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Romance


Odzi Country Lodge faces the beautiful Odzi River. Terry and Rose sit at the balcony of their room facing the open night. They quietly watch the beautiful moon shining on the river. A creepy sound of night creatures can be heard from their back ground; the two seem not bothered by the sounds anyway.

Something draws the attention of the two and they turn to look at each other with questioning eyes. Two shadows pass by the building to their right. A loud noise comes from some buildings behind the lodge. It is a strange noise unfamiliar to the two, then someone screaming can be heard, followed by shouting and all of a sudden the noises come to an end, followed by dead silence.

“Do you think we are safe here Terry?” Rose asked.

“It’s just fun noises, remember we are in the forest,” answers Terry.

The two walk back into their room, Terry holding Rose to him. He careful lays her on the bed.

“Everything is going to be fine, “Terry assures her.

“We got to go; this place is making me sick.”

“Yah but we can only do that in the morning. It is late to drive out of the park,” Terry responds.

“I wish I have never come to this place it is haunted,” complains Rose.

“Those are just fairy tales Rose. A lot of people come here and no one died here.”

“No, didn’t you see those shadows on the walls they are ghosts?”

Terry burst into laughter.

“Oh my God! They were just two people passing by and you saw shadows you think they are ghosts?”

“Did you see the people?”

“Yes,” Terry lied. “Let us sleep and we leave tomorrow early in the morning”

“And the terrifying noises, it’s something else,”

“There you are, don’t be negative please! We are leaving tomorrow, okay?”

Terry and Rose pull their luggage from the room. The sun is already shining high when the two takes to leave. They pack their luggage at the back of their pickup truck and Rose goes around the car to the passenger seat. There is khaki paper on the car handle.

Rose slowly stretches her hand to remove the paper but hesitates for a moment.

“Get in Rose we got to go!” calls Terry who is already on the driver’s seat.

Rose hesitates to open the door again.

“Hey Rose let’s go!” terry calls again.

Rose doesn’t say anything she simply signals Terry to come the other side of the car.

They look at the paper for some time and Terry finally stretches his hand to take the paper, but Rose holds him back,

“You have to be careful,” she cautions him.

“Maybe it’s a bomb,” she continues

“Or just a paper, why are you so nervous Rose?”

Terry unfolds the paper, it is a letter. The letter reads:

Dear Lovebirds

I have been following you on your journey and you seem to be in the seventh heaven. Remember one of you owes me LOVE.

Yours

Good friend

“I sensed it all this time that we are not safe here,” Rose reacts

“So we are being followed? Who is that person following us? What about yesterday’s shadows? What are we going to do? What are we going to do now?” Rose laments, going forth and back.

“Calm down Rose everything is going to be fine,” Terry assures Rose caressing her hair.

“We are not safe Terry,” whimpers Rose. “Oh my God why does this have to happen to me?” she continues

“Don’t worry Rose, maybe it’s just someone who wants to scare the butt out of us,” says Terry getting back into the car. Rose throws herself into the passenger seat.

“I’m scared to death. Who is this person following us? So after all it’s not ghosts but someone actually following us? We should report this to this police.”

“Do you think the police will help? We don’t have enough evidence we are being followed let’s just leave the place.”

“Terry! You are not serious! Our lives are in danger here and you don’t want to report and pretend everything is okay? Maybe you know who the person is. Is it your ex?”

“I have ex-girlfriends, you also have ex-boyfriends, and a whole lot of them how am I supposed to know who sent the letter? This pointing of fingers won’t help let’s leave this place first and we can then investigate the issue later.”

The Isuzu KB truck drives past vast country side in a large big city and finally to a quiet low density suburb.

Rose and Terry pulls up their luggage along a driveway to a large mahogany door. There is another paper that looks exactly the same as the one they saw at the lodge earlier in the morning.

“Another letter!” exclaims Rose. “What on earth does this person want from us?”

The second letter read:

Dear T & R

Welcome back home. Remember to give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and enjoy life.

From your

Good friend.

“Where are we going to stay now? The person followed us home. We have to report this to the police, or if you don’t want I will go alone I cannot afford to risk my one and only life,” say Rose walking towards the gate.

Terry follows her quietly.

Terry and Rose walk out of the police station with some papers in their hands.

Terry walks in the garden, it is almost dark now. Rose walks up to him.

“Can you come inside now, dinner is almost ready,” she calls

“Let’s stay out a bit, you know I like to spend nights outside” responds Terry.

Terry sits on a large armchair with Rose on his lap and he begins to sing.


    What do you do if the past follows you?

    What do you do if the past haunts you?

           You go where your love is.

           Follow your love

           Follow your passion

Turn the back on your past

And never turn back again

You look at your past and your joy is gone

Never let fear rule your life

Never let fear stay in your heart

Where love is supposed to stay.

Let love rule

Rose claps her hands joyfully. “Well, I never knew you are such a good singer. I wish we could record and sing to all those in love at Valentine’s Day

“My father always taught me that where there is love there is no fear.” explains Terry.

“Yes but sometimes your enemies terrify you,” responds Rose.

“What matters in life is not the absence of enemies but how you react when they attack you. Freak out and they will dance and attack you more. Ignore your enemies and look at your love and your life will be superb. Let love rule. Do you know enemies are also afraid of us?”

“Really?”

“Of course why would someone write an anonymous letters instead of approaching you on your face and make his or her demands? Personally I don’t give a damn when people gossip about me; I know they admire my life. I just live my normal life,” Terry explains.

“I’m glad to have you in my life, what was I going to do without you?”

Terry and Rose are riding horses side by side along a path that has tall grass on both sides. They admire the beauty of nature as they stroll along the path.

The horses come to a sudden stop, freaking out. Some distance of about fifty metres away is a horse far bigger than the two. The person riding the horse wears black attire that covers the face. Rose raises her head and notices the black horse ahead, she screams out loud turning her horse to look back.

“What is it?” Terry asks in shock.

“A black man on a horse!” answers terrified Rose

“Where is the man?”

“He disappeared but I swear I saw the man. The horses must have seen him also.”

“Hold on to the horse and make sure you don’t fall!” Shouts Terry, as he turns the horses to looks back where they are coming from. He lets Rose’s horse gallop in front and he follows closely. The horses took it to their heels with Terry and Rose lying flat on their backs.

Terry and Rose knock on a green door. “Come in,” a voice answers from inside. The Hostler’s office is a small room with very old furniture. The young man sits on the armchair with only one arm and is the only chair in the office. Terry and Rose relate their story while standing.

“The animals’ sensed danger that’s why they turned back,” explained the hostler.

“How is it possible for intruders to enter the park, we thought we were safe in here” Rose complains

“I’m really sorry for this unfortunate event. We will carry out investigations” answers the hostler.

“This is why I wanted a tour guide, they know the place very well,” Rose complains.

“It’s best to explore nature on your own, you know I love nature,” responds Terry.

“No more picnics in these mysterious forests, I’m sick and tired of being frightened each time I want to enjoy myself outside,” mumbled Rose

Terry and Rose are the last to join other visitors for dinner. They eat their dinner quietly.

“Do you think this is the works of our enemies again,” Rose breaks the silence.

Terry doesn’t answer.

A group of musician takes up the stage and begin to play music. Terry slowly gets up from his chair and begins to sing:

    What do you do if the past follows you?

    What do you do if the past haunts you?

           You go where your love is.

           Follow your love

           Follow your passion

Turn the back on your past

And never turn back again.

You look at your past and your joy is gone

Never let fear rule your life

Never let fear stay in your heart

Where love is supposed to stay.

Let love rule*3

In a few minutes the stage is full of people dancing and singing along the music. Rose watches from her chair for some time. She finally gets up from her chair to join the madness.

Terry and Rose walk out of the dining hall with camera capturing their photos from all angles and a bunch of people trying to get Terry’s contact for they loved his talent.


























January 16, 2020 18:48

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1 comment

Natalie M.
18:18 Mar 16, 2020

Hello! Quite some time ago, Reedsy's critique circle email recommended that I read this story. I am finally getting around to reading stories and this one was interesting to me. The notes and song added a bit of mystery to it all and I enjoyed that. The only negative thing to me was that I was confused about timing at some parts, but that was not super bad or anything to worry about for future stories. Overall, you did a good job!

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