Ghost Town

by Divya
(St Joseph, Missouri)

It said that the form was better suited for short stories... while the actual 'occurance' takes up little of the story, it doesn't quite take full effect unless I give you the background, which makes the story slightly long...

Ok now, what I'm about to say is, like almost everything else on this sight, almost completely illogical and most normal folks would consider it nonsenical babble. But... my hometowns can be very strange places.

Now... when I say hometowns... I mean I don't live within the city limits of either. Lets just say they're both very small towns, about 900 people in one, 300 in the other. I live about five miles from both, and the towns might as well be the same place. And both are north of St. Joseph, Missouri... about thirty miles north.

I am excluding the names of the towns because... well, stalkers.

In any case. A lot of weird things have happend in these two towns... combined with the fact that there is more than enough 'weirdness' coming from my Mother's side of the family... lets just say I have many stories to share.

But this is the first... not in chronological order of happening, but the first I'm going to share.

One day in the late fall, early winter I was staying with my Grandma at the town Mannor. My father was out with some of his friends and my Mom was watching my sister's basketball game.

My sister was a freshman so I was about in 4th grade, about ten years old.

Now, I was waiting at my Grandma's because at the time to my young mind basketball was only cool if Michael Jordan was playing.

And, obviously and unfortunately, Michael Jordan doesn't play basketball in my home town.

In any case, it was a stormy night, very wet with no snow on the ground. Now, late autumn early winter might be snowy for some places, but it's decidedly not for northwest Missouri. It had been raining all day and I had a fierce desire to get home, God knows why.

So it suddenly clicks to me that if I show up at the end of the ball game I can catch a ride home with Mom and my sister and make it home all the quicker. Now, granted, this plan saved me maybe all of ten to fifteen minutes, but I was ten. Impaitence was my middle name. (May still be, who knows?)

So, like a good little girl I tell Grandma good night and head out for the school.

And on the way there, it starts raining.

Now, its nighttime, but in this small town everyone knows everyone, so I'm in no danger. So there I am, making the trek across town, in the rain with lampposts for illumination... albiet slightly eeire illumination.

When suddenly... I'm lost.

Now, in a town of only 900 people, getting lost is and unprescidented occurance.

And I'm a ten year old little girl looking to find her Mommy, so I freak the hell out.

Just to make things clear, I'd covered every inch of both towns with my friends... every square inch, I'm sure. At the age of ten I more than knew every house, every building, every road in that small town.

I, for all intents and purposes, could not get lost.

But I was.

It might've been my young imagination, it might've been the rain and weird lighting playing tricks on me.

Either way, I sure as hell don't know what happened to this day.

Buildings I didn't recognize, houses in shambles and in great need of repair(more than usual for our town anyway), and no dogs, no cats, no people.

Anywhere in this strange part of... somewhere.

And eventually I'm crying, impossibly lost, and scared. I sit down on a sidewalk and just cry, cause I'm lost and I've been lost for hours.

Now, here's usually the part where the story includes some kind of weird stranger or ghost or something.

But that was it, I'd been lost for a good two or three hours and I hadn't seen anyone.

Anyone, in a town where everyone knew who I was... if I was even there anymore. In many ways, that was the worst part. I was all alone... the only person on earth for all I knew.

And that's just it, I was sobbing, loudly. It was dead silent besides me, in my home town a little boy crying like that would call out every single mother in a three block radius to see what was the matter.

No one came.

And for a second there the old bible school kicked in and said 'Rapture happened, you're left behind, have fun'

That thought freaks me out even more and I sit and cry even harder in the rain, a street lamp my only source of light.

Then a bell rings.

And not some semi-mystical, saviorous bell.

It's the bell from town hall, ringing the fact that it's ten o' clock.

Yes, our town still has a bell... deal with it.

I look up at the familiar sound and suddenly I recognize my surroundings... I'm sitting on Main Street of all places, and the preacher's house is across the road.

Now, looking back on the incident, this is one of the more frightening events because it's entirely impossible. At the time I was just so happy that I wasn't lost anymore I didn't even care about the critical weirdness.

I ran to the school and found my Mom and sister leaving the games, and I'm so happy to see them that all the fright just leaves me. I tell them what happened and my Mom just hugs me and tells me everything's OK.

My sister just tells me I'm a dork.

I soon realize, however... that I'd been lost for about three hours... and I'd left my Grandma's in time to catch as little of the game as possible.

Meaning... it was supposed to take me ten minutes to get to the school and meet my family as they were leaving.

I'd been lost for three hours, and they're just now leaving.

I ask what time it is... and it's only about ten minutes after I left my Grandma's.

At this point I become hysterical and my mom and sister took me home and calm me down before Dad gets home... and life goes on.... went on... whatever.

Was it just my tired state of mind mixed with my overactive imagination and the all-too-creepy setting of rainstorm at night? Was it all in my messed up ten year old head? Quite possibly.

Have I in the currently seven years since the event ever found any buildings that look even remotely like those I saw that night in either town... or any other town?

No.

Believe what you will, because I'm not sure what happened myself.

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