THE HITCH-HIKER : A TRUE STORY
At the beginning of June 1996, two youths came out of the Akido club in Béziers. They had just finished two hours of martial arts training, but they didn’t want to meet up with the other club members. They left, knowing Bruno has his Baccalaureate exams the next day. Tired and in a hurry, they made their way to the car park. Sylvain, nineteen years old, took the wheel and off they set.
A few minutes later, on the deserted road, the two boys noticed a silhouette on the right hand side of the road. Sylvain slowed down. As they approached, they saw it was a young girl, fragile and diaphanous. Sylvain stopped the car. Bruno rolled down the window and asked her if she wanted a lift home, reminding her it wasn’t wise to wander around alone at night. The girl didn’t answer. Bruno got out of the car and invited her to take a seat in the back, which she did, and the car started up again. After fifteen minutes, the two boys arrived in their village.
It should be pointed out that Sylvain and Bruno were a couple of responsible boys, determined to bring the young lady home safe and sound. Each of them had a sister of their own, for whom they felt a sense of responsibility. And so Bruno turned round to ask their passenger where she lived.
But there was nobody sitting in the back seat of the car. The young girl had evaporated: just flown away.
You can imagine the shock the two boys got.
After taking Bruno to his house, Sylvain went home to his. As he got out the car, he cast an eye on the back seat to see if the girl had come back and, amazed, noticed that she had forgotten her reefer-jacket. He picked it up and went to bed.
The next morning, Sylvain found the jacket still lying on the back of his sofa. Intrigued, he thought the girl must be missing it. But how to know where she lived, because she hadn’t spoken a word during the journey? He fumbled through the pockets and found a piece of paper with an address written on it. Could it be her house?
Around noon, the two friends met together for lunch. Sylvain related the story of the jacket and of the address to Bruno. The pair of them decided to take the jacket back. They went to the village noted in the paper, and stopped in front of the house.
They rang. A woman of around forty opened the door.
“What’s it about?” she asked.
“Good day, Madame. We picked up a young girl yesterday evening on the Pézenas road. When she got out, she left her jacket in the back seat of the car. We found this address in the pocket.”
The woman’s face went white, and then she fainted. The boys just had the time to catch her before she fell. They took her back inside, made her sit on chair in the kitchen and drink some water. Little by little, the woman came to. She explained that the jacket was in fact her daughter’s…. but that Elodie, her darling child, had died, five years earlier, on the very same road where the youths had met her. She had been killed by a speeding driver.
EXCERPT FROM SHATTERING TRUTHS by Kyrian Lyndon
She was beside me now, asleep, with an arm around my waist. For a while, it was peaceful. Then she began twisting, turning, mumbling. I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
“Angie …” I whispered to her.
She stopped moving and fell silent. Seconds later, she sprang up and gasped. I switched the lamp on and saw her hand over her heart, her eyes wide with fear, and beads of sweat trickling down her forehead.
“Angie, what’s wrong?” I asked.
She didn’t answer or look in my direction. Then she went back to sleep.
I was half-asleep myself, drained by all the emotions of the day, so I, too, went back to sleep, leaving the lamp on. I felt her moving again—releasing the arm she had once more wrapped around me. I heard the bedsprings as she rose. Licorice meowed from his spot at the corner of the bed. I sat up.
She walked at a frenetic pace around the room—almost in circles, as if the room was on fire and she wanted to get out but didn’t know how. In her pure white nightgown, she had an ethereal aura about her. The gown was ankle-length, with long sleeves, and revealed little more than her tiny bare feet. She looked like a Victorian doll or, more aptly, a centuries-old ghost. I considered whether all of it was a dream, as I was not fully awake.
“Angie!” I called to her.
She didn’t turn or acknowledge me.
I threw the covers off and approached her, grazing her shoulder. When she turned to me, her vacant stare—so disengaged and expressionless—chilled me to the bone.
“Angie, wake up!” I pleaded, gently shaking her shoulders.
She became enraged. I could see the fury in her eyes. She was far from the sweet, fragile Angie I knew, and she pushed me away with such violent force that it flung me hard against my bookcase, causing one of the hardcover books to fall on my head. I caught a glimpse of her bolting from the room before everything went dark, and I could feel my body sinking. You have to get up, I kept telling myself. You have to find her. But my head hurt. My back hurt. And I was out.
It would have been the typical nightmare for me—except it wasn’t a dream.
I couldn’t have been on the floor more than five minutes before I frantically awakened everyone. Bruised and in some pain, I threw a coat on over my pajamas and slipped on a pair of boots. The day was dawning, but it was still mostly dark, and there was no trace of Angie. My mother and grandmother huddled in the doorway, looking anxious and afraid, as my father, Robbie, and I headed for the driveway.
An impulsive glance at the sky halted me in my tracks, or perhaps I sensed it. The omnipotent gold of the sun was rising against a backdrop an artist might have painted—ominous charcoal gray, flames of orange, nuances of blue, and an invigorating, most passionate, purple. In that exquisite hour, when hope reigned with the promise of a new day, I saw her— as if a divine force had illuminated her. She was on the roof in that virginal white gown, her dark hair blowing behind her like a child lost. My heart pounded. I made a dash for the stairs with Robbie close behind.
We raced up three flights to the gloomy old attic door with its dark, rustic stain and antique handle. It was slightly ajar, and I could feel the draft now. The first streak of sunlight in that murky chamber came from the small window and the open roof hatch. We hurried along the creaking floors, beneath the angled ceiling, through the room dusty with cobwebs. A scissor stairway led to the horizontally placed roof hatch.
Angie was at the edge when we got there. Her back was turned, but she heard us and turned. I thought it was possible she could hear the beating of my heart that was thumping so violently.
TRUE ‘SPOOK’ STORY by Kimberly Hoffman
For a while I was involved in a theater group. We performed at an old theater, which in its previous life had been a Masonic Temple. My fellow cast mates had told me the theater was said to be haunted. They regaled me with stories feeling cold air down their back or feeling a cold presence while sitting in the balcony. I had been in productions for a few years and had not experienced anything like this yet. Before one of the rehearsals, I went upstairs to don my costume. On my way back down, I choose to take a different staircase. There were two staircases coming down from the second floor, one was wide leading into the center of the lobby. The other hugged the outside wall and ended near the front door of the lobby. Both set of stairs were long, definitely over 20 steps.
This evening I choose the one that hugged the wall. As I started to take my first step, I felt someone push me from behind. I missed two or three steps, but was able to catch myself and avoid falling down the stairs. I turned, but no one was behind me. I walked down the rest of the stair, clutching the hand rail. When I arrived in the theater, quite visibly shaken, I told one of my colleagues what happened. He related a similar story a few years earlier; only he was not as fortunate and was hurt quite badly.
The following year I decided this thing was not going to mess with me or anyone else in the theater. This may sound a little out there, but I am a Christian and believe in the power of Holy Spirit. So as I walked through the building, I spoke into the air that whatever was there could not harm any of us; that we were all protected by the Holy Spirit. During the performance that year, I was dancing on stage and part of the dance was that I chased the children to the back of the stage. As I chased them, my feet caught in my costume and I knew I was going to take a hard fall, possibly crashing into a small metal stairway on the stage. All of a sudden, with no one touching me, I was back on my feet. I didn’t have time to think about what had happened, but knew that I should have crashed. I related the story during the cast party to the director and she said that while she was doing some last minute adjustments to scenery before the performance, she had fallen from the ladder, but also landed on her feet.
Not sure if this spirit changed its tune after I spoke into the air or if there was an angel that picked us up (which is my theory), but that was definitely the coolest thing, especially after what had happened on the staircase. By the way, I never took that staircase again.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Since early childhood, Johanna has been passionate about strange stories, unexplained apparitions and paranormal phenomena. She is surrounded by translucent beings; like the ‘little people’ (dwarves, fairies etc.) or other mysterious creatures. She has always been confronted by events which are either frightening for ordinary mortals, or at least give us cause to think about parallel worlds, invisible to humans. Johanna Lamon tells us, with a smile, that she is from ‘elsewhere’, come to this planet to live and feel terrestrial experiences and to tell the future.
While she writes short stories which she has experienced or collected, she also passionately wishes to share the evidence of those who have undergone experiences still unexplained to this day.
Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains, as well as several articles for Rebelle Society and The Voice of Literature e-zines.
She is the founder and publisher of Moonlit Dawn Publications and Brave Wings magazine and also the editor-in-chief of Brave Wings. Brave Wings magazine promotes healing and empowerment through the written word. “Its focus,” she says, “is on the human condition—whatever we experience in life that helps us learn, grow, and evolve.”
Kyrian has worked in executive-level positions, particularly with major New York publishing companies, including McGraw-Hill Book Company and John Wiley & Son Publishers.
She is forthcoming about being a person with many years of recovery, as well as a trauma survivor. Throughout her journeys, she has expressed her thoughts through poetry, embracing every challenge to triumph over adversity. In her conviction that learning, growing, healing, and evolving is a never-ending process, she remains as grateful for the dark days as she is for every flicker of hope and light. Her passion for awareness advocacy and sharing insight motivates her to entertain in ways that provoke, enrich, and inspire.
Kyrian has always been passionate about music (all kinds). She loves nineteenth-century British literature, parallel universe fiction, thrillers, horror, and dark romanticism. She is also devoted to fitness which is a must, she says, if you enjoy cooking (and eating) as much as she does.
Kimberly Hoffman is the author of Emma’s Dancing Day, Sigmund Stanley Spider Squared, and Cleo & Roger Discover Columbus, Indiana, Book One: Architecture. She enjoys presenting programs related to her books at schools, libraries and civic groups on topics such as “How to Write a Story”, “Overcoming Obstacles”, “Thinking Outside the Box Regarding Disabilities”, as well as other subjects. Her favorite program includes teaching a bit of ballet and then leading the students in dance.
Kimberly grew up in Columbus, Indiana where trips to the library happened nearly every week of her childhood. She loves to read and thinks the library is a wonderful place to be. She knows that books can teach us, transport us to new realms, inspire us, cause us to cry, or make us fall over laughing.
Kimberly loves to dance, although she had not taken a lesson until about 10 years ago. She can often be found dancing around her house (and sometimes in public), choreographing to whatever song is playing.
She is married to Paul, who is also an author, and together they have six children, one grandchild, and three grand-kitties.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Invite her to speak to your group!
THE HITCH-HIKER : A TRUE STORY by Johanna Lamon original French version
Une histoire vraie
Lieu: Région de l’Occitanie, sur la route de Béziers – Pézenas
Personnages: deux jeunes sportifs, Sylvain et Bruno, une autostoppeuse
Au début du mois de juin 1996, vers 22.30 heures, deux jeunes gens sortent du club d’Aïkido de Béziers. Ils viennent de s’entraîner près de deux heures aux arts martiaux, sans envie de rejoindre les autres membres du club, pour aller boire le verre de l’amitié. Ils partent, sachant que pour Bruno les épreuves du baccalauréat auront lieu le lendemain. Fatigués, pressés de rentrer, ils se rendent au parking. L’un des garçons, Sylvain, un jeune homme de 19 ans, prend le volant et les voilà partis.
Quelques minutes plus tard, – la route est déserte -, les deux garçons aperçoivent une silhouette, sur le côté droit de la route. Sylvain, le conducteur, ralentit. En s’approchant, les deux jeunes voient une jeune fille, frêle et diaphane. Sylvain arrête la voiture. Bruno descend la vitre et lui demande, si elle veut qu’on la ramène à la maison, ajoutant qu’il n’était pas prudent de se promener seule, la nuit, sur une route déserte. La jeune fille ne répond pas. Bruno sort alors de la voiture et lui propose de prendre place sur le siège arrière. La jeune fille s’exécute. La voiture redémarre. Au bout d’un quart d’heure, les jeunes sportifs arrivent dans leur village. Faut-il préciser que Sylvain et Bruno sont deux garçons sérieux qui ont à cœur de ramener la jeune saine et sauve. Chacun d’eux a une sœur, donc ils se sentent responsables. Aussi, Bruno se retourne vers la passagère pour lui demander où elle habite. Mais il n’y a plus personne sur la banquette arrière. La jeune fille s’est “évaporée, envolée”… On imagine le choc des deux jeunes. …
Après avoir ramené Bruno à son domicile, Sylvain rentre à son tour. En sortant de la voiture, il jette un coup d’œil sur la banquette, comme pour vérifier si la jeune fille était “revenue”… et constate, stupéfait, qu’elle avait oublié son caban. Il le ramasse. Ensuite, il va se coucher.
Le lendemain matin, Sylvain retrouve le caban posé sur le dossier du canapé. Intrigué, il pense que ce vêtement devait manquer à la jeune fille. Mais comment faire sans savoir où elle habite, puisqu’elle n’a pas dit un seul mot durant tout le trajet? Il fouille les poches et découvre un bout de papier avec une adresse inscrite. Serait-ce son domicile?
En fin de matinée, les deux amis se retrouvent pour déjeuner ensemble. Sylvain raconte l’histoire du caban et de l’adresse à Bruno. Les deux décident alors de rapporter le vêtement. Ils se rendent dans le village indiqué sur le papier, puis s’arrêtent devant la maison.
Ils sonnent. Une femme d’une quarantaine d’années ouvre la porte.
– “C’est à quel sujet”, – demande-t-elle?
– “Bonjour Madame, nous avons pris en charge une jeune fille hier soir sur la route de Pézenas. Elle est partie, laissant le caban sur la banquette arrière de la voiture. Dans une des poches, nous avons trouvé une adresse sur un papier.” –
La femme blêmit, puis défaillit. Les garçons ont juste le temps de la rattraper avant qu’elle ne tombe. Il l’accompagnent dans la maison, la font asseoir sur une chaise, à la cuisine et lui font boire de l’eau. Peu à peu, la femme reprend ses esprits. Elle explique alors que ce caban était bien celui de sa fille. …. Mais que Elodie, son enfant chérie, était décédée, cinq ans auparavant, sur cette même route, où les jeunes l’ont rencontrée, tuée par un chauffard….