The Hub of Her Existence

The Hub of Her Existence

OK, here it is, a plain, old-fashioned spooky story I wrote more than three decades ago. This is the first half. I don’t know that I like the ending which will be tomorrow. If you have some ideas of how you’d like the story to end, please send them along in the comment section. Prepare for a case of the Shivers!!

The Hub of Her Existence

     Sylvia glided into the parlor and lost herself in the lonely familiarity of her yearly visit. The oil lamp on the library table shed a soft circle of light around the room. Reflections of flames from the fireplace flickered and danced over the furniture.

Her long skirts rustling, Sylvia floated across the floor, caressing the back of a walnut chair, straightening a cushion on the settee. Every year on this exact date, April 3, it was the same; a storm raged against the thick walls of her plantation home, Horizon, while inside the house, an uneasy stillness gathered, like shadows before approaching night.

A sigh escaped Sylvia as she drew back an edge of the green velvet drapes and peered through the window. Rain pounded and drummed. Sabers of lightning slashed the black sky. The wail of the wind penetrated even Horizon’s rooms.

The thunder was reminiscent of cannons from invading armies. When would this horrible war end? Sylvia let the drape fall from her lifeless fingers, and shuddered.

She remembered the fury of each year’s storm, the anticipation, the waiting. She knew what would happen next but was powerless to stop it. It was like the wheel of an over-turned carriage, spinning round and round while she was the hub around which it spun.

Sylvia turned from the window and saw him. Logan stood before her in his torn and muddy gray uniform. He swept his tattered cap from his head. Over his shoulder, he carried an ancient firearm. Quickly, he leaned it against the fireplace and opened his arms.

The damp wool of Logan’s uniform scratched Sylvia’s face but she did not care. Her world existed within the circle of Logan’s arms with his heart beating against her own.

Looking into his smoky blue eyes, she saw the laughter there. A grin tugged the corner of his mouth.

“I’m home, dearest,” he whispered.

The front door slammed. Sylvia jumped. A wet and bedraggled stranger, rain running from his hat and puddling on the floor crouched inside the room, a leer twisting his bearded face. He held a long-barreled gun in the crook of his arm. The ugly weapon pointed directly at her and Logan.

Sylvia swallowed. No one had to tell her this was one of the dreaded marauders who roamed the ruined countryside of the South.

Her scalp prickling, Sylvia watched the scene unfold like a recurring nightmare.

Never taking his eyes off the intruder, Logan reached behind him, feeling for his gun against the fireplace. Twisting away from Sylvia, he grasped his firearm, dropped to one knee, aimed at the prowler and pulled the trigger.

Comments

  1. Jan Cochran says

    Now I was just getting into it! Sounds like an awesome story unfolding………………………..and then she wakes to the sound of Thunder and the rhythm of the rain…(.heehee!) But really, I love a good southern style mystery. …what’s the name of this one?

  2. Julie Mann says

    Can’t wait for the end! Thanks Blanche-love your books

    • Blanche Manos says

      Thanks, Julie. Actually, that was the end. Sort of an Alfred Hitchcock ending. Heh heh. Thanks for subscribing to my blog.

    • Blanche Manos says

      Julie, on re-looking at your comment, I think you probably hadn’t read the conclusion when you wrote. The Hub of Her Existence was in two parts. Thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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