Rain from Down Below

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Summary

Ray and his mom just moved to a new town where everything seems a bit different. While at the graveyard, he is bestowed a book, and meets a ghost girl who pull him into the deep, mysterious happenings of the underworld.

Genre:
Adventure / Fantasy
Author:
Tova
Status:
Excerpt
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Chapter 1

There was a drizzle in the air when Raymond and his mom first drove into town. The fog clouded up the windows like they were in a sauna and made everything feel lower to the ground than normal. Raymond observed everything from out of the window where he had used his hand to wipe away a clear circle on his side of the car. He noticed a peculiar sign with its crooked wire delved into the muddy ground in the tall grass that probably had never been mowed. “The Old Gallows Tour, meets every Monday and Wednesday, unless weather is unsettled.” They probably never had tours, with this kind of weather. The time they drove here to look at the house to tour, it was raining, too.

What if it always rained because it was a government plan to get more agriculture? thought Ray, noticing the peculiarity, but made it grow to something bigger than what it probably was. “Mom, I think that it rains all the time because this town is man made to rain all the time to grow more agriculture to make more money” he said “We should tell the authorities.” His mom just groaned, she was tired from staying up too late to look at finances and every once and awhile her eyelids would grow heavy. Her son’s conspiracy theories were cute when he was five through eight, but now they were just annoying and they were never correct, even though he believed in it for about two weeks or so. “I think it’s just because there’s a lot of moisture here” she replied, not even calling him a pet name, she never even tried to be a good parent anymore.

Whatever. He still thought so. He was in a bad mood, partly because he would have to seal off the windows again, make himself a dark room to spend all his time anymore. He didn’t even bother trying to make the best of his childhood, because he knew eventually everybody dies and why not just use your life to prepare for it? He looked back to the window and noted things again. His mood made his observing a bit more scornful than usual, and the only thing he could think about this new town, Vagabond Hollow was that there was a lot of fog and weird people who just sat outside their house and stared at anything and everything that was in their range of sight, mostly older people. Apparently it was a popular place to retire in whatever year they had quit working, most of them were in their late eighties and could barely talk.

The house they were moving to was not mysterious at all, it was built only ten years ago and it was just a regular two bed and bath, but Raymond found something odd about it. They pulled into the driveway and mud splashed all over the side of the car because of the pothole by the curb. They got out of their small station wagon and pulled their jackets over their heads so that they wouldn’t get soaked. The inside of the house was simple, and that’s all they needed. Right away without a word to each other they went their separate ways to the bedrooms and did their own things. Raymond flung his suitcases in a pile, put up the corkboard and desk, and set up all the pictures he had already taken of the townspeople and started writing things down in his notebook and the lousy ideas went to the ground. Yes, he felt like he was home and he even had premade darkness because of the rain. At least he had that going for him.

His mom went into her room and set up a chair and dresser, she needed to figure out this money problem before he could go back to a school. All the schools in the state were private and they didn’t have enough money to travel, so they were stuck in this creepy vacation town. She heard her son ranting over something that sounded like “But the church can’t be a burial ground otherwise they couldn’t have built it there!” Ugh, she was stuck in a house with the two things that made her head hurt the most, her son’s rants and taxes. She would have to get him out of the house to be able to concentrate. She sighed and took one of the pills some doctor prescribed for her recurring migraines, the relief lasted for a pretty long time, but not forever.

Her son’s room was never clean, and they had just moved in. His room was already littered with crumpled notebook paper and his clothes that had fallen out of his suitcase in the act of throwing them across the room. His head hunched over made him look like a skinny mop, with his dark brown hair falling on the desk. Before he could tell her any nonsense that she had heard enough about, she said “Go on a walk unless you want to not have dinner.” He obeyed. That trick always worked to get him out of the house, even before her husband left.

He slipped out the door as silently as a mink, and just left without an umbrella or jacket to bear the rain. He shivered because it was freezing, but he didn’t care. That was just a human weakness that made investigating things harder. He decided to walk to the graveyard, it was what interested him most about this town. Dead people had always been a favorite topic of his. Once when he was five, he He made his way there, and sat against a particularly interesting gravestone and sat there, thinking about the events of the past couple of years. All of a sudden, a man stepped up to him. He was wearing a long coat that made his figure look menacing, even though he was only about two inches taller than Raymond. He had balding hair and a large, pear shaped nose.

“This book is bestowed upon you in the greatest honor” he said, his voice as smooth as the bright blue color of his eyes. He dropped the book to him which made his arms crumple with the weight. With that, he left Raymond staring at the large, leather bound book in his hands. There were mysterious symbols drawn all over it, probably etched into the leather with some kind of hot object used. He shook out his hands and then looked after” Hey, weird guy, wait up!” he cried, not wanting to loose finally finding something interesting in one of his conspiracies. He followed his footprints, running, but then a slick patch of mud made him faceplant into the ground. Great, he was dirty, soaked, cold, and he had lost the only interesting thing that had ever happened to him. He tried to follow the footprints again, but they had already been washed away by the rain.

Raymond looked at the book, and flipped a couple of pages open, all written in symbols or Greek. Although he had gotten the book, he wasn’t sure what it was. It could be a textbook or something else. Whatever it was, his Mom would not approve of it so he trudged home in his dirty shirt. His mother would be very mad, the only reason why she bought him expensive collared shirts was because when she thought he would pass the test to get a scholarship to go to a fancy private school, and she was very disappointed with him when he didn’t pass it and when all their taxes went up and they got evicted out of their city home. He decided to hide it in one of his suitcases, the only place his mother wouldn’t neurotically clean.

When he got home he saw his mother had already made dinner and now she was upstairs watching bad soap operas on live TV. When she heard the door open, she said “Today’s make your own dinner night”. Raymond took off his muddy shoes with a sigh. It seemed like every night was make your own dinner night now. Except instead of being stuck watching the news, he would have the opportunity to explore the book. He looked in the cupboard and saw the options, canned carrots, and cereal. He poured himself some dry cereal and his mother yelled at him because it was her favorite part of each episode, and he went into his room. He changed out of his muddy shirt and replaced it with another black collared shirt. He had no idea how many of the same exact shirt he had, but at least it made him not care about clothes anymore.

He plopped down on his bed, well, more like a frame and a mattress. He didn’t bother to put sheets on it, he never slept more than two hours anyway. He opened the book carefully and the binding cracked. Something that looked like dust flew out and danced all over the room. As he read more, the less he understood. Finally, he gave up and threw it to the side of his bed. He heard his mother sleeping upstairs and went out to the living room to read it. Sometimes, when he didn’t understand things he changed the place where he was and it helped a bit. He read, most of it he didn’t know what it meant still, but it was entertaining. For some reason it made him feel good and by one o’ clock in the morning, when the crickets stopped chirping and everything felt silent, he was almost to the middle of the book

He was excited when he reached the part of a book where you can see the middle seam, exactly at the half way point. The book let out another loud crack, and something fell out. With a quick glimpse, you could tell it was a note.


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