In Meadowbrook, Vermont

Submitted into Contest #96 in response to: Write about someone welcoming a stranger into their home.... view prompt


Drama Fiction Mystery

From the journal of Gloria Falls.

August, 1905:

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew Meadowbrook was a magical, extraordinary place. I’d tried telling father about it, but the only one who would listen was the young deer on the other side of the brook.

And then when I was seventeen, a young woman, strange winds blew through the town, warning of a man on the run. And they said… they said he went by the name of Matthew Falls.

This was most definitely the most disturbing news I’d ever heard. Matthew Falls was my great-great-grandfather who was the town founder. The most befuddling part of the whole incident was he had died fifty years ago. I feared that the worst was still yet to come…

I informed father, but he just laughed, blew his pipe a bit, and laughed. “Child!” He’d exclaimed. “Matthew Falls was a scam! He started this town, then he gave his mayorship up to the Pacifics, and that’s the way it’s remained for over a century.”

I knew he was just saying that so I wouldn’t worry, but only time would tell. And for now, I would be worried, even if no one else is.

Later that month… Now the rest of the elements are acting peculiar. The wind wails. The water quivers. Fire rages and writhes. And the earth… no, I mustn’t say it here. It would just increase our misfortunes. 

Father says the elements acting out are just the seasons, but it is clear these incidents are part of the super natural. There is no way it could be anything other.

Deep in Vermont…

The man hurried through the deep green forest. Trees and branches creaked and swayed under the pressure of the wailing wind that seemed to be crying out for something.

Breathing heavily, sweat streaming down his forehead, he ran faster through the forest. He had to get there, he just absolutely had to. If he didn’t… the results would be catastrophic. 

They’d said they’d welcome him back with open arms, but what if he had been testing their patience too much, over these long years?

He just hoped he could repair the damage. “Please, no no no! I’m coming!” He leapt across a brook, stretching out his long, skinny legs. “I’m trying. Please, just wait a little longer!”

At last, a quiet, calm meadow came into view through the forest, which stopped as the tall, yellow grass took over. Deer fled as he pushed aside the grass.

His feet slapped the dirt underneath his leather shoes. His eyes lit up with a fire that had been extinguished since… that was peculiar, he couldn’t remember how long it had been since the accident.

At last, quaint houses came into view. Women strolled down the street, arms intertwined with those of their husbands. The man walked to the nearest couple.

The woman was pale, with blue eyes, red hair braided down her back, and she wore a pale gown. The man with her had round spectacles, brown hair, and little black beetle eyes.

“Excuse me,” He said. The woman’s eyes widened, most likely because of his grubby clothing. “Is this Meadowbrook, Vermont?”

“Yes.” Said the man with her. “I fear I haven’t seen you about town, what is your name? I am George, and this is Lana.”

“Matthew Falls.” He responded. “Pleasure to-”

George’s wife sighed and fell back. Hurriedly, he caught her in her arms. She inhaled sharply and opened her eyes. She pushed George away from her and said, “Stay back, he’s the founder of the town. He supposedly died more then a century ago. This is dark magic at work, here.”

“I am Matthew Falls, but I assure you, I am working no evil.” Matthew responded. “Now, I am looking for a young girl, about the age of seventeen and she goes by the name of Gloria. Do you know her?”

“Uh- down the street and a left.” The woman said, shivering in fear and just wanting the man to leave. “Third house on the left. And please, take a bath, you smell like my uncles farm.”

“Thank you very much and good day.” Matthew said, ignoring her last comment. “Pleasure to meet you, George and Lana. I hope we shall meet again, soon.”

“Yes, I look forward to it.” George said. Lana pulled him around and they began walking in the opposite direction they had come. “What a pleasant man!” Matthew heard him say as they strolled away.

By that time, the sun was high in the sky. Other people milled about, gossiping about the latest wedding or party. All chatter quickly hushed as the man stalked by. 

Something was off here, and it wasn’t just Gloria who thought so. For no one left Meadowbrook. And no one came, either.

Matthew reached Gloria’s home and stalked up the steps to the front porch. He rapped his knuckles along the surface of the door. A woman in a purple dress opened the door. “Hello, sir. Do you need something?”

“I hate to barge in, but does Gloria Falls reside here?” Matthew asked hopefully.

“Why yes. I’m her mother, Martha.” The woman said. She backed up. “Excuse me.” Then she added loudly. “Gloria, dear, get down here, there’s a man at the door asking for you.”

“One minute,” Came the response. A minute or two later, a girl in a yellow dress walked into the living room. 

“Hello, sir, can I help you?” Gloria asked.

“As a matter of fact, you can.” Matthew sighed. “I am Matthew Falls. I woke in the forest thrice morning ago. I missed an important party that happens every year at the middle of September, and I’m looking for a place to sleep, could you point me to the nearest bed and breakfast?”

“Not to worry, Mr. Falls.” Gloria said. “We have a guest room you can use. It is right next to mine. However, how long after the party do you plan on staying?”

June 02, 2021 03:16

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