The Perfect Storyteller

(Photo from Juliet Earth)

Three young girls sat expectantly in the dimly lit bedroom, waiting for the story-teller (That was me, Tama) to begin. The girls loved to congregate at my house especially because I adored telling horrifying stories that I made up as I went along.

Two candles alone kept the room from total darkness. The evening was black and devoid of moon or street lights. I began my one story that I kept working on and they had heard before. I loved to add and improve the story upon each tell, and this was their favorite.

I began to tell the story in a hushed tone. The story was about a young and handsome Forest Ranger who had loved his sweetheart deeply. The year is 1901. The two lovers were planning to get married and loved to take picnics in the deep dark Stillwater Forest.

Every week and sometimes more often, the young Ranger named Christian would lead his beloved Annabel to their favorite spot, a cliff overlooking a mighty river some hundred feet below. There they stationed themselves where they always did, by a huge Oak tree near a hefty boulder.

As always Annabel spread out the blanket and laid out the cold chicken and myriad other delicacies that she brought along. While she did this, Christian took out his pocketknife and dedicated himself to finishing the carving "I love Annabel" that he had been carving into the rock for several months...

After he had finished, he and Annabel held hands and admired the work, and then finished their picnic. Before he left, Christian handed the pearl knife to Annabel, and whispered lovingly, "keep this as a reminder of my love."

Things continued this way for several weeks. However, after a time, Annabel began to make excuses more often than not. She seemed to be avoiding Christian. As this continued, Christian grew despondent and began to worry that there was another man.

He began to follow Annabel and to his horror, one day as Christian made his way down main street, he saw her sitting inside a local restaurant. With a shock he saw another man sitting next to her. The man was distinguished looking and seemed very interested in his Annabel .

His fury grew into a blazing inferno as he saw the gentleman put his arms around Annabel and enfold her. Insane with jealousy, Christian stormed returned home insane with hatred and jealousy. With each passing day, the hate festered more deeply inside him, and his love for Annabel began to turn into hatred.

Whenever he was with her, she would look at him with a guilty expression. It made his stomach turn. He gave her so many chances, often asking her what was wrong, but she never gave him a straight answer, but only looked away.

A few days later, as Christian was working his territory in Stillwell forest, he decided to take a turn by the little glen on the cliff where he and Annabel had gone so often for their picnics. As his horse entered the clearing, he stopped in his tracks.

There stood Annabel with a knife in her hands, carving something into the rock! THEIR rock! A travelling bag lay next to her feet. At the sound of the horse, she turned and saw Christian. Her face went crimson and she froze in horror.

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