Tales of Gandamyr
Gorack's Journal3 - Maribelle
On the outskirts of town is a small glade in which an old very large oak tree grows. From this tree hangs a swing that the local children used daily. Laughter would emanate from the glade on a daily basis. All the towns’ children were welcome to the glade and would take turns swinging, while the others played tag or whatever their imaginations came up with. All save for one little girl.
Maribelle would sit on the edge of the glade and watch all the other children play and have so much fun. More than anything she yearned to just once get a chance to swing and feel the wind through her hair. Why doesn’t she just go and play with the other kids you ask? Well she tried but she was bullied, you see Maribelle had a very bad stutter. The kids would tease her by calling her Mumbling Maribelle. They pushed her around and pulled her hair until she would yell ssssssstoooppp. The children would laugh relentlessly. Kids can be so cruel. She just could not bring herself to deal with that pain again. So there she sat at the edge of the glade, alone, dreaming of her chance on that swing.
One day as she sat at the edge of the glade watching the other children play, a thunderstorm suddenly rolled over. As the storm started the children in the glade quickly fled and ran home. Maribelle stood still as she watched the glade empty. The storm was raging, and she was soaked but the swing sat empty. This was her chance and she intended to take it. Maribelle hooted as she swung higher and higher. She had never been so happy in her life. Then it happened. The tree was hit by a bolt of lightning. It exploded and branches went flying everywhere. Maribelle was at the height of her swing when the bolt hit, and she was launched high into the air. The most terrible thing about this moment in time was that poor little Maribelle came down right on her neck killing her instantly.
Maribelle’s parents went out and searched for her when she did not come back shortly after the storm started. They found her lying lifeless at the base of the tree. They were obviously devastated, but wanted their child to be laid to rest at her very favorite spot. So they buried her at the base of the tree in the center of the glade.
The tree was charcoal black and splintered but eventually started to recover some. After about a year, a few branches had grown back and one had even grown strong enough to support a new swing. The children of the village by this time had forgotten about the fate of poor Maribelle, they had not however forgotten how much fun they used to have in the glade, especially the fun they had on the swing. With their memories motivating them they hung a new swing.
The first boy to try the swing sat on it and almost immediately the rope snapped and he fell right on his butt. The other kids laughed out loud. They started chanting “fatty, fatty, fatty.”
The boy got up and tried to defend himself.
“I’m not fat. We used bad rope” he pleaded.
“Fatty, fatty, fatty!” the others cheered. Laughing roared.
Then came a ghostly female giggle that seemed to echo about the whole glade.
The children all gasped and turned pale white. They remembered that voice. Terrified they all started to run in all directions, every kid for themselves. A couple ran into each other, their heads smacking together, both of their heads cracked open and started bleeding badly. Another boy tripped and broke his arm. Yet another girl running through the trees at the edge of the glade ran right into a bramble bush getting stuck hundreds of times by the stickers. None of the children made it out of the glade without some sort of injury. This of course could be explained to the fact that the children were so frightened that they ran blindly and were clumsy. Though the more widely explanation was that Mumbling Maribelle now haunts the glade and is seeking revenge on the children that treated her so badly in the past.
It’s been years since that day. The glade is no longer the local hang out for the children of the village. The story is past from child to child. Every once in a while a brave boy or girl will gather the nerve to venture back into the glade to prove how silly it is to think it is haunted. Every child that has entered since that day has had an accident of some kind that leads to some sort of injury. Broken arms and legs are the most common.
Adults have tried entering the glade to witness the haunting. None have seen or heard even the slightest sign of this haunting. This has led to rumors that Maribelle only scares and haunts children that enter the glade. Many adults are skeptical and think it is just the children working themselves into a panic when they enter, which causes them to make foolish missteps that lead to them getting hurt. Either way it is curious that when children enter the glade without an adult present there always seems to be a mishap.
Perhaps Maribelle just wants a friend?