Legacy & Legend
Coming October 2022
Grandmother Abigail's Room
Saturday Night – 11:46pm
Abigail lay in her bed, unable to fall asleep. She stared at the ceiling, frightened by the strange shadows. Harmful shapes. They moved. Shifted. She recognized it was her imagination. But imagination is powerful. Ah, but so was the need to visit the outhouse, she lamented. Abigail debated whether she could wait until daylight. At her age, that was not always possible. Trips to the outhouse for her were an arduous task at any time of the day, but at night it was especially inconvenient.
And she did not want to be out there.
She threw back the quilt with a sigh of frustration, swung her legs over the side and sat up. She sat for a second to get her bearings. The house was deadly quiet. She lit the candle on her nightstand and searched the floor with her feet for her cloth slippers. She slipped them on and quietly made her way down the stairs. She was angry with herself sometimes that even the most mundane activities could be such a chore. She approached the back door under the stairs, switched into her wooden shoes for outdoors and wrapped herself in her woolen cloak.
She stepped into the night air—fresh, clean, and chilled. The outhouse was all the way across the yard. She glanced at the barn but could barely see anything other than its massive shape in the dark. Move quickly. Then she laughed at herself. When was the last time she did anything quickly? The grass was covered in dew and she could feel little droplets splashing onto her ankles. She opened the narrow wooden door to the outhouse, stepped in, turned, and closed the door. She placed the candle on the ledge beside the seat. It was silent beyond the thin walls.
Then she heard the rustling.
Even in the darkness, she could see something blocked the sliver of faint light between the wooden slats. Passed right by. She held her breath. Standing there frozen, only her eyes followed the shadow around to her left. Her ears listened as it slowly moved behind the small building. It stopped, but only briefly. Her breathing became short and shallow. The blood pounded in her ears, almost drowning out her ability to listen.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” she whispered.
Then, whatever it was, started to move again behind her and then around to her right, and her eyes followed the shadow. Without realizing it, she began to pray, “Through a mighty strength, God's power to guide me, God's might to uphold me, God's eyes to watch over me…”
And it scratched at the wood.
A whimper escaped Abigail’s lips as she watched a long, filthy, black nail appear between the wood slats. Feeling, searching, to see if it could actually fit through. Then another slipped between the slats. God, how extremely long! Animal in nature, without a hint of the human trait it once was.
Abigail broke her fear-induced paralysis and turned quickly to grab her candle. In her haste, her hand knocked it over and she was plunged into complete darkness.
Abigail began to plead, “Please go away. Please go away.” And then with strength from deep within, she called out, “I have not prepared her yet.”
The scraping stopped.
“She should have a fighting chance. She should have a chance to right the wrong, should she not?”
And then she heard a chilling, evil giggle followed by light footsteps on the ground that receded as she listened.
And then it was silent once again.
Abigail made the sign of the cross and fumbled for the candlestick on the small floor. She gripped the wall for support, opened the door and stepped out. She didn't have to go any longer. She took a deep breath and made her way in the dark, back to the house. Trembling, she opened the back door and practically threw herself in, almost hitting her head on the underside of the stairs. She caught her breath, leaned against the wall, her hands covering her mouth.
“I am running out of time.”