Sylph Hollow; Chapter One

I’ve decided to share my story I’m writing here as well as Wattpad. I’m no professional writer, do keep that in mind. But I hope you like it. Do let me know in the comments. Thanks and welcome to Sylph Hollow…

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“Ya know I’m going to miss you right?”

“It’s okay Ivy. I’ll be back before you know it!”

Odalie brought her best friend, Ivy Dickens, into a warm hug. Odalie and Ivy had been friends since they were kids. Now in their early twenties, it was time for Odalie to finally set off and find her biological mother. This adventure was something she’d dreamed of doing once she discovered the family she’d grown up with wasn’t her blood.

“Call me as soon as you get settled in your first stop. Just to comfort my mind that your safe.” Ivy yelled as Odalie shoved the trunk of her car shut. Throwing her teary-eyed best friend a thumbs up along with a reassuring nod she hopped in her car an took off.

With no actual direction to go but west of the small town she knew in Tennessee, Odalie drove for what seemed like hours. After playing every song on her iPhone two and three times over, she decided a place to stop for the night needed to be found. She had marked the routes west off main highways because she didn’t want to be bothered by the traffic. The scenic route was more enticing because after all, this may only happen once in her life so why not enjoy the view! The particular road she had taken a hour or so back seemed to be nothing but wooded area. A house had been no where in sight for a while. Finally she ran upon what looked like a hotel that looked to be closed. Odalie wasn’t completely sure where she was, so she decided to at least stop and ask for directions to the nearest town if she couldn’t rent a room for the night.

Pulling into the gravel parking lot, she noticed one old beat up Cadillac by the office. Once she parked she looked around each window to the rooms. The windows to about every other room had boards nailed up over them. What if this is like a serial killers hideout? Odalie, stop being paranoid and just go in. Shaking the thoughts from her mind, she got out of her car and went inside the office. The inside looked straight out of a seventies movie. From the chairs to the wallpaper, it was visibly dated. At first Odalie didn’t see anyone. Once she walked closer to the counter, she noticed an older woman laying back on a couch asleep. Clearing her throat seemed to be the first instinct for her to wake the woman. But the lady didn’t budge. “Ma’am?” Odalie called over the counter. Then the woman seemed to stir. Jerking awake once she noticed raven haired Odalie standing at the counter. “Oh honey, you startled me! I haven’t had a customer in a few days now.” The lady began telling her as she stood up off the couch.

“I’m sorry ma’am. But…. are you open?” She didn’t want to sound rude but with no cars in sight but what seemed to be the ladies Cadillac, the parking lot was kind of creepy. “Yes of course. No one seems to come down this road like they did twenty years ago. A highway was paved across the mountain and ever since my business dropped way off. No matter though! I do love being off the beaten path, if you will. It’s peaceful out here. But don’t let my babbling run you off. Do you need a room for the night sweetheart?” All Odalie could do was nod. The lady seemed lonely so she just wanted to let her talk. “Can I ask you what town this is? I’ve been driving for a few hours on this back road but I don’t recall a sign anywhere.” Before she finished her sentence the lady started pointing to the wall behind Odalie. Walking in, she didn’t see the huge map that spanned the wall. Briarwood Hills Tennessee, Population 345. In the very corner, the year 1975 was faded but still legible. “She’s faded. Probably need a better one.” The lady said walking around the counter to where Odalie was admiring the map. “I just can’t bring myself to take it down. I’m one of the last ones left around here, so seeing what it use to be helps me remember everyone. If that makes any sense at all. Quit silly I guess.” She sniggered at her words and sat down in one of the near by chairs. “Not at all. May I ask, how many people are still around? The town seemed rather small by this back then.” Odalie asked her as she took a seat opposite the lady. “Oh..” the woman’s voice dropped in thought. “Probably about fifteen or twenty if I had to guess. Most moved away or passed on. No reason to stay in a town like this, I guess. Especially with the tale I have about here. It’s enough to scare anyone away.” Stopping herself the lady turned to Odalie. “Not anything crazy. Listen to me, I’m going to scare you off before you even get to your room!”

“Tale?” This didn’t sound good. Have I just walked in to something I shouldn’t have? Odalie thought to herself. “I shouldn’t have said it that way. Every town has a story. Once the others around got a hold of this though. I’m afraid it’s what has kept people away from my hotel. I try to tell myself it the lack of traffic, but truth be told I’m probably just trying to make myself feel better about it. You seem like a smart girl who’s up for a good story. Let me get you a drink from my fridge in the back room because this may take a minute to recite.” Quick and more eager then she seemed from the moment Odalie got here, she scurried off. Yelling after her, Odalie asked if she could borrow the ladies phone to call Ivy. “Of course! It’s over on the wall behind the counter.” Finding the phone, she dialed Ivy’s number. “Hello? Ivy? Yeah it’s me. I’m in Briarwood Hills Tennessee. It’s about 6 hours from you. I’m at a hotel I found.” Turning to make sure the lady wasn’t listening. She whispered into the phone, “It seems super out dated and honestly creepy. No don’t worry I’m fine. It only seems to be and old lady here. I think she lives in the hotel but she seems harmless. She’s coming back though I’ve got to go. Don’t worry I’m fine I’ll call on my next stop tomorrow!”

Settling back in the chair just as the lady came back in the room, Odalie smiled. “Diet Coke ok? I can’t drink the regular stuff anymore. Since I’m by myself here, I don’t keep the fridge as stocked as I use to.” Taking the bottle from the lady, “it’s fine.” “Oh my where do I begin. Let me take you back to about 1980. One of the last busiest years around here. Word around the town always traveled fast. I had a sweet couple stop in here. Very young. Probably around your age. They told me they were just passing through like most and needed a comfortable place to sleep for the night. So as I would with anyone else, I handed them a key and told them checkout was two in the afternoon the next day or I’d have to charge for another night. I watched them take their suitcases out of the car and go in the room. Later that night as I was locking the door I noticed them outside the room in chairs smoking, like some young folks do. So I went on to bed. The next morning I woke up, got myself ready for the day an noticed they were still here. I waited till around 1:30 which is the time I’d give my warning call. So I walked over to the door and knocked. No answer. Two o’clock came and I decided to call my brother to come get the door open. He was our local locksmith.” Odalie began to speak but the lady stopped her. “I know what your going to say. The young man who passed through last time asked me the same question. Why didn’t I call the cops? Well to tell you the truth, living here it took the local police department an hour to get here. So most that did  here just took care of things themselves. Before I get sidetracked, let me get back to the story. My brother came by an picked the lock. Would you believe the room was empty? Not even a messed up sheet. If their car wasn’t still in the parking lot, you wouldn’t have known anyone was here. I didn’t figure that they were dead or anything of that sort. One reason is because that kind of thing had never happened here. Not in my lifetime.” By this point Odalie had so many questions. The woman could tell by the look on her face too. “So what did you do with their car?” She asked after a minute or two processing this bizarre sound of it. “After a week of no one coming to look for it, my brother took it to his property. At that point I didn’t see anyone missing it. Weird ain’t it. Disappearing like that. Belongings and all! Let me get you a key. I’m going to keep you here all night.” Getting up and stopping beside Odalies chair. The lady laid her hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry about payment. It was honestly nice to have someone to chat with for a few minutes.”

“Are you sure? I’m willing to pay!”

“No no. Don’t you worry your pretty little self about it.”

Odalie took the keys, smiled, and turned towards the door. Stopping just before she walked out, she turned back to the lady. “Um, ma’am, this isn’t to the same room the couple was in, is it?” Chuckling the lady called over the counter. “No honey. I’ve done scared ya! I’m sorry. If it’s any help, I’ve been here sixty seven years now, and I’ve not heard or seen anything since. But I didn’t hear anything that night either.” Shaking her head feeling somewhat eased at that thought, she smiled and closed the door. Once she’d grabbed her bag from her car she examined the keys finding an old tag with the number three on it attached to the key ring. Finding her room, she unlocked the door an settled inside. Her mind however couldn’t help but wonder on the old woman’s story. Where could the couple have disappeared? Laying on the bed, she immediately fell asleep not realizing how tired she was.

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A little back story with this. I’ve actually been wanting to work on it for some time, I just never had the time to sit down an put the words to paper. It does mean a lot to me because the plotting I have I cannot seem to get away from. Like I said in the beginning let me know what you think! I do have Chapter 2 that I will post next week.

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