I wanted to share a scene that fits Halloween from my story "Chasing A Chance". In this scene, Edwin is helping a young man deliver his fathers coffin to the rail station. They are confronted by a group of men who want to open the coffin.
Junior bristled, an angry retort forming. Edwin placed a placating hand on the young man's shoulder. "You're welcome to have a look, but I have to warn you the body's getting pretty ripe."
The man looked at Edwin, trying to decide if he was serious or fooling. There was also that hint of having seen him somewhere before. "Ken, take a peek," he ordered.
Junior almost came off the seat. Instead he gritted, "If you must, since some 'rock breaking' types like you killed him."
The air grew tense. Edwin realized Junior had said the one thing that could set off a powder keg. That some of these men were criminals was a real possibility, but if those same men took a notion, well, he and Junior, they'd be losers. Edwin was wishing he was carrying a gun now, but if he were, he would be perceived as a threat. This way, he might be able to talk the tension down.
"Can't blame him," Edwin nodded toward Junior, "hard thing to lose a father, let alone having to open the casket. How about I help Ken take his look, just in case some mummy bats come flying out?"
"What the hell you talking about?" Ken asked, his eyes puzzled and a bit scared. "There ain't no such thing as a mummy bat."
Edwin decided it might be best if he could keep the group off balance, so he continued with his story. "Well, there's some would say there's no such thing, but it's real, I can tell you that. When someone's died and left out in the elements like this man was, well the bats they just attach themselves, bury themselves right in. Over time, they die off, but if you open the box... well they just might naturally think it's time to come back to life. Why I've known some who could live in a casket for years."
While Edwin was talking, he could see most were skeptical, but a couple of the others looked to be turning green. Maybe he could get them scared enough, and some folks were mighty scared of bats, perhaps they'd leave without disturbing the dead. He liked Junior and didn't want things to get any worse.
"Okay," the man grinned at the story, then became serious. "While I admit some of the boys may have crossed the law, they're okay now. But bats? Where'd you get such a story?"
Edwin kept his face as blank as he could. "It's a tale that made the rounds in the war. Seems some of the bodies made noises and started moving. Then at night things started flying around and … and as you know, most stories do have an element of truth."
|Purchase from Amazon|
Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Pikes Peak Posse of the Westerners
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here