|Hush, Little Baby
Author: Miyako Nakamura PM
Based on the legend of the Goodleburg Cemetery in South Wales, New York.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Horror - Words: 1,377 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 2 - Published: 06-10-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2683523
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The rain had lasted for days. The ground was swollen with water, flooding was becoming a real danger. The small, rural village had existed for many years without and significant troubles or controversy.
Until those heavy rains came in the year 1839.
Timothy and David were teenage brothers who lived on a farm just outside the village. The heavy rains had brought an abrupt halt to farm work, and a real threat to the success to this year's harvest. Bored one evening, they wandered outside during the rain's moment of cessation. They walked out towards the small town. Just ahead, they could see the house of Dr. Goodleburg, the town's only doctor. Behind his house was a small hill, which overlooked the local cemetery. The cemetery was a calm, peaceful place where the two boys liked to walk to.
They noticed almost immediately that there were an unusual number of dogs gathered on top of the hill, digging up the mud and fighting amongst each other. Their own dog, Molly, was easily visible, because she had a coat like spots on a cow.
"What are they doing up there?" Timothy wondered aloud. David just shrugged, and they quickened their pace.
The ground of the hill was so saturated that with each step they sunk slightly into the mud. It didn't take them long to reach the top, where they were greeted with a disturbing sight.
Much of the hill had sunken in, revealing several bones, all sticking out of the ground. They appeared to be human skeletons, all buried unknowingly in this secret grave.
David picked up a skull which had washed up out of the ground. "Look at this!" he exclaimed. "This must be an ancient Indian gravesite."
"Maybe…"Timothy agreed, seeing no other explanation. All people who had died there recently were buried in the cemetery below the hill. "You should put back."
"No, I want to keep it," David said.
Timothy wasn't listening, he was watching the dogs, so intent on whatever they were doing, and they hadn't noticed the boys' arrival. What were they doing? They appeared to be eating something…
Timothy realized their situation then. This wasn't an ancient cemetery… "These graves are recent!" he exclaimed. "The dogs are eating bodies!"
David quickly dropped the skull. With a sudden feeling of urgency, they managed to catch their Molly and ran back down the hill. They didn't stop running until they were back in their house and the door was shut behind them. The graves on top of the hill were recent. But why weren't they in the cemetery? Who had buried them there?
Their father walked in from the next room, and noticed they were out of breath.
"What happened to you two?" he demanded.
"We took a walk to the hill," said Timothy.
"The one behind Dr. Goodleberg's house?" their father asked.
"Yes," replied David. "There are fresh graves there. The bodies were washed up by the rain."
Their father just stared at them for a moment. "Really? Or are you two making this up?"
"No, it's true." Said Timothy. "There are dogs eating the remains."
Their father frowned for a moment, and then went towards the door. "I'll go into town and see if anyone else knows about this," he said.
Timothy and David said nothing about what they had seen to their mother, or younger sister. Night fell, and they heard their father come in. He spoke in low tones to their mother. They could not hear anything he was saying.
After a while the talking stopped. Timothy and David laid awake, too anxious to find out the secret of the unknown graves.
The night continued on, pitch black with darkness. Suddenly, a low growl broke the silence. It was answered with another growl, and the sounds of dogs fighting. It sounded like several dogs, all horribly vicious. The boys stared into the darkness in horror. A sound came from the next room- their father, woken by the horrid fight. They heard him open the door, calling out.
"Molly! Molly! Molly..."
As soon as dawn cast visible light across the room, the boys got up and raced outside. There was no evidence of the fight in front of their house. It had sounded so violent! They walked all the way around the house, finding nothing.
"Let's look by the barn," David suggested, so they slipped in through the slightly open door.
The straw inside was covered in blood and fur. The cushion used for Molly's bed was torn to shreds, a blood-filled scrap of fabric.
There was no sign of Molly however, nor of any other dogs. They went back inside; their parents were sitting at the kitchen table. Their father nodded at them as they came in.
"You were right about the hill," he said to them. "Some people in town said their dogs have been bringing home human remains…it appears the Dr. Goodleburg has been burying bodies behind his house for quite some time. He's been arrested and a trial is expected to begin soon."
"What was he arrested for?" Timothy asked. "What has he been doing?"
"Don't you worry about that!" their mother said sharply.
The boys were surprised, but decided not to push the issue. "Where is Molly? We heard dogs fighting last night." demanded David.
Their father sighed. "She was killed by a pack of wild dogs. I buried her before you got up."
The boys left the kitchen stunned. They spent the rest of the day wandering around town, in disbelief. Everyone whispered of Goodleburg, the bodies, and a pack of wild dogs, terrorizing their animals…
The day passed, and as twilight fell, Timothy and David started to return home. They paused outside the doctor's house. He seemed like a decent man, what had he been doing in that house that had killed so many?
They heard the soft bark of a dog, coming from behind the house. David grabbed his older brother's arm. "The wild dogs!" he whispered, terrified.
The dog barked again, louder as it came closer. In the dim light, they could see a familiar cow-spot coat…
"It's Molly!" said Timothy, relieved. Molly stopped at the sound of his voice. She looked at the boys of a moment, and then growled.
"Molly, it's us!" said David, walking towards her. "It's just us, don't be scared!"
The dog growled again, and then took off running as David approached her.
"Molly, come back!" he yelled, running after her. Timothy had no choice but to follow. They ran behind Dr. Goodleburg's house, beyond the hill and into the cemetery.
David stopped at the edge of the cemetery to catch his breath. He leaned against one of the pine trees that bordered the cemetery. "I lost her!" He exclaimed. Timothy stopped beside David, squinting through the growing darkness.
"Shh…do you hear that?"
They both stood in silence for a moment. There was a soft sound; as it grew louder they could distinguish what it was.
It was the sound of a baby crying.
They stood there, terrified. Where was the child? Suddenly, David grabbed Timothy's arm again. A lantern had appeared out of the darkness, coming towards them.
As it approached, they could see it was Dr. Goodleburg himself walking through the cemetery.
"Quiet, now, quiet…" he was muttering.
"Good evening, Doctor," Timothy said quietly. "We were just looking for our dog, she ran in here…"
"Quiet, be still now…" Dr. Goodleburg continued past them, not seeming to notice the two boys standing there. The baby's cry continued.
"Let's get out of here…"David whispered. Timothy nodded in agreement. They ran carefully through the cemetery, avoiding the headstones. They reached the trees bordering the other side. They ran faster through the trees, when suddenly they hit something, swaying from the tree's branches. Something, that in the fading light of the lantern lying on the ground, looked like the body of Dr. Goodleburg. They boys did not stop in take a closer look. They did not stop running until they reached their home again.