The White Sunday Dress and Sun Hat

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a horrifying event that happened to me. And now, that I feel confident enough to tell my story, it might shock you. I don’t know and who cares.

It began in April 2, 1942. I was just turning 15. I had lived in Switzerland for sometime before war out broken. We lived in a small beaten up house, but it was comfortable at least.

I was in a lovely meadow and the wind was whistling through the trees and the birds were singing happily unaware of the warfare. The daisy and small weed flowers danced gracefully in the wind like ballerinas. The sun was starting to set and I just stared off into the distance. There was a forest right at the edge of the meadow. It gave the meadow an eerie feeling in a sort of way.

I stood in the tall grass with my hands in a fist. I wasn’t mad at anything. I just stared off into the sunset wanting to be like the birds who sung happily. They had nothing to worry about.

“I want to go into the forest and be free like the birds and the deer…” I told myself.

I was interrupted by Mother calling me,” Helga! Come inside dear. It’s getting dark and you know I don’t like it when you stay out after dark. And it dinner time also! So come inside and wash up!” she shouted to me from a distance.

“Okay, Mother!” I shouted back. I looked at the fiery color sky and back at the dark forest. I didn’t know what exactly about that forest drew me to it just to take step into it’s eerie and strange array of trees, moss, life, and plants.

I went inside and got washed up and sat down at the dinner table with Mother. It was just me and her. Father had died a year from an unknown disease. I tried to support Mother every way I could.

“Well, dear, what did you do today out in the meadow?”

“The same as usual. I started off into the forest,” I said. It seemed to upset her a little, seeing that she did not want me to step foot in that forest.

“Well as long as you don’t go in it, it’s fine to just look…”

I stirred up my soup and pondered on a thought. Why wouldn’t mother let me go into the forest? It’s only a forest.

“Mother what is it about the forest that you don’t like?”

She gave me a small sigh and shook her head, “It’s not that I don’t like the forest. I think it’s beautiful, but I just don’t want you to go in. After all we’re in the middle of war and who knows who could out there,” Mother said.

“But, I’m fifteen. I can fend for myself. I can take on whatever’s in that forest!” I said with tone that was directive.

“Listen to me closely Helga, please do not go in that forest,” she said with a worn out voice. I sighed and decided not to push the subject any further.

“Now,” Mother had lighten up a bit and began talking again, “church is tomorrow. I want you to wear your white Sunday dress and sun hat. I’ll do your hair for you if you would like, alright?”

I nodded and put my dirty bowl and spoon away to be washed later.

Sunday came rolling around the corner and I had to get ready. Mother put my ginger colored hair into braids. I put on my white Sunday dress and sun hat. We we’re done dressing about to walk out the door when I looked out of the window and saw a dark silhouette standing at the edge of the forest where it meets the meadow. It had glowing white eyes and it was tall. My eyes widen and I called Mother from the other side of the room.

“What it is honey?” she looked out the window with me and saw nothing.

“There was I think a man standing at the edge of the forest, but he had glowing eyes!” I said with an excited tone in my voice.

“Don’t be silly there couldn’t be anyone out there at this time! It early 8:00 a.m. and everyone is probably at Church by now. Now come on before we’re late!” she said as she rushed out the door with me in hand.

I looked back at the woods and saw nothing. Was it just something I was seeing because I know I’m not going crazy. I made up in my mind that I was going to go into the woods when we got back from Church and when Mother would start to make lunch.

We had just gotten home from Church and Mother went inside the house to cook lunch. “Helga, for today you can wear your Sunday dress and sun hat outside but please don’t get your dress dirty!” I nodded my head. A ran outside into the sun’s warm rays that kissed my skin lightly.

I stood in the tall grass with my hands balled up into a fist for no apparent reason. I slowly made my way through the meadow and down to where the meadow ends and the forest began. I was now standing at the edge of the meadow and was one step away into crossing the border line of the forest. I crossed the border and slowly started to walk into the forest. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint it, but I felt a sense of worrisome and fear in here. It was much darker in the forest and a lot creepier.

I was going to turn back and leave until I noticed I was lost. I was lost like a puppy trying to find it’s way back to it’s home. I started to panic but, quickly calmed down. If I keep walking there’s a chance I could find someone else and they could lead me back home. I continued to walk until I started to see out-of-the-ordinary things. And what I saw truly horrified me. There were nooses on almost every tree. There were deer and foxes hanged on some of them and then there were humans, except they barely looked like it. They had white glowing eyes and a pitch black silhouette. Just like the thing I saw this morning.

Everything was all quiet and still until I stepped on a branch. Then everything came at me. I tried running, my dress got caught up on a branch. I was engulfed in darkness. It hugged me so tight that I felt like I was having my soul sucked out of me.

Then all of a sudden, I jolted up in the meadow. I looked around and everything looked normal and calm. I still felt a sense of worrisome and fear. I stood up and saw blood stains on my white Sunday dress and sun hat. I wanted to scream and panic, but nothing happened. I stood with my hands in a fist and staring off into the forest.

I blinked and saw more than ten black figures in front of me. All I heard were their weak whispers and jumbled up words. I could only make out little of what they said.

“What a lovely dress,” one said.

“She could give it away just like the sins we have given…” another said.

“You would look so lovely in that at your funeral.”

This all scared me, but I couldn’t move and they all started coming at me slowly.

My eyes were a pool of fear. I was engulfed again and felt like I was getting my soul sucked from me. Then… I woke up in the meadow. I was standing with my hands in a fist. Looking off into the distance. Look at my dress and sun hat and they were cleaner than ever.

The wind blew my ponytails to the side of me and I was relieved and so happy I was back at home. Mother called me inside to eat and I ran inside, not looking back. I don’t know what those things are and why they were talking about my dress and hat. I don’t know if they wanted me dead or just wanted what I had (maybe both), but never will never ever go in the forest again.