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Shunned

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The author is a soccer fan and creative writing is her hobby. She has written stories for children, romantic stories and poems.

shunned

The Valley

Bluebonnets danced around her white skirt as she turned her face toward the sun. Fanny only needed a few for the vase. Perhaps a little joy would soothe the inevitable unease at the table that night. It was always tense when meeting with her neighbors. She hoped enough time had passed. They had to know there was nothing she could do to change what had happened, right?

It started a week ago with a phone call.

"Is that you, Fanny?"

"Yes, uncle, how are you?"

"We're all fine here. I heard that you're looking for a family driver. Alex, your cousin, is a very reliable driver. I wonder if you could take him as your family driver?"

After discussing this with Nando, Fanny consented. They didn't expect that the presence of Alex would disturb the once harmonious atmosphere of the family and the subdivision as a whole.

Fanny and her husband Nando had been living with their five children in a fast rising subdivision, Happy Valley, for five years. As the name suggested, Happy Valley lay in the sunken part of the city. Legend had it that the valley was the result of the World War II bombings. For a long time, it was shunned by the general public because of the strange stories running around that the souls of bombing victims still haunted the valley. People would swear they heard eerie wailings during the night. It was until about 10 years ago when a real estate developer bought the land from the city council and began developing a residential subdivision, that interest in the valley spread throughout the province. Fanny and Nando were among those who had their first house built in the subdivision. Fanny's younger brother, Jose, took the honor of designing their house. He had been living with Fanny and her family while finishing his Architecture degree. Five years later, the subdivision was the pride of the city, with a beautiful park and a lake, surrounded by the higher levels of the city. On the front side was a wide road leading upwards to the main city. On the sides were hills covered with trees, shrubs and wildflowers, especially different colors of bluebonnets. At the back was the undeveloped part, also filled with trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Just like Fanny and Nando, the other residents were also young families with children not older than 15 years old. During those five years, the Happy Valley subdivision was one peaceful, happy and united community. The nightly wailing sounds did not disrupt the community rapport.

Unrest

Alex turned out to be an uninhibited extrovert. In contrast to the calm Jose, Alex was full of energy. The neighborhood kids loved him. But slowly his exuberant laughter and violent temper became an annoying sound in the neighborhood. Fanny would regularly remind him to calm down. On that fateful afternoon, after Sunday mass, Alex went with the older kids to play basketball. The other kids went with Fanny to cheer their Dad coach his baseball team in the park. All of a sudden, there was a loud rumble and shouting heard in the park. Nando and other men were busy tearing up a fight. It turned out that Alex lost his temper during the basketball game and kicked and bashed his opponents. There was shouting and crying. Fanny was busy calling and counting her kids. Nando and Jose quickly pulled Alex from the crowd and successfully led him back to the house. The whole neighborhood lost patience and demanded a meeting with Fanny and Nando in the community hall after dinner.

Turning Point

Fanny was so absorbed with these thoughts that she didn't notice that darkness had settled. Moreover, she had walked a long way down the undeveloped part of the valley. It would take her some time to go back home and be on time for the town hall meeting. As she staggered through the shrubs and bushes, she heard a strange noise behind her. By instinct, she ran and stumbled on a fallen branch. She tried to get up but she was pulled down the ground by a robust creature. Fanny lost consciousness. A wailing sound filled the air.

"Fanny, honey," Fanny opened her eyes to the serene face of her husband. Bright lights and sirens crammed her senses. She tried to comprehend what was happening.

The next day, the whole community paid respects to Fanny and her family. They offered flowers and gifts - as token of gratitude for the heroic deeds of her husband, brother and cousin. The once dreaded Alex had become their hero. The night before, Alex, Nando and Jose went out to search for Fanny. That's when they encountered a huge beast cowering over someone. The three men lunged at the beast who turned out to be powerful. It almost overpowered them until Alex picked up a sharp wood from the ground and shoved it through the neck of the beast. The beast grasped at its neck and fell to the ground. It turned out that the beast was the one making the eerie wailing sounds at night looking for his meal be it human or animal.

© 2020 Rose T