This story will also be read aloud on the Alone In A Room With Invisible People podcast on Halloween!
Rachel dreamed of a man she’d never met.
She never understood what it meant—he just silently led her down the stairs by the cliff and into the old smuggler’s cave that everyone said was haunted. And the last girl to say she’d been having strange dreams had gone missing months ago—run away in the night, they said, but her parents didn’t believe it, and the rumors said there was a baby—so Rachel wasn’t about to say anything.
Last night, the man handed her that baby.
But tonight, it was Halloween, which meant the kids too old for trick-or-treating were out drinking smuggled beers on the bluff above the cave and daring each other to go in. A cheer went up as the latest dare-taker climbed back up the stairs intact; Rachel stood aside to let him pass and handed him her unopened beer.
“I’ll go down next,” she announced, and another cheer went up. They toasted her as she descended.
The cold and the ocean made the wood slippery, so she took her time about it. The cave was dark and just as damp—somehow, her dreams always left that part out—and she pulled out her phone and turned on its flashlight. That wasn’t allowed, usually, but what better time to investigate than with a whole crowd of people waiting for her to return? If she didn’t, someone would notice.
But that was morbid and silly—the most she’d find was more wet rock. She pressed further into the cave.
It went on for a while, a single winding passage, and every step of it so familiar she could swear she heard the silent man’s footsteps walking with her. There was no man, when she turned the next corner—but there were candles, and in the middle of them, a bundle of cloth. It whimpered.
“Hello?” Rachel said. There was no response, but the bundle twitched. She stepped closer.
It was an infant—there was a /baby/ alone in the cave, surrounded by candles. A chill ran up her spine and she turned, but the tunnel behind her was empty. Still—a baby. She carefully scooped it up and hurried back out to the stairs.
“Rachel?” someone called behind her, and something rustled and she nearly tripped; but there was someone at the mouth of the cave ahead, and the place echoed badly and was windy to boot, so she hurried on to meet him and didn’t look back.
“I found a baby,” she told him breathlessly.
“Shit.” He ran up the stairs ahead of her.
It wasn’t until the police had been called—and the beer hidden—and the baby handed over that she found the paper tucked into her back pocket.
“He’s real,” it read, signed by the missing girl.
A chill ran up Rachel’s spine again. She looked over the cliff.
Down at the bottom of the stairs, where the darkness hid the details, a man waved, and vanished.
Here’s the rest of the blog hop! Enjoy the stories!
- The Undertaker’s Daughter by J. Q. Rose
- The Road by Elizabeth McCleary
- Storytime Blog Hop by C. T. Bridges
- Storytime Blog Hop by Warp World Books
- Family Time by Bonnie Burns
- The Exception by Vanessa Wells
- Number 99 by Juneta Key
- Edda’s Second Chance by Katharina Gerlach
- Very Thin Line by Rebecca Anne Dillon
- Henry Moves House by Nic Steven
- For The Ghost The Bell Tolls by James Husum
- Never Alone by Melanie Drake
- The Neighbor by Meghan Collins
- Storytime Blog Hop by Raven O’Fiernan
- Loney Lucy by Bill Bush
- The Traveler by Barbara Lund
- Evening by Karen Lynn
- Man Of Your Dreams by Gina Fabio
Pingback: Number 99 by Juneta Key #storytimebloghop - Juneta Key
Outstanding! I love this.
Love it. It makes me think about the baby’s future…
So intriguing. I wonder what the future will bring for her, the man, and the baby?
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Enjoyed reading. Well done.
Rachel’s my hero!
Wow, that was creepy. Nicely done.
I’m with Cat. Definitely want to hear more about the baby’s future. Something tells me he’ll have to have foster parents with nerves of steel.
I really enjoyed this story and I also wonder what will happen with this baby in the future. Great teaser for a follow up story.