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The girl in the white dress

Story ID:11511
Written by:Ronnie Eugene Jones (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:New Orleans Louisiana USA
Person:Stephany Moore
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The girl in the white dress

Pulp Fiction was popular in the 40's and 50's. This is a contest entry with 'A monster in a box' for a promp. I hope you enjoy it as it was fun writing this.

The old stone manor with its gothic gables on Backwater Bayou Road was sold after being on the market for years. The realtor couldn’t understand why Mr. Moore was so upset. He was never here; he never left New Orleans. What difference did it make if the new owner was going to bulldoze the house down and start over? It had been damn near impossible to find a potential buyer who didn’t believe in ghosts and if they happened to run into Gator over at the Bug-Away pest control they just drove on out of town, after talking to him.

Gator would stretch the story out in great detail about Stephany Moore disappearing six months after marrying the wealthy Robert Moore, a dashing fellow, sporting a flaming red beard, then seeing her ghost walk through the moss-draped trees surrounding the manor at night wearing a white dress, then disappearing into the small graveyard with its nameless headstones.

The local sheriff reported that Stephany Moore had been seen at the train station. Her buggy was there and she had bought a ticket to New Orleans which was only thirty miles away. Why hadn’t she just driven on over there? Then, there were visitors to the manor that had disappeared, but their buggies were found at the train station.

And to make the gossip even better, Gator told of one time, he was over at the house spraying for bugs. Of course, he had to go inside, that was when he noticed a lot of fairly new women’s clothes in a closet, some quite revealing. That led to a lot of speculation at the time as to wither Mr. Moore was in a lingering stage of mourning over his missing wife or maybe he was one of those crossdressers, and that caused a lot of people in the community to raise an eyebrow.

This morning, a dusty red wagon sat waiting in the front yard of the neat clapboard house across from the old dilapidated manor. Jim and Jared sat in rope swings on opposite sides of the large oak tree planning out the day's adventures a few feet from the wagon. They stopped talking as they watched a dump truck pull out of the gate across the street. The manor was almost gone now.

The boys began counting the trucks. The trucks only came in the morning and after the fourth truck, they had the rest of the day to hunt for treasure. So far, their treasure consisted of a dozen mouse traps, six neat looking bottles, and a red wig. The boys checked their supplies. A brown piece of paper cut from a grocery bag was their map; penciled circles showed where they had already searched. This was the most important item besides the baseball bat, to hit on boards, just in case there was a rat, then the hoe and BB gun for snakes. A half a can of wasp spray had been added to the inventory a month earlier after their encounter of inspecting the attic, then a flashlight and the trench shovel, to dig up treasure with.

They wouldn’t need the wasp spray today as they looked down into what had been part of the basement. A yellow dozer sat off to one side. The weight had caused a wall to fall in showing a door behind the pile of bricks. Jim held the flashlight in his left hand and held the trench shovel in the other like he was banishing a sword while Jared had the BB gun at the ready.

A protesting door squeaked loudly as the boys put their weight on it. It inched open and Jim shinned his light into the darkness, then jerked backward knocking Jared down. Jim tried again. It was only a cobwebbed covered white dress hanging down from the ceiling. A long dark stained table sat in the middle of the room with an assortment of whips stacked on top of a long wooden box sitting on the table. A small chest sat at the end of the larger box. Jim shinned the light into the darkness; it stopped at the chains and shackles attached to a wall. Long dusty wooden boxes sat below. “Maybe we should come back tomorrow with Dad’s big light?” Jim said, nervously looking around.

“Ok, but let’s see what’s in the little chest first. It might be the treasure?” Jared said, now feeling suddenly braver.

Jim used the shovel to pry up the lid and shined the light inside. A green mist floated from the chest crossing the table and settling on Jared’s hands. Jim looked inside the chest. “There’s nothing in it, but two old dolls, a man, and a woman. Somebody must have been mad, there must be a hundred pins stuck in the man.”

“Let me see.” Jared said, then, “It’s one of those Voodoo dolls.”

“How do you know?” Jim asked.

“That’s what caused Billy Twotone to get that whoopin, he snuck it out of his grandma’s house and showed it to me,” then Jared unexpectedly pulled one of the long pins out of a doll and stuck it in the white dressed one.

The cat that had wondered in the door let out a spine-chilling screech as another pin went through the doll.

Jim jumped so fast that he knocked the table over. The large box hit the floor breaking apart and there lay Mr. Moore grinning through empty eye sockets, his red beard almost reaching the dozens of dark stained circles covering the white shirt.

The boys’ wagon almost lost its wheels as they tried to keep up with the cat and in New Orleans, a shriveled hand turned over a Tarot card, then Stephany Moore clutched her chest as two sharp pains shot through her body. Her finger tangled in the white beard, pulling the long fake hairs from her face revealing half a century old scars. She fell to the floor; a green mist crossed her lips.