Time Travel – Out of the Coffin

Time Travel

Time Travel


My mind could not grasp the image before me, an image that sent shivers rushing all through me. There
in the center of a clearing lay a coffin. I stared at it in shock for several minutes before I could find the
courage to approach the clearing. I slowly went a little closer when something else stopped me cold.

I was so focused on the coffin I had not noticed two paths, about two feet apart. I had an odd feeling about
this. Without stepping on either path I started following them and ended up where I had started. Both
paths completely circled the coffin. There was about a fifteen foot area between the inner path and the
coffin. I knelt down and began to study the area. I noticed the inner path had crudely shaped arrows
pointing to the coffin at regular intervals all the way around. I nearly missed seeing these arrows because
most of them were not very clear with the soil partially covering them and some arrows were nearly
hidden under soil with just an impression of them showing. The path was well-trodden and hard, sunken
nearly a foot below the surrounding ground. It looked like it had not been used for many years. Strangely,
nothing grew on the paths or within the circle.

I stood up, put my hands on hips and tried to make some sort of sense about all this. I looked all around
the entire area and behind me. It was so quiet and still. I saw there was a slight breeze moving branches
on trees further away, but I felt no breeze near the clearing. I suddenly wished I had waited for my
husband to join me on this hike. But, he was so into his fishing at the lake and I was so impatient to get
going, so I was now alone in the midst of a strange phenomena.

Even though I was still a bit leary, I was too curious to leave. I decided to go in the circle and peer inside
the open coffin. When I put one foot down on the outer path I heard, “I would not do that if I were you!”
Jumping back so quickly I stumbled and the weight of my backpack pulled me to the ground. I struggled
up fast and turned to look behind me. No one was there, but I had clearly heard that voice. When I turned
back to the circle, not a foot away from me was an old, very old woman. I was so startled I froze as we stood
there staring in each other’s eyes.

She turned away from me and began slowly walking close to the outer path, not touching it, but keeping
her eyes on the coffin. She was so old she looked ancient. The word crone came to mind. The crone was
about a foot shorter than me. Her back was bent and she walked with a limp, carrying a long walking
stick. With that stick she tapped the path hard with each step she took. It was almost a hollow sound each
time that stick hit the path. She stopped about ten feet away and looked back at me. Pointing to the
inner path with her stick she said, “Them be bones!”

Them be Bones

I realized my mouth was still hanging open in shock and my lips were dry. I finally found my voice and
asked, “Bones? Who are you? Where did you come from?”

Looking back at the coffin then at me again with a crooked smile the crone pointed with her stick to the
forest. “I am from far away and I am called Keeper of the Circle,” squinting at me she continued. “Them
bones belong to the evil ones. They were placed there pointing to the coffin by the most evil one of all.”

The crone stared at the coffin for a long time as I stared at the bones, feeling a sense of horror come over
me. Why was this done? My mind kind of went numb.

“It was done for Time Travel,” the crone answered my silent question. “If you stand in the outer path,
walk around it and stop at a set of bones then stare at the coffin an evil spirit from the past will come out
of the coffin. That spirit will reanact the evil crimes they committed in life. They will not be able to come
out of the circle, but you will be transfixed, unable to move till the evil one has shown you the horror they
caused when alive.”

Time Travel

“Time Travel?” I was stunned. I believed the crone because of the way she had appeared from nowhere and
because of the way the clearing was set up in such an ominous manner.

“Yes, dear. Time Travel. Not something I agree with, but I was appointed the Keeper by The Evil One and
have no choice but to appear when anyone approaches the circle and warn them. So, leave while you can
or beware!” She hissed so loud that it scared me. She disappeared, but the word “beware” echoed round and round the area.  I turned to run and tripped on a stone. When I hit the ground I landed on a set of bones. I raised my head quickly and stared at the coffin in fear.

Time travel, I kept thinking. Then Jack the Ripper jumped out of the coffin.
© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns

Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I am an author on TCE and write mainly in poetry and short stories. I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am currently an author on HubPages. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

10 thoughts on “Time Travel – Out of the Coffin

  • November 7, 2016 at 9:27 PM

    A very inventive and pleasurable tale Phyllis, and like all horror stories, I would not have gone anywhere near that coffin. lol But if people never went into dark rooms there would be no tales, would there? Great work and enjoyed.

    • November 7, 2016 at 10:04 PM

      Well, now that is true Tony – there would be no scary tales if we never went into the dark. So glad you enjoyed my little tale. Thanks, I appreciate it. Take care, dear poet.

  • November 8, 2016 at 6:55 AM

    An interesting and rather unique story Phyllis. Maybe you need to carry this on. I’d like to hear what Jack the Ripper has to reveal.

    • November 8, 2016 at 7:15 AM

      Thanks, John. It would be interesting to Let JtR have some time to express. I don’t know if I am up to that, though. LOL I could turn it into a challenge for others to walk the path and find an evil criminal to write about. What do think?

  • November 12, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    In life there are always two paths, with one generally being much more favorable than the other, but in this little allegorical musing you have conjured Phyllis, it seems that both paths lead to our worst nightmare. Frightfully good!

    • November 12, 2016 at 8:09 AM

      Oh my goodness, Bill, how wonderful to hear from you. So glad you like my time travel story. I have a challenge on it if you want to walk the path and choose a set of bones to write a story on. Bet you could come up with a great one. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  • November 13, 2016 at 2:17 AM

    Phyllis, very original and creative work. The crone is a great character. The whole setting is a terrifying place. So you’d like this to be a challenge? Carry the story forward? I just finished writing an ending for John’s “Like this Page” series. I need to give my brain a rest and I’ll see if anything comes to mind for this one. Well done.

    • November 13, 2016 at 2:43 AM

      Thank you, Chris. So glad you like it. I just read your alt end for John’s and am re-thinking about writing one also. Have fun with the coffin.

  • July 24, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Your forte is definitely in story telling, you make it all come alive, so real. I felt I was on the path with you, could feel those bones crunching under my feet and hear the hiss of the old crone. The ending was clever with JTR jumping out of the coffin, I wonder what he would be up too;-)) great one Phyllis, I thoroughly enjoyed your story as always.

    • July 24, 2017 at 11:38 AM

      This was a fun write for me, Vincent – I have no idea from where it sprung from within me, just one of those that tells its own story. Thank you so much for reading and for the great compliments.

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