Benton has three water towers, one of which is closed and no longer in use. That one happens to also be the highest of the lot. The structure looms over the skyline of the town like a sleeping giant made out of metal. The rails lining the catwalk that surrounds the dome are rusting and falling in. The once bright blue lettering has chipped and turned to a off color.
At the bottom is a the old pumping station. A small brick building with a black slated roof and few windows. Most of the window's have been smashed in by teenage vandals. The wooden door, hangs at a crooked angel, its brass hinges barely supporting its weight. And by the wooden door, almost hidden by tall grass, covered in vines is a small granite cross.
Engraved upon the center of the cross is a name. "Sterling M. Richard" followed by "Born August 18, 1984" Followed by "Died October 31, 2000" and finally at the bottom. Below the name, the date of birth and death, there can be found the inscription of "Requiescat In Pace".
But she does not rest in peace. No because on moonlit nights. When Lune sits high in the sky. People often report seeing a young women, one with pretty blonde hair and baby blue eyes. She often reported wearing a red satin gown. She appears, leaning over the ledge of the tower. She seems deep in thought, then in a blink of a eye she climbing over the railing and then a loud scream followed by a thumb.
The tale of Sterling is one of betrayal, heartbreak and drama. All centering on events that took place at the homecoming dance of Benton Aquiculture Highs School in the autumn of two thousand.
Rebecca Joan Fowler was one the queen of the school. The girl's bathroom was her court and there she summon all who dared to rise above there station. Victorian Alice Baker was her right hand girl and the muscle that powered her operation and kept her on the throne. A beg below her was a girl called Amy Alice Allen. Silent as the grave and broody, God had given her a mind for schoolyard politics that most would kill to have. She was the brain's behind the operation and the head of the ring of spies that kept Rebecca informed on everything and anything.
It was this circle of spies that brought Sterling to Rebecca attention. Sterling was one of those girls who would never become Homecoming Queen or a member of the Court unless something really major shook up the established social order. She was a shy girl, who stayed to herself. She was sweet on the star quarterback of the Benton Gators. His name has been lost flow of time. But what is known is he returned her feelings and the two had been passing letters through varies friends.
Now Alice had been intercepting those letters through her spies. She would hand copy each letter and then send pass it off. It was through method Rebecca could track the movements of both Sterling and the football player. And as the date of the homecoming dance neared, the traffic increased. With growing unease Rebecca read as the flames of love was kindled between Sterling and the football player.
Deciding to bring things to a head. She summoned Sterling to the girls bathroom on the second floor. There, the orders where laid out plain and simple. Sterling was to stop talking to the football player and take a vow never to dare flirt with the boys again.
Sterling bravely laughed the threats off. Smirking Rebecca polity asked Victorian to take her into one of the stales for a little "Chat". Despite the girls protest, the stronger and older girl hauled the younger girl into the bathroom and after a few minutes of dunking her head into the privy finally made her point known. She then tossed Sterling out of the bathroom and onto the floor of the hallway followed by her books and school papers. Looking like a drowned rat, she started to seek the attention of lover.
She did not find her lover. Instead she found only scorn and ridicule from her peers because of her appearance. What happen next will forever go down as one of the darkest days of Benton Ag. Sterling in much emotional turmoil walked back to her house, a two story Victorian located in the influent "Town Creek" district. A area of town known for its fine Victorian and Edwardian houses that line the brick paved streets. Historically the town's elite chose to settle and live within that district.
As she started to walk, she started to text her lover. But her text fell on death ears. And with each block she put behind her, her text became more and more frantic till at last she was at the end of her rope. Finding herself along and emotionally shattered, she snuck up to her fathers office and broke into the chestnut liquor drawer. She reached for the first thing that came I into her sight. A large gallon bottle of gentleman jack.
As the bottle started to empty. Her texts became more and more frantic, soon she found herself tripping over her own shoe laces. It was then, in this moment of madness, she thought of a plan. Feeling hurt, confused and scared and above all abounded. She went into her closet and dressed herself in the gown she and her mom had picked out for her home coming dance. Once the gown was on, she did her hair and make-up and put on her best pair of shoes and started to walk.
For what seemed like hours she walked the narrow, bricked streets of Benton, till at last she stood before the looming iron water tower. Dropping her phone on the ground she started the climb the iron rungs. Soon she was standing over the railing. Taking a deep breath she eased the her grip and jumped. Thirty frantic beats of her heart.. And she was no more.
They found her body the next morning. She had snapped her during her fall and the dew had soaked her gown. Only the family of sterling grieved. And since that day, on clear nights when the moon is full and the wind is still, people often report seeing a women climbing the tower, others hear a loud scream followed by a loud thump. And others report passing Sterling as she makes that long way toward the tower.