The Encounter

When a super sweet person asks you to make her evil, you do it.

And you do it well.

For Ashley, By Cynthia Seer

“Son, you know you’re welcome to park your camper on our property. We probably won’t even remember you’re there half the time, right dear?” Jamie’s mom answered her son as his father flashed her a disapproving look.

“You coddle the boy too much. He’s 28 years old now. He can’t keep making these irrational decisions knowing that he can come crawling back to us when it falls apart.” Bob, Jamie’s father, was in no mood for this conversation. At least, he was in no mood for another of these conversations. “This land has been in my family since your great-grandparents bought it 150 years ago. The last thing I want is my adult son dumping his shit and trash all over the damn place.”

“He’s going to take good care of it, aren’t you? He said he would be very clean. Besides, where else is he supposed to go?” The tone in Alice’s voice gave away her desperation to accommodate her only child.

“Not here. That’s where. It’s not our job to support him anymore.” Bob was just about to leave the living room for the comfort and quiet of his study when Jamie finally spoke up.

“Dad, all I’m asking for is a month. I’ll be gone before I can piss you off. It won’t be like last time. I have a good feeling about this job.” Jamie knew he’d be moving his camper down by the river’s edge shortly. He also knew it would remain there for as long as Jamie wanted it to. This conversation was simply a formality. His mother would never allow him to leave without knowing he had a place lined up already. Sure, he could live with a buddy but why do that and have to pay money when he could live in a beautiful area and have his dinners cooked and delivered to his door each night by his mother? Hell, she’d probably insist on taking his dirty laundry back up to the house to wash and fold for him, too. It was a no-brainer.

Alice was 20 years Bob’s junior and stared at him with her big blue eyes watering up as she waited for his reply to their only child. Bob deeply loved Alice and she knew he would bend to her will if she showed enough emotion. She wanted – no, she needed to make sure that their son was safe. She didn’t like the guys he hung out with and jumped at any chance to have him back at home where she could keep an eye on him.

“The first time I see any trash laying around or find out you’ve dumped where you shouldn’t have, I swear I’ll call the police and have you removed.” With that, Bob stormed out of the room as Alice called after him, “Oh, you’re just saying that. He’s fine.” Then, she turned to Jamie. “He’ll forget all about that. It probably would be wise not to leave a mess this time, though, honey.”

“I know, mom. Don’t worry. I’ll be as quiet as a church mouse.” Jamie kissed his mother on the cheek and practically strutted out of the house. Time to pick a good spot to park the camper.

Jamie drove down the little dirt road on his parent’s 85 acre property until he reached the river that marked the end of their property line. This had always been his favorite place to be. No one ever came here because there was a national forest on the other side of the river. He would have complete privacy to live as he wished, just as human beings were meant to live. He was done with society always dictating his life, forcing him to work ridiculous jobs for next to nothing. Screw that. Let his parents do that.

Besides, Jamie was still young and chiseled, standing at six feet tall with shoulder length sandy blonde hair and blue eyes that matched his mother’s. He’d always been easy on the eyes but usually only stayed with a woman to get what he wanted. That’s what they were good for. Hell, they should be happy that he spent any time with them at all. Only the best looking women were given any of his attention, after all. Once his parents kicked it, he’d have this amazing house on all this land and his dad’s lumber business that basically ran itself. He’d be set and any young lady would be lucky to attract his affections.

He got his camper parked, a relatively easy task since it was just a basic camper for one, or two when he brought a woman over to “look at the stars” with him. It had the basic necessities. Shelter from the weather, a big enough bed, and a composting toilet. Most of his cooking, he preferred to do outside, since it was almost always so nice out in the bottom half of California. He immediately started a camp fire and sat down to enjoy the setting sun.

It was a beautiful night with the moon reflecting off the slow moving river. For a while, he sat by the fire and let the weed do it’s work while his mind drifted from one obscure thought to another. Just another night of enjoying life without being tied down to any one thing or any one person. Jamie, just being Jamie. His profoundly meaningless thoughts were interrupted by a snapping sound coming from the woods just behind him. It almost sounded as if someone were walking toward him, stepping on twigs along the way. The rustling grew louder until he could just make out a figure breaking through the edge of the forest.

A tall female figure wearing a long, black hooded cape stepped out of the woods and approached the waters edge not 20 feet from where he was seated by his camp fire. Although her hood was up over her head, he could see dark, flowing hair framing her face which was quite pale in comparison. Her eyes appeared equally dark, with rosy cheeks and full lips as red as rose petals in full bloom. Nearing the shoreline, the mysterious woman suddenly dropped her cape to the ground which brought a gasp from Jamie that was wholly involuntary. He had hoped to remain unseen and continue to watch her. If he’d had any good fortune at all, she might have continued to disrobe and enter the water, totally unaware of her secret admirer.

No such luck would be had by Jamie that night, however. His gasp at her sudden appearance and beautiful features gave him away and she whipped around to face the unexpected sound. Her figure was perfect in every way, right down to the bare feet that she’d somehow managed to walk through an untamed forest in. The dress she wore didn’t seem of this era. Jamie stared in wonder at the exquisite specimen in front of him. Where did she come from? What was she doing in the middle of nowhere so late at night? Just then, he realized he was staring open mouthed at her without saying anything for an awkward amount of time.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t expect anyone to be here.” She spoke with a soft but commanding voice that reminded Jamie of every fairy he’d ever seen in the movies. Her voice was almost a song in his ears. The pitches were perfectly aligned with each other and gave him a certain peace he didn’t know existed.

“Oh, that’s okay. I didn’t expect anyone to be here, either.” He was usually very confident with the ladies but was at a loss for words now. He wished she would sit beside him and read a dictionary to him. Anything that would allow him to hear her lovely voice and gaze at her stunning features a little longer. He’d never felt so mesmerized by a woman in his entire life.

As if she knew what he was thinking, she took a step closer to him. “It must be very lonely out here by yourself. I could stay a while and keep you company.” A smile formed on her perfect face as she clasped her hands behind her back, fully exposing her flawless form in the simple Victorian dress she wore. A blue and white dress with white lace lining her chest and midsection, it accented her slender waste against her breasts and hips in just the right places. If there were such a thing as the ideal female figure, Jamie thought this was it.

“Yes, please.” was all Jamie heard himself saying, as if he was incapable of saying anything more. Her bare feet peaked out from beneath her dress with each step as she walked toward him. The whole world felt as if it were in slow motion. Just before she reached the fire that he sat in front of, she motioned with her hand and a section of tree trunk came rolling straight out of the woods and stopped just beside Jamie. The woman sat down as if that whole sequence of events was completely normal. Honestly, Jamie couldn’t have even notice the impossible act if he’d tried. He was completely captivated by her very presence. Nothing else in the world seemed to matter.

“What shall we talk about?” she asked. Jamie realized he hadn’t considered what might happen next or how they would spend this time together. He just didn’t want her to leave.

“What’s your name?” Jamie asked.

“Annabelle.” she answered. God. Even her name sounded like the most harmonious lullaby.

“My name is…” Jamie began to share his own name when Annabelle interrupted him.

“I know your name, Jamie.” This is the second thing that should have seemed otherworldly to him but he was so taken with her that he simply didn’t feel any alarm.

Annabelle leaned in and whispered close to Jamie’s ear. “I also know that you desire me.” His mind raced. He reached out to take her hand but his arm wouldn’t move. If only he could touch her skin…

“You desire many things. Arrogance is a language you speak well. The world does not owe you anything, Jamie. The trees will still breathe and the birds will still chirp tomorrow, whether you are living or not.” Annabelle spoke with wisdom that commanded he listen, even if his mind wanted to protest her words. His thoughts remained solely consumed with holding her body close to his like a prized trophy meant only for him.

While Jamie envisioned their bodies intertwining, Annabelle rose to stand before him. Her words were completely lost on him. Of course, she knew this. She could hear his mind clamoring for her touch. Annabelle felt his heartbeat speed up as she stood, no doubt assuming he would finally receive what he craved. Before he fully understood what he was doing, Jamie also stood to face this beautiful mystery woman. He wanted to reach out his hand and grasp her but his body would not follow his mind’s commands. He only stood and waited. Waited for her.

Annabelle and Jamie were now only about a foot apart when she placed her hand on his chest. Her intriguingly dark eyes gave a quick pulse of deep red as she spoke. “What do you fear?” His mind was suddenly thrown into chaos as a vision of his face melting off of his body engulfed every sense of his being. Every fiber of his body believed that this was reality. That his skin was burning away, revealing a hideous mess that no woman would ever want to witness, much less be close to. His vanity was on full display as he stood before Annabelle, screaming in despair, unable to step away from her pulsing hand on his frantically beating heart. Jamie’s screams echoed through the woods, just out of reach of his enabling mother who meant well, but was entirely responsible for his vile nature.

Yes. Give me your fear. Show me your disgusting thoughts! What do you keep hidden from the world?” Annabelle’s once soothing, sing-song voice now shook Jamie’s soul to the core, demanding he play out in his mind every horrible thought he’d ever had. And there were many.

He bellowed as his mind played it’s dreadful tune back to him. Every vulgar wish he’d ever had. Every hateful thing he’d ever wanted to do but didn’t for fear of society’s punishment. Annabelle could see them all. She drank them in like burning liquor being poured down her throat. Jamie felt that, too. Her insatiable hunger for his deplorable soul was never ending.

A third time, Annabelle called to Jamie to show her his true self. She screamed in delight as tears streaked his face and his cries filled her ears. His heart beat so violently that she could feel it pounding against his ribs like a drum in a symphony of pain. Her eyes pulsed red again as Jamie suddenly stopped screaming and made the most disturbing gurgling sounds and shook ferociously for a moment before falling face first into his camp fire. With blood trickling out of his eyes, nose, mouth, and ears, Jamie slowly became engulfed in the flames. Annabelle stood over him, still savoring her latest meal. With a movement of her hands, her cape lifted off the ground and encompassed her as it had been before. Back into the night she went. There are other meals to be enjoyed.

Poor Jamie hadn’t stood a chance. He was so depraved and engrossed in his own desires that he never recognized the danger Annabelle posed. Only a suitable meal such as Jamie is even able to see her. Someone with compassion and kindness in their heart would’ve had a sudden feeling of dread overcome them and nothing more. You see, Annabelle can’t reach souls who have love and decency in them. However, as soon as Annabelle realizes you can see her, it’s too late. You’re in her grasp. She knows your heart and she is coming for you. Don’t be troubled by that inexplicable sense of dread, my friends. It can’t hurt you. Be troubled if you’ve never felt it…


Click here to become a Patron of True Hauntings and enjoy exclusive content like early access to my weekly podcast episodes, access to bonus podcast episodes, Ask Me Anything sessions, a free signed copy of Parade of Nightmares, a personalized short story written just for you, and much more!

Search for the True Hauntings & Scary Stories podcast in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast app to hear Cynthia and her sister, Brick, discuss true ghost stories, legends, and more over a nice glass of wine!

For 2 Sentence Horror Storiesclick here.

To read silly, spooky poetryclick here.

For my true ghost storiesclick here.

For fictional short horror storiesclick here.

Click here to purchase a signed copy of my paperback book, Parade of Nightmares: 8 Short Horror Stories, Each One Featuring a Different Phobia.

***Don’t forget to join my True Hauntings Facebook group. We’re a weird, slightly dark, and strange family there. Enjoy funny paranormal memes, paranormal jokes, share your own true paranormal experiences, and interact with me on an almost daily basis!

Follow me on Twitter @TrueHauntingz for #2SentenceHorrors!

Leave a Reply