Darling Clementine Part 1

It was shortly after midnight.  Clementine had just stepped out of the bathtub and was drying off when she heard a soft, low moaning sound coming from outside.  Clem paused and listened intently.  Was it the wind?  She heard it again, slightly louder this time.  No, that was definitely not the wind!  It sounded more like a wounded animal or perhaps a person in danger.  Clem hurriedly finished drying off and threw on a pair of sweats, a hoodie, and some Uggs.  She reached for the doorknob on her back door and hesitated.  “What are you thinking Clem?” she muttered to herself.  “Call 911! Let the professionals handle this!”  She turned around and headed back towards the kitchen and reached for the phone.  

Another moan, this one even louder, longer, and this time there was something familiar to it.  Hauntingly familiar.  “I’ve heard this sound before,” she thought.  Again, she reached for the doorknob and again, she admonished herself to call the police.  Clem picked up the phone and at that very moment, a flash of lightning filled the room with light as a crack of thunder boomed through the air, startling her and causing her to drop the phone to the floor.  Clem paused for a moment to regain her composure and then bent over to pick up the phone.  As she did, BOOM, another thunder and lightning hit and this time, all of the lights in her house went out.  “Damn it!” Clem yelled out loud.  She groped around on the floor and found the phone, putting it to her ear.  No dial tone.  She placed it back on its cradle and then put it back to her ear.  Still no dial tone.  “Damn it, damn it, damn it!” she yelled.  

The moaning drew her attention to the backyard once again.  “Now what am I supposed to do?” she wondered.  “Not much in total darkness that’s for sure!” She felt her way around the kitchen for the drawer in which she stores the boxes of matches.  She uttered a few choice curse words as she tripped over the cat’s water dish, soaking her right Ugg, and stubbing her toe on the kitchen cabinet but she was finally successful.  “Ok, now for something to light!” she said to herself.  She made her way slowly and carefully to the fireplace and ran her hands gently over the brickwork until she felt the wood of the mantel.  “Ahhh, there it is!” she thought, when she felt the cool glass of the oil lamp.  She reached out to take hold of it and it crashed to the floor, shattering into many many pieces.  More curse words!  “Fine! I’ll use the metal one instead!” she said to no one in particular.  She continued running her hands along the mantel in search of the antique tin lantern.  The curse words got increasingly colourful as she got a sliver in her hand from the mantel and a cut in her foot from the broken oil lamp but she was finally successful in finding the lantern.  She opened the trap door on the side, struck a match, and lit the wick within.  The room was illuminated with candlelight, shadows of leaves blowing in the building wind outside dancing around on the walls.

By this point, Clem’s toe was throbbing, her foot was bleeding, her finger hurt, and with the power off, the house was starting to get chilly.  With her hair still wet from the bath, she shivered.  “That’s it.  I am leaving whatever it is out there up to the authorities.  I have had enough “adventure” for one night.  I am going to crawl into bed!” she thought.  Of course the moment that thought entered her mind, it was almost as if whatever it was causing the moaning “sensed” her reluctance and it picked up again, as with each prior time, louder and more “insistent” sounding than before.  Clementine’s conscience began to gnaw at her.  She could very nearly picture the little devil on one shoulder telling her to just go crawl into her nice safe, warm bed and the angel on the other telling her to get out there and help whatever it is making that god-awful sound!  “I wish I was more of a bad-ass” she thought as she pulled her hood up over her head and clutched her jacket tightly around her chest.  “I also wish I could see well enough to find my warm woolen gloves,” she said, cursing the cold as she walked out her back door. 

Clem carried the lantern in one hand, holding it up in front of her face to light her way.  As she reached the bottom step of her back porch, she hesitated again for a moment, trying to get her bearings in the darkness of the night.  She surveyed the sky, noting that despite the stormy weather, there wasn’t a cloud in sight.  There also weren’t any stars in sight which seemed unusual for such a clear, dark sky.  The moon, however, was present; it was full, large, orangey-red and looming low on the horizon.  Another deep breath.  Clem was wishing she had reached up and flicked that little angel right off her shoulder and stomped her into the ground right at that moment but she took one more deep breath and took a step in the direction of the sound.  Her property was surrounded on two sides by farmland, cornfields to be exact, and to the back, by a ravine in the woods leading down to a stream.  The noise was coming from the direction of the ravine.  “Of course it is,” she thought.  It momentarily entered Clem’s mind that were this taking place in a horror movie, she would currently be one of the audience members screaming at the screen, telling the leading lady (herself) what a fool she was for venturing out into the woods to investigate a haunting sound on such a spooky night especially when everything seems to be going so wrong.  Had she learned NOTHING from all those years of peeking through her fingers when her best friend dragged her to all those Halloween movie marathons?  And yet…she continued on towards the ravine.

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One Response to “Darling Clementine Part 1”

  1. well, what a cliff hanger! How dare you stop!~ What happens to derling Clementine???????? Your readers are waiting for the next installment! (I love the bit about flicking & stomping the little angel off her shoulder…;-))

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