her phone, dialing 911 every time. Each time with no ring, and the final time now had no reception. Could this get any worse?

Josh woke up to the noise of a screech. It was him hitting the brakes. He had apparently hit them as he drifted into a heavy sleep. Thankfully, he woke up before anyone got even more injured. Catching his breath, after that incident, he pulled off to the side of the road. He knew where he was. Only a few more minutes and he would be at Savannah’s. As he was putting his car in park, he checked his surroundings. The sun was barely peeking through the storm clouds, to tell Josh that it was definitely morning. He then picked up his cell phone. No calls or messages. “Huh? Usually, I get at least 2 calls or messages if I’m not there by now”, he said. “Maybe she knew I would be late because of the storm, and just fell asleep”. That seemed to help Josh not over think the situation. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them, he saw a girl standing in front of his car. This girl looked like his girlfriend, Savannah. But it wasn't her. He knew it wasn't her because when the girl spoke to him, her voice was almost child-like. Seeing this girl made Josh get upset. Was he ever going to see his girlfriend? As a tear rolled down his cheek, the girl said to him, “I hope you’re okay?”.“I’m okay, but why do you ask?” Josh answered.  “Well I saw you swerve on the road and pull over.”“Thanks for asking. I’m Josh. What’s your name?”  “Gianna” she said. “Hello Gianna. May I ask you what you’re doing out here in the middle of the storm?” Gianna didn't’t answer him, but she did have a blank expression on her face. Then, as if in a trance, she started to respond, “I really do hope you feel better. That’s a very nasty bruise you have already. You must have hit your head pretty hard.” Josh didn't even think to check how serious his injures were. He felt his forehead, while looking in the mirror, to see the large bruise. “You know I’m glad it was just a bruise,” Josh started to say when he turned towards the girl. She was gone. He only turned away for a minute. He looked around for her, but didn't see anything. Where did she go? Did he hit his head harder than he thought? Moments later, dizziness set in. This made Josh fell uneasy. He grabbed his head and closed his eyes. That made the situation a little bit bearable. So, he laid back his seat and just drifted off.

When Josh awoke, he didn't know where he was. He did notice that he felt a lot better. After waking himself up some more, he now realized that he recognized the place. It was Savannah’s house. Had he drove here, in his sleep? Was he dreaming? Had he been here sleeping the whole time? These thoughts were causing him to get dizzy again. Savannah saw he was awake. She came over with a washcloth and asked, “How are you feeling, babe?” “Okay, but what happened? Where’s Gianna? How did I get here?”, Josh questioned as he was sitting up. Savannah explained her side of what she knew.

“Well, I’m not sure how you got here exactly, but I went to go look for you and BAM! I hit something. It turned out that it was you. Luckily, I only backed out of the driveway when it happened. I did my best and got you inside. Tried several times to call 911, but the storm had the phone lines down. I’ve been taking care of you the best I can until I can get service. And as far as Gianna…I’m not sure who that is. You kept talking about her in your sleep!” Josh had a puzzled look on his face. “I did? So, I was dreaming?”  “I guess so, but why you say that?”, Savannah asked. Josh then explained the crazy situations that had happened to him throughout the night. Savannah even told him how she thought it was a dog and not him that she hit. Either way she didn't like the end results. They both just stared at each other, when they finished. Crazy didn't even describe the night they both had. Savannah then started to say this reminded her of a story her grandmother had told her when she was little. “You mean the one whose cousin hung herself? And wasn't it a Friday the 13th as well then too?” “Yeah, and it was in Cashtown, too” “Do you remember where that took place exactly? Like dates, specifically year?” Josh curiously asked. “I’m pretty sure it was like 1937. But I can look it up for sure. It’s in the Cashtown Post. It was major news because my grandmother's aunt hung herself a few years before that,” Savannah replied. While looking through the old newspaper articles, she finally came across the information. An eerie feeling overtook her. Reading aloud, she told Josh, “It was here! This was the old farmhouse where it happened. My late great-uncle, his daughter, and their dog lived here. Listen to what the caption says ‘Local farmer Joe not only lost his wife, Georgia, but now his 19-year old daughter, Gianna. Same tragedy, hangings, for one man within a few years.’ GIANNA!? “That’s the girl. It must be, but she’s dead?”, Josh said. “Whoa,” Savannah said still in shock. She didn't realize her grandmother’s story was true. She did some further investigating. And when she came across the picture of the family that was living here at the time, she froze. Josh dropped his jaw. The picture showed a young girl, a dog, and an older man standing outside their farmhouse. The same one that Savannah was living in right now. “Babe, that’s Gianna. That is the girl I thought I saw in front of my car or dreamt about. That’s also the dog! This is way too weird. Had I seen ghosts?” Josh said. “Well if you’ve seen ghosts, then I must have too. That is the exact same dog I thought I hit”, Savannah said in amazement.

The storm had since passed and Savannah finally got a chance to connect with emergency services. She explained that they needed an ambulance and told them the address. “Should be there as soon as possible, ma’am,” the EMT responded. Both, Savannah and Josh sighed in relief, feeling thankful. “I feel stupid for thinking my grandmother was only telling a story. You know she didn't start to tell me anything about the family until my parents and I moved here when I was 7. Stormy nights will definitely be even scarier to me, knowing what happened all those years ago. But, especially, because it was my relatives,” Savannah was telling Josh. He agreed and assured her, “You will always have me to be here for you. I will do my best to protect you. Forever and Always.”  “Forever and Always baby,” she proclaimed back. That was their saying and they always stayed true to it. About an hour later, the ambulance arrived. EMTs checked Josh out and bandaged him up. They didn't need to do much, since Savannah took care of a lot it when the accident happened. They said the both of them were lucky. With the way the storm was, things could’ve been worse. Josh and Savannah thanked the EMTs before watching them leave. Going back in the house, Savannah helped Josh settle onto the couch again. Then, she said something that sounded like the best thing both of them heard. “Dinner?”  “Yes. Chicken?” Savannah laughed and said, “Yes, and I’ll make rice.” Josh’s eyes got really wide. He knew she didn't like rice, but occasionally ate it. This was his favorite meal besides pork chops. But in all honesty, he didn't care what he ate, after the night either of them had.

THE END


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