Darling Clementine Part 2

Clementine placed each step gingerly on the ground, the lantern not quite lighting things up enough for her to feel secure in her progress.  The ground felt oddly hollow under her feet.  It seemed as if with each step she could hear it echo and reverberate through the earth below her, the vibrations feeling like slight tremors of an earthquake.  “I don’t remember it feeling like this before,” she thought and she wondered if it were the dark or perhaps the storm playing tricks on her.  She attempted to lighten her footsteps but it seemed as though the more gently she placed her foot down, the louder the echo and the stronger the vibrations.  She soon found herself staring at her feet in wonder.  

As she did, she noticed another oddity.  A mist was beginning to gather around her feet.  At first she thought she was imagining it.  She squinted and leaned in closer to take a better look.  As she did, the mist began to grow and there was no longer any doubt as to its presence.  Clem forgot about the strange sensations under her feet as she quickened her pace but the mist rose ever faster, swirling about her feet and legs.  “Of course it had to get foggy,” she muttered under her breath. “It just wouldn’t be the plot of some stupid B movie without fog.”  Sarcasm…Clem’s way of dealing with overwhelming fear.  

Clem looked around, visually taking in her surroundings.  The trees seemed darker and taller somehow…and it seemed as if there were more of them.  “Impossible!”  This, along with the increasing fog, disoriented her.  Her head whipped from side to side, eyes darting back and forth frantically as she looked around for something familiar, a landmark of sorts to help place her location.  When she had difficulty finding one, Clem felt an old familiar feeling begin to rise up within her chest.  Panic.  

In her mind, she was suddenly 4 years old in the ladies’ clothing department of the local discount store.  She had been shopping with her mother and grandmother, holding their hands, toddling along beside them as they browsed through the racks.  From her vantage point, the racks of clothing were just too exciting to resist.  All the pretty colours and designs…the soft, silky fabrics…she just had to touch them!  She had to caress them!  She wanted to wrap herself right up in them!  Clem used her hands to part the clothes on the rack as if peering through some bushes.  She tried to step into the opening but the clothes were packed in there too tightly.  She got down on her hands and knees and crawled under the clothing to the very centre of the rack.  

Once in the middle, she marveled at all the colours, patterns, and textures.  She stroked the articles of clothing against her cheeks, wrapped them around her shoulders, giggled quietly at her private little adventure.  After a time, Clem pulled some of the clothing aside and peered out from her secret hideaway.  She could see another rack of clothing, this one filled with pieces even more colourful, even more tempting than this.  Not wanting to alert anyone to the location of her next secret clubhouse, she got on her hands and knees and crawled quietly to the next rack to repeat her adoration of the clothing.  (Is it any wonder she grew up to be a clothing designer?)  Clem repeated this pattern over and over going from rack to rack.  

After quite some time, Clementine found herself out of clothing racks.  She had been through all of them and there were no more ahead.  In fact, when she peered out from her vantage point this time, all she could see was the little cafeteria style restaurant that was in the department store.  “Hmmm,” she thought. “That’s not where I am supposed to be.  Mommy and Nana are back with the pretty clothes!”  She turned back around to the last rack she had been hiding in and crawled back inside to retrace her steps.  

At first, she enjoyed the adventure of going back through her many secret hideaways but in time, in the back of her mind, she was starting to worry a bit.  It seemed to be taking much longer to get back to Mommy than it did to go through the racks in the first place!  After a long time (she later found out it was hours), Clem came out from a rack and realized she was staring at the same rack she had seen now 5 times over.  Tears began to well up in her eyes.  The words she had been pushing from her head for several hours were now screaming in her brain – I AM LOST!  The moment she allowed the words to take hold of her thoughts, she began to sob.  Suddenly, Clem became aware of a strange sound.  She stopped sobbing and tried to figure out where the sound was coming from.  Even more so, she was trying to figure out WHAT the sound was.  It was an eerie sound…like music and moaning all at once and…. 

“OH MY GOD”, Clem screamed out loud at the realization this memory had brought forth.  That sound…that ghostly song that she heard when she was lost in the discount store…it’s the same one that had been haunting her tonight!

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2 Responses to “Darling Clementine Part 2”

  1. curiouser & curiouser…
    You never forget that feeling of PANIC!
    and then to have the same song re-visit you…
    hang in there, Clem!
    BTW – love the title…

  2. I remember being lost as a child and the fright that came along with it. But there were no songs involved…I got lost in clothes racks when I had my broken leg and was using the motorized cart. The racks were too close together and I was stuck!

    This story made me remember a scarey time!

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