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Twinkle, twinkle; little Nel...... I know you despise me the way I smell..... One young girl, the victim of witnessing many a past atrocity. Her family's gardener landscaper, trusted of their property; gone hostile. Nervous Nellie, left on her own, as this old man stalks her..... A storm shelter, Infested with spiders, her only option....

Robert Alan Ryder
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Creeping, crawling; many legs….. Venomous fangs, sacks of eggs…..

Nervous Nellie, she never claimed she was immune to fear- of this, and of that. Secrets at times, best kept in the dark; for wicked exploitation of these- unknowns, they can be used against you; or so a few people believe….. The calling squealer, the insidious usurper, the callous all too frequently mentioned lark…..

She did her best, Nellie. She was known to be a shy quiet little girl, and at times she seemed to be detached. Eighteen years old, she was now growing to become a young woman. This fact, Nellie secretly dreaded; for the many tales of warning she has heard, of this danger and of that hazard. These continuous complications, they kept Nellie’s interests drawing further and further away from any socially minded interaction during her growing existence…..

Nellie Anna Martinez, is her real name. Nellie, by the many cruelties of her so- called best of friends, and closest of relations; she became Nervous Nellie personified.

Nellie’s phobias, they started at an early childhood age. Many a family, they paid many trips; to the best- of the best; in the day’s most experienced of psychiatrists. These specialist doctors meant to aid Nellie in dealing with these multiple phobias. (‘Well, you cannot be afraid of nothing all the time…..’), Nellie would be known for saying; time and again, to her closest friends, to her family, and to her psychiatrists; who were never at all convinced of this statement being a true testament of the girls’ stability. This is more to make the girl feel better….. This is what many a doctor in the field of psychiatry would continue to tell her concerned parents. Her many visits, to several psychiatrists, promoting nothing that could be in consideration of positive change in mental health.

The trigger to these deep- rooted fears, that have now assimilated themselves into her subconscious mind; trace back to an incident that happened to Nellie long ago, as so many psychological diagnostic fractures usually do. One night of traumatizing, by the old gardener landscaper of her father’s estate.

Nellie’s family, if you have not yet figured out; they were extremely wealthy. As such, her mother and her father, they spent many a day away from their mansion home. Business travels, a big part of their regularly scheduled routines. The family corporation, taking her parents all around the world. Known to be gone for many weeks, and at times for a couple of months, before returning home.

Nellie, she was an only daughter. She was left in continual care of her grandmother. That was until that one frightful night…..

Screams, blood curling by a small child’s standards; they awoke young Nellie from sleep. Something was wrong. Her grandmother, she was always the pest person she had ever known. Friendly, happy, and of many days wise in her age. She was an overall: good person. Human, in being; as compared to many another of the day.

The family gardener landscaper, this one man thought to be one of multiple trades; he was an aged heavy drinking man by the name of Harry. On this horrible night, Harry, he had sought to conduct many atrocities in wrong doing upon her defenseless grandmother.

Seeing sight of her grandmother lying motionless upon her bed; her dead eyes looking upon her own as old man Harry had gouged her from behind; a bloody raised pick-ax, this was all it took to stamp the reality to life’s evils into the memories of Nellie’s mind. Triggered fear and adrenaline, aided the young girl in a balance of emotions. Survival, now took firm control over her fear. Nellie ran from the scene of the grisly family murder.

Old man Harry, he heard the girl’s muffled cries. Dragging the weighted pick-ax behind him, Harry slowly pursued the girl. Many an evil thought once again upon his mind.

Nellie, she did not know where to run. The mansion grounds of her family home; they spanned three acres of land. The gates, they were locked- down, and could only be opened by her grandmother, her parents, or the family gardener landscaper himself.

“.…. Twinkle, twinkle little Nel….. I know you despise me, the way I smell…..”

Old man Harry, twisted nursery rhymes around in an attempt to intimidate the little girl. His wickedness knowing know end.

“.…. Nellie, Nellie, little star….. How very naughty, you truly are…..”

Nellie, she did her best to hide. Beneath the tarp of her father’s yacht, in the storage hold space beneath the front porch steps, in the garage among her father’s automobiles. Old man Harry, he found her again and again.

Old man Harry’s rusted old pick-ax, this tool; to a little child, it was intimidating all its own. Nellie’s parents, they never once questioned Harry when he had used his menacing looking implement of trenching and digging; to kill raccoon and other bothersome rabid vermin. When her favored dog had contracted the same viral madness, they were a little disturbed by the man’s act at first. Witnesses to the tragedy, speaking out in defense of the gardener landscaper’s actions. The rabid dog had attacked several realtors that had gathered on- property to assess the trade value of the mansion for insurance and for other future preparation requirements.

By their claims, old man Harry; he had put down a stricken dangerous beast. Of course, they did not witness this action through the eyes of a young child. Nellie, she pore a front view witness of the brutal act, and what she saw in the old man’s eyes that day; this had frightened her more than anything had ever frightened her before. The eyes of the near inebriate gardener landscaper, they were swimming in self- absorbed intoxication. To Nellie, the old man’s eyes; they appeared to her as what could be considered to be evil.

Nellie stopped temporarily near an old tool shed. Old man Harry, he was quickly closing on her; and Nellie, she was running out of options.

Warned to keep out of the various sheds, and right now understanding that old man Harry’s personal places for storage of his gardening supplies and his tools; was not the best place to be hiding to effect productive evasion of her psychotic pursuer, Nellie chose instead an old storm shelter.

This structure, it was in need of serious renovation. Thirty years it has been, since any one of her family had actually stepped foot inside the shelter. It would propose many a frightful possibility to a young child.

Living in Wyoming, tornadoes and other serious weather patterns are rare. The shelter, for this wealthy family; it served no real purpose. Even the old gardener landscaper himself wanted no part of the structure. Nellie, as intimidating as this man was to her; she could never figure out why.

The property storm shelter, it had been present for much longer than the child could recollect. During the Civil War, the shelter was used to access an underground network of tunnels; to be used in the transportation of people from one place to another in concealment.

Strangely enough, one thing that Nellie had never been afraid of before that day; was the dark, and that was about to change…..

Near panic, Nellie ducked quickly inside the darkened confines of the storm shelter; and bolted the door shut. The young girl closed her eyes, and listened within; to her heavily beating heart. Breathing in repetition, Nellie used exercised intake and exhaling of air; in an attempt to calm her fears, that she may hide in silence. This idea, a technique taught to her by her rather extraordinary naval officer of a grandmother. This technique, committed to practice two years prior.

Old man Harry, he was now close upon her place of concealment. Nellie cupped her right hand over her mouth, and held her breath.

“.…. Little, little; little Nel….. How greatly, your head does swell….. Warned already, have you been; on threat of dunking in the master’s well, to stay clear of my sheds; my chicken’s pen…..”

Old man Harry, shuffled his feet as he walked; his heavy weighted pick-ax scraping the brick and the mortar of the front porch steps to the mansion, as he slowly climbed to the deck.

“Must be here, you now hide; for I know you are not inside my sheds, and have not returned inside…..”

Heaving the heavy- weighted pick-ax on to his right shoulder, old man Harry slammed the pick hard to the wooden deck. Nellie started to the sounds of splintering wood, as old man Harry buried his pick-ax in the deck again and again.

“.…. Raccoon and rats, dogs and scared cats….. come now child, tell old Harry where you’re at?”

Fear, slowly began to creep back up upon her thoughts; her mind reminding the young girl of the old man’s many atrocities against the living. Old man Harry raged, as he pulled pieces of splintered plank wood from the deck.

“.…. No! You’ll not hide from me….. Where are you, you little rat; you little bee?”

The darkness of the storm shelter, it was about to reveal an old secret all its own. The space surrounding her to soon awaken Nellie to a terror she had not expected. Multiple legs, gripped easily to the girl’s pants and to her shirt, and to the tips of her long curly reddish- brown hair. Brooding arachnid, exited slowly from their many places of concealment; to investigate their human intruder.

Old man Harry now laid eyes on the storm shelter. A glint of wicked awareness now crossed upon his inebriated face.

“.…. Brave you are, little one….. Time to put an end to the chase….. No more time, for any fun…..”

Nellie, she began to tremble. Not one, or two, or even three; but six unknown multiple legged arachnid now slowly crawled upon her. The investigating spiders, they too were now sensing the girl’s fear. One at a time the arachnid began to bite. Tears in her eyes, Nellie; fought her compulsions to cry out over her rising fear and the rising pain from the continual bites of many spiders.

Old man Harry hastened his pace. The gardener landscaper raised his pick-ax and hammered hard- down upon the left- side shelter wooden door. His implement tool of gardening and of murder, now stuck in the thick boards of the door. Nellie screamed and rushed to the loosened right- side shelter door. Old man Harry tripped the fleeing little girl. Nellie fell face first into a patch of unkempt grass. The spiders that had found interest in the girl now fled, the dried grass forcing the curious arachnid into an unexpected retreat.

Old man Harry groaned and grunted, and raged; as he attempted to free his pick-ax, many an adult- used curse upon his tongue.

Her face and arms pocked with spider bites and with scratches from dried grass and weeds, adrenaline quickly arose within the girl. Nellie leaped to her feet, the girl instinctively patting herself down; as she sprinted forward. Nellie rushed on the brutal old man screaming louder than she had ever before screamed. Old man Harry, was found shocked by the noise. One moment of real clarity, now formed on the inebriate man’s face.

Old man Harry, turned to face the young girl; marked confusion drawn upon his awakening complexions. Nellie shoved the old man hard, momentum and speed catching him off-guard. Old man Harry tumbled below into the darkened storm shelter.

Using the old man’s pick-ax to secure the shelter’s two doors, Nellie retreated for home. Old man Harry, he now screamed. For, not only was Harry afraid of the dark; he had developed a deep- rooted fear of arachnids as well…..

Nellie, put these memories aside. She is not the little girl she once was. Even though she still is afraid of so many things, and some of the more immature people around her find themselves referring to her by the name: Nervous Nellie; she in her days of experience can honestly say, that these days; she fears neither darkness nor spider, and if hired for this new job as an entomologist; for her college degree program in the Associated Sciences, she will be able to help others that may have issues of arachnophobia as well.

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Further Recommendations

Kelli Wisniewski: This was a very good and scaredy read filled with really creative story's for each of the main characters.Its not just a horror story it's also a ghost and mystery story with some suspense to keep you wanting more.I'd definitely recommend this book to just about any adult or even young adult reader.

malikaleena812: And if the Haddix Asylum is old , filled with orange stains, corpses , then why is telephone still in work?


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Please come and visit our site if you want something awesome. P>

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Please come and visit our site if you want something awesome. P>

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Please come and visit our site if you want something awesome. P>

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tobsterz: It gave me sever good chills. I have no words for how amazing this is. I was looking for some help for a story I am writing and i came across this and I-I was just amazed on how this was and it gave me new ideas and thank you for that J.T.

jill jeffrey: Very enjoyable read. The plot was interesting and made it a page Turner. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a thriller.

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annam492: Characters are well built. Very interesting characters and great story line

qiaralim: Love it!!I love the writer's style emphasising on friendship!

Karen Jocelyn Vella: How it ended i feel sorry for Jacob

Denise Cross: This book is amazing! I haven't been able to put it down because it's so addictive! It's very well written and I hope the author starts updating more often because I can't get enough of this wonderful story!!!


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