Submitted into Contest #140 in response to: Write a story that involves a flashback.... view prompt


Mystery Suspense Sad


Since she had retired  in the countryside Marilyn took that walk every day. Mostly she set out shortly after sunset.  At that hour of passage, as if suspended, the air became thinner , and the light, which still shone, and yet was fading, imperceptibly but was fading away, it ( the light) was of an incomparable splendor. Sometimes instead she took her walk early in the morning, in the liquid light of the newly risen sun. She rarely met anyone during her walks, even more rarely she happened to stop and talk to someone.

That morning Marilyn had gone out early , and she had set off on the road  that passed through the fields, a few steps from her house. There was just a breeze of wind. She started walking slowly to enjoy the sunlight at that hour of the morning. With the rays of light , like thin blades of gold, peeking through the green foliage of the trees, on the either sides of the road. The sunlight at that hour of morning was a very clear light that seemed to be made of water. Even the sun, which she saw, as she kept walking, and now it disappeared under the canopy of the trees, to reappear at the next step, ( even it) looked like a shimmering pool of shining, transparent water, just above the horizon. With its appearing and disappearing behind the foliage of the trees , the sun seemed to accompany her steps, as if it was walking alongside with her. That morning Marilyn proceeded walking with measured steps, rather slowly, in all calm on the road, all intent as she was to enjoy the fresh, liquid ( almost watery) light of the sun, and the games ( plays) of its rays through the hair of the trees, on the leaves, which, at moments, under its light,  hit by its rays, became brilliant like true precious jewels. She, Marilyn , didn’t at all think of looking back. But, as she walked calmy, slowly on the road, she suddenly felt herself being yanked , as if someone, or something had grabbed her from behind ( from her shoulders), pulling her back.

Then she turned abruptly, without even wondering what it could be. But in the road behind her, along the stretch she had already traveled ( which she had left behind her) there was no one.

On the road there were puddles of water, since it had rained in those days. The sunlight bounced off the muddy ( earthy) water of the puddles, which , under the light, appeared like shining (shiny) , glittering mirrors.  Just when Marilyn was about to resume her walk ( to start again her walk), and she had given a last, fleeting glance(look) behind her, she saw  SOMETHING flashing from those puddles of water. Something which came out of that ( their) muddy water, which the strong sunlight made seem (  appear) limpid, even transparent.  She, Marilyn couldn’t figure out ( realize) what it was . Was it a thing or a living being? That it was perhaps a plant? That undecipherable thing or being that was, it rose up from the surface of the puddles, wiggled, flickering, in the bright sunlight , and then began to move  on the road, towards her. Oh, but look, it wasn’t a thing or a plant, if anything it seemed, but yes, it was a woman, a young woman. Marilyn could see her arms moving, her hand gesturing, as she advanced along the road. But no, not quite a woman it was…it was too thin, inconsistent, almost ethereal. Yes, it had the appearance, the features of a woman, but it was rather the image of a woman, as you can see in a film. And yet that image was advancing towards her and, at moments, in one hand gesturing, in the chin protruding, seemed to have the consistence, the reality of a woman in flesh and blood. Only at moments, however, since soon after it ( she) came back  to be all without thickness, without consistence, it returned being the image ( figure) of a woman, as the image of a woman in a frame of a film.

Marilyn, stunned, stood looking at …that image with her mouth open. That…woman, which was not a woman, but the thin image of a woman, kept advancing swiftly towards her, as if it was walking on the road, but it seemed not to touch the ground. It seemed to be moving ( walking) just a little above the road. When that image was a few steps from her, only then  Marilyn could see clearly its ( her) face. What a shock! Absolutely amazing( unbelievable)! But it was her! It was Lily’s face! The Lily of thirty years ago! But then it could be the image of her that was being projected there, just above the road. So Marilyn thought, although she was much more than shocked.  “ Hey, listen..” she said, taking a step towards Lily, that is, towards the image of her and reaching out her. Suddenly Lily’s image stretched above the road, suspended in the air, and seemed to return into the water of the puddles, from which it had come out. Marilyn covered her face with her hands, as if to protest at that sudden disappearance. She stood ( was) for some time in the middle of the road, her hands pressed on her face. When she came back to look around, here that Lily appeared again, Marilyn seemed to see her( Lily) young, radiant, all dressed up, as she had seen Lily at the party for her twentieth birthday. Which was her last birthday. Shortly after Lily was ( had been ) killed. Her body, half naked, struck by a lot of stab wounds, was found on a country road , like the one on which  Marilyn now was. A terrible fate, a very sad story. It was Lily’s boyfriend who was indicted and convicted of that murder. He( Lily’s boyfriend) was considered guilty by everyone, not only by the court that tried him, even though he kept on proclaiming his innocence. He killed himself in prison. After his death it was decided to reopen the investigation on Lily’s murder. And it was then found out that it had been her uncle Paul who had killed Lily. She, Lily, orphaned of a father, (fatherless) considered her uncle Paul a father.

Marilyn started again walking on the road( walked down the road again). Now even the magnificent, fresh light of the sun more than given her joy, aroused sadness in her. She had almost reached the end of the road, when she saw a girl walking towards her. Usually Marilyn did not meet anyone during her walks. That girl was walking fast, moving agile. When the girl was in front of her, close to her, Marilyn almost took a hit. But this ( that) girl was all her( she), all young Lily. Not only the features of her face, her eyes,but even her build, and the way she moved too was Lily’s. And this was a real girl.  She, Marilyn, seeing her, had the feeling that Lily was coming back to life. ( had come back to life). The girl had just passed her, that Marilyn couldn’t help but run after her. She had to ask the girl who was, she wanted to know her name. The girl walked very fast, she was already at a considerable distance from her. Marilyn was gripped by the anguish …oh she couldn’t ever reach her. Oh, but  she had to know who that girl was! So she called out, screaming: “ Lily! Lily! “ The girl did not answered. Not only, she kept on walking, without turning back. Marilyn continued to call very aloud, screaming : “ Lily! Lily!”, while she struggled to reach the girl. Then suddenly the girl , who looked just like Lily, disappeared from the road, as if she dissolved into the air. Marilyn was sure that the girl had to be really Lily revived.

April 09, 2022 00:48

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