Monday, March 4, 2013

The Beginning of a Spooky Story or, A Trip to the Seashore

 I have pictures and the beginning of a spooky story to share from a trip I took several months ago....
    It was the weekend before Halloween when David and I left Seattle for a trip to the seashore. Rain and wind and Autumn leaves swirled around us as we drove away from the city toward the Edmonds ferry. Once on the ferry, it rocked and rattled on it's float across Puget Sound. Outside the seagulls swooped and hovered around the ferry, eager for scraps of food from cheery tourists. When no one provided the expected treats, the seagulls cawed mournful cries that sounded like Victorian ghosts in a haunted seaside manor.
  When we got off the ferry, we drove through a small town too overly bedazzled by small town quaintness to feel entirely real. Shortly after driving past a muffin shop, we entered a country road that twisted through the woods. Evergreens were interspersed with bright and blazing autumn trees. Rain drops plummeted from the gray sky and smacked against the car's windows.

 Occasionally we drove through pockets of fog that hovered around the trees and further obscured the view into the woods. It was easy to imagine frightful creatures lurking in the fog. I could almost see their glowing eyes and the shuffle of their clawed feet as they moved past trees.

  The further we got away from the city, the more ramshackled and decrepit the houses we saw along the highway. The wind and rain had torn at the paint leaving the houses looking weathered. Abandoned farms, abandoned automobiles and abandoned houses were sprinkled across the country side. Empty and weed grown lots stood where houses or trees should have been.

   Our destination was a beach side cabin in a small coastal town. Just before entering the town, we drove past an old graveyard, looming on a hillside. When we drove into the town, the sky was still gray and the town felt desolate and lonely. Shaggy dogs wandered freely along the streets. Some of them scampered around alone, some gathered in groups and formed makeshift packs. When first driving into the town, we could not see the ocean yet but instead we saw the murky and silent bay.

  We took a bumpy dirt road to get to the cabins. When we got to the office to check in and to get our key to our cabin, the office was empty. A sign promised a return in twenty minutes. We spent the time trying to befriend the cows in the lot across the road. They looked at us with sad and placid eyes but did not make a move to come closer to us.

   After twenty minutes passed, we looked down the dirt roads for a sign of oncoming cars but saw only puddles and potholes.

    After we finally got our key, we went to our beach cabin. There were about fifteen different cabins lined up and facing the ocean, but we were the only car in the entire parking lot. We dropped our stuff off in the cabin and headed toward the shore.

  The beach was empty except for us and the gulls. We walked along the shore listening to the whistle and whirl of the sea. All along the beach were interesting treasures spewed from the depths of the sea. Coiled ropes of kelp lay limp on the sand like intestines or a dying sea monster.

   Porous rocks with strange growths and hollowed out and decaying pieces of kelp lay on the sand. I found several sand dollars too. They looked like gray suns or bleak and lifeless planets in a sandy sky.

     I saw lumps of sea grass that lay limp like chunks of mermaid hair.

  Mostly, we found kelp and seashells washed up ashore. But sometimes we found discarded relics of childhood laying deflated and unused on the sand.

   The remains of dead, gray trees lay like soggy dinosaur bones on the beach. Once a symbol of the majestic strength of nature, they now lay defeated on the sand.

  As we reached the end of the beach, the mist fluttering around the air turned into harsh rain drops. The sound of the rain pounding against the sand mingled with the sound of the crashing waves. We turned around to walk back toward our cabin. At the very end of our walk, just as we turned to walk toward the cabins, we saw two dead geese. The lay slack on the sand, with frayed feathers and splayed wings. They pointed toward each other like a dread omen of things to come.

  When we got back to the cabin, the rain came down even harder. I read while David watched soccer on the television. After a couple of hours, the rain finally slowed down. I walked outside to see the rain drenched scenery. A little black and white dog came trotting toward me. I am always happy to befriend a dog, but I wondered where his people were. The cabins were still empty except for us. He came closer to me and I knelt down to beckon him within petting distance. When he was close enough to pet, I reached my hand toward him so he could smell my hand. After he sniffed my hand I tried to pat the top of his head. Instead of allowing my touch, he backed away nervously  When I put my hand to my side, he came closer again.  I cooed at him gently and told him he was a good dog, in hopes this would ingratiate me to him. But every time I attempted to pet him, he backed away. Even though I was disappointed,  I realized the dog did not want to be pet so I let him be. I stayed outside a little longer before going back indoors. When I was back inside, the dog came up to our porch. He sat right next to the sliding glass doors. He did not leave for an hour. Even though the dog was very sweet with kind eyes, there was something a little eerie about his tentativeness mixed with his insistence on staying on our porch.

   At one point, another group of people drove into the lot and parked next to a cabin a couple of doors away from ours. Although solitude in nature is always a treat, there was something about the dreariness of the landscape that made it comforting to see signs of humanity. I saw the people getting out of the car and head into the cabin. Later in the night just before I went to sleep, I looked back outside. The cabin near ours with the other group was now absent of light and the car was gone. It was like they just disappeared. I looked toward the sound of the crashing waves and saw nothing except bleak blackness.

To be continued.....


Optimistic Existentialist said...

This was really kind of awesome and scary at the same time - reminds me of something out of a David Lynch film :)

Autumn Elixe said...

A rainy day at the beach with a feeling of the Twilight Zone. It was an enjoyable trip to read about.