Sunday, October 5, 2008

OZARK HORROR Season 2: Charlotte

Jack Cobbs was driving home one night from the mill. It wasn't very dark yet, but it was cold. He pulled up his mother's quilt around him.

As Jack turned a corner, he noticed a prettily dressed girl standing by the road. He stopped and greeted her.

"I need a ride to the dance," she said. "Would you oblige me?"

"Sure thing, ma'am," replied Jack, as he dismounted and helped the girl onto his wagon.

As they drove off, Jack asked in a friendly tone, "What's your name?"

"Charlotte," she snapped.

Jack turned back, wondering at this rude remark. Finally he asked, "Where's the dance?"

"The O'Learys'."

Again, she had snapped.

The wind blew in Jack's face. He thought about how thin Charlotte's dress must be. He held up his quilt and tucked in his coat.

"Getting cold," he explained. "This will keep you warm."

She turned it back with an icy cold hand.

"Drive on," she snapped.

Jack sighed. He knew where the O'Learys' lived, but it would be awhile before they got there.

About five miles later, Jack asked, "Uh, want that quilt?"

"Drive on," she repeated, in the same cold tone.

"No reason to be so rude," Jack grumbled under his breath.

In another five miles, the O'Leary's place came into view.

"Almost there, Charlotte."

"Drive on!" she snarled.

Jack pulled into the O'Leary's yard. He turned to look at Charlotte, deciding if he wanted to help her out.

Charlotte didn't move. For the first time, Jack noticed how pale she was. In fact, her lips looked blue. Then he realized she hadn't blinked for about a minute. She didn't say a word.

She was frozen.

Jack jumped out and ran to the O'Learys' house, banging on the door.

"Help me!" he shouted. "For the love of God, help me!"

Mr. O'Leary came out.

"What's the trouble, son?"

"She's dead!" shouted Jack, pointing to the wagon.

"Who?"

Jack looked at the wagon. No one was there. He ran to the wagon, looking to see if maybe her body had fallen over. It hadn't.

"Where could she have gone?"

"Who?" asked Mr. O'Leary.

"Charlotte!"

Mr. O'Leary looked at him.

"Come inside and get warm, son," he said. "You need to hear this."

As Jack warmed his hands at the fire, Mr. O'Leary lit his pipe.

"We used to have dances and parties here about ten years ago," the old man began. "There was one fancy girl who always made sure to attend every party we had. Charlotte. She was all right, but as time went on, she became prouder of how fancy she looked.

"The last dance we had, she had got her prettiest and fanciest and most expensive dress ever. It was a cold winter night, and her mother tried to give her a quilt to keep her warm. She turned it down. Didn't want to be seen in a country quilt. Well, her driver took her, and tried to keep her warm, but she would just tell him to keep going. Finally, he got to the dance..."

"...But she had frozen to death..." murmured Jack.

Mr. O'Leary shook his head.

"Too true."

Jack went out and got back on his wagon. He clicked his tongue and cracked the reins. As he went on, the wind whistled past his ear. All at once, he heard a sharp whisper.

"Drive on!"

2 comments:

Tiffany said...

that's just creepy...did you write that?

Nathan said...

I've heard several variations on that same basic story.