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