The Red Scarf is a scary story about a man whose wife has a very strange dream… A dream in which a man is strangled with a red scarf.
When Mr. Smith eventually came home, it was extremely late. He closed the front door very quietly, took off his coat and scarf and hung them up on the stand. Then, he just stood in the hallway, breathing heavily. In the bathroom, he spent a long time scrubbing his hands and nails. Finally, he turned off the light and went to bed.
The next morning, he woke up and went downstairs to the kitchen where his wife was cooking breakfast.
“What time did you get home last night?” asked Mrs. Smith.
“About one o’clock,” her husband replied as he picked up the newspaper and flipped through it.
“It must have been later than that,” she said.
“Maybe it was one-thirty,” he replied.
“It couldn’t have been one-thirty,” said his daughter as she came into the kitchen and sat down. “My boyfriend dropped me home from the disco at two-thirty and Dad still wasn’t home. What’s the matter, Dad? You look very pale this morning.”
Mr. Smith didn’t reply. He pretended to read his paper.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night,” said his wife. “I had such a terrible nightmare. I dreamed you were executed.”
Mr. Smith knocked over his coffee cup and it spilled all over the table.
“Because of a murder,” his wife continued, “in the middle of the night. It was so vivid!”
“Wow, Mom! That’s crazy!” cried his daughter with glee. “Who did he murder? Tell us all the grisly details.”
“Well, it really was grisly,” said her mother. “It was Daddy’s boss, Mr. Browning.”
“What?” asked her husband.
“In the nightmare, you murdered poor Mr. Browning,” said his wife. “Because he caught you stealing money from the company.”
“How did he do it, Mom?” his daughter laughed. “Go on, tell us.”
“Be quiet!” said her father. “Dreams are a load of nonsense.”
“I want to hear it,” his daughter giggled.
“Well, it was late at night,” said his wife, “and Daddy was giving Mr. Browning a ride home from work. They were chatting about business and they were arguing and Daddy stopped the car in the middle of nowhere. Daddy said he had to get something. He got into the back of the car…”
“Go on,” said Mr. Smith. “Let’s hear it then.”
“Well, your coats and scarves were on the back seat… and Mr. Browning was still sitting in the front… and you picked up a scarf… and while you were talking to him, all of sudden you just put it around his neck and strangled him…”
“Really, that’s… That’s just silly,” said Mr. Smith.
“It was silly,” said his wife. “But in my dream it seemed so real… I was so upset… and that wasn’t the end of it… You dragged him out of the car and dumped his body by the side of the road… like it was a piece of old rubbish… and the scarf was still tied tightly around his neck…”
“Good heavens!” said Mr. Smith.
“It sounds just like a movie,” said his daughter.
“It was so vivid,” said his wife. “You wouldn’t believe how vivid it was… and I saw you put your coat and scarf back on… and then it all got mixed up… You know how that happens sometimes in dreams… and then you were being questioned by the police… and they brought you to the police station… and you were still wearing a coat and scarf, only… seeing it by daylight… it wasn’t your scarf… Your scarf is blue… It was a red scarf… It was Mr. Browning’s scarf…”
“What do you think of that, Dad?” his daughter laughed.
Mr. Smith began buttering his toast nervously. “Very strange,” he said.
“It’s silly, of course,” said his wife. “I just thought I would tell you.”
“Maybe it’s not so silly,” said her husband. “In fact, I did give my boss a ride home from work last night. We had a very serious talk. Not to go into details, but he was acting very strange… Maybe it was later than I thought when I got home… He told me to stop the car and he got out in the middle of nowhere… When I left him, I had the most horrible feeling… It’s very dangerous on these deserted country roads… You don’t know what kind of madman you might cross paths with… I hope nothing happened to him…”
“You don’t think he’s… he’s been in an accident or something,” asked his wife.
“I hope not!” said her husband. “But these days, you never know who you’re going to run into…”
“Good morning, Mom!” cried his son, as he burst into the room. “Morning, Dad. I better get going or I’ll be late for school. It’s cold outside today. Who owns this scarf, by the way? It’s not yours, is it, Dad? Yours is blue. This one is red. Can I take it?”
Mr. Smith took one look at the red scarf and put his head in his hands.
“What’s the matter?” asked his son. “Did I say something wrong?”
Just then, the doorbell rang.