Deep in the woods, wanders a lady, searching for a place to lie. The trees sway to her walk and the wind whistles with her voice. She only appears late in the evening right after the sun goes down. She searches for a place to rest her soul. Many have seen and heard her cries. They’ve seen the white ghost like dress roaming through the forest. Her face is pale and the long black hair stretches down her back. She brings a fear among hikers that encounter her. She doesn’t mean to scare anyone. She’s just searching for her home. Her name is Melanie Schmidt. She wanders up and down the woods, lost and confused. She is stuck between this life and the next.
Melany has been wandering those woods for years. The forest goes for miles full of pine trees and pine cones as far as the eye could see. Remembering a house that she grew up in and trying to find it. The landscape reminded her of the home she once had. Where she grew up at, has lived her entire life there, even after her parents died. She continued to stay in the house that brought memories both joyful and sad. Both her parents died just days apart from each other. One from natural causes and the other from what can only be described as a “broken heart”.
The woods that Melany walks through aren’t the most populated by hikers. A few will come through during the year and only one or two will stay the night. There isn’t much to see in the area where Melany is. Mainly it’s a passing through hike between two prominent mountains. There are a few houses that reside on each mountain. Each one is a couple miles off from the main campsites where the hikers stay.
Two fourteen year old boys are out hiking down the mountain from their house up on the hill. Nick and Brody are best friends. They’ve known each other since kindergarten. This is the first outing that both of their parents have let them go on. Knowing their children were only a couple miles down the mountain at the campground they were still worried. They’ve heard the howls in the night and the stories that go with the sounds. Neither set of parents have ever seen the ghost that wanders the mountains but they’re more than aware of the tales. Not to mention the wolves that hunt on the land.
Nick and Brody were both very into sports. Both of them had a tall athletic build. Nick was more involved with baseball and football. Brody loved football as well but played basketball instead of baseball. They were both very competitive with each other when it came to football. Brody was the quarterback for the team and Nick was a cornerback on defense. When the two sides would scrimmage there was never a moment where Nick wasn’t trying to intercept or sack Brody.
Once the boys got to their campsite they unloaded their tent. The tent was huge with a porch like set up that hung off the front. They got the tent put together and two chairs set up on the porch. They went around near by and gathered up logs and twigs to start a campfire. There was a cooler with hot dogs and gatorades to drink. In their backpacks they brought buns and s’more’s for dessert. Wishing they were twenty-one so there could be some alcohol and a real camping adventure could begin. Little were they aware that this evening was going to bring every bit of adventure they were looking for.
Melany was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was kind and compassionate. Never took part much in the community, not from a lack of interest, she just lived so far away that it wasn’t feasible to travel that distance. Her home was much larger than she needed. She couldn’t sell the house because it had been in her family for generations. Hoping one day to pass it down to children. Unfortunately that opportunity never arose for her. Melany died to soon and possibly not being able to raise any children would of been her biggest regret.
It was a calm winter night when tragedy struck. She had been sick for a little over a week. Melany had been sick plenty of times before. Hoping this was just another case of the cold or the simple flu she decided not to go in to the doctor. Over the week her symptoms had got progressively worse. Starting with a small fever of one hundred degrees it continued up the scale until it was at one hundred and five. She soon began hallucinating. Melany had tried every trick in the book she’d learned from both her mom and grandmother. Nothing seemed to break the sickness. The evening of her death she took a hot shower and sipped on some special herbal tea. She got out of the shower and climbed into a white sleeping dress. Making her way out into the living room she saw a vision of her father. Loving him deeply and always heeding his advice, she followed him out the door and into the freezing cold snow. The end of her backyard was overlooking a cliff. Her father, who was obviously an illusion, whispered to her, “come be with me”. Melany stepped off the cliff and fell thousands of feet to her death.
Nick and Brody decided to do some wandering around the campsite. They’ve only hiked with their parents but never this far down the mountain. When they were out with their parents they never wanted to adventure out very far. This was the opportunity to explore. Moving a few hundred yards away from their set up, they found some giant rocks that were set up in a maze like structure. It didn’t look like this was a man made structure. Nick and Brody both made their way through the maze. It went from walking and climbing on the rocks to soon jumping rock to rock. Loving every minute of this adventure they encountered. Deciding they had enough fun, also leaving before someone got hurt, they made their way back to camp.
On the way back to camp the two boys were cracking jokes with each other. Of course Nick and Brody had heard the stories and the tales of the ghost or ghosts. No knew just how many ghosts there were. Nick said to Brody, “Should we call the ghosts out of hiding and see what happens?” Knowing this probably wasn’t the best of plans, but as young kids say “you’re only young once”, Brody replied, “Heck yes we should. How do you we go about calling them out of hiding though?” Even Nick wasn’t sure how to bring them in to the light. Getting closer to camp and seeing their fire, they heard a crack off in the distance. It sounded like a branch being stepped on or one falling down from a tree. Looking out where the sound came from they saw a white figure appear and then go behind a tree. Both boys looked at each other with a fear but amazed look in their eyes. Stepping ever so slowly that way, not wanting to spook whatever it was they saw, the tree was right in front of them.
Nick went around one side of the tree and Brody went around the other side. Both of them saw her at the same time. It was nothing they were imagining. A beautiful woman floating there and looking at both of them. Stunned and a little scared, as was she, she screamed at them. Not because they were trying to hurt her but because they scared her. Nick and Brody both screamed back and ran as fast as possible to the campsite.
Once back to the campsite they jumped into their tent and each grabbed a flashlight. There was also a flashlight lantern that they turned on and stuck right outside the door to the tent. Nick zipped the tent door shut and looked at Brody. Both of them were still a little in shock. Mostly because they had just witnessed a real live ghost and also because of the horrifying scream she let out. Brody said to Nick, “What was she? And why did she scream at us?” Not sure how to respond or even if he’d have a good answer to reply with Nick said, “I don’t know bro. Maybe she was just frightened like we were.” Brody hadn’t thought about that but it was a logical point that Nick was making.
Nick and Brody went from being scared to curious. Starting to wonder who she was and why she was there. She wasn’t deathly looking like the ghosts that you’ve read in books should be. They hoped out of their tent and stood out by the campfire. Looking in every direction and shinning their flashlights they couldn’t seem to locate her. Suddenly out of the corner of Nick’s eye he saw a movement he turned and flashed his light that way. There she was, standing, looking at them. Melany moved closer to the boys. She was hovering an arms length away when a small whisper came out of her mouth, “Can…you…help”, she said. Brody replied back to her, “What are you looking for?”
They conversed back and forth, to them seemed like hours, but it had only been a few minutes. They found out that she was stuck between this life and death. She wasn’t able to be released to the
afterlife until she found her home. Nick and Brody both said to her, “We’ll help you find your house, Melany. Do you know where it might be or what was around it?” Melany shuffled around and was thinking incredibly hard. “I…think there were clouds….high.”, she told them. Looking at each other puzzled they began to piece together what she was explaining. Suddenly a light bulb came on in Brody’s head. He thought that maybe what the clouds meant is that her house was high up on a hill. Nick told him, “That’s right! I’ve seen a house on the mountain that is across from us! I never knew who lived there. No lights were ever on.”
The boys each took Melany by the hand and started their journey up the mountain. They’d be lucky to reach it before the sun came up. Trekking up the hill they talked to Melany about her family. What she had done in her previous life. Both of the boys also began to share some pieces of their lives with her. Talking about the football game that was coming up and if they won they were going to the state championship. She didn’t quite understand everything they were saying because she wasn’t totally here in this life. She knew they meant well though.
Finally they reached the top of the mountain. Coming up the path brought them to a giant white Victorian house. A beautiful porch wrapped all the way around the house. The flowers out front were clearly dead, cob webs hung all over the windows and doors. Brody and Nick walked Melany up to the front steps. She stopped them before continuing. She turned around looking at both of them, “Thank you. I can be at peace.” The two boys stepped back and watched as she walked into the house. Opening the door, light burst out from every window and crack, illuminating the sky. The door shut behind Melany. Everything went back to black. Nick and Brody smiled at each other and knew this was a camping adventure for the record books.