Run For Your Life
I did it because I needed the money. You would have never thought a guy like me would rob a convenience store. I mean I was a skinny little nerd who had never done anything wrong in his life. But I did it. I walked in there and robbed the place with a bb gun. It wasn’t even a real gun, but it was enough to scare the clerk into handing over the cash to me. I grab the cash out of the clerk’s hand and then I started doing what I did best: Running.
I spent most of my life running. Three years ago, I was running from bullies because they were picking on me. Three months ago, I was running from my parents because they didn't understand that I was “in love.” Three weeks ago, I was running from my job because I couldn’t handle my new boss always yelling at me. Three days ago, I was running from my girlfriend because she cheated on me and broke the news to me that she was kicking me out and that her new boyfriend was going to be moving into “our home.” Three hours ago, I was running from the police because I was a homeless kid at the end of his rope who robbed a store because he needed money.
I ran across the street where the cemetery was. I threw the plastic bag of cash over the fence first and then I climbed over it myself. I thought I could just cut through the cemetery, make it into the subdivision, and be home free. I never thought I would run into anybody, especially not her.
When I landed on the ground, I saw a little girl standing in front of me. She was in a long red velvet dress and most of her long dark hair covered her face. “I’m cold,” she said to me, “I’m cold,” she repeated.
I didn’t want her to scream, so I took off my coat and I handed it to her. “Here you go,” I said to her. Instead of taking my coat, she started to walk away. “Are you lost little girl?” I asked her, but she ignored me.
My feet wanted to ignore the little girl and just keep right on running, but I was too nice of a guy to do that. So instead, I started to follow her. I started asking her questions. Questions like, “Where are your parents? Do you live near here? Can I walk you home? What is your name?”
That last question triggered a response. She stopped for a moment, turned her head around and said, “Tillie.” Then she turned back around and started walking again.
I heard that name before, but I didn’t know where. I kept following her. As we walked up a hill, I heard police sirens. I started getting nervous. I said to her, “Look Tillie, it’s been fun and I hope you can find your way home, but I have to go.” Then an idea popped into my head. “Hey Tillie, you know those police officers are probably looking for you. I bet your mommy and daddy called them because they were scared that you were gone. I suggest you head back down to where we were. I’m sure they will take you home.” I figured the cops would be more interested in helping a lost little girl get home than they would be about some punk who just robbed a convenience store.
Tillie stopped right at the foot of a mausoleum. “Hide in here,” she said to me.
Apparently the lost little girl was smarter than I thought. She must’ve known I was the one the police were after. I took her advice and ducked inside the mausoleum. The door shut. I was scared. I could hear the sirens. I could hear the cops in the cemetery. I could hear the dogs sniffing and barking around the tomb where I was hiding. Finally, I could hear nothing. I was at peace.
I knew now that it was safe for me to exit the mausoleum. There was just one problem, I couldn’t get out. I tried opening the door but nothing happened. I tried scratching at the wall but still nothing happened. I tried yelling Tillie’s name at the top of my lungs but even still nothing happened.
I sat down and I was crying. Then I stood up and I started cursing Tillie for locking me in there and leaving me there. I started feeling around the mausoleum hoping for another door, opening, crack, or something. My hand touched one of the stones and I soon found myself tracing the name on one of the tombstones. It was the name “Tillie.” Suddenly, I remembered the ghost stories my friends told me of a little girl named Tillie who would play in the cemetery at night and tried to trap people in the mausoleum she was buried in, because she wanted someone to play with for all eternity.
I could no longer run, because I was finally trapped. I was able to outrun everyone: My bullies, my parents, my boss, my ex-girlfriend, and my pursuers. But the one thing I couldn’t outrun was my fate, which was now in the clutches of a little ghost girl named Tillie.