Sarah's Halloween Story A Carbons Creek on line short story

View Through a Ghost Town Window
View Through a Ghost Town Window | Source

The yellow and orange colors in the tree leaves mixed with the still green trees were beautiful. Sadly they were already starting to fall. I wonder, is that why autumn is called fall? Somehow a ride in the country seemed compelling. I decided that the Carbons Creek Sentinel needs a Halloween story.

I packed a picnic lunch and got the buggy ready to go. Buddy, my little dog, jumped into the buggy with me. He rides next to me and knows to keep out of the way if I need to get at one of the guns, a rifle and a shotgun, I have stashed in the buggy.

A truly wonderful day to be enjoyed before winter sets in. The air was dry, the temperature around seventy degrees. Maybe I was just trying to escape some stress from the paper, but I looked forward to a nice day, a lone picnic, and a lighthearted fun story for the feature page. I told John, the typesetter, where I was going and to keep a slot open for a story. I figured to be back in time to get a story in before the holiday celebrations.

The day was even more enjoyable as I stopped and chatted with some of the local folks and ended up with all sorts of produce in the back of the buggy. Harvest this year was apparently bountiful. I had corn and pumpkins and I’m not sure what all. Nobody would take no for an answer. People were just pleased that I had stayed in Carbons Creek and continued the newspaper that my uncle had started. The community needed the paper, they said.

Ghost Town
Ghost Town | Source

I’m afraid I was so entranced with the beauty of the day and the friendliness of the people that I’m afraid I lost track of where I was. Ahead was what appeared to be a town, albeit a ramshackle one. I don’t recall any towns out here, even an abandoned one. Buddy seemed to be nervous, as we got closer to it. The street was windblown and didn’t look like anyone had been here for some time. Some of the building appeared to be sagging like the foundations were weak. Those that had any paint were peeling. Windows were broken. I looked for a sign to tell me what town it was, but the only one I saw the paint was all faded and I couldn’t read it. It might be an old mining town, but I don’t recall any mining in the area. Some building further down looked like they were ravaged by fire. Then I spotted what looked like an old newspaper office. I could barely make out the faded letters spelling “Gazette” above the window. The rest was too faded out.

Buddy still acted nervous but I didn’t know what was causing it. I tried to calm him and let him follow me to the door. A rusty old hasp held the door closed. I found a heavy stick to put behind it and force loose the nails holding it. With a raspy noise it came loose. I pulled it the rest of the way by grabbing the rough, rusty bit of metal and braced myself against a small tree growing up by the building. It gave way suddenly almost throwing me off balance. I got inside ok but breathing was hard with the dust and stale air. Spider webs got tangled in my bonnet and I hated to touch anything because of all the dust. Puffs of dust went up whenever I touched anything. The press had type in it and appeared to be partially set up. Like the work had been interrupted before it was finished. I found a cleaning brush laying around and knocked the dirt offagainst a table. Then I used it to get the dust off the type pages so I could read what the stories were about. I got a somewhat unpleasant view of the last days of the town.

The paper was dated right at the end time of the Civil War. The story told of the town being raided by disgruntled rebel soldiers like those of Quantrell who burned down Lawrence, Kansas. Rumor had been spreading and many residents were leaving town. Another group of residents had fled to the mine and hoped to defend themselves there but they were all killed. It appeared that nearly everyone had fled or was killed before the panicked printer finished getting out his story.

I turned to see how Buddy was doing since he didn’t seem to be whimpering anymore. He was gone. I shouted his name. He doesn’t usually wander off like that. Where could he have gone? I called him and went back outside to check the buggy. The buggy wasn’t there. Now I was ready to panic. An empty town, my dog gone and now my horses and buggy had disappeared. The only weapons I had with me were in the buggy. I consoled myself that if I were up against a ghost the guns probably wouldn’t do much good anyhow. Figuring I didn’t have much to lose I walked around the town to look for Buddy. It apparently had been a mining town, although I was stumped as to what they had been mining. Certainly not gold or silver. Coal? Lead? There were a couple of small houses that escaped being burned. A saloon was still recognizable. I didn’t suppose there would be any kind of food around, as all of mine was in the buggy. I don’t think any food in the stores would be fit to eat. I did find some berries growing in the yards of houses and snatched a few to eat.

When I was about to give up on buddy he came trotting down the street like he was looking for me. I was startled to see he had a bone in his mouth and he was bringing it to me. The thing is it looked like a human bone. With all the killing that went on here, that wasn’t too surprising. I didn’t like the idea of desecrating the dead so I urged Buddy to show me where he got the bone. He led me to the store building and wanted to go down into a cellar. I found some candles and Lucifer matches on a shelf and lit a candle to light the way down. There has no rail going down so I felt along the rough, damp stonewall to keep from falling. The steps were rotting out so I had to be careful of every step I took. The candle flame went from nearly snuffing out in the stuffy air or we would hit a draft that would nearly blow it out but then it would grab onto the air and throw light over the rough crumbling walls.

It was in one of these cycles when I almost tripped because the flame was flickering out. When I got my balance back the flame came back to light up the grotesque sight of a skeleton in the full dress uniform and a sword raised over its head like he was defending himself against an intruder. I was so startled that I lost my footing and tumbled down the rest of the stairs. I must of hit my head because everything went blank.

When I woke up I was outside and John was there with me. He told me that when I didn’t return on time he decided to look for me. It was easy enough to follow my trail, he said, because the people I talked to along the way all told him which way I was going. Buddy showed him where I was. I asked him about the ghostly soldier with the sword but John said he didn’t see him. We found my horses which had wandered off to a grassy area nearby and were hidden by some trees. On the way out I looked at the store building and swore I saw the soldier in uniform watching out the window.


Copyright 2011 Don A. Hoglund

© 2011 Don A. Hoglund

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Comments 27 comments

cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

Nice story! Dreams and real life intersecting? ha Awesome !


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Voted up and awesome! Love this for a good Halloween family ghost story. I also love ghost stories mixed with the Wild West. You've got my vote!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

cre8ivOne

Glad you enjoyed the story.Thanks for commenting.

kittythedreamer

I think this was my first attempt at a ghost story. I'm glad it worked out.Thanks for commenting.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

ooohhh!! fantastically shiverable :) is that a word? no mind it describes the feeling I got when reading your story all right!!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for reading it.I hope the shivers disappear in time to read my next hub.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Wonderfully spooky story. She needs to be careful of exploring ghost towns. You never know what you will find.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Glad you liked it.It seemed like a ghost story was in order for the season.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a great story! A ghost from the past interwoven with your homespun tale. Enjoyed this immensely. Up, interesting and awesome.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks Peggy W. Sort of venturing into new territory.Never did a ghost story before and I haven't even read any for a long time. With Halloween coming I thought I would try it.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

You nailed it! I like the history that you work into these tales of yours. This one should do good especially at this time of year.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

This time of year is why I wrote it. Next month there is a contest for creative writing but the Halloween theme would have been already out of season. Thanks for the comment.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Hi Dahoglund! You couldn't get me to go to a ghost town - but I enjoy reading how you have incorporated the halloween story into Carbon's Creek!

Voted up, up and away!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Sarah didn't really mean to go to a ghost town, she just sort of ended up there.Some friends and I ended up in a ghost town, an old iron mining town in northern Minnesota once.I seemed really strange because of there being street lights and streets but no houses.Thanks for commenting and voting.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi dahog, you did a good job of describing the old town and the horrors that would have occurred in the not so civil war. Well done mate.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for reading and commenting.I appreciate the good words.


aquaponics4you profile image

aquaponics4you 5 years ago from India

Great article, thanks for sharing such a best information


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Tis' the season for such, is it not? This is my first Halloween read for this year and it was a good one! Thanks DA. WB


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

This is the first time I've done a Halloween piece but I got the impulse to try it. Thanks for commenting.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I really enjoyed this and think that it makes a wonderful Halloween piece. Up, Awesome and interesting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Just Ask Susan,

I am glad you enjoyed the Halloween story.I needed something for the season.Thanks for commenting.


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Awesome story! Voted up and shared.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

TTtombso,

Thank you for commenting and sharing. glad you like the story.


Mathson 2 years ago

VA:F [1.9.4_1102](from 0 votes)Ia1afm now not positive the place you're gnteitg your info, however good topic. I must spend some time studying more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be in search of this info for my mission.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Valria,Thanks for for reading. I am a contributor to Hubpages but not an administrator.

Mathson, glad you enjoyed the story.


Rabadi profile image

Rabadi 13 months ago from New York

Nice imagery while I was reading, I love Halloween and Autumn. You earned a new follower :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 13 months ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Rabadi

Thanks for reading this story and commenting. I believe this was the first that I ever wrote a ghost story.

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