Writing prompt: She was going back

Today’s writing prompt and my response.

She was going back to a place she’d hoped she would never see again

When he suggested it, he’d been full of enthusiasm, thrilled with his treat.

‘We haven’t been back for so long, it’ll be fantastic to visit our old haunts.’

She had smiled. ‘Where?’

‘Such a magical place. We can see if anything’s changed, or if everything is as it was.’ He had leaned towards her in the restaurant, the train tickets slipped from their envelope to be displayed on the table.

She had picked one up, wondering which old haunt he referred to. They had been to many lovely places over the years, travelling all over the country. At first by car, then as the idea of driving became too wearisome, they took to the trains and occasional coaches. A train journey was always fun.

And then her heart stopped. Not there, no, not there.

‘Oh, wow.’ Her attempt to temper her horror worked too well.

He had eased the ticket from her stiff fingers and clasped her hands. ‘Yes, wow.’ He stroked the back of her hands with his thumbs. ‘It’ll be just like old times.’

And now she sat in the window seat, staring out at a pink-dawned, hilly landscape. Trees, monochromed by early snow, spread into the distance. It would be easy to get lost in there.
She shivered despite the carriage’s warmth. He dozed beside her, while the tension built slowly, inexorably inside her. She continued to stare, the memories she had buried for 40 years stirring in their cold grave …

Cold grave.

No. She turned from the window, fighting nausea.

Lost, night approaching, icy air, snow … terror building inside her. And then, the offer. He would see her safely back to the chalet, but there was a favour he needed. Charming, wolfish grin … the darkness of the grave, the whump of the bodies …

He kept his promise, returned her safely. Her friends were anxious, about to head out to search. Voice shaking, she made light of it. Yes, she’d been worried, but she’d followed the telegraph poles as someone once told her to do, and here she was, no worse for wear.

The train slowed, the station platform appeared. Next to her, he stirred, rubbed his eyes.

‘Ah, we’re there.’ He grinned his wolfish grin. ‘No getting lost this time, hey?’

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