copyright 2012 Lynny Prince
all rights reserved
Father Wilson O’Rourke was locking the doors to St. Paul’s Catholic Church when he heard the familiar sound that had haunted him for so many years. The blustery winds of the impending fall season hummed around his ears sending a chill down his spine. He gave pause, straining to listen to the other unmistakable noise he heard.
Skittle, skittle, scratch!
Dusk was falling, so he had to hurry! He knew that this September brought the promise of another season of hell, a hell that he had survived in the past by nothing else but sheer will and, of course, his faith. He wasn’t entirely certain of what role the leaves played, he only knew that he dreaded seeing or hearing them regardless of what time of the year it was. However, tonight was different; it was a signal, an omen, and it frightened him because he knew what it meant. In his mind, to hear the leaves meant certain death. As if a switch is turned on, he thought forlornly, the leaves begin their restless search for victims!
Clutching keys in one hand and his Bible in the other, he hurried down the church steps. The howling winds blew the hat off his head as he rushed to his car and fumbled with the keys.
The sound was growing louder! Skittle, skittle, scratch, skittle, skittle, scratch!
Knowing he would not make it before they arrived he turned back, catching his hat as it blew past his feet and ran to the steps, scrambling up as fast as his elderly legs would carry him. Once safely inside he slammed the doors shut, dropping the Bible in his haste. He quickly slid the latch into place knowing that to lock the doors would do little good if they decided to come in. But they wouldn’t, they couldn’t. The safe refuge the church provided had always proved to offer protection within its walls, but that didn’t stop the fear that threatened to send him into a panic. Out of breath, he leaned his back heavily against the door.
The curse will prevail for all of eternity, a little voice said, unless HE comes back!
“Please, please,” the priest whispered in desperation, “please come back!”
He leaned over to retrieve the Bible that lay open on the floor and a line from The Acts of the Apostles almost screamed at him from the open page:
Suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing, mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting…
He stared at the words for a moment and thought about the correlation between scripture and what he had seen happen in Indian ceremonies, and what was happening right outside the doors. He could go back 150 years and see similarities; there were so many, yet the church always frowned upon anything that did not resonate what it taught. Was this the wrath of God?
Of course not, a little voice told him, this is of the devil! Father O’Rourke snatched up the Bible as thunder rumbled outside.
The old church creaked and groaned in protest as Indian summer winds roared outside, and Father O’Rourke wondered if the little wooden structure would finally sacrifice itself to the inclement weather it had survived for over 200 years.
Rushing to a window, he looked anxiously out toward the street. A flicker of activity caught his eye, and he turned in time to see a cluster of leaves swirl in a dust devil under a street light. He felt his heart catch in his throat as he watched the leaves dance, thinking how odd it was to see a dust devil at night, but thought that maybe he had just never noticed before. Swallowing hard, he realized there must be dust devils at night, just as he knew the devil himself was lurking around every nook and cranny out there!
He gave pause to contemplate his nemesis. These are the same leaves children play in; the same leaves that countless homeowners try to contain with rakes or the mundane drone of a leaf blower. The unfortunate ones were taken by garbage bags and landfill trucks, but for those that survived, they would be free to wage their war of hell on the unsuspecting, at least in his mind.
Yes, they go along with the effort of the pitiful humans and all their hard work, then gleefully go out and kill the neighbors while we all sleep, he thought.
|Eddie Spears||as Kyle Ghostkiller|
|Dakota Fanning||as Nina Bolton|
|Donald Sutherland||as Father Wilson O'Rourke|
|Aaron Eckhart||as Chase Riley|
|Tommy Lee Jones||as Mason Crow Walker|
|Graham Greene||as Tony Chases His Horses|
|Chaske Spencer||as Thorn Rivers|