Dawn’s Escape at Dusk

I didn’t normally respond to demands, especially demands by purple-wearing, soothsaying, weirdly-named psychics.

But at this point, I was more worried than peeved by Aurora’s “request” to visit her immediately. On my cell phone just minutes earlier, an on-line newspaper bleeped a headline: “Man found dead on quest to find Hal the Huntsman treasure.” (See last week’s From Dawn to Dusk.)

Was Todd the man found dead? Perhaps Aurora/Dawn truly could “see” the answer.

I raced to her place, not even using the goddess knocker on the door. I just barged in. A shadow skirted knocker, goddesspast Dawn, who was standing as still as glazed stone. She wore a gossamer lavender veil across her head and around her shoulders like a shawl. Her eyes were deep-sunken. As she pulled out the chair for me, I noticed her trembling hands.

“Who was that?” I asked, ignoring the chair although my heart raced and my knees weakened.

“One who knows the truth and is prepared to share its secrets,” she murmured.

“The truth should not be a secret!”  I replied with force.  I lowered my voice. “Is Todd dead?”

Dawn nodded her head slightly, and the shadow moved into the orbit of the room’s dim light.

I gasped.

“Todd!” I swung my hand to slap him, half relieved and half enraged, but my hand went through his body as if he were a …..

GHOST!” I shrieked.

“Not of this world, but not yet of the next,” Dawn confirmed.

I sank into her velvet chair with a quick sob. “Ghost?” I repeated in a small shaky voice.

Dawn clapped her hands in front of my face, twice. “Eve, concentrate. Worry later about your preconceived notions of the afterlife. Todd has given me a message.”

I turned my head toward the apparition. Todd’s body wavered in and out of focus. “Speak,” I said to whatever-it-was.

Dawn tittered. “Ghosts can’t speak,” she said as if everyone knew that. Up until then, I hadn’t even known that ghosts were real. Well, I mean, unreal. But real.

“He’s here to warn you,” Dawn continued. “Todd saw through your lie. He didn’t go to Maine. He found the treasure trail in Colorado.”

I sat as stiff as a corpse and just stared up at the ghost as Dawn continued. “Your uncle was there. He told Todd that the two of you – uncle and niece – were in this treasure hoax together.”

My gaze flew to the floor. Guilty as charged. Unc Hal didn’t want to pay taxes on all of his inheritance, so we came up with the scheme of the treasure hunt. We’d pretend that a hunter disappeared with the chest, leaving my uncle’s fortune $2 million less to be taxed.

A low deep moan suddenly flew through the room. Dawn’s eyes widened.

“Your uncle killed Todd. And now…”

The hairs on my arms stood up and goosebumps raced up and down my spine.

“ . . .  and now your uncle is on his way to kill you. Unc Hal wants the truth to remain his secret.”

My heart thumped thumped thumped in my chest. Unc Hal was a wicked old bastard. I believed Todd, or what was left of Todd.

But what to do?

S. F. Bay, harbor, ghost storyDawn placed her hands on top of my head. The room settled into quiet. The ghost of Todd disappeared. “At dusk, we escape,” she whispered. “I know a perfect hiding place.”

And for some reason, I trusted her…

THE END.

88 thoughts on “Dawn’s Escape at Dusk

    • I always believe in happy endings, Miriam. It’s up to each reader of this 3-post serial to decide if she/he envisions a happy or not-so-happy ending for Eve and Dawn. I’m sending them my creative blessings. ❤

    • Many thanks for enthusiastically enjoying my Dawn story, Amy. In some ways I wanted to write one more part of it so I could entitle it “Dawn Breaks.” 🙂 But in reality, I’m sending Dawn and Eve on their own, believing that all good things shall come their way. xo

    • How I love that idea, Sharon, of my pen floating across the page. Truthfully, at times that does seem to happen, and I just watch the words appear. Pretty spooky in a good way. 🙂 Thanks for enjoying Dawn and Eve’s ghostly treasure hunting story. xo

  1. I’m all about the non-end ending — again, leaving people with curiosity. (The traditional denoument, while at times useful, isn’t typically as effective.)

    Perhaps our narrator will be … er … “joining Todd” after all (whether by her uncle’s hand or Aurora’s magic).

    Perfect use of irony here, as well: “The truth should not be a secret!” (as well as perhaps a timely political commentary in disguise?).

    • Your reading commentary has made my day! Yes, despite many asking (begging, which as a writer I savor) for me to continue, no, I like leaving the ending up to each reader’s imagination. Is Aurora/Dawn a ‘good’ witch or a bad one? Will they escape the wrath of Unc Hal, or succumb to Todd and his journey toward the after life? The ending will be different within each reader’s mind/personality/the way he or she views the world. Isn’t that neat? (Ah, and truth. Yes, I like to use subtlety in places and let those who wish to find it useful, to do so. ) 🙂

  2. Dear Mistress of Suspense: I can’t help it – Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh popped into my head: “Witch, scholar, poet, dreamer, and the rest…” Part of your inspiration, or just a lucky consequence?

    • You stroke my ego, Marian. How I would love to be called a “witch, scholar, poet, dreamer, and the rest…” – kind of my unspoken dream. And you wrote it out loud!! You and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. xo

    • I believe that Eve and Dawn found their way into a happy ending. My readers certainly helped push them along into that. 🙂 Thanks SO much for enjoying my 3-part ‘surprise’ story, Gerlinde. ❤

    • I love the way you search for metaphors in prose, Balroop. I think the hiding place resides in each reader’s imagination. Hmmm, I wonder where you choose to see Eve and Dawn hiding… ❤

    • You urged me on to do two more ‘parts’ to this story than I was intending. With each one, I was amazed at where Eve and Dawn led me. THANK you for enjoying their twisty tale so much. Now, I’ve left it up to each reader’s imagination to figure out where those two are hiding, and if they succeed in combatting their own ‘ghosts.’ xo

  3. Oh dear. Going with Dawn doesn’t sound like that good an idea to me. The deceptions are thick in this, Pam. Lots of secrets and I have no idea what the truth is! Keep up the great story. 🙂

    • I’m leaving Dawn and Eve at their hiding spot, wherever that may be. Interestingly, one reader asked if that hiding spot was heaven or hell. Isn’t it fun, to see how different readers pull in metaphors and symbols for our stories? Speaking of which, Catling has pulled me in deeply in her story that you write so incredibly in Catling’s Bane. Almost finished. I need to catch my breath every once in a while!!

      • I was wondering about symbolism in the names too – Dawn and Eve particularly. I’m on a bit of a blogging break but will catch up on their story when I get back. I’m so glad you’re enjoying Cating’s Bane! Yippee. 😀

  4. Oh my goodness. The End? Well, I’m going to say that while going with Dawn may be a dodgy thing to do, I have faith that Todd’s ghost will keep the right people safe. Because not all ghosts are bad apples, you know? Great story.

    • I so agree with you, Ally. I’d go as far as saying most ghosts appear for a reason, and they’re usually helpful ones. This end of this story is, of course, actually just the beginning for Dawn and Eve. xo

  5. Ohhh…this is terrific, Pam! I love the sense of danger you place her in but at the very end the possibility is safety…like everyone else I was left gasping at the ghostly intrigue waiting for more. But with many great books that end this way, you’re right, this is perfect. Memorable and leaving us free to dream up the possible final scenario…I’ve loved this series, Pam! 😀❤️ The thought just occurred to me, is this what all the readers of Charles Dickens felt when his next instalment came out..such a sweet feeling of anticipation, eagerly reading, savouring. 😀

    • Oh, be still my heart. To be compared to Charles Dickens and his amazingly wonderful serials! But yes, I think blog posts allow us to go back to those days of
      Dickens when we can hopefully hook readers to come back week after week to “see what happens.” With the encouragement of you and other followers here, I will include more stories in the future. Thank you thank you so much for enjoying my 3-post story of Dawn and Eve.

  6. Pam I love the story, was a great one. Not easy when it is a ghost moment. But what I love the most was that it was a happy ending! Great writing and I had a good read. Happy Weekend!

    • Getting a compliment from you about my writing is an honor, Carol! Yes, that hand-through-the-body part surprised me too! I love how when I’m writing, the characters just show me the way. xo

  7. Nicely “played,” dear Pamela! This is how your muse “amuses” us!! What a chilling ending with some suspense and scary mystery left in this open ended place.
    You are a gifted cliff hanger writer! 👻 I would love to have a bit of that treasure chest. . . (Hint hint!) 📿💎 👑

  8. Now at the edge of my seat you say ‘The End?’ Where is the perfect hiding place?
    You had me from the first line of the story. Excellent story for these spooky autumn days.

  9. OK, I love how you’re pulling this off–and us IN.

    Wait a minute. I missed the words “The end.” Really, truly?

    We can only hide for so long before something finds us, or we find ourselves. And so the story continues…

  10. Eeeek this one was all kinds of creepy! And I mean that as a compliment – Halloween is almost here and we’ve got some shivering to do by then to prepare for it 😉 GREAT writing, Pam!

  11. I agree with other comments here – too good to be the END “The End.” This needs to be the start of a brand new book, pretty please. 🙂 Dawn, dusk, a ghostly side-kick, a treasure hoax and a deranged uncle. What a fun read that would be! And not just for Halloween.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!

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