It was well-known that she lived alone. No one in this small community ever noticed any visitors going to her home, not even during the holidays. This elderly woman is the one adults whispered about and children ran the other way when they saw her coming. There were many whispers of “things” in the neighborhood about this elderly woman. From the local barbershop to the screened porches were everyone would sit cooling-off in the evening, and drinking lemonade while the children played and listened to the adults talk. None of us ever played Ding Dong Ditch on her doorbell that’s for sure. It wasn’t known who she really was, where she came from nor how long she had been living there. Families that had been established in this community for decades just remember her as someone who had always lived there. She did not socialize with anyone, yet she was always friendly when someone spoke to her. However, there was something in her sharp piercing anime eyes, it’s as though she knows about the time you sneaked one of your mothers cigarettes and smoked it with your friends. We always felt as though she knew our every secret. It’s like that feeling you get when one of the neighbors is going to tell on you to your parents . We always felt as though she could see right through us. No, one knew her name and no one dared to ask. Anyone that spoke to her would just say, “hello, how are you doing today Ma’am?”
This is one of those places everyone knows everyone, your grandparents as well as your parents. You couldn’t do much without your parents finding out about it because, the adults in the neighborhood were going to tell on you. This was our beautiful day neighborhood. You know, like Mr. Roger’s song It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.
I loved to watch my family and everyone else get ready for our towns summer carnival, it was so much fun. Late one night after the towns people had put up their carnival booths. There were bright lights. In everyone’s windows, front and backyards were the spotlights of police cars. That gets everyone’s attention. They were at the house of Ma’am. It was rumored that she kept her life savings in her home and that she practiced some kind of witchcraft or voodoo. We were told that if we were not good the witch would get us. This put all of us kids on high alert and we were good most of the time thinking the witch would get us if we weren’t. Some of the younger children would run when they saw Ma’am coming. She never bothered anyone and had a kind and gentle facial expression about her. However, there was something in the way she looked at you with her sharp and piercing anime eyes. Everyone was shocked to see the flashing lights of police cars in our nick of the woods, especially at the house of Ma’am.
Word quickly spread that Ma’am had been robbed and left for dead. The ones that did the home invasion were vicious enough to cut her throat. Well, everyone had their suspicions about who the culprits could be. There were these two men in the next town over that went from pillar to post vandalizing, stealing and causing trouble. These two men were known for always being in trouble with the law about something or things. They were two bad acting characters. Anyone that knew of them ever thought they would take things this far, until now.
Eventually, Ma’am recovered from her attack and returned to her home. She said she was unable to identify her attackers other than there were two of them and they both wore red ski masks. The week upon her return she painted the letters RIP in red on a white banner and placed it on her front door. Whispers around town was those that did this dirty deed did not have long for this world. Over a course of the next two weeks one of the suspected criminals was found dead with a red ski mask on. The cause of his death was unknown. It is said that when the ski mask was removed it was the man that we all suspected and his face was twisted with fear. Another word spread that he died of a drug overdose. Another word spread out that he was poisoned. We all knew better than that. Not because he wasn’t a drug addict but, because we knew that was not the reason this man died. In less than a month after that the other suspected would be killer was found dead out in the woods with a red ski mask on in the same area as the other one was found. This area of the woods was not to far from the house of Ma’am about two city blocks away in the woods behind her house. He also was said to have had the look of fear on his face when his ski mask was removed.
Most of the towns people speculated that Ma’am had exacted her vengeance upon them. They said she was a woman that could call upon certain forces and conjured up things we knew nothing of. Nor did we want to know if we knew what was good for us. After the mysterious deaths of the two men, one of the elders of our town asked her, why did she write Rest In Peace on a banner and put it on her front door? They described her as not just looking at them but through them with her piercing eyes. When Ma’am finally spoke she explained to them that RIP did not stand for Rest In Peace. She stated that RIP stood for Revenge Is Promised. No one dared to speak of it openly just whispers around town. The whispers about her went from the home porches to the barbershop, the little cafe and to the playgrounds.
Everyone said it was witchcraft and she had no need for friends because she had friends on the otherside. None us kids were quite sure what that meant. We did know this, if she ever called upon her friends from the otherside on you, it meant you would die a mysterious, horrible and terrifying death the same way those two men did.