Hello my spooky friends. Thank you so very much for staying with me during my 31 Days of Spook. We really hope that all of you are shaking and shivering by now with our scary stories. Here at the Hotel Thompson, we just want you to enjoy every single spooky day that October has to give!
Today, we have another guest story submission. This one is from my friend Lori. Do you know Lori and her ducks? If you don’t know them, you are definitely missing out on beautiful pictures, wonderful stories on her ducks. You just have to go visit their blog. Please make it a point to visit my friend Lori – tell her that Bacon sent you. This is her tale – enjoy my friends!
Christmas at Hanging Rock
By Lori Fontanes
There’s a visitors center at Hanging Rock but on that stifling day right before Christmas, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I vaguely recall one other couple, possibly on their way out, but after that, no one. And it really was hot, even by Australian standards, and even though antipodal December means the end of spring, it must have hit triple digits. That year, summer had come early, or maybe only at the Rock.
I’d wondered about the strange site known as Hanging Rock ever since watching Peter Weir’s lyrical film, which takes place on its stony peaks. “Picnic At Hanging Rock” dreamily reenacts the supposed real-life disappearance of a teacher and her students on Valentine’s Day in the year 1900. The girls and their chaperones go for a picnic but some don’t come back. They disappear between the silent stones, without explanation. Where did they go and why? If they were taken, why not the others? Since the movie doesn’t provide answers, we’d decided to see for ourselves. One hundred years after the alleged events, we thought it would be fun to pretend to investigate. We left our rental car in the parking lot, grabbed two water bottles and started climbing.
I’m not really good in hot weather. It’s my husband who thrives in the heat. Like a desert creature, he absorbs the radiance and turns it into useful energy. I wilt. As we slogged our way to the top, weaving among the huge boulders, he tried to joke me out of my increasingly foul mood. It had to be 100 degrees or close to it and I felt thirstier than our water could satisfy. Nonetheless, I suggested we ration the supply carefully. Since it wasn’t supposed to be a long hike, my husband merely shrugged. See, he’s the optimist and I’m the realist. I like to be prepared; he likes to leave for the airport at the last minute. And there we were, alone, on this weird outcropping of volcanic rock in the middle of rural Victoria.
As I think about it now, I realize that no one knew where we were. We didn’t tell the hotel staff, our families were celebrating the holidays thousands of miles away and in these pre-smartphone days, no one expected you to stay in constant contact. It was 2000 (yes, Y2K) so I guess we had a cell phone but I doubt we could have gotten reception. Hanging Rock is that type of lonely, an inland Bermuda Triangle, buzzing with insects, desolate and blistering. In fact, I wonder if the igneous formations hold a sort of magnetic charm that distorts compasses and makes minds struggle. That day, I told myself it was just the heat. It’s hard to think straight when the mercury hits those highs.
About halfway up, when it didn’t look like we’d meet anyone else, my husband started in with his silliness. I guess you could call it romance. Either way, it was the last thing I needed so I ignored his playfulness.
“Let’s keep going,” I said.
“Let’s go this way,” he said.
His way didn’t feel right.
“No, I think the sign says this way,” I demurred.
He wouldn’t listen. I hung back as he entered a small archway that somehow I knew wouldn’t work. Stubbornly, I stood there and watched him go. I don’t remember the details. He may have cried out. Like I said, I can’t remember.
He emerged pretty quickly.
“You’re right, it’s not the way,” he said.
I moved past him to see. The path he’d chosen led to another opening and then, a sheer drop. He must have stopped in time but he may have slipped because somehow he lost both bottles down the slope.
We kept going.
I tried not to think about losing the water. We had a distance to hike before reaching the top. Or should we turn around now? Should I say something? Would it matter?
And then, we arrived. It looked like the summit or close enough. Was there a rock like an altar? A platform? Or maybe nothing at all, my memory doesn’t say. All I know is how bright it was and still. Quiet, like the inside of your breath when you hold it. I didn’t know what that quiet meant.
My husband tried to kiss me. I sidled away. It didn’t seem like a good idea. I might have said, are you crazy?
He might have said, yes.
I kept my voice as weightless as possible. Bugs sang in counterpoint to my clattering heart. I walked quickly in the direction of escape.
My husband made an off-color comment then followed. I fought my rising anxiety, wanting to read the path with clarity, not fear. We decided to go down a different way. He might have suggested it. I might have agreed.
It might have been the heat.
We came to an intersection where once more, he wanted one way and I, the other. I don’t know how I knew it but on this point I’m perfectly clear: If we’d gone his way, we might not have come back. At that moment, I felt completely certain that the Rock wanted him to stay. And I couldn’t tell him that. So I had to convince him to follow me. I ignored the insects, the heat, my thirst, our dusty isolation and said, in my calmest voice, “Let’s go this way.”
The words hung for a moment.
“Okay,” he said.
Copyright 2014, Lori Fontanes
Molly The Wally
10/28/2014 at 5:01 am
OMD and no one new you were there? Crikey glad you got hubby to follow you and ended up back safe and sound. Have a terrific Tuesday.
Best wishes Molly
10/28/2014 at 9:17 am
I’m totally with you on this sweet Molly – shivers. XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 5:01 am
Yikes! that’s just down the road aways and have been thinking of paying a visit..maybe I best not bacon hahahaha 🙂 great story….hugs and loves Fozziemum…locking the door now…;) xx
10/28/2014 at 9:18 am
Yes lock the door, call the protect dogs in and sleep with your gun – chills and squeals. Great story for sure! XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 10:04 am
Hahaah since I am home alone now best I do! 😉 the pups usually head to our room when Fozziedad is away anyway…handy hey 😉 Loves Fozziemum xxx
10/28/2014 at 10:43 am
Most definitely my friend. I know the Hotel Thompson is protected well by me, Houdini, Hemi, Mouse Girl and Smith & Wesson – snorts and rolls around laughing. XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 6:23 pm
Bwahaahaahah all I got is a big rolling pin..and a ‘tude 😉 loves Fozziemum xxx
10/28/2014 at 6:27 am
10/28/2014 at 7:13 am
Thanks, Bacon!!! Now I can send this to my husband to read, too. 😉
10/28/2014 at 9:20 am
It was awesome my friend. Thank you so much for submitting this story for me. 🙂 ❤ XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 12:55 pm
OMD this rock really exists! I’m not sure if I would brave enough to visit that place. Do you think there is something inside the rock what needs company furever and ever ?
10/28/2014 at 12:57 pm
There just might be brother. I don’t think I want to go for any walkies there at all. Nope. Not me. Shaking my piggy head and stepping away. Snorts. XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 5:41 pm
It does exist! It is quite near Fozziemum and me! ❤
The Canadian Cats
10/28/2014 at 5:04 pm
That story was fantastic….spooky without being gory and yucky. The ending was awesome. A well thought out story and true yet.
10/28/2014 at 10:40 pm
It was aweome my friends. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I know we did here too. XOXO – Bacon
10/28/2014 at 5:43 pm
I have visited there Bacon several times over the years. it is a queer, unsetting place with many twists and turns just like in the story. It is also really still and quiet. Eerie is how I would describe it.
10/28/2014 at 10:42 pm
Oh squeals and shivers!! I stay right here inside of the Hotel Thompson. No venturing in the woods for this little oinker. XOXO – Bacon
Marty the Manx
10/28/2014 at 9:18 pm
I have heard stories about this rock and it spooks me out! Thank goodness Lori listened to her inner self!
10/28/2014 at 10:46 pm
Too true! Who knows what could of happened. XOXO – Bacon
The Zero-Waste Chef
10/30/2014 at 8:17 pm
I think I’ll skip the hike this weekend…
10/31/2014 at 9:19 am
Snorts – I really don’t blame you 🙂 XOXO – Bacon
10/30/2014 at 10:54 pm
Yow what a scarey storey frum Miss Lori…
me agreez wif Miss Ruth dat palce soundz BERY EAREEE n we iz glad Miss Lori n her hubby made it back safely.
Yer furgurl Nylablue n Mumm too xxx
10/31/2014 at 9:00 am
aaww my sweet dear purr thing… the holder of my heart 🙂 ❤ This was a great story from Lori. I couldn't believe it when I first read it – shivers. I hope your mommy is feeling better today 🙂 Please give her some hogs and snout kisses for me okay my dearest. XOXO – Bacon
10/31/2014 at 11:05 am
Yow bacon dat place where Miss Lori n hubby went nmust bee haunted…Mum sayz dere iz a place north of here called Spirit Rock what haz spiritz n iz BERY haunted!
Mum haz bin dere at nite n she got losted n she nose da place like da back of her hand…very creepy!
Mum iz not much bettur today butt she got me to Sammy’z pawty like she purromised…me iz hangin out wif Timmy Tomkatt…da place iz CRRREEEPPPY!!!!!! 😉
**paw kissez** frum yer Nylablue ❤ ❤
10/31/2014 at 12:31 pm
Oh squeals! I’m hoping your mom gets better soon. I still need to do some visiting in blogville. Today is *CRAZY*. XOXO – Bacon
10/31/2014 at 4:29 pm
BOO! MOL Bacon me iz waitin fer ya at Sammy’z…got da best cuppycakez fer ya…..
Mum iz in one peece (more or less).
Dat weather here iz all windy n rainy n grey n spooky! Gonna bee a ruff nite fer da little Hu’Manz trick or treetin!
10/31/2014 at 4:57 pm
I’m off to take a peaky at the haunted house. Will you hold my hoof my sweet love? XOXO – Bacon
10/31/2014 at 7:46 pm
Ya nos eit Bacon!!! Me will hold yer hoof fer da hole nite 😉
Lub Nylablue ❤ ❤
11/02/2014 at 7:45 am
Spooky….but I would still want to take a nosy!xx Speedy