Cover Art

The Sleepwalker

by

Mary Hazel Upton

It has been over six months since Melissa Sue died and was buried in the Haven Of The Angels Cemetery. Melita Ann, her twin sister, continues to grieve. At first she is terrified when she awakes to hear Melissa Sue, who used to walk in her sleep, outside her window. Terror turns to uneasy joy. Too late she learns that Melissa Sue is now a vampire--and that she wants Melita Ann to become one of the undead and join her forever. Together, Melita Ann and Melissa Sue's boyfriend, Alan, must try to defeat the forces of darkness and let Melissa Sue finally rest in peace.

CREDITS, EXCERPT & CHAPTER ONE

CREDIT FOR COVER PHOTO

 

     The cover photo for this book was taken at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky by my father, Claude B. Henson, on February 21, 1985.

 

FOR MAMA & DADDY

WHO SHOWED ME THE REAL

HAVEN OF THE ANGELS CEMETERY

AND THE REAL GALLERIA

THAT APPEAR IN FICTIONAL FORM IN THIS STORY

 

CAVE HILL CEMETERY IS IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

VISIT THEIR BEAUTIFUL WEBSITE AT:

http://www.cavehillcemetery.com

 

THE GALLERIA WAS ALSO IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

IT, UNFORTUNATELY, NO LONGER EXISTS.

I WAS ABLE TO FIND OUT VERY LITTLE ABOUT IT ON

THE INTERNET, BUT DID FIND OUT THAT IT WAS THERE

FROM APPROXIMATELY 1982 UNIL 2004.

THE SITE IS BEING USED FOR SOMETHING ELSE NOW.

 

AND ALSO FOR GAIN, MY BELOVED HUSBAND,

WHO WAS WITH US AT CAVE HILL CEMETERY,

AND WHO IS ALAN IN THIS STORY.

 

 

EXCERPT FROM

THE SLEEPWALKER

 

     There was no burglar outside on their driveway. Melissa Sue was walking toward her. Her eyes were closed and she was dressed in the same dress Melita Ann had seen a thousand times in her nightmares since Christmas. It was a pale blue velveteen with long sleeves and a high neck line, decorated with matching blue pearl buttons. It was the same dress Melissa Sue had been buried in.

     In the spill of moonlight Melissa Sue was more beautiful than ever. Her golden blond hair was almost white in the colorless moonlight. It fell in a thick straight spill to just below her waist. What was the most shocking was how alive Melissa Sue looked. Even in the moon's false imitation of day Melita Ann could see that her sister's face was rosy and vibrant with life.

     Melita Ann watched in stunned shock as this apparition came closer to the window. Then Melissa Sue opened her eyes and smiled, and when she did, Melita Ann began to scream.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

     The sound of footsteps crunching on the gravel driveway outside woke Melita Ann Lindsay from a sound sleep. Melissa Sue was her first thought. She's walking in her sleep again. I'll have to go out and bring her back in before she wakes Mom and Dad.

     A quick glance at the twin bed on the other side of the room showed Melita Ann that the bed was empty. The sight of the pink ruffled spread, not even turned down, cleared the last of the cobwebs of sleep from Melita Ann's mind. Whoever was out there walking it wasn't Melissa Sue. Melissa Sue would never walk in her sleep again, and Melita Ann would never bring her back to their bedroom again. Melissa Sue was sleeping forever now in the Haven Of The Angels cemetery. She had been for over six months now.

     The first small twinges of fear insinuated themselves into Melita Ann's mind. It must be a burglar out there. She remembered reading in yesterday's newspaper that there had been a rash of burglaries just a few blocks from the neighborhood where she lived with her parents. The window was open to let in the little fresh air that was stirring on this muggy July night. Melissa Sue had never liked air condiitioning. She said it aggravated her claustophobia. The memory made Melita Ann uncomfortable, and she tried not to think of her sister shut up in her coffin under all that dirt.

     Melita Ann pulled on her robe over her baby doll pajamas and slipped her feet into her house slippers, being careful to stay away from the window where she could be seen. There was a full moon tonight. It spilled its eerie light over Melissa Sue's bed. A burglar could easily cut through the flimsy screen.

     Outside it was almost as bright as day. Melita Ann had never liked moonlight. Melissa Sue had though. The full moon seemed to excite her in a peculiar way. At those times her already sparkling personality seemed to sparkle even more. Melita Ann resolutely shut off the unwelcome thoughts and concentrated on thoughts of the burglar. Cautiously she peeped around the edge of the curtain.

     There was no burglar outside on their driveway. Melissa Sue was walking toward her. Her eyes were closed and she was dressed in the same dress Melita Ann had seen a thousand times in her nightmares since Christmas. It was a pale blue velveteen with long sleeves and a high neck line, decorated with matching blue pearl buttons. It was the same dress Melissa Sue had been buried in.

     In the spill of moonlight Melissa Sue was more beautiful than ever. Her golden blond hair was almost white in the colorless moonlight. It fell in a thick straight spill to just below her waist. What was the most shocking was how alive Melissa Sue looked. Even in the moon's false imitation of day Melita Ann could see that her sister's face was rosy and vibrant with life.

     Melita Ann watched in stunned shock as this apparition came closer to the window. Then Melissa Sue opened her eyes and smiled, and when she did, Melita Ann began to scream.

     "Darling! What is it?" Melita Ann's parents were in the room now and her mother had a worried arm around her.

     Melita Ann could only shake her head and point helplessly out the window.

     "There's nothing out there, baby." Dr. Lindsay's deep voice was reassuring.

     Melita Ann often thought that trust inspiring voice was why he was so beloved by his many patients. Even her father's voice couldn't stop the trembling and fear deep in her bones. Melita Ann looked out the window again. To her amazement there was nothing but the moonlight on the empty driveway.

     "Outside. I saw..." Melita Ann stopped.

     How could she say she'd just seen her sister, alive and well, walking in her sleep again? No. It would only confirm what they all thought about her, what she herself was beginning to think might be true. After all only crazy people saw ghosts.

     "Nothing. I guess I had another nightmare."

     "Are you sure you wouldn't like to tell me about the nightmare?  Sometimes it helps to talk these things out." Mom had that "mother hen" tone in her voice that she'd adopted toward Melita Ann after Melissa Sue's death and that Melita Ann hated so much.

     Melita Ann shook her head firmly. "I never remember what they're about after I wake up. I just wake up knowing I was dreaming something horrible."

     Melita Ann knew precisely what the nightmare was about. It was always the same nightmare and it had started the night after Melissa Sue's funeral. She wasn't about to tell her mother or anyone else about it though.

     "I'll be all right," she told her parents firmly. "I'm really sorry I woke you guys up though."

     "That's all right. We weren't asleep yet," Mom told her.

     To Melita Ann's relief, Dad began guiding Mom twoard the door. He understood how embarrassing it was for Melita Ann to suddenly revert to babyhood like this. Mom made it worse instead of better by fussing over her the way she did. Mom had never been like that before Melissa Sue had died.

     "If you're sure you'll be all right, Sis." Dad attempted a grin, but Melita Ann knew he was just as worried about her as Mom was.

     "I'm sure."

     "We'll leave our door open just in case you need us," Mom promised as they departed.

     After they'd left, Melita Ann lay scrunched up in bed, terribly afraid to look out the window again. At last she just had to. To her immense relief there was nobody outside on the driveway.

     Down the hall, the low muffled voices of her parents went on and on discussing her. Melita Ann tiptoed to the door of her room, which her mother had left slightly ajar, and listened. She could just make out a word now and then.

     "Psychiatrist." That was her father's voice.

     Melita Ann shrunk back into herself. Not that again!

     "No!" It was her mother's soft Southern voice, made sharper by the swift denial of Dad's solution.

     "Have to do something. Can't go on like this. You know that, don't you?"

     Melita Ann could not hear her mother's reply. But the voices went on, lower now, as if they'd realized that Melita Ann was eavesdropping and did not intend for her to hear what plans they made for her. Melita Ann tiptoed back to bed. She kept her eyes carefully averted from the window. She tried to resist falling asleep for fear the nightmare would start again. After her parents' voices stopped, and she knew she was the only one awake in the huge empty house, she was even more afraid. She tried to pass the long dark hours until morning thinking about all the fun times she'd had with her sister. She and Melissa Sue had shared everything from clothes to boyfriends.

     Some of the tension began to leave Melita Ann as she recalled the time Melissa Sue had gotten Melita Ann her first date with a boy that Melita Ann had been absolutely infatuated with at the time. Melita Ann had been thirteen at the time. The boy had had a summer job at the amusement park where the twins had practically lived that summer.

     "I don't know what you see in those teeth jarring rides," Mom had complained as the sisters had prepared to spend the third afternoon in a row at Tanglehouse Park. "It makes me dizzy just to look at them."

     The girls just giggled. The attraction for Melissa Sue was the rides. Bob Anderson was the attraction for Melita Ann. It definitely wouldn't do to let Mom know that though!

     "Just walk up to him and introduce yourself," Melissa Sue had instructed her sister. They were standing beside the Ferris wheel that Bob operated, just close enough that he couldn't fail to see them, but far enough away to appear casually uninterested.

     "I can't."

     "Don't be silly. This isn't the Middle Ages anymore, thank goodness. Girls don't have to wait around for the boy to make the first move."

     "I can't. I just can't." Panic began to overtake Melita Ann at the very thought of actually speaking to the boy she had secretly dreamed about all summer.

     "Ill do it then!"

     Melita Ann watched as her sister walked over to the Ferris wheel. Her every motion was a lesson in studied unconcern and disinterest. Bob, like every other boy who had ever been exposed to Melissa Sue for five minutes, was already halfway to being in love with her.

     Melissa Sue was soon back. "It's all set. He's going to meet you when he gets off work in an hour. I told him you couldn't leave Tanglehouse Park. He's going to take you on some of the rides." She giggled. "The Old Mill, I'll bet."

     The Old Mill was an ancient lover's lane type ride using decrepit old boats that were guided automatically through a dark wooden maze of waterways.

     Melita Ann's panic rose again.

     A few minutes before Bob was to meet Melita Ann, Melissa Sue told her sister, "Remember, he thinks you're me. I told him my name is Melita Ann."

     Melissa Sue disappeared before her terrified sister could say a word. Then Bob was coming toward her where she waited for him by the giant clowns that guarded the entrance to the fun house.

     Fortunately Bob was one of those easy to get along with people and Melita Ann soon felt that she had known him all her life. In fact he inspired such confidence that Melita Ann even confessed the joke to him, something she knew that her more sophisticated sister would never recommend. That summer the twins and Bob became an inseparable threesome, and Tanglehouse Park was their second home.

     Melita Ann smiled as she lay in bed remembering that long ago carefree summer. Then abruptly as she compared it with now, the full weight of her misery swept down on her. 

 

 

 

 

   

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