Author's Note: This is not one of my best works, but I figured I would have to start somewhere posting my stories. This was a co-write between myself and two others in my class.

Reviews and Suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

On a cool, wintery Saturday night about a dozen miles outside of Baltimore, Dr. James Eckersall was driving home from a country-club dance just after 11:30. He was almost to the intersection of Route 1 and Highway 236. He hated that intersection; people were always getting into wrecks and hitting pedestrians. His best friend's wife was in an accident here and barely made it out alive.

As he was driving along the deserted highway he saw something white in the middle of the intersection. As he neared the intersection, he noticed that the white thing was actually a young girl, mentally cringing at the thought of the little girl getting hit. Lucky Dr. Eckersall happened to be the only car on the road at the time.

When he reached the girl he slowed his Mercedes to a stop and rolled down the passenger side window. He called out to the girl and asked; "Ma'am are you OK? Can I help you with anything?"

The young girl just stared at the doctor looking petrified.

Dr. Eckersall called out to the girl again; "Ma'am? You look like you've seen a ghost. Are you ok?"

Finally the girl replied to him. "Yes, I am fine, I guess." Doctor Eckersall said looking at her, "What on earth is a youngster like you doing out here all along at this time of night?"

"It's too long a story to tell you now." She replied. "Please, please take me home. I'll explain everything there. The address is 221 North Charles Street. I do hope it's not too far out of your way."

sighed and motioned for the girl to get in.

During the entire drive the girl was completely silent. "What's your name?" The doctor asked. "Joy." She replied. "Oh, that's a wonderful name!" He exclaimed. The girl just shrugged. Dr. Eckersall thought the girl reminded him of his youngest granddaughter, Annie. Joy's long, wavy blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and scattered freckles were exactly like Annie's.

Dr. Eckersall loved his grandchildren. Now that they were much older and all of them were off in college he rarely saw them. When they were small his hair had been a lush black but now time had reduced it to patches of peppered gray colored hair. He doubted any of his grand children would even recognize him now.

"I'm sorry the seat is all crowded with my golf clubs and all these bags." The doctor said. Joy was silent a moment but then replied. "Oh, I don't mind." She remained quiet the rest of the time except when she was asked if she would borrow a coat she had seen in one of the bags; of course the Doctor let her use it.

They were still about six miles away from town when they stopped at a stoplight. decided to try and brighten the girl's spirit with a joke, but he heard no laughter as he finished the joke. Feeling embarrassed he turned to see what was wrong with her; but when he looked over at the seat his stomach dropped. The girl had vanished. He hadn't heard the door open or shut and she never made a sound. Looking out the window the Doctor saw a graveyard on the side of the road. Oddly enough it didn't look any other graveyard he had seen before. The graveyard was filled with weeds, waist-tall and the gate was broken.

The lamp posts around the gate flickered and a white owl was perched on a grave by the entryway. He parked his car just off the road and got out to search for Joy.

He called out her name but heard no response. Dr. Eckersall was hardly scared by anything but being in a deserted graveyard this late at night frightened him. He spent another 20 minutes walking around the cemetery looking for Joy. At the far end of the graveyard he saw a huge willow tree with a single tombstone sitting alone beneath its branches. He made his way through the weeds and tombstones to the willow tree. As he walked, the sound of wolves howling reached his ears from the distance and a sharp screech of an owl shattered the night. Startled he turned and saw the same white owl he had seen at the entrance sitting on the grave directly behind him. Frightened, he continued on to the lone grave beneath the tree. Another sharp screech from the owl made him turn and watch as it glided on silent wings to land on the very tombstone he had been headed to.

Reluctantly he continued on and as he neared the site, he was surprised to see the jacket he had given Joy draped over the tombstone with the white owl sitting on top. Looking down, he noticed the writing on the stone read;

Joy Eleanor Hathaway

Born January 21st, 1991

Died December 16th, 2007

He began to feel sick, remembering reading an article in the newspaper about a young girl who had died in a car crash at the same intersection he had found Joy at. Scared out of his mind, he ran as fast as he could back to his car. As he reached his car and tried to catch his breath he was startled to see Joy standing right in front of his vehicle.

The doctor screamed at the top of his lungs. Joy looked furious and seemed to be crying.

"I thought you were going to take me home!" She screamed.

"I was going to take you, but then you disappeared." He said.

"I thought I was going home!" Joy kept repeating. She began to bolt towards 's car but at that moment the doctor, scared out of his mind, had floored his Mercedes and rushed home to his wife, never to see Joy again.