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Opening my childhood backpack ( Remembering a close encounter on a dark country road. ) Short story.

Updated on October 19, 2015
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

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Her mother had warned her repeatedly about being out alone at night.

It was a hot sweltering Saturday night. She had just left the theater, stopping to look at the coming attractions posted under glass by the entrance door. She was twelve years old. She was thinking about how her mother had warned her repeatedly about going to the evening movies because she had to walk two miles home on a winding dirt country road.

She noticed a man looking at her. He appeared to be around 40-50 years old. She didn't let that stop her from looking for the next Saturday movie. She was excited to see that it was The Lone Ranger. She dearly loved westerns.

She started her journey home. She had two blocks to walk in town then the winding country road began.


She was walking along quietly, thinking about the movie when she thought she heard a strange noise. It sounded like cornstalks being crushed. She looked around and noticed a cornfield at the curve in the road. She had walked on the road, but someone had cut through the field which cut the distance in half.

She started to run when she realized the footsteps were coming closer and closer. When she looked back she saw a man leap out of the cornfield. She then realized it was the same man that was watching her at the theater. He was gaining ground fast. She was running as fast as her short legs would go.

She began to yell, " Mama mama " She looked ahead and saw something glistening in the dark . it was mama holding a shiny butcher knife. The man was right behind her and was reaching for her arm when he saw the shiny knife and heard her mother yell, " I'm here Ruby." The man abruptly stopped and turned around running back into the cornfield.

By the time I reached my mother I was completely out of breath and crying hysterically. Mama wrapped me up in her arms and kissed me assuring me that everything was ok, but reminded me once again how dangerous it was to be out after dark and alone on an old country road.

I remember how safe I felt in her arms and never went to a movie after dark again. This memory is remarkably vivid after all these years.

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    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello gerimcclyn. I'm so glad you were drawn in to my story. Happy to share. Thank you..

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 20 months ago

      You write in a way that draws me in immediately. What a frightening experience this had to be, as I felt frightened just reading it. I can see why you never went to a movie in the dark again! Thank you for sharing your story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Hari. I'm glad you enjoyed my true story. Thank you for the visit.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann. Sorry I'm late in responding. Thank you for the well told comment. I was lucky my mother was in hearing distance! Cheers.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 21 months ago from Bangalore

      Real stories are so filled with vivid details. The climax was really interesting.

      I am thankful for your mothers attentiveness, that everything ended well and for teaching you to do the needful then on. Super pace and good short story.

      - Hari

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 21 months ago from SW England

      I like the backpack idea; original. Scary stuff and some of us have had similar experiences I'm sure. Maybe not always with Mum around.

      Thank goodness yours was there for you. I think Mums have a 6th sense when it comes to their children; high alert when it's needed.

      This is well-told; I stopped breathing for a while! Not surprised that stays with you for ever.

      Ann

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey. Your comments are so touching and deeply appreciated. Thank you..

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 21 months ago from California

      Somehow perfect for tonight--and for all souls tomorrow

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. Sorry I am sooo late. I had to get away from Hub Pages for awhile. I was really burned out. I went to Ark. to visit my son. Thank you for stopping by to read my story. My mother was always there for me. Hugs my friend.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 22 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love it when you open up that backpack, Ruby. But my heart was in my mouth when that dear 12-year old girl went to that late-night film. You were so lucky! Thank goodness for Mama...her instincts and courage were as sharp as that knife. You wrote this story with such vivid imagery; we were with you every step of the way. Hugs.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rozina. Nice to meet you. Thank you for reading and leaving a compelling comment..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron. I remember how happy I was to hear my mother's voice. Thank you..Hugs.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rasma. I know I was so headstrong at that age but that event taught me that there are evil people out there and I was more careful. Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. True story indeed. The wrath of a mother knows no boundaries when it involves her child's safety. And yes I still remember the fear. I think it will stay with me forever. Thank you much...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj. Your comment tells me that I wrote a believable story. I am glad you felt my fear which I remember today. Thank you so much for commenting. Smiles.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello B Leekey. Thank you for coming by to read.

    • Rozina Iftikhar profile image

      Rozina Iftikhar 22 months ago from Islamabad

      Ruby, you narrated the story so vividly and strongly....I could feel it happening in front of me... felt the chill and scare embedded in it...

      and Hats off to your Mom...I think, Moms are like that when it comes to their child's safety...

      A short story with a very profound effect...

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago from Texas

      Dear Ruby, how scary to be alone and the fear of having someone chase you. I am so glad your mama came looking for you.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 22 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      That sure was scary. You had your Guardian Angel looking over you. As children we always tend to think we know better but our mothers know best.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 22 months ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, I surmise that by changing from third to first person this is a true story. Is it so? My God, you must have been so frightened! For the man to get close enough to actually touch you must have caused nightmares for years.

      Beware of a woman scorned, especially when she's a mother protecting her child. Wow!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 22 months ago from south Florida

      Your Mama was a lovely heroine who had the sense to be there when you needed her, Ruby. So sorry you had such a dreadful experience but happy for the happy ending.

      Your re-telling was so realistic I heard those crunchy footsteps and felt your fear, m'dear.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 22 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Well told, with feeling.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank. Wow, your comment makes me smile BIG time. You underestimate your talent, you are a wonderful writer. Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ruchira. Yes it's a true story, one that will stay in my psyche forever. Good to see you. Thank you.xoxo

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. Funny how an old memory can surface out of the blue. I love your comment about The Lone Ranger, all she needed was Tonto and a horse. Hee. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. It was scary and dangerous. Now that I'm an adult it is more scary knowing what he wanted to do. Thanks for coming by..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. Always good to see you on my page. Thank you.

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. I'm thrilled that you could feel the fear. Thank God for all our mama's. They must be special to put up with us ' youngins ' Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DDE. Happy you liked my story. Thank you much.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      I wish I can pull together a story like this, Always this was simply amazing and so worth the read...you have the instincts to become a natural story-teller... need I say more Frank

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 22 months ago from United States

      Oh wow! that was scary, ruby.

      Is it a real story?

      xoxo

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 22 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. What a powerfully told story. Short, but heart-pounding. And you picked the perfect season to publish this. Turns out your Mom was the Lone Ranger.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 22 months ago from london

      Scary and so real. This kind of fright helps us, and minimises greater risks. Great short-story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Patricia. I was lucky to have a mama that was fearless and smart enough to grab a knife. If that happened today a girl would have a cell phone and he would be in jail. Thank you for sharing my story. Peace.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello John. I still remember how he looked. A cell phone was unheard of back then and yes, mother was wise. Thank you...

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 22 months ago from Nibiru

      nice story

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I could feel the fear from 1500 miles away. So frightening for a little girl...sent chills down my spine, Ruby. Thank the gods for the Mamas of this world, eh?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 22 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A beautiful story and such an interesting advice. I enjoyed reading!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 22 months ago from sunny Florida

      How blessed you were to have a Mama who loved and cared so much for you. Mamas of this kind are a rare and wonderful thing (I was blessed to have such a Mama too).

      What a horrid experience for a little girl to have but so glad it ended well

      Angels are once again on the way to you ps

      shared g+ tweeted Pinned to Awesome HubPages.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Ruby! That is an experience you would never forget. It always pays to listen to your mother's advice. Very good story, all the scarier because it was true.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This has been with me forever and I know how fortunate I was to have a mother who watched after me and loved me. I was a rebellious child. I had much to learn. Thank you Mar for always being there when I needed you. I love you..

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 22 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      A mother and a guardian angel...oh Ruby, thank goodness she was watching over you.

      There's nothing more powerful than a momma's love.