The Homecoming- Part 5 (An Original Short Story)

The Homecoming

        The street was glistening, as it had been raining only moments before. The streetlights casted a dull glow onto everything and the crickets hummed softly. The moon was full and luminous, creating a spotlight on Dahlia’s front yard. For the first time, Riley had noticed that the lawn was a bit overgrown and he made it a point to offer to trim it down for her. He knocked on the door. Silence. He knocked twice more but he heard nothing. He pressed his ear against the door and heard no sign of movement. He stepped onto the lawn and looked up.
         “Dahlia!” he shouted.
         No reply. He tried again, this time louder.
         “Dahlia!”   
         Yet again, there was no reply. He stood there, uncertain of whether he should try again or just turn around a go home. Just then, a car pulled into the driveway of the house next door. Riley watched as the middle-aged man parked his car and step out of the vehicle. He looked over at Riley with a puzzled expression.
         “What are you doing?” he asked.
         “Oh, I’m just trying to get my friend’s attention,” Riley replied.
         The man’s face fell pale. “Excuse me?”
         Riley was confused. “I said I’m just trying to get her attention. She must be sleeping. I’ll just go home now.”
         The man appeared as if he was ill. “I don’t know what kind of sick game you’re playing, but I won’t have it! Dahlia was a sweet woman and for you to make a mockery of her like this—”
         “Wait a minute, what are you talking about? I’m not making a mockery of her. I came to ask her if she wanted to have dinner. She came to my house yesterday for a cup of sugar and she seemed very friendly and I thought it would be a good idea to…”
         The man’s eyes widen. “I’m sorry, but that’s impossible! There’s no way that Dahlia came to your house yesterday, there’s no way that you spoke to her and there’s no way that she’s going to have dinner with you!”
         Riley could feel himself becoming angry. “Look, if you’re going to stand there and insult me and call me a liar…”
         “Dahlia’s been dead for over two years now. She committed suicide after finding out that her husband had died while serving in Iraq. The grief was too much for her and six months after receiving the news she took her own life. Police found her hanging in their bedroom on the night that would have been their seven year anniversary. It was the talk of the town for months, everyone knows about it. So whatever sick prank you’re trying to pull…”
         Riley was no longer listening to the man. He could feel the knots in his stomach beginning to form. A cold sweat formed on his forehead and he felt a sharp pain on the side of his head.
         She can’t be dead. I spoke to her yesterday. She was in my home. I touched her. She was—she was real!
        He felt himself stumble backwards and fall against the cool concrete. He stared up at the house. A figure caught his eye in the upstairs window. It swayed gently from side to side. He noticed another shape and could tell that the two were connected. In an instant his eyes went wide with horror. The moonlight shone onto the window and he caught a glimpse of the powder blue dress. His gaze followed the body all the way up to find her perfect face, frozen in a hollow stare. Wrapped around her neck was a black cord. As Riley scrambled to his feet and stumbled across the overgrown lawn, the front door slowly began to open.
         The faint sound of a soft, melodic laugh escaped onto the street, and into the night.
∴ Copyright of @thedaydreamingbookworm. Under no circumstances may any part of this story be reproduced and used without prior permission from the author.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
This is the final installment in my little short story! Did you guys see that coming? Did you get chills?
I hope you guys enjoyed this little Halloween treat! Happy Halloween!

-Ari

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