February 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Last summer, which seems like a distant memory as I watch the snow fall, I held a gathering for my writers group. To celebrate the occasion, I wrote a story to read that night. Necrology Shorts published it.

Will Trizma was a writer of ghost stories and mined the local countryside for legends and their settings. The area abounded in both. His wife, Joan, acted as his editor and sounding board for his ideas. At times, the only comment she would make is, “You’re sick.”
Not only did he write ghost stories, but he also dreamt them. One night he conjured a most vivid story; a story from the future. But unlike most of his dreams, he could not remember this tale. The only recollection he had was that it was horrifying.
* * *
It was the evening of August 15, 1949. The time was slightly before ten as a train made its way toward West Chester. There were fifteen souls aboard, counting the crew and passengers on this quiet summer night. The steam locomotive was pushing a caboose and two passenger cars. The weather had been stormy for days and up ahead the foundation of the bridge spanning Ship Road had been undermined by runoff. Jim Purvis, making his last run in a fully-loaded fuel truck, slowly crossed the bridge. As he reached the span’s center, it collapsed leaving the truck astraddle the tracks. Jim could not believe he was still alive considering the load he was carrying. Although injured, he managed to climb out of the ravine and go seek help.
As the train slowly made its way into a depressed section of track, the conductor, Ben Elliot, sat on the caboose’s platform and began filling his pipe thinking about sharing a late dinner with his wife. He looked down to light the pipe, and once achieving a satisfactory burn, he puffed contently, and them looked up. The sight before him made his scream, “Holy sh…! He never finished the expletive.
The caboose rammed the truck, followed by the cars. The locomotive cut through the wreck until it reached the truck exploding the gas tank and turning the wreck into a funeral pyre.
* * *
Writing is a lonely profession, and years ago Will sought out a local writer’s group for support and editorial advice. During the course of a Christmas dinner attended by all the writers, Will and Joan suggested a summer party and volunteered to hold it at their house. As the day of the party approached, a spouse or two became sick and others were called away unexpectedly on business.
Will and his wife greeted their guests, their thirteen guests.
Their dog, Millie, a lab mix was her usual excited self with the arrival of every new visitor. Once everyone was there, she settled down and dozed in the sun.
The conversation was lively with all the creative minds present, and as dusk approached, Will was called upon to tell a ghost story. “Not dark enough yet,” he answered.
Dessert was served, and when there was no longer a hint of sunlight, and with the patio bathed in twilight, Will deemed the time right for his tale and went into the house. He returned with candles, one for each table, after extinguished all inside lights. “Now we have the right atmosphere,” he said. Will began his story and even Millie appeared interested, her eyes reflecting the candlelight.
The weather had been rainy the last few days, and at ten as he began to read, Will noticed a mist begin coming out of the gull bordering one side of his property. A few guests had asked him earlier about the gully and he answered that it had once harbored a railroad track.
The mist became denser and soon overtook the yard along with the guests. One by one they all fell asleep, including Millie. As the wall of fog enveloped all present, fifteen human shapes began to form. The specters slowly made their way to the dozing, and one by one, entered their bodies.
The next morning they awoke from their deep sleep and knowingly smiled at one another. Ben Elliot looked around, and Will’s eyes filled with tears. “We’ve waited sixty years for this moment.”
Millie awoke and growled. She knew there was something terribly wrong with her master.


Entry filed under: free science fiction and horror stories, WALT'S LATEST PUBLICATION. Tags: , .


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February 2010

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