"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." — Stephen King
I am a huge fan of Stephen King and his novels in the genre of horror and the supernatural. On a visit to the country a few years ago, my girl cousin Viola Sellers and I might have wondered if indeed monsters are real. If we did, we did not tarry long to consider it. The road beckoned.
One of life’s pleasures for me is to jump in my car and head west from Columbus, Georgia, across the 10th Street bridge into Phenix City, Alabama. You see, I love my adopted community, but Alabama — specifically south central Alabama — will always be home. I often stop in Montgomery and pick up Viola.
Just off the 31 highway is a dirt road that leads to property that once belonged to her paternal grandfather — Walter Roper. He was my uncle. The land, with the exception of a few acres my cousin owns, is no longer in the family. On this particular outing we decided to visit the property. I parked in the yard where the main house once stood. Incidentally, folks said the house was haunted. We are not likely to find out the truth about the house as it was torn down years ago.
As we stood in that yard where we had played together as children, we reminisced about what it was like for her spending some of her youth in that house with her grandparents. Our families had been close. As we talked we noticed another dirt road that branched off to the south. What was at the end of it, we wondered? Seems if her grandfather had sold some land to a family who probably lived at the end of the road, but we did not know who they were.
Without a second thought we decided to walk down the road. It was early evening and on either side of the road there were many trees with dense green foliage; I recall remarking that this looked like a “Stephen King” road. King can make any place or anything malevolent. We walked perhaps an eighth of a mile before we saw any sign of habitation. We saw three mobile homes, but only a couple appeared to be occupied. There were several vehicles parked in the area, but we saw no one and nothing moved as we stood at the end of the road. Viola and I were not sure what to do. Should we raise our voices and shout out “Is anybody home?” It is amazing that we did not feel any fear at all. We were just very curious. Finally Viola said. “I think I see someone in that trailer.” It was the one nearest us. We saw someone come to the door and begin to open it.
A lady came out of the trailer and asked if she could help us. Viola told her that her grandfather Walter Roper had once owned the property and we were just visiting. I also added that I was his niece and my daddy and momma were Yancy and Lorenzia Roper. When I mentioned my parents name the lady became animated and rushed over to give me a hug. She said her name was Carol Boone Williams. At that moment I knew who she was. My family and her family had been friends. Her father had been the pastor of our church. Her sister had been one of my friends when we were growing up. She walked us back to my car and told us some incredible things about her life. It was a joyful encounter for us.
What a wonderful adventure. My cousin and I have many exciting times when I go back to touch my roots in south central Alabama. I am so happy to have a girl cousin and friend who will walk down a Stephen King road with me.