Jane wore a yellow ribbon around her neck everyday. And I mean everyday, rain or shine, whether it matched her outfit or not. It annoyed her best friend Johnny after awhile. He was her next door neighbor and had known Jane since she was three. When he was young, he had barely noticed the yellow ribbon, but now they were in high school together, it bothered him.
“Why do you wear that yellow ribbon around your neck, Jane?” he’d ask her every day. But she wouldn’t tell him.
Still, in spite of this aggravation, Johnny thought she was cute. He asked her to the soda shoppe for an ice cream sundae. Then he asked her to watch him play in the football game. Then he started seeing her home. And come the spring, he asked her to the dance. Jane always said yes when he asked her out. And she always wore a yellow dress to match the ribbon around her neck.
It finally occurred to Johnny that he and Jane were going steady, and he still didn’t know why she wore the yellow ribbon around her neck. So he asked her about it yet again, and yet again she did not tell him. “Maybe someday I’ll tell you about it,” she’d reply. Someday! That answer annoyed Johnny, but he shrugged it off, because Jane was so cute and fun to be with.
Well, time flew past, as it has a habit of doing, and one day Johnny proposed to Jane and was accepted. They planned a big wedding, and Jane hinted that she might tell him about the yellow ribbon around her neck on their wedding day. But somehow, what with the preparations and his beautiful bride, and the lovely reception, Johnny never got around to asking Jane about it. And when he did remember, she got a bit teary-eyed, and said: “We are so happy together, what difference does it make?” And Johnny decided she was right.
Johnny and Jane raised a family of four, with the usual ups and downs, laughter and tears. When their golden anniversary rolled around, Johnny once again asked Jane about the yellow ribbon around her neck. It was the first time he’d brought it up since the week after their wedding. Whenever their children asked him about it, he’d always hushed them, and somehow none of the kids had dared ask their mother. Jane gave Johnny as sad look and said: “Johnny, you’ve waited this long. You can wait awhile longer.”
And Johnny agreed. It was not until Jane was on her death bed a year later that Johnny, seeing his last chance slip away, asked Jane one final time about the yellow ribbon she wore around her neck. She shook her head a bit at his persistence, and then said with a sad smile: “Okay Johnny, you can go ahead and untie it.” With shaking hands, Johnny fumbled for the knot and untied the yellow ribbon around his wife’s neck.
**IRL Notes: the following is a story written by the owner of an old writing site I was a member of a long time ago. She curiously picked my name and just happened to pick the name of a girl who lived down the block from me long ago. Also, I have gone through and censored it where needed... use your imagination for the asterisks.**
The rumble of thunder and crackle of lightning awakened the campers. A flash of lightning illuminated a distant figure. Rain pelted the tent, each drop exploded in the eerie silence. Rachel gripped Aaron’s arm, as they listened intently, suspicious of who or what was outside. At each jarring, Rachel dug her nails further into his arm, causing him to wince. Chills coursed through their body, deep-seated fear settled in their bones. The lightning bolted across the sky, revealing nothing, but the campsite drenched from rain.
A strained laugh rushed forth as Rachel and Aaron realized they held their breath. Thinking their imagination bested them, an embarrassing giggle pierced the silence as they snuggled into their sleeping bags. What a story this would make to tell their friends. The rain mixed with the wind, whipped and beat their dome tent--the unknowing couple fell asleep.
The raindrops grew larger, crashed, and plummeted as they soaked the tent. In the distance, the thunder roared and cracked. Unexpectedly, a shrill cut through the uneasy silence. Aaron and Rachel bolted from their sleeping bags, shivers of terror raced through their veins. What the h***?
Aaron hurriedly put his shoes on and groped in the darkness for his hunting knife. S***! I lost it this afternoon.
“Aaron what are you doing?” Rachel whispered grabbing a hold of his arm.
“Rach, honey, I gotta go see if everything’s ok. It’s alright. Really. It’s just a storm brewin’.”
“Please, Aaron don’t leave me here alone.” Unseen by Aaron, one tear rolled down her cheek. “I really have a bad feeling…. please Aaron!”
“Hush, love,” he said gathering her in his arms. “It’s going to be fine. I’ll be right outside. I promise nothing will happen.”
Hugging her tight in gentle reassurance, he reached for the flashlight. In the eerie silence, the deafening sound of the zipper ripped through the night. Aaron shined the flashlight in the direction of their friend’s tent. Looks fine to me.
He checked the surrounding area and found everything as they left it, although, Aaron could not shake the feeling of paranoia. He felt like the white mouse in a weird science experiment. He imagined giant people watching as he walked through the maze of their campsite. He wished for the illumination of lightning to see his surroundings clearer. The flashlight was little help.
After deciding all was well, Aaron, wet and cold, made his way back to his tent. The wind slowed to a gentle breeze, caressing his cheek as he walked. He felt eyes bore into his head, reading his thoughts. As if the Heavens heard his plea, the lightening lit up the night sky. In the distance, the figure appeared again. Aaron blinked. The lightning lit the site. The figure was gone. D***, my imagination is on overload.
He went back to his tent. Upon entering, he found Rachael already asleep. “Sure were scared, weren’t you?”
Exhausted, he laid on his sleeping bag. F***ing great! D*** tent must have leaked. Well, this piece of s*** is goin’ back to the store. No leak guarantee, my a**. The thunder rumbled… the rain fell… the wind increased. Sure is gonna be a bad storm. Hope this piece of s*** holds up. Aaron drifted off to sleep.
The next morning he snuggled closer to Rachel. “Mornin’ love. See we made it. Nothin’ but a storm.”
He draped his arm across her waist. The tiny hairs on the back of his neck rose. He shook himself mentally and rolled to his back. His eyes wandered lazily to the ceiling as he stretched and yawned. His eyes widened. Rubbing them to clear the sleep, he finally saw what he missed last night.
The ceiling was a deep burgundy, a high contrast to the white tent. Burgundy dripped down the sides. He focused intently on the ceiling as he raised himself on one elbow. Aaron reached out, without looking and shook Rachel.
“Rachel, wake up!”
In his panic-stricken mind, he saw nothing but the ceiling. Rachel remained silent. As he listened, there were no sounds. No birds chirping, their friends quiet, nothing… just silence. He froze. Reality of his situation hit him. Slowly his eyes moved from the ceiling to the form next to him, horror slammed into his brain.
“Oh my God! Rachel! Nooooo!” Fear such as he never experienced consumed his thoughts and actions.
Aaron scrambled out of the tent. Wildly, he screamed for help. His eyes flashed randomly over the campsite. In the daylight, Aaron discovered everything he missed last night. Blood covered everything. He looked at himself. He had blood all over him. Her blood. Aaron started shaking violently.
“Dear God! HELP!”
“Rachel! My sweet Rachel!”
What should I do? His eyes looked everywhere, but saw nothing. As he looked down again, the glint of silver caught his attention. He realized it was his lost hunting knife.
He picked it up. D*** b******! He held his knife as if it were the last thing on Earth. He gripped it so tightly he cut himself. The blade sliced through his hand. His blood mixed with Rachel’s and dripped down his hand. His mind and body were numb from shock. He stood paralyzed with fear. His mind completely locked up. He tried to look at the whole campsite. His mind blocked the meaning.
Stupefied, his eyes moved to the tree over his tent, hanging upside down, were their friends. It wasn’t rain. Fascinated, he watched one solitary drop of blood roll off his best friend’s fingertip and fall an eternity onto the tent. The drop echoed through the forest and violently vibrated through Aaron’s soul. Aaron shook violently. One sound penetrated his numbed mind. A whistle.
His head jerked in the direction of the whistle. There on the hilltop, the mysterious figure from last night. It saluted then disappeared. It wasn’t rain! Aaron’s tormented mind screamed run! Kill the b******! The knife sliced deeper into his hand. But, his fear and grief held him in place.
It wasn’t rain. He made himself focus on the sight of his slain girlfriend. Oh my God! It wasn’t rain! He looked from Rachael to his friends. It wasn’t rain. Continuously, this flew through his head until finally it erupted from his mouth in a primal scream.
“It wasn’t rain! It wasn’t rain.” He started to walk in a circle. “D**mit! It wasn’t rain.” He ran his blood soaked hands through his ash blonde hair. “It wasn’t rain… what the f***!”
Recklessly, he waved the knife. “You coward! Where the h*** are you?” He stared into the forest, searched for signs of life. It wasn’t rain. It f***ing wasn’t rain! He looked at Rachael and his friends, “God help me! It wasn’t rain!” ripped from his throat.
This was how the Forest Ranger found Aaron a few hours later. He came up to say hello. What he found haunted him to the end of his days. Aaron walked in circles talking incoherently, the grass worn from constant circling.
The Forest Ranger, who knew Aaron, carefully approached him. He noted the crazed look in his lifeless blue eyes. Aaron jumped as the Ranger gently touched his shoulder. “Aaron, son, what have you done?”
Aaron looked despondently at the Ranger; knife pointed, and said, “It wasn’t rain.”
At his trial, the evidence presented against Aaron, including the hunting knife increased his guilt. He said nothing. He kept his eyes lowered. Once confident and proud, he now teetered on the edge of insanity. After reading the guilty verdict, the judge asked him if he had anything to say before sentencing. His lawyer stood next to him, an unnoticed gleam in his sinister eyes.
Aaron stood before the judge; slowly raised his head. His crazed eyes stared through the judge and beyond. This once prestigious lawyer, convicted of triple murder, managed to say, “It wasn’t rain” before he fell to his knees, in tormented sobs.
Aaron, known as ‘The Crazed Camper,’ became a legend often told ‘round campfires. Some say he didn’t kill those people, but others believed he did. Folks say he’s still alive and sits in a padded room. A life patient of the State Hospital.
The nurses who attend him gossip to friends. “All he does is sit in a straightjacket, rocking back and forth and continuously repeating, ‘it wasn’t rain’."
Hehe, that’s our legend alright. And to answer the one question on everyone’s mind. How do I know so much about our friend Aaron? Well, I was his attorney, of course. And, no, it wasn’t rain, but I’ll never tell. Muh-hahaha.
... I don't know if anyone cares. Honestly every time I finish something I think I should be proud of. It's lack of acknowledgement makes me feel I should have a problem with something other than caffeine because of the sorrow that happens . It's written, it's been proofed. ... It's getting posted later tonight.