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Category: Story (Page 1 of 2)

My Guardian Angel Drives A Green 1968 Dodge Charger

Charger1

I woke this morning to a memory of an incident that took place when I was a kid in the 1970’s. I was a 14-years-old and living in Lindenhurst, New York, a blue collar town on the south shore of Long Island.

Having just completed my newspaper deliveries, I was straddling my bike in my driveway talking to my then best friend Joe. His cute brown and white mixed-breed dog, Kilroy stood nearby. As we were talking I noticed this kid, who looked to be seventeen, walking down our block and angling right toward us. He wore a parka, had dark disheveled hair, a scruffy beard, and a serious look on his face.

I didn’t know who he was, but my danger radar was sure pinging. I slid my bike lock chain off my handlebars and lowered it to my side.

I turned to Joe, “You know this guy?”

“No idea who he is but he looks pissed.” Joe said.

The guy walked right up to us, and faced me. He was taller than me, had a wiry build, and was all business. He said, “You beat up my little brother.”

Fear gripped me. I thought I was in for a real ass-kicking.

The day before, my younger sister told me this kid Eddie constantly picked on her and harassed her on her way to and from school. I knew the little punk, and knew he was a trouble maker. When I saw my sister visibly upset by the antics of this asshole, I decided to do something about it.

Earlier on this day, I ambushed Eddie on his way home from school and confronted him about my sister. He was 12 years-old to my 14, and I was a lot bigger than him, but he didn’t care. He took on a wise-ass attitude so I hit him once, then threw him down on someone’s lawn. He started crying, got up and took off running.

Now his older brother was here to exact revenge.

“Your brother was bullying my little sister. He made her cry. What was I supposed to do, let him keep picking on her?” I said.

“I don’t give a fuck what he does to your sister, and I don’t give a fuck about you. Look at the size of you. My brother is only twelve. Get off that bike ‘cause I’m gonna fuck you up,” my attacker said.

At first I froze. I kept the right side of my body from his view and gripped the heavy chain tighter.

“I said get off the fucking bike,” the attacker said taking a step forward.

I swung the chain in a vicious arc trying to connect with his head or face. He flinched just enough so that the lock on the end of the looped chain just grazed his chin. He took a step back, and I jumped off my bike and backed into my front yard. I kept the chain at the ready.

His right hand went into the pocket of his parka, and it came out holding a knife.

Amazingly I kept my cool sizing up my opponent; I figured I’ll keep swinging the chain to keep him from getting close. Just then I saw Joe, stark fear across his face, grab his dog’s collar saying, “Come on Kilroy, let’s go home.”

“That’s right Joe, go home and call the cops and tell ‘em there’s a guy with a knife trying to attack me.” I said.

Me and the attacker circled one another in this deadly stand-off. The unnerving thing is he wasn’t saying anything, I could just see him trying to figure out how he was going to stab me without getting hit with the chain.

Suddenly a green 1968 Dodge Charger roared up the street and screeched to a stop in front of my house. I was thinking, ‘Oh shit, is this another of Eddie’s brother’s?’

A guy of about 20, with curly blond hair poked his head out of the window, “What the fuck are you doing with that knife?” he said to my attacker.

The attacker looked over at the blond guy and said, “He beat up my little brother…”

“Yeah, because his little brother keeps bullying my sister, and makes her cry.” I shouted out.

My attacker looked at me then back to the blond guy, who said to my attacker, “You better put that knife away and get the hell out of here.”

“But…”

“If I get out of this car, I’m gonna take that knife away from you and shove it right up your ass,” the blond guy said.

My attacker looked at the blond guy and could see he wasn’t kidding. My attacker didn’t say another word. He backed away from me while pocketing the knife. Once he reached the street, he turned and ran and was soon out of sight.

“You alright kid?” The blond guy said.

“Yeah, thanks for helping me out.” I said.

“If he bothers you again, let me know, I live just down on the next block.” The blond guy said, putting his car in gear and roared down the street.

I never saw the blond guy in the green Dodge Charger, nor the guy with the knife, again.

I had another run-in with Eddie a few years later, but that’s another story. By the time he was in his 20’s he became a muscle bound thug. When he was 24, he went to jail for rape.

The frightened kid Joe, who abandoned me, grew up and joined the NYPD. That pasty-white Irish-Catholic kid was stationed in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the toughest neighborhoods at that time. The last time I saw Joe was just before 9-11. He was still with the NYPD, but had since transferred to the Harbor Patrol. I just know he was there that day showing great care and courage helping people to escape the stricken city.

Although I didn’t give it much thought at that time, as an adult I often wonder what would have happened if the guy in the Charger hadn’t shown up. In every scenario I play out in my head, none of them end well.

Somewhere out there was a young man with curly blond hair in a green 1968 Dodge Charger, who most likely saved me from great harm. Thanks again.

Dead Giveaway (WIP-5)

Previously: Dead Giveaway (WIP-4)

…After a brief pause, Henry said, “Miles, can I ask you a personal question.”

“Most certainly Henry, ask away.” Miles said without hesitation.

“Do you remember when you died?”

 

Miles stared at Henry for a long minute. With a slight nod he began.

“Father was an educated man, but he wanted to set up his own homestead. After John Eliot built an Indian missionary church right near here by the river,” Miles said pointing west towards the Merrimack River, “father decided it was safe enough to bring us out to the frontier and build a farm.”

Miles sat in the chair near the window.

“We had a hundred acres that spanned from up here right down to the river. It was a fair bit up from the Namoskeag falls, but there was still plenty of fish. We moved here when I was 12, and we worked the land. We had good relations with the Penacook, and traded with them. Some of them would sup with us from time to time. Everything was good for a spell.”

Miles stared out the window. He had a far away look, like he was somewhere else.

“We started hearing stories from fur traders and some of the Penacook about attacks down in southern parts of Massachusetts. An Indian named Metacom started an insurrection. At first we were not worried as the attacks were far away. One day a trader told us the entire town of Deerfield had been burnt to the ground. Many were dead and others were taken prisoner. As the attacks increased and spread out, we received news less frequently. We did not know much of what was happening outside our settlement, but the feeling was that it was getting worse.”

Miles hands were clenched into fists, and he folded his arms across his body. His right leg bobbed up and down rapidly. When he looked up, Henry could see real fear in Miles’s eyes.

“It was early one morning during the harvest. The light was just coming up, and father, Joseph, Edward and I were getting ready to go to work in the fields. Father and Edward were already outside, when I heard a commotion and yelling. Then came shots. Father ran into the house shouting, ‘Indians, grab the guns.’ Mother was shouting. ‘Where’s Edward!’ but father didn’t answer. He grasped his musket and handed me another. We could hear whooping and hollering getting closer. It was all happening so fast.

I rushed outside ahead of father and Joseph. A figure was moving at speed in my direction. I just pointed and fired. I couldn’t see if I hit him through the smoke. There was yelling and gunfire all over. I began reloading in earnest when something pounded into my chest and caused me to fall flat on my back. I couldn’t catch my breath. I could hear my brother yell, then scream. Then I heard my sister Elizabeth screaming nearby. I tried getting up but could barely raise my head. Suddenly an Indian, an Abenaki I think, stood over me sneering. He carried a stone club. Looking into his cold, black eyes, I could see no mercy there, no compassion. He swung his arm and all went black.”

Henry stared as Miles looked back out the window, hugging himself and rocking back and forth.

“When I awoke, I at first did not recognize where I was. It was very overcast, the clouds were heavy with rain. I stood before a smoldering ruin. It was some minutes before I realized it was all that remained of our home. In front of the house lay my mother in the grass face down. She was bloodied and still. My father had been stripped of his clothes and his chest and belly had been split open. I could see the bodies of my brothers near the now empty animal pens and smoldering barn. My sisters Elizabeth and Grace were nowhere to be seen. I looked back at the woods from whence the Indians came. The forest was now silent and dark.”

Miles looked back at Henry again, his eyes large and dark. There would be tears if he could cry. His leg stopped moving, and he unfolded his arms and they lay limp at his sides.

“Another body lay at my feet. It was a stranger. He lay on his back, his arms and legs splayed out. I could not recognize who he had been as his face and head had been knockt bloody. His feet were bare. His shoes and stockings had been taken. His once white shirt was soaked in blood, and he wore brown trousers just like mine. He also had a scar on his lower right leg just like mine, which I received after a mishap with an axe when I was younger.” Miles whispered resting his chin on his chest, and lifting his hands to his face examining them.

“My thought was the stranger had come to help us, but had died in the process. I wandered about the area calling for help. None came. Another day passed, or two I think, when a group of Christian Penacook Indians arrived. I knew some of them. One was named Daniel. I tried speaking to him, but he ignored me as if I were not there. The Indians gathered up my parents, my brothers, and the stranger and buried them together not far from where the house had been. They laid rocks upon the grave to keep animals from digging them up. A crude wooden cross was fashioned, and a prayer was said. Then they left.”

“That stranger was you wasn’t it Miles?” Henry said.

Miles just nodded, still looking down. “My family now lies in the back corner of your yard, beneath the fence and your shed.” Miles finished, and lifted his head to look directly at Henry.

His mouth agape, Henry said, “You and your family are buried in our back yard?…”

Dead Giveaway (WIP-4)

Previously: Dead Giveaway (WIP-3)

Henry headed up the stairs to his room to think about doing homework, but intending to read or play a video game. On the landing he turned down the hall to his bedroom, but his way was blocked by a shadowy figure.

“Hey you little booger, were you in my room touching my stuff again?” His fourteen-year-old sister Tessa said. Better known as ‘Tessa the Terrible’.

“No, I haven’t.” Henry said.

“That’s bull, things in my room’s been moved, which means you were in there going through my stuff. You tried taking my game controller didn’t you? It wasn’t where I left it yesterday.” Tessa said.

“How could I? I just got home. Maybe Dad was looking for something, or maybe it was Mom, she was just home for a bit.” Henry said.

“Dad, never goes in my room, and Mom…”She trailed off, then her face went white. She stood over Henry. “If I find out you were in my room,” she said jabbing a finger in Henry’s chest with each word, “I’m gonna kick your ass.” and shoved him against the wall as she went back to her room at a run.

“Seems to be the theme today,” Henry mumbled to himself as he entered his room. He dropped his backpack on his bed and went to the desk facing the window. He turned on his Kindle Fire, and tapped the screen to open up the latest ebook in The Apocalypse Weird series.

In no time the story pulled his attention and imagination into to the latest adventure. The ‘Theater of the Mind’ began playing its mind movie…

“Why do you let your sister treat you in such a manner?” Came a voice from behind him in the quiet of his room.

Henry jumped, bobbling his Kindle before dropping it onto the desk. “Dammit Miles, do you always have to do that?” He said spinning around in his chair. “You scared the heck out of me.”

“You will have to excuse me, it’s not like I can knock on the door now can I?” Miles said with a smile.

“No I guess you can’t.” Henry said.

“But I can muster the energy to move some of Tessa’s things about.” Miles said, a wide grin across his pale face.

“It was you?” Henry said,  with a tone of astonishment. “How?…why?…you just need to stop doing that. I’m the one who get’s in trouble for it. She’s just going to blame me.”

“Very well, very well, I’ll not do it again.” Miles said giggling. “But it is amusing to see her bewilderment.”

“I’ll bet,” Henry said, himself now laughing, and then he stopped. “Wait, what other times are you in my sister’s room looking at her?”

Miles was still giggling, then it became a smile, and then the smile disappeared. His jaw dropped open and eyes widened when it dawned on him what Henry meant by the question. “Henry, I take exception, I would never look in on your sister when she is indecent. I am no scoundrel. What sort of man do you think I am?”

“Oh don’t sound so annoyed I was just asking; besides you’re not a man you’re a boy like me, a little older maybe but still a boy.” Henry said.

“I’m quite a bit older than you when you think about it.” Miles said. “That reminds me, have you spoken with your father yet, about the history of this house?”

“No, not yet. He’s busy doing research for his book. He doesn’t like to be distracted from what he’s working on. If I ask him it’ll just interrupt the work on his book. First he’ll look into the history of this house, then he’ll to look into the history of the neighborhood, and then the entire city.” Henry said.

“Good, then he will learn the truth about the earliest settlers up here, and find out what really happened to them.” Miles said.

After a brief pause, Henry said, “Miles, can I ask you a personal question.”

“Most certainly Henry, ask away.” Miles said without hesitation.

“Do you remember when you died?”

 

 

Dead Giveaway (WIP-3)

Previously: Dead Giveaway WIP-2

Henry stood rooted to the ground in abject fear, not sure what to do, not sure he could move if he wanted to. Then the dark specter began to shimmer and shrink into itself. It didn’t sink into the ground, but imploded into the very fabric of space.

Henry stared at the spot where it had been. After a moment he could once again feel the heat of the sun, fear melted away, and the incident began to feel like a hallucination or a dream, but deep down he knew it wasn’t.

Even though the specter was gone, Henry crossed to the other side of the street giving the wooded lot a wide berth. He ran the rest of the way home.

 

Henry’s mom was in the kitchen making something to eat when he came through the front door.

“You’re late,” his mom said, “what was the hold up.”

“Geez mom, it was only a few minutes. It was nothing; I was just talking to an old lady.” Henry said.

“You remember what I said about talking to strangers.” His mother said her brow furrowed.

“It’s okay mom, she didn’t pose any danger. It was an old lady.” Henry said.

“Old, young, man, woman – it doesn’t matter. Anyone and I mean anyone can be dangerous. Who was this woman and where was she?” his mother, Olivia said.

“It was just a couple of blocks from here. Her name is Mrs. Parker, and I’m telling you she’s nice. She stayed at least ten feet away from me the whole time.” Henry said.

Mrs. Parker? Olivia thought. A common enough name, but still it raised a mental flag. Why she couldn’t say.

“What were you making there?” Henry said, changing the subject.

This interrupted her thoughts, “Oh, I was just making you a snack. I have to go back to work. Your father’s in his office working. He’ll be making dinner tonight, but you know when his door’s closed it’s anyone’s guess when it’ll be open again. So, I made you a tuna wrap to get you by.” Olivia said, as she placed the small plate on the dining table.

“You came home just for that?” Henry said.

“Not just that. It got so warm today; I came home to put on something lighter to finish out the rest of my shift. Okay kiddo, I gotta go. Make sure you do your homework and leave it for me to check when I get home. Are you planning on going anywhere?” Olivia said.

“No, but Zeke might come over. We’ll either shoot some hoops here, or play video games. Is that okay?” Henry said.

“Yes, but remember, don’t disturb your father. I’ll see you tonight honey. Love you.” Olivia said as she bent over to kiss her son’s head.

“Love you too Mom,” Henry said, as his mother headed for the front door. “Oh Mom?”

“Yes?”

“You forgot your badge…I mean your shield on the counter.”

Olivia turned, and saw it. With lips tight, she stepped purposefully to the counter where she laid her gold shield when she came home to change. She checked her back holster to be sure she didn’t forget her gun too.

“You’re pretty observant little man,” Olivia said. “Perhaps you’ll make detective one day too.”

“I’d rather be a scientist I think.” Henry said.

“You’d make a good one too,” Olivia said opening the front door, “love you kiddo.”

“Love you too mom, be careful.”

NaNoWriMo 2012 – Day 5 Writing Kickin’ Butt

NaNoWriMo 2012 Writing is Ahead of Schedule!

Toldya I’d kick some writing ass.

Here’s my NaNoWriMo ID: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/werner

Actually Day 3 didn’t go as I had imagined. Despite being in a great writing spot – beautiful, comfortable, and with an endless supply of free coffee – the words came hard and the story developed slowly. I was getting stuck on both dialogue and pacing. It wasn’t until after we were back at home that night that the writing went a little better. By the time I packed it in, I was still short of where I should have been.

Day 4: It went better, but so called “quick research” bogged me down. I know I’m not supposed to go into research – that you’re supposed to just get the story down – no matter its crap, but I’m one of those people where it sticks in my head and annoys the hell out of me until I fix it. So I did.

The writing has definitely been smoother – more in the flow. Why? Because I was writing an action scene – my favorite thing to write. I ended the day a little ahead of schedule.

Day 5: Last night I dreamt about my story – which is always a good thing. I got up a little earlier to empty my thoughts onto the page. It looks good. I can’t wait until I get home from work to get more of the story down and rack up the word count.

Here’s a little writing tip from Mr. George Orwell.


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Writing is a Job

I finally get it. I made the mental paradigm shift.

Writing is a Job.

For the 10+ years I participated in NaNoWriMo, I came to the page almost every day, but I came to the page lightly.

I completed several 50,000+ word manuscripts, but I always approached it with a ‘creative play’ mindset with a deadline of November 30.For some reason, I never took it serious enough. I took my writing duties seriously when I wrote freelance articles for custom motorcycle magazines, but never my novel writing.

Over the years I read many articles, by well-known authors, about treating novel writing like a job or a business, but it never stuck. Why? I dunno, maybe I wasn’t ready.

Over the past months I’ve read similar articles by Larry Brooks, Bob Mayer, J.A. Konrath, Jeff Goins, Chris Guillebeau, and Sean Platt. Perhaps it was the repetition of the message. Maybe it was their voice, or the way they said it. In any case, this time the message stuck.

When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”

~Buddha

I write a lot in my job, but it’s all business writing- clinical, pale and droning. Now, when I get home, after working out, dinner and coffee with my Lady Loly, I go to work at my part-time job: Writing. Not writing e-mails, essays or blog posts either; but story writing. 

I no longer come to the page lightly.

No matter how tired I am, or how much ‘I just don’t feel like it,’ I approach it like I do my day job. I just do it. I open the laptop, clock-in and work until I produce at least 1,000 words of story. It can take an hour, or two-and-a-half hours, either way I do my job until I get it done for the day.

I’m at the point where I feel obligated to the job – as obligated as I am to my day job. It’s always in the back of my mind. That it’s something I have to do before I can call it a day. I work at my part-time writing job every business day.

On weekends I’ll write if I have a scene in my head I just have to get down on the page or if the weather isn’t good or we don’t have a lot going on. Other than that I don’t worry too much about it on the weekends.

Right now writing is a job. It’s a job where I’m not getting paid (yet), but I learn and I produce. The ultimate goal of this job is to turn it into a business, approach it like a business, and work at this business – and earn a living at it.

Werner


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Writing Without Limits

David Gaughran published a guest post article on his excellent blog Let’s Get Digital, by thriller writer, Matthew Iden. In the article Matthew discussed the End of Limits in writing and publishing stories. Gone is the need for specific word counts for specific genres of fiction and whether or not you are a new or established author.

If you can tell a good story in 20,000 words, then good on you, but if you have an epic saga taking readers on a journey of a million words or more – then go for it. The limitations of the Big 6 Publishers no longer apply in the limitless digital universe.

When I read the post and the accompanying links, I thought to myself, “You mean I no longer have to plan and outline a thriller story and try and hit the 80,000 word mark? Or needing to make sure a YA novel has to be around the 16k mark?”

The idea hit me upside the head like a late-winter slushy snowball. It really made me sit up and take notice. It was like I was given permission to write a fast-paced thriller with less than 50,000 words or take a YA novel over the 20k mark – or down to 13k.

Word count no longer matters – only story. This is as it should be and should always have been. As the article said, “Story is as story does”, damn straight.

(I wonder what this will mean to NaNoWriMo over the long term?)

I’ve also been reading that strict genre guidelines no longer really matter. If a story can be well told, people are blurring the lines between genres, like high-fantasy-cyberpunk, and finding ready audiences for what they’re publishing.

The article got me thinking about stories I’ve written, but never published because I thought they were lacking because the word count wasn’t where the “norm” was supposed to be.

I have a 23,000 word coming of age story, a 35,000 word road trip story and a series of YA stories in the 10-12k range. I also have a 15,000 word humor story of the correspondence between 4 friends in the mid-1980’s during the earliest days of e-mail, before it was even called e-mail.

The article left me feeling I need to go out and find an editor and a book cover designer for these stories and put them out in that digital universe…and see what journey ensues.

It’s finally sinking in, that in this New Era of Writing and Publishing; you can write what you want…anything at all, just tell a good story.

A Haunted Book Store

This is another story from the Paranormal Articles Archives, from June 10th, 2010.


On Sunday, I drove down to New Haven with a friend, to visit my brother in Yale-New Haven Hospital. On the way back one of our favorite places to stop is the Travelers Restaurant & Book Store. It’s right off exit 74, on I-84 in Connecticut on the CT-MA border. I’ve been going there for years.

The interior is dimly lit and the decor still largely stuck in the 70′s. There are shelves lined with good quality donated books and wood paneled walls lined with autographed pictures of famous authors who have visited the restaurant. The food is good, and with a meal you’re allowed to take up to 3 used books from the main dining area for free. Downstairs is a small library of inexpensively (mostly) priced used books.

On this day the restaurant only had a couple of patrons. After we finished our meal, my friend and I went downstairs to look around. The room is small and well lit with a low ceiling and is crowded with rough-hewn bookshelves, crammed with books.

When we found books we wanted to buy we put them on a holding table at the back of the room and continued browsing. Ten minutes later, I came back to the holding table and noticed my friend sitting on a chair looking miserable. He said, “I’m not feeling too well. I feel sick to my stomach. I’m gonna go to the men’s room.” I said, “Sure thing, I’ll watch your stuff.”

He went upstairs as I looked through my selections on the holding table. Alone in the room, I started getting a nervous feeling at my core; like there was an energy in the air. I looked around for any major electrical conduits, but none were readily evident. I moved away from that area and went down an aisle that was at the front of the room. The nervous feeling went away.

I was looking at books by Peter Benchley and Ramsey Campbell, when I heard something clunking on one of the shelves and then the sound of a book hitting the concrete floor with a slap. I stepped into the main corridor by the exit and with a few strides ascertained that there was no one else in the room with me.

I called out, “Hello? Is there anyone down here?” I received no answer. I noticed a book lying on the floor in the center aisle toward the back of the room by the holding table. I walked down the aisle and picked up the brown leatherback book off the floor. I looked it over and set the book securely back on a shelf. This is not an aisle my friend or I had been down before. This aisle shelves Women Studies, Crafts and Parenting.

As I stood there, I got a nervous energy feeling in my chest. The air seemed somehow thicker. I called out, “If there’s someone down here with me that wanted to get my attention, you got it. If you’re still here, I dare you to do the same thing again.”

I stood my ground for a minute, still feeling the energy, but nothing happened.

I cased the place again to be sure no one else was physically there with me. I then moved forward toward the only exit and continued browsing for books to buy. Not a minute later, I heard a sliding sound, and then a clunking of something tumbling followed by a thud as another book hit the floor.

This time it was at an aisle near the very back of the room in the ‘Classic Literature’ section. This book was also at the end of the aisle near where the holding table is. I picked up the book and shelved it saying, “Okay, I hear you, thanks for letting me know you’re here.”

I heard someone creaking on the stairs and went to check it out. It was my friend coming back down. I asked if he saw anyone go up and said he hadn’t. I asked how he was feeling and he said, “It’s funny, I felt a lot better as soon as I got upstairs. When I went to the bathroom I didn’t have to do anything. When I was down here, I felt like I was going to either puke or crap myself. But I’m fine now.”

My friend is not a believer in the paranormal, but he perked up when I told him about my experiences while he was upstairs. He wanted to keep looking around now that he felt better. A few minutes later I saw him retrieving his books off the holding table and pacing around nervously asking if we could go.

We went back upstairs to pay for our purchases. He paid first and went outside to wait for me. When I was paying I asked the lady behind the counter if anybody ever reports “strange” things when they’re downstairs. She opened her mouth to say something then clamped it shut. A blank look came across her face. She would no longer look me in the eyes and said in a low monotone voice, “No, not that I’m aware of.” That was the end of it. She took my money and wished me a good day.

Back in the car, my friend said, “I had to get out of there. I got that sick-nervous feeling again when I was down there. As soon as I got upstairs I felt absolutely fine again. Do you think what we experienced could be caused by something paranormal?”

I had a huge grin on my face. For the rest of the trip home we had a very intense and interesting conversation.


My brother passed away not long after and I didn’t go back to the Traveler’s Food and Books for a long period. That is until April of this year, when my fiancée and I visited New York City. There were, however, no odd feeling or incidents this time.

Did you ever have a similar experience in a public place or business?

Werner


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Strange Story (guest post)

This is a guest post from a writer I know who goes by the name Dameon. He’ll be posting from time to time. Either he or I will divulge a little more about him – as he allows it. I’ll keep encouraging him…

I found this in a journal that was mixed in with a box of books in a house I recently bought as a foreclosure and moved into. It was dated October 7, 2008.


Hey Dave, there’s a big mystery going down in my town.

A guy from town named Bill Witcomb, is what you call a Google Map Explorer. This is where people view satellite images of an area that look interesting and then go explore it. Bill was exploring a wooded area in the eastern part of town and discovered a heavily overgrown road that hasn’t been used for decades.

According to his wife, Janet, he went out to that road two days in a row. On the second day, he told his wife he found the remains of an old 1926 Ford Model A. Bill said the car looked as though it had flipped a few times, spilling contents and pieces of the car all over the place. It appeared this wreck happened at about the time the road was closed off to further traffic in 1935.

Bill also mentioned that he found a small, but heavy, metal strong box in the wreckage, which was still locked. The lock mechanism was too corroded to jimmy it, and the strong box was too heavy to move on his own with his bad back. Bill said he felt the box probably contained depression era “mattress money” that the previous owner would never trust to a bank. Given the era of the car, he surmised that due to the weight, the box probably contained mostly silver and perhaps even gold coins.

Bill was determined to get into that box, Janet said. Bill decided that instead of bringing the box out of the woods, he would open it on site and remove its contents there. On the third day, Bill left that morning with a two pound hammer and masonry chisel. As the day progressed into the afternoon and then dinner time, Janet’s mood went from annoyance to being worried. When Bill didn’t come home by dark, she called the police.

That night, with flashlights in hand, the police looked in the area where Janet told them Bill went. They found his car, but couldn’t find any trace of Bill or the wreck he found. The odd thing was that when they brought two police dogs to help in the search, both dogs flat out refused to go to a certain area in the woods no matter what command the K-9 officers gave them.

It was reported that when the officers tried to drag the dogs into the area, the dogs sat on their haunches refusing to budge, even snarling at the K-9 officers. The police decided to search the area without the dogs, they quit after a few minutes citing that there was too much underbrush and too dark to see anything. They posted an officer on the street outside of the woods and would continue the search at daybreak.

The next day, more officers joined in the search with the same two dogs. This time the dogs did go into the area they had refused to go the night before. Within an hour, they found the wreckage of the old car. Nearby they found the strong box and next to it Bill’s hammer and chisel.

The box was open, and on the ground next to the box was a musty old black sack with a gold colored rope tie. The sack smelled of mold and sulfur, and on its side was an odd symbol that no one recognized. Despite searching the entire woods, they found no sign of Bill. It was as though he simply vanished.

As the police continued working on the scene to collect evidence, the dogs suddenly began to whine – their tails tucked between their legs, their ears flat to their head. Then every officer in the perimeter of the car and strong box began to feel physically ill.

There was a strong smell of sulfur mixed with something noxious and they all became light-headed and felt as though they were going to vomit. All of the police personnel evacuated the area stumbling out of the woods to the road.

Within minutes of leaving the woods they all felt fine. They waited thirty minutes and a few officers went back to collect some equipment they dropped and the evidence bags. They retrieved everything without incident. Back at the station they opened the sealed evidence bags to catalog the contents.

It was found that the sealed evidence bag containing the black sack was empty. They couldn’t find it anywhere. In addition, most of the digital pictures they had taken were black as if the lens had been covered. Other images were so misted over, they appeared as if they had been taken in a heavy fog, although it had been a crystal clear day.

Needless to say the police are baffled, need I say spooked? Due to the nature of how strange this is, it was held back from reaching any of the papers.

The only reason I found out about this is that my son is friends with a kid named Andy, whose father works for the town’s police department. He was there that night. Andy overheard his father talking to his mother about it and then on the phone with other officers he works with. 

This story is spreading all over town. However, almost no one knows the location where all this took place…I was able to find out.

You remember that trail I took you on about a month ago, the one near my home over on Cross Road? Well it’s in the woods on the opposite side of where we took the trail.

I’m going there this evening before it gets dark to see if I can find the car. I’ll let you know…

Gary


From what I was able to find out, the family that lived here abandoned the house in March of 2009. The house remained empty until I closed on it this past summer.

Dameon


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The Civil War Began 150 Years Ago Today

On this day 150 years ago, at 4:30 am on April 12, 1861, Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire with an artillery barrage on Fort Sumter, commanded by Union Major Robert Anderson, starting the American Civil War.

The Civil War involved over 3 million American soldiers, of which more than 640,000 died over the four years of war. More American soldiers were killed in the Civil War than in all of America’s other wars – combined.

For the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, PBS has been playing Ken Burns epic Civil War series.

As I watch it, for the umpteenth time in the 20 years since it came out, I’m still amazed that it happened here, how it unfolded and how it almost tore our country apart.

Sitting here writing this post, minutes before the anniversary of that first shot, I’m astounded by what an incredible story the Civil War is.

The plot, the setting and theme are there. You’re presented with a vast cast of characters that you can’t help but care about. You root for the main protagonists (Lincoln and Grant) and even find empathy for the main antagonists (Davis and Lee). There are lots of amazing sub-plots, continuous conflicts, trials and triumphs. The plot points are in place as is the reversal of fortune at the mid-point – all leading to the dramatic climax. At then end is a touching epilogue of what became of the characters that survived the war and what it meant to our country.

One hell of an epic story.

An interesting fact: When Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard was a cadet at West Point; Union Major Robert Anderson was his artillery instructor.

Beauregard was such an accomplished artilleryman; Anderson kept him on as an assistant instructor. Anderson, the former instructor, would later surrendered Fort Sumter to his former student, G.T. Beauregard.

Its 4:30 am – the Civil War has begun…

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