Copyright © Tom Raimbault 2016
Copyright © Tom Raimbault 2016
All rights reserved! No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission from the author!
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This work is 100% fiction. All scenes and events within these pages have been an invention of the author's imagination, and to his knowledge never occurred in reality. Any resemblance to the reader's own experiences is purely coincidental. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
Marybeth slept soundly on a Saturday night, about 11:30 pm, while having the most peculiar dream. It was almost nightmarish. In it; a ghostly, female corpse clothed in a ratted, dirty, white dress escorted Marybeth into the front room of a small farmhouse with antique furnishing. In this front room a young woman played a violin solo. The surroundings gave Marybeth the feeling that she had been escorted some hundred years back into time to see this young woman play. And for some reason, it was understood that the ghostly corpse who spoke no words was once that young woman who played the violin. The notes and pitch of the violin rose higher and higher as Marybeth soon realized that the soul of this young woman had been incarnated into her.
The shocking revelation caused Marybeth to sit up in bed and nearly scream.
“What? What is it?” asked Marybeth’s husband, Lawrence, who had been startled out of his sleep.
“I had the weirdest dream. A ghost took me back into time and showed me who I was in my past life…”
Across the street; Lawrence and Marybeth’s neighbor, Don, sat on the sofa of the front room in his old, two bedroom ranch with hardwood floors and the original decor from 1942. He just so happened to be listening to an antique phonographic record from 1904—a violin solo.
Don’s home was seemingly frozen in time. At fifty-two-years-old, he never married and remained a bachelor his entire life. I suppose changing the decor of the home wasn’t much of a priority as it would be for a married couple. Don simply purchased the home, cleaned up a bit and moved in.
One of the items that sat in the front room was his antique phonograph that might have even matched the time frame of the home’s decor. Don collected classic music from the early 1900s—the earlier the better. He had recordings from the big bands, the roaring twenties; even recordings from before 1910! Yes, in case you were wondering, records were actually created back in those days. It wasn’t unusual for Don to listen to them. And it just so happened that the record he now played was one of Don’s favorites. It was a mysterious violin solo from a record that had only the words, “From Lillian—1904” written in ink. The piece was nothing that Don could recognize. The sound quality was terribly warped with much hiss and noise that sometimes bled over the solo. But whoever Lillian was, her playing was exquisite. As the solo neared its end, the notes and pitch would shift higher and higher—almost to a deafening shrill—that would soon disappear in the static. It left Don the impression that at the beginning of the solo, Lillian would appear in the front room, and then vanish into thin air at its conclusion.
And how ironic that as Don listened to this moving solo; his neighbor, Marybeth had her nightmarish dream!
“So sad…” Don finally said. And then he wondered what he meant by that. He answered himself while reasoning, “I guess it’s so sad that I’ll never know who she is. She just vanishes into nothing.”
You see; the fascination of her solo and the entire mystery behind Lillian created a longing so deep that Don was beginning to fall in love with someone he never met or even learned about. Oh, he tried to do some research by entering “Lillian violin” into the Google search engine. There was a famous violinist by the name of Lillian who was born in 1901. But the record in Don’s possession said 1904. There would have been no way that the famous violinist would have been Don’s Lillian. It was simply a musician that, sadly, no one ever heard of.
The following evening, Don sat in the front room and listened to his favorite record, “from Lillian—1904”. Just then his chocolate lab, Dulce, gracefully entered the front room and pawed at the door.
“What? What is it girl?” Don asked. “You need to go outside?”
Dulce barked while jumping up and down.
“Okay, let’s go outside.” With that, Don put on his shoes, grabbed the leash and stepped outside with the dog.
It was just past 7:00pm on a Sunday evening in August. About 80 degrees and still light outside, the neighborhood kids played across the street. It would be another week before they went back to school. Now standing in the front lawn so that Dulce could do her business, Don glanced in the direction towards the house across the street, and could see his neighbor, Marybeth, stepping outside to her car.
“Hey there!” Don yelled while waving.
“Hi!” she waved in return. Marybeth and Lawrence lived in the neighborhood for over ten years. They actually knew the old couple who lived in Don’s house before he purchased it and moved in. 90 years old and the original owners of the home, they simply sold the place and moved down to Florida to enjoy the heat in their final years of life.
Don had seen Marybeth on a number of occasions and was never terribly attracted to her. She was, after all, Lawrence’s wife. But on this early evening in August, after listening to the mysterious violin solo from the infatuating Lillian, Don had a most unusual thought. For the first time, he assigned a face to the mysterious Lillian. And it was the face of his neighbor, Marybeth!
There’s an old prairie a few doors down from Don’s house. Nearly five acres, it’s remained untouched for many decades. Of course there is the walking path that has been created by people in the neighborhood who enjoy the prairie. Can you blame them? Every year the most colorful wild flowers and various prairie vegetation grows and blooms.
With the face of Marybeth newly assigned to his obsessive infatuation, Don waked Dulce down the street for a little stroll through the prairie.
Precisely one week after Don assigned a face to the infatuating Lillian, Marybeth slept soundly in bed. It was just a dot past midnight—Sunday night into Monday morning as her dreams slowly moved closer and closer towards that of being nightmares. Suddenly, the ghostly, female corpse clothed in a ratted, dirty, white dress entered the back door of Marybeth’s home and into her kitchen. Without speaking a word, she approached Marybeth until reaching about two feet away. She reached up towards her chest and removed a gold necklace with a laced snowflake-shaped pendant that had beautiful sapphire teardrops on each point. The ghostly corpse almost appeared reluctant, nearly in tears, to hand over the necklace with pendant. It was now Marybeth’s.
Rather than accept the piece of jewelry, Marybeth awoke and sat up in bed.
She nearly forgot about the dream until the following morning while sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee in one hand and magazine in the other. Marybeth’s kids were finally back in school; summer break had ended. Lawrence was gone for the day at work, and the house was finally peaceful.
Suddenly, there was a soft knock at the back door. That’s when Marybeth remembered the dream.
She froze before swallowing a mouthful of coffee. “That better not…” And then she hesitantly stood up to slowly approach the back door.
When opened, there was nobody there. But there was a small box covered in gift wrapping—a present.
Marybeth cautiously stepped outside and looked around to see who might have left the gift. But there wasn’t a soul in sight. Feeling it was safe; she brought the present in the house and opened it.
Marybeth trembled and began to hyperventilate when the contents of the present were finally revealed. Inside a white, padded box was the very item of jewelry that had been presented to her by the ghostly corpse; a gold necklace with a laced snowflake-shaped pendant with beautiful sapphire teardrops on each point. And lying next to it was a handwritten note that said, “You should wear this.”
Marybeth would do no such thing! And she wouldn’t allow what could very well have been a haunted piece of jewelry inside of her home. She quickly closed it back up in the box, and temporarily stored it in the garage on one of the utility shelves.
Two mornings later, Marybeth decided to enjoy a nice walk down the street and through the beautiful, late-summer prairie. But what was this? Parked in front of the neighborhood prairie were four squad cars, an ambulance and public safety truck. Police line tape was used to prevent anyone from entering the prairie. And standing nearby was a small crowd of curious neighbors—mostly housewives who quietly gossiped.
“What’s going on?” asked Marybeth as she joined the group of curious bystanders.
“They found a body.” answered Marybeth’s next door neighbor, Judy.
“No, no; that’s not what happened.” corrected Tina who lived at the end of the block. “My son and his friends were playing in the prairie last night, and discovered two hidden graves. One of them was unearthed. Whatever was in there had been pulled out.”
“You mean the body?” asked Marybeth. “Someone pulled a body out of the grave?”
“That’s what my son reported to me this morning. I called the police and it looks like they are investigating.”
“Who in the world would do something sick like that…?”
At first the police assumed that the prairie had been used as an illegal dumping area for disposing murder victims’ bodies. The barely recognizable graves were, after all, hidden under a patch of bushes. But after some time it was realized that the graves had been there long before the subdivision was created. A historic map revealed that a small farmhouse once stood in the area, about where Lawrence and Marybeth’s backyard is currently located. Chances are the two graves belonged to the people who once lived there—maybe a husband and wife.
It was Saturday afternoon; three days after police had investigated the unearthed grave. A UPS delivery truck pulled up in front of Lawrence and Marybeth’s house. The driver quickly hopped out and walked up the driveway with a package.
“It looks like we have something!” excitedly announced one of the kids.
“Are you waiting for a package?” asked Marybeth’s husband, Lawrence.
“Not that I remember…” Marybeth scurried over to the front door and greeted the UPS driver.
“Good afternoon!” he announced. “I just need your signature.”
Marybeth signed her name and brought the package in the house. It was set on the kitchen counter as her husband and kids huddled around.
“Now what if this is a Christmas present for one of you that I ordered on Amazon?”
It was the cue for everyone to walk away which allowed Marybeth to cut into the box.
Inside was an old, faded and barely recognizable dress that looked as though someone had been buried in it some hundred years ago. There even appeared to be dried up, decomposed matter in various place.
A note fell out of the dress as Marybeth pulled it from the box. As she bent down to pick it up, her husband entered the kitchen.
“What the heck is that? An antique dress?”
Marybeth opened the note. It simply read, “You should wear this.”
It just so happened that her husband now stood over Marybeth’s shoulder and read the note as well. “Is there something you need to tell me? Do you have someone on the side?”
“No…” answered Marybeth. “But this is very strange. Someone must be playing a very, sick joke. What do you want to bet that this dress came off the corpse that was removed from the grave down the street?”
At a loss of words, Lawrence only shook his head in disbelief while shrugging his shoulders.
“Well, I’m going to put this out in the garage until I know what to do with it.” Marybeth announced while setting the dress and note back in the box.
Later that night as Marybeth slept soundly in bed; she received another visit in her dreams from the female ghostly corpse who was now naked. She no longer wore her prized pendent around her neck, and she no longer wore the ratted, dirty, white dress.
The naked, ghostly corpse with long, white hair; rotting flesh and exposed bones escorted Marybeth into another dream. It was in a bedroom of an antique farmhouse some hundred years ago. A young couple lay in bed while making love. Without speaking, the ghostly corpse communicated that the young woman in bed was once her. And the soul of that young woman was now incarnated into Marybeth.
Then Marybeth looked at the young man who made love to her. “I know him… I’ve seen him somewhere… Where do I know him from…?” It took a few seconds for the face to finally register. It was Marybeth’s neighbor, Don, from across the street. He was younger and looked slightly different. But still, it was him.
It was then that Marybeth woke up and sat up in bed.
“What is it?” asked Lawrence who had been startled awake from Marybeth sitting up in bed. “Another nightmare?”
“Yeah, another weird dream…”
Across the street, Don laid in bed next to a decomposed, naked, female corpse who could have very well died some hundred years ago. He secretly unearthed it from grave down the street—in the prairie. Don stroked his fingers through her long, white hair.
“It won’t be long…” he reassured the decomposed corpse.
In the front room, his favorite record, “from Lillian—1904”, played on the phonograph. The violin solo neared the end and increased in pitch while dissolving into the record’s hiss and static.
“It won’t be long…” he promised the corpse, again, while kissing her on the cheek.”She’ll remember, and will soon be mine.”