Crash on Washburn Grade
I have the mustard, chicken and lettuce. All I need is the olive oil. Where would that be? I hate the grocery store.
“Tammy darlin’, how ya’ all doin’ today? Did ya’ hear what happened to Susan last night?”
Terry Louise is a screeching sound on the blackboard of my life, but if she had some news I really should stop shopping and hear what she had to say.
“Luv you too, Terry Louise. What do you mean ‘what happened to Susan last night?”
“Why her car went off the road on that big curve up on Washburn grade. Landed on the edge of a cliff, danglin’ in space. They were sure it would go over. The sheriff and his boys somehow managed to pull her out the busted back window just before the car dropped off the cliff. The sheriff says it’s a plain miracle that she didn’t go too.
“The car exploded when it landed at the bottom of the cliff. If Susan had been inside she’d be dead. The sheriff says the grim reaper just missed his due that time.
Last Friday Night
“Ain’t it weird how last Friday night some guy was lookin’ in her window and ran off into the graveyard after droppin’ a big old knife, then last night she nearly went off the cliff?”
“Terry Louise, I haven’t heard any of this. Where’d you hear all this?”
“Tammy, honey, this is a small town. Everyone but you must know. Where ya’ been?”
“Busy. Now what’s this about a guy with a knife outside her window?”
“Some guy was outside her window Friday night. She screamed when she saw him. Her daddy chased him into the graveyard and lost him there. Her daddy swears he fell into an open grave and some hand grabbed him, but there weren’t no open grave in that part of the graveyard. Susan says her daddy’s scared to death to go into the graveyard even in the daytime, and yet he chased somebody there.”
“So what did her daddy do when the hand grabbed him, Terry Louise?”
“He told the deputy he jumped out, only he and the deputy couldn’t find any open grave or any man hiding out in the cemetery.”
“Oh he probably fell into one of those gulches that run through the graveyard, thought he was in a grave, then tripped over a root and thought something grabbed him.”
“Well I don’t know about that, Miss Tammy. The deputy says he was white as a sheet. He surely thought somebody had grabbed him. Maybe he thought it was something dead.”
That’s nonsense, Terry Louise. There’s nothin’ dead in the graveyard grabbin’ people in the middle of the night.
“Maybe not. But I got a question for you.”
“Sure. Give it to me.”
The Walking Dead
“Did Bobby Jo have a twin sister?”
“Not that I know of. Why?”
“Well the other night just before midnight I was drivin’ down the street by the graveyard and there was this woman walkin’ alongside the edge of the street on the graveyard side. My headlights caught her square in the face as I passed. I coulda’ swore it was Bobby Jo.”
“Bobby Jo’s been dead since summer, Terry Louise. And she told me once she had no brothers or sisters. I don’t know who you saw, but it weren’t Bobby Jo. You sure you hadn’t been drinking?”
“No I hadn’t been drinkin.’ And here’s the weird part. I flipped a U turn almost as soon as I passed her to go back to se if she needed some help or something. It couldn’t have taken more than a few seconds. But she was gone. She didn’t have time to cross the street, or to run past me. She’d had to run a block in either direction to get past the graveyard, but she didn’t have time. The only place she coulda’ gone was into the graveyard.”
“What did you do?”
“I drove to the end of the graveyard, turned around and passed it goin’ the other way. No sign of Bobby Jo or anyone. So I got out of there. I ain’t goin’ lookin’ for anyone in no graveyard at midnight. Then along comes this story about Susan’s daddy chasin’ some guy with a knife into the graveyard and now Susan’s gone and nearly got herself killed.”
“Calm down, Terry Louise. You know I grew up just a couple blocks on past the graveyard. There’s no dead people walkin’ around in there at midnight, nothin’ that grabs people after dark and no crazy man runnin’ around with a knife. I played there when I was a kid. I know every square foot of the place.”
Do you go in there after dark, Tammy?”
“Ya’ know somethin’, don’t ya’ Tammy? Tell me, what goes on in there after dark.”
“Nuthin, Terry Louise. Nuthin.”
“Well you wouldn’t know that unless you’d been there after dark, now would you? I think you know somethin’ you’re not tellin. Maybe you’ve seen the walking dead in the graveyard.”
I ain’t ever gonna’ tell you, Terry Louise. Ever.