MARY HAZEL'S WRITING
Stories and More
BLOG POST FOR EARON'S PAGE
JUNE 1, 2016 WEDNESDAY
OLD MAN FACE ON OLD BUILDING AT 10TH AND SPRING STREET IN NEW ALBANY, INDIANA
PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN BY HAZEL FERN HENSON ON MAY 9, 1985
This photograph was one of a set of photos of this building that Mama and Daddy took and that I found in one of her photo books. There are black and white and color photos both. Probably she took the color photos and he took and developed the black and white ones. I don't know if this building is still standing. Often when buildings were scheduled to be demolished they quickly got photos of them, as well as preserving ones that were not scheduled for destruction. Her many books of photos that she left for me preserve part of a local architectural past.
Although this story I am publishing here is set at Arcadia, a fictionalized version of Logansport State Hospital, also known as Long Cliff, where I worked for almost three years, I thought the two photos I am using to illustrate the story were spooky enough to use here. I have no photos of the real Long Cliff--cameras were forbidden for the patients' privacy. There may be old public domain photos available and I will search for some to illustrate future Arcadia stories when I get time.
The Arcadia stories will eventually be a series. I will also try to research and publish some of the history of Long Cliff, as well as parts of the diaries I kept while I was working there. I think Long Cliff, like many of the other old state hospitals, may be closed now. I will also try to find that out, as well some of the history of the whole state hospital system. I will need that information for the longer books in the Arcadia series that I have ideas for. Arcadia, by the way, is the name of a real state hospital, now closed, that was in Arcadia, Florida. Many of the events and people in the stories are fictionalized versions of what I saw and observed while I worked at Long Cliff. Only the vampires are fiction. Or are they?
The first story in the Arcadia series, THIS SIDE OF MADNESS was first published by the Henson Press, owned by my brother Charles Henson, in one of his books. THIS SIDE OF MADNESS was included in an anthology published in 1996 called FOR A DARK HOUR: A collection of Hoosier Horrors edited by Charles W. Henson. Earon later republished the story on his website, THE MISS LUCY WESTENRA SOCIETY OF THE UNDEAD. Charles is no longer publishing his books, but Earon's website is archived on the Internet Archive. However, I believe Charles told me that some of his out of print books are now available from used book sellers on the Internet, but at very high prices (they were lovingly created high quality hardback books). Later I will see what I can find out, but I need to get this website finished right now and proofread so it can be published! Later, if I can find out anything about copies of the books still being available anywhere, I will post the information here.
I also have this story posted on my Writers-Network page.
The address for my page is:
The address for the main Writers-Network page is:
THIS SIDE OF MADNESS
MARY HAZEL UPTON
The first lesson attendants at Libertyville State Hospital, or Arcadia as it is also called, learn is never to turn your back on a patient. The second lesson is that there are only two kinds of people at Arcadia…us and them. I’m not so sure about this second lesson anymore. There’s a very narrow line between sanity and insanity. I’m not so sure I didn’t, at least temporarily, cross it that Halloween night last year. I know that what I saw that night turned my whole world inside out, along with my safe, solid beliefs about what is real and what isn’t. That’s getting ahead of my story, though.
My name is Marsha Sue Kelly. Ordinarily I work the graveyard shift on R Ward, the ward for patients soon to be released. There’s always too much help on R Ward and too little help on most of the other wards, though. So like three of the other girls, I was waiting for the phone call from the office that would tell me where I’d have to detail to that night.
“I hope they don’t send me to any of the Gray Wards tonight,” Diana complained. “I’m tired.”
That was exactly what I was hoping. Hardly anybody liked working the Gray Wards where the chronically ill, elderly mental patients were housed.
The phone rang just then. “It’s for you.” Becky handed me the phone.
“Marsha, you’re to go to MC1,” my supervisor informed me.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I hung up the phone. I gathered my book bag that I carry my reading material and my lunch in. The nights at Arcadia are long. If a person didn’t keep busy crocheting, or reading, or playing cards, the night would stretch out to eternity.
The MC building is isolated by itself on a winding road behind the dining room. MC is a three story Victorian monstrosity housing the chronically insane men. It was very dark as I approached the building. Although the moon was due to be full tonight, it was hidden by a bank of clouds. It was quite warm for the end of October, but I pulled my sweater closer as I approached the MC building. The wind made a lonesome sound blowing through the trees, and the dry leaves made an unpleasant dead sound rustling beneath my feet.
Once again, I wondered what I was doing here at Arcadia. I’m only working here long enough to help my husband, Brant, pay off our bills .Still, sometimes I wonder if I should have taken this job, or waited for something else. Insanity runs in my family, and I’ve heard it’s hereditary. I shivered and put these disturbing thoughts out of my mind.
The entrances to the MC building are lit by small yellow lights that don’t give out much light. I used my key to open the outside door. The door opened onto a narrow stairway. The MC building, like most of the other old, outdated buildings at Arcadia, was in process of being remodeled to conform with federal regulations. During this remodeling process, MC1 was moved to the second floor, MC2 to the third floor, and MC3 to another building.
As I stepped inside and closed the door behind me, the feeling of isolation was overwhelming. A plywood barricade and a padlock on either side of the hall sealed the first floor off. Small peepholes in the barricade showed me that one side of the hall was lighted and one side was dark. An unpleasant memory of a conversation Daryl and I had had came back to me.
“I kept thinking what if a hand should reach out from the hole in the plywood,” he had said.
I hurried upstairs to the second floor. Paper bats and ghosts were taped to the walls, pathetic attempts to bring holiday cheer to the patients. It seemed like a long way down the narrow hall to the office, past the doors of the patients’ rooms.
Jim Pearson was sitting in the office, writing on a patient’s chart.
“Hello, Jim,” I smiled. “They sent me over to be your helper for the night.”
Jim, an easygoing, middle-aged man, returned my smile. "That’s good, Marsha. There’s not much to do over here, though. The patients are all quiet tonight.” He knocked on the wooden desk.
Jim finished writing on the chart, and put it back in the rack . “I think I’ll go out to the day room and watch television.”
“I’ll stay in the office and read, I guess. If anybody phones, I’ll let you know.”
Jim nodded. This was the arrangement we usually had when I worked with him.
I was soon completely absorbed in my new Stephen King novel, 'Salem's Lot. I had just gotten to the part where the grave digger discovers the vampire in the open grave. A sudden sound at the window nearly made me jump out of my skin. There was a bat at the window! I could see its tiny, vicious, sharp teeth as it fluttered against the screen, searching for a way in. It regarded me with an unblinking stare that made my blood run cold. Using a newspaper, I swatted the screen, finally succeeding in driving it away. I went back to reading my book, but kept looking at the screen occasionally, waiting for it to return. It never did.
“Would you like to see my teeth?”
I looked up to see a skeletal figure peering over the open top of the solid wooden office door. His bony skull was covered with long, lank, black hair. When I didn’t answer, he bared his wide, slack mouth in a parody of a grin. His teeth looked like ordinary teeth to me, although in need of brushing.
“See how pointed they are?” He tapped his top canine teeth .“Do you know why that is?”
When I still didn’t answer, he went on, "It’s because I’m a vampire. I’m Dracula.”
“Oh, really?” I wondered if I was making a mistake by talking to him. The slightest encouragement is sometimes enough to insure that a restless patient will stay up all night. I wished he would go back to bed so I could continue reading.
He nodded solemnly. "I became a vampire when I was sixteen years old. One night the Lord Of Darkness came to me. He was disguised as a bat.”
The mention of a bat startled me. I tried not to let it show.
“I opened my window and let him in. He initiated me into the Legion Of The Undead.”
“Are you bothering, Marsha?” Jim Pearson appeared at the door just then. He used his key to unlock the bottom half of the door and let himself into the office.
“Dracula” shook his head. “I’m just telling her how I became a vampire. She’s interested in that kind of stuff, aren’t you, Marsha? I can see you are. You’re reading a book about vampires.”
“Well, tell her in the morning,” Jim told him firmly. “You’re supposed to be in bed now.”
Obediently, my uninvited visitor left. “I have magical powers,” he stated. “I could turn into a bat and fly out of here anytime I wanted to.”
“Old Harvey thinks he’s a vampire,” Jim told me with amusement after Harvey had left. “Old Harvey Blackburn. He’s harmless, but he can be a real pain with all that vampire stuff.”
After Jim went back to the day room to finish watching the Friday Night videos, I read Harvey Blackburn’s chart. He had been a patient at Libertyville State Hospital for sixteen of his thirty-two years. His parents were divorced, and seldom visited him. According to his case history, he had had no friends in school, and had to drop out when his paranoid schizophrenia was diagnosed. He’d always been what other kids like to refer to as “weird”, with an unhealthy interest in the occult. His delusions did indeed take the form of believing himself to be a vampire.
I flipped the pages. At eighteen he’d run away from Arcadia and lived on the streets for a year, supporting himself by means of selling drugs and petty theft. He’d been recaptured when he’d tried to enlist in the army.
I closed the chart and replaced it on the rack. It was a sad, pitiful little account, like most of the ones I’d already read in the year I’d been working here. I wrote the whole incident down in my notebook before returning to Stephen King. I’ve been keeping a diary since I started working at Arcadia. I am a beginning writer, and I’m collecting material for my first novel. I figure someday I’m going to take a million dollars out of this place when I write my first scary bestseller based on my experiences here.
About two A.M. I started getting hungry. I went to the day room where Jim was now watching a movie.
“Is it O.K. if I go to the office and get something to eat? I’ll only be gone for a few minutes.”
The Coke machine and snack machine are still on the first floor.”
“There’s no way to get down there now,” I objected.
“There’s two side doors leading downstairs.”
I was intrigued. I knew the remodeling was almost done.This might be my only chance to explore the deserted first floor. Curiosity has always been my worst weakness. It’s gotten me into trouble plenty of times.
I followed Jim’s directions, hoping that the door I’d chosen would come out on the lighted side of the hall. If it came out on the unlighted side, I’d be returning immediately. Not even my curiosity was that great!
The door came out on the lighted side of the hall. I walked down the long, echoing, empty hall past closed doors to the alcove where the pop and candy machines were. I bought a Cherry Coke, a package of peanut butter crackers, and a Snickers bar.
Before I went back upstairs, I couldn’t resist going a little farther down the hall. I peeked into some of the rooms. Everything was very bright and very empty. The silence was complete. At the end of the hall was the wooden barricade dividing the lighted part of the hall from the dark part.
A sudden feeling of being completely alone down here, and of being watched by unseen things seized me. The MC halls are so narrow that if a person laid down on the floor cross-ways, he could touch both walls with his hands and feet. A tall person couldn’t lie down flat. I felt claustrophobia closing in on me.
A sudden movement in the shadowed, barricaded part of the hall caught my eye. It couldn’t be Harvey. He was locked up upstairs. As I looked, though, I was almost sure I could see him peering from around one of the dark doorways .His teeth were long and sharp and gleamed in the dim light.
I hurried back to the door leading upstairs, willing myself not to run, trying to block the panic from my mind. I was almost to the door when I saw Harvey come around the corner of the lighted hall up ahead. He was grinning. I began running then, but I knew he was going to get to the door, the only way back upstairs, before I did.
Desperate now and beyond logical reasoning, I grabbed the candy bar and the crackers out of my pocket. Holding them together in the shape of a crude cross, I forced myself to continue advancing toward the door. A look of demoniac fury came over Harvey’s face as he melted away into the shadows.
Trying to keep the panic at bay just a little longer, I fumbled for my key. I continued to hold my “cross” in front of me, although there was no sign of Harvey anywhere about now. I locked the door behind me on whatever horrors lurked in the emptiness downstairs.
“Ready to make a round with me?” Jim was standing beside the office door with flashlights in his hand when I got back upstairs.
I nodded, still too shook up to speak.
Harvey was sleeping peacefully in his bed when we checked on the patients. There was no way, even if he could have gotten downstairs through the multiple locked doors, that he could have gotten back upstairs and into bed so quickly.
I passed the rest of that long, long night pondering about just where this side of madness is. I thought I saw the bat again once just before dawn, but I’m not sure if I really did.
The next night before I went to work, I fastened a small silver cross necklace around my neck and tucked it under my uniform. Madness or not, I do know that I’ll never set foot in Arcadia again without it.
DADDY AT ODD FELLOWS HOME BEING TORN DOWN APRIL 22, 1978
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
This photograph is one of a series of photographs that Mama has in one of her books and that she and Daddy took that day. She also has photographs of this beautiful old building before it was destroyed when my grandmother, Daddy's mother, Bertha Henson, was a patient there. She has several books of their visits to her and old photos of her and some of the other patients. I also have Bertha's old diaries and will post them and some of her photographs here so that the memory of her life will not be forgotten. So please check back occasionally if you like old history or photographs or just scary stories!
BLOG ENTRY FOR GAIN'S YESTERDAYS
GAIN UPTON PLANTING ORANGE TREES FT. OGDEN, FLORIDA
SOME TIME BETWEEN 2000 AND 2005
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
We spent the last five winters of Gain's life between 2000 and 2005 in Florida. Gain continued to plant trees and other plants and to improve the property we bought in Ft. Ogden. This photo shows him planting one of the two orange trees he bought for the yard. The trees already had oranges on them. He was very proud of the oranges and left them on the tree, hoping for more later on. He didn't live to see the trees have anymore oranges, but hopefully someone else is enjoying the fruit now. He didn't like grapefruit, but I do, so I enjoyed fresh grapefruit each winter from a tree that someone else had planted.
THE CALENDAR OF THE TREES
MARY HAZEL UPTON
The wind blows all the time here in Wheeling, Indiana. It blows through the trees, rustling their leaves, and the leaves talk in a thousand different voices. The voices are different for different trees and in different seasons. There are a few people that the trees talk to. Those people listen to and can understand the language of the trees. The trees talk to them because they know that those people love the trees.
In the spring the pines wake up. All winter they have been sleeping, but now their branches grow taller everyday, standing like bright green candles, above the darker old branches. The wind blows through the pines, and they sing of new beginnings.
The poplar leaves are never still. The hot light of summer reflects off them in light and dark. Even on the most breathless summer noons they talk. They say that summer will never end, that winter was only a half forgotten nightmare, and that life is good.
The maples rule the autumn, lording it over the less bright trees. October winds blow through their dry leaves. Whisper quiet they fall from the trees in great drifts of orange and gold and scarlet. “Now is the time for the harvest,” they say, “time to reap what has been sown.”
Winter winds rattle the branches of the old elms. They creak and rattle in the long nights with a sound like the settling of a long abandoned house. Winter days they are black skeletons against a pale sky, beautiful in their stark simplicity. “We are merely resting, gathering our strength for another spring,” they tell anyone who will listen.
The seasons fly by and the leaves fall like the torn off pages of a calendar. But the trees themselves remain and endure, renewing themselves with new leaves each year like pages of a brand new calendar. The trees whisper of eternity. That is the message that they tell the ones who love them and who listen to them.
This was written on March 27, 1991 for my beloved husband, Gain Upton, who loves the trees. It was written for his birthday of April 10, 1991.
GAIN'S PINES AT WHEELING, INDIANA NOVEMBER 20, 1987
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S MAGIC TYPEWRITER PAGE
APRIL 15, 2016 FRIDAY
ASHLAND PARK ALONG OHIO RIVER CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
I took this photo on October 29, 2015
TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
MARY HAZEL UPTON
Memory Lane. The words conjure up images of a country road lined with ancient trees, the kind of country road pictured on old-fashioned calendar pages. It may be summer, autumn, spring, or even winter, but it is the kind of picture that makes you feel as if once long ago you walked on that road. You long to step into the picture for just one more walk.
We all have our own real memory lanes, made even more beautiful by being seen through the fond haze of long ago time. It is often said that nothing, not even time, can rob us of our memories, that even if we lose all else, they still endure. Even memories fade, though, growing dim like old photographs. Eventually as the years pass, only the special days remain in our minds. So much else is lost.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have some kind of magical time machine to allow us to return to Memory Lane to walk beneath those ancient trees again whenever we wished? Well, there is such a time machine. It's called a journal. With its aid you can save not only your special memories, but everyday ones too. You can return to times past whenever you like.
There is a difference between a journal and a diary. A diary is private, concentrating more on personal thoughts than events. It is something you may or may not want to share with anyone else. A journal is more a straightforward recording of events. The journal that you will be shown how to keep in this article is meant to be shared with others. As the years go by, it will become more and more precious to you and your loved ones.
The first stumbling block most people run up against when they think about keeping a journal is a belief that they can't write well enough. "Oh, I'm not a writer." "I can't write." "I wouldn't know what to say." You don't have to be a professional writer, or even a good speller to keep a journal. Remember, this is your book. You are writing it only for yourself. Anyway, part of the charm and authenticity of a journal is that it reflects the personality and lifestyle, rough spots and all, of the writer. To preserve this charm, don't rewrite what you've written to make it "proper". Write directly in your book. If you make a mistake, cross it out or erase it and go on writing. Don't worry too much about what or how much to write. Just do the best you can, and you may be surprised at how your writing gradually improves.
The first thing you may realize when you start keeping a journal is that it is impossible to record everything that has happened to you, even on a day that nothing much seems to have happened. Select only the most important events, or ones you particularly want to remember, to record in your journal. Your journal will also be more interesting if you concentrate on particular details, the weather, what you wore to a party, what flowers were in bloom in your garden on a particular day. These details will help bring back the memory of a long ago day more completely when you reread your entries. Your journal is also a good place to save important information such as a trip to the doctor and what medicine was prescribed for a member of your family, or the date purchased and pertinent information about a new car. My journal is the only place I can be sure such information will be permanently preserved and not eventually discarded. Of course, dark days must be recorded as well as bright, but think twice before writing down details of family quarrels, etc. If you must "let off steam" this way, a diary is the place to do it, not a journal.
Journals come in all sizes and shapes. For the first time journalist, those hardbound Daily-aide books with one page for each day make good journals. Just disregard the listings for time of day, intended for those using them as appointment books. The cute lock and key diaries are fine if you can find a one year one. The five year ones really don't give you enough space to write. Loose leaf notebooks or spiral bound notebooks make inexpensive personalized journals, and the length of your entries can be varied more easily. There are also no blank pages left in them if you decide to skip writing one day.
The best time to write in your journal is at the end of the day, just before bedtime. The next best time is the next morning, before you start your day's work. Try not to skip days. If you do, catching up the journal will be a burdensome task, and you may forget a lot of what you wanted to save. However, as you keep a journal day after day, it is amazing how your memory improves. It becomes possible to catch up several days worth of entries if you have to.
The simplest kind of journal to keep is the daily journal we've just discussed. There are many other kinds of journals, though. The types are limited only by your own imagination. You may want to keep one or more of them instead of, or in addition to, your daily journal. Just be careful not to "bite off more than you can chew". A vacation journal can be written in only on vacations, or on vacations to a special place that you return to year after year. A special occasion journal can be written in only on special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, etc. When these journals are kept in loose leaf notebooks, you can paste special photos in the journal also, creating a photo-journal. Another idea is to let members of your family help with the entries. If they don't enjoy writing, let them dictate their entries for you to write down. Then be sure to designate the writer of that particular entry.
Once your journals start accumulating, you will be able to travel back to any day in the past whenever you wish. Set aside some time to share your journals with your family too by reading aloud from them. Let each member of your family pick a particular day to "return to", or perhaps see what you were doing three Fourth Of July's ago.
A journal gives you perspective too. As you travel back to the past, going deeper and deeper into your own yesterdays, you will realize that bad times never last forever. After the rain, the sun always shines again. You will learn to occasionally leave your busy today behind to walk under those ancient trees of Memory Lane. And you will know you have time to pause for just a moment to feel the slow, stately march of the seasons and of time, and to feel the wind of eternity on your face. Who knows? Perhaps someday, a hundred years from now, someone, who hasn't been born yet, will find your journal in an old house, read it, and wish they could have known you?
Written in 1990.
AUTUMN TREE ON ADAM & McKINLEY STREETS IN CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
There was no date on this very old photograph in one of Mama's books of flower photos. She often went for walks in the neighborhood to take photos. The car in the photo looks old, so guys who can look at cars and tell you the exact make and model would be able to approximately date this photo.
DAISIES ON RANDOLPH AVENUE IN CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
I took this photo on October 16, 2015. The flowers were growing at the edge of the fence in someone's yard near Greenacres Grade School. I was on my way home after taking Hammerhead, my adopted Daddy, home from breakfast that morning, and I stopped and took the photo of the daisies and some other flowers.
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
APRIL 15, 2016 FRIDAY POST FOR STORY IN PROGRESS
MARY HAZEL UPTON AND GAIN UPTON AT WHEELING, INDIANA APRIL 1979
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
In this photograph Gain is shooting old cans. There was an old cistern on the property that had been used for trash. As we cleaned up trash we put it in the cistern, as the cistern was already ruined for use, and we had to have a well dug later. He is shooting holes in cans so they would sink. Later we had the cistern filled in.
FIELD OF COCKLE BURRS
It was two weeks before Thanksgiving, a week after Curt and Mariette had bought the old house, and two weeks after the early November blizzard when the old house had set shivering and alone, dreaming of the new owners who were soon to come to relieve its loneliness. With the freakishness of Indiana weather, it was now seventy degrees. Curt and Mariette were working without their coats. Mariette had packed a picnic lunch, and they had come over to spend the day cleaning up the property. They both soon realized it would take many more Saturdays before they would make a dent in the work to be done.
"We'd better just concentrate on burning trash today, Mariette, and maybe pull up some of these cockle burrs if we get time." Curt tried pulling up one of the dead cockle burrs that covered the whole back acre. It came up easily enough, and soon he and Mariette were pulling them up and stacking them in a pile for burning.
"Good thing we wore old clothes," Mariette laughed. Her faded pink t-shirt and jeans were covered with the prickly brown seeds of the burrs.
Curt paused in his work, and came over, and began pulling some of the burrs off Mariette's clothes.
"You're wasting your time until we get done." Mariette motioned toward the field that their hour's work had barely touched.
"Um, maybe you're not wasting your work after all," she giggled as Curt's hand touched her breast and lingered. She wasn't wearing any bra under her thin shirt. Mariette seldom wore a bra, and when she did, it was nothing but a scrap of lace with matching panties.
"Oh, here's a burr you missed." Mariette stuck another burr over the nipple area of her shirt and directed Curt's hand to it. Then she pretended to pluck nonexistent burrs from the front of his pants.
"Lewd person," Curt laughed, kissing her and pinching her nipple hard.
"Back to work now," he said at last. "We don't have time for this foolishness."
Mariette agree reluctantly. They were both soon separated and deep in the burr field. The project of burning trash had somehow been put on hold in favor of pulling up burrs. Behind them the old house watched.
As the afternoon wore on, a chilly wind sprang up, reminding them that it was November, not May. Mariette was deep in the burr field now. Although she could hear Curt working far away, she could imagine that she was alone on some alien planet where nothing but these dead brown prickly weeds grew. She gradually became aware of a low, eerie moaning sound. As the wind blew harder, the sound grew louder.
"Listen!" Curt was coming through the dry rustling burrs toward her now. He stood still, listening to hear from which direction the moaning sound was coming from.
"What is it, Curt? It sounds...ghostly." Mariette looked nervously at the old house.
The old house's broken window panes seemed like sightless eyes looking back, somehow seeing them in spite of its blindness. As they'd worked, the sky had gradually been covered with little dirty white clouds. Now the sky was almost covered, shutting out the sun and all but a patch or two of blue.
Curt shook his head and put one finger to his lips. He motioned for Mariette to follow him. His right hand went to his pocket and came out with the small pistol that he always carried. Indian file, they went back through the burrs, following the moaning noise to its source. The noise just kept getting louder as they got closer.
"It's an old gas tank!" Curt put the safety back on, and slipped the pistol back into his pocket.
Mariette came up beside him, and looked in amazement at the round tank, almost as tall as she was, back in the weed grown field.
"The wind's blowing through the top, making that moaning sound," Curt explained. He checked the tank. "It's empty. It's probably been here for years. Wonder what it's doing back here?"
Mariette shook her head. "I'd sure like to know the history of this place." She still thought the sound was eerie and disturbing even though she knew it didn't have any supernatural explanation.
Curt nodded. "I don't guess we ever will though."
They checked around and found a half dozen more of the "gas tank ghosts", as they affectionately dubbed them.
"Guess we'd better call it a day," Curt said at last.
Mariette reluctantly agreed. Even though their new home scared her somehow, she was beginning to love it too. She hated to go back to crowded noisy Auto City after a day of the peace and quiet in Carrollton Location. As they drove away she comforted herself with the thought that soon they would be living in the old house. It would be summer, and the old house would be restored to the grandeur of days long past.
As they drove away the old house watched them leave. And the pale ghost, who had been there so many years alone, felt joy. His joy was because of Mariette, who loved money like he did. He had been waiting for her all these years, and when he saw her, he knew she was the one. Now he would never be lonely again.
STORY TO BE CONTINUED ON THIS BLOG. THE NEXT CHAPTER WILL BE TITLED:
NIGHTMARE ONE: MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE: DREAM OF NIGHTMARE HOUSE
BLOG ENTRY FOR MARY HAZEL'S LIBRARY PAGE
MARCH 19, 2016 SATURDAY
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY SKYLINE
This photograph was taken by Hazel Fern Henson July 1978 with the new multiple image lens that she and Daddy had bought for their cameras. It was taken from the Clarksville, Indiana side of the river at the river park where we often went for picnics. This story was inspired by the photos she and Daddy took with the multiple image lens. Gain and I were visiting them that weekend, and they let me practice using the camera also. We all picnicked at the park that long ago day. I wrote the story a number of years after that, in 1997, I think. Gain is Brian in the story, and I am Daisy.
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF THE RUINED CITY OF TIME
“Look at this, Daisy!” Brian Davis held the old camera up for his girlfriend, Daisy Cooper, to see.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean? They only want $3.00 for it. It comes with all these neat lenses. What can I lose?”
“I have a bad feeling about it.”
A cloud went over the sun. It had been a cloudless day when they’d start looking for yard sales.
“Let’s try it before it gets completely cloudy,” Brian urged.
At Riverside Park there is a spectacular view of the Ohio river and the tall skyscrapers of Louisville from the Midway side of the river.
“Take a look at this, Daisy! I put the multiple image lens on the camera.”
Daisy looked through the camera’s lens. In the center she saw Brian, a smiling young man of 22, with curly brown hair and blue eyes. Circled around him were repeated images of Brian, all smiling, all with curly hair. Behind him were the tall buildings of Louistown. They too were repeated behind each of the multiple images of Brian.
“Take a picture.”
Daisy shook her head.
“I’ll take one of you.” Brian looked through the camera’s lens, seeing multiple repeating images of 18 year old Daisy. Each image had the same short golden curls and was wearing the same faded, patched jeans. Behind each Daisy were multiple images of the buildings of Louistown.
As Brian snapped the camera’s shutter, Daisy disappeared.
“Daisy! Where are you?”
It was as if Daisy had disappeared into the multiple images of Louistown.
“This isn’t funny! Stop playing games, Daisy!” Brian’s voice had an edge of panic now.
He shook the camera, as if he could make it tell him where Daisy was. His finger slipped and pressed the camera’s shutter. Brian suddenly found himself standing in Louistown.
This wasn’t the Louistown he knew. These buildings had been abandoned for a long time. This was a ghost city, abandoned many years ago. The clouds were a thick white film over the sky.
“Daisy!” His voice echoed down the concrete canyons, making him shiver. The May day was no longer warm.
As he searched the empty streets, Brian kept thinking he saw glimpses of a girl with golden curls standing in a dark doorway, or disappearing down a deserted street. As he came closer, though, she disappeared.
Brian shifted the camera to his other hand. His finger hit the shutter again. He was back in Riverside Park, looking across the Ohio at present day Louistown. He took another photo of the multiple skyscrapers of Louistown. Immediately he was back in the silent city.
The city looked slightly different. He saw a dark man, dressed all in black, watching him. The shadowy figure disappeared when he looked at it directly.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. He was back in Riverside Park. Again, and he was back in the silent city. This time the buildings looked slightly blurred, like the extra multiple images of the buildings had looked through the camera’s multiple image lens. There were more images of the dark man. Briefly he thought he saw Daisy disappearing down an alley.
“Daisy! Wait! We’ve got to get out of here!”
His voice came back to him in broken echoes .He heard the dark man laughing. When he got to the alley Daisy was gone.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. Immediately he was back in Riverside Park. He was still alone. He pressed it again. The ruined city returned, a little more blurred. Was this the Louistown of the future, and if so, how far in the future? What terrible war or disaster had occurred?
Brian continued taking photographs. He stopped in future Louistown. There was only one more film left.
The buildings were really blurred now. The feeling of being watched was very strong. The dark men were everywhere. Daisy disappeared into a dark building, terror on her young face.
Brian cautiously started down the street. The dark men were watching him from every window and doorway. They all had curly brown hair, and were wearing black T-shirts and black pants. As he got closer he realized that the shadow men were all himself, all with blue eyes and curly hair, none of them smiling.
The buildings were breaking up into blurred multiple images. They were darker. Every time he’d returned to the future city, he’d broken the Law Of Time, that says it is impossible for anything to occupy any moment more than once. Breaking that law had created multiple images of himself and of the city.
Brian hurried deeper into the heart of the city. The further he went the more blurred the buildings became, until finally each building looked as if it had a halo of identical buildings around it. The dark men were everywhere. Some of them were following him. As he ran faster, so did they. Each image of the dark man seemed to be separating into many images.
Daisy was standing in the doorway of one of the empty buildings. The dark men were all around her, silently menacing her.
Brian didn’t hesitate. He ran through the crowd of dark men. He passed right through them. The unsmiling expression on their faces didn’t change.
Brian grabbed Daisy. The city was more blurred. There were more duplicates of the buildings than could fit into the available space. The extra buildings weren’t in the same space, though, only the same time. Soon the whole city would break up. Trying not to get dizzy, as the multiple image lens duplicated the buildings yet again, Brian took the last photograph.
“What happened?” Daisy asked, still clinging to him, as they stood in Riverside Park. There were no multiple images of anything here. Time had evidently passed normally here.
“I’m not sure." He tried to explain .“All I know is why those people were selling that camera.”
Brian threw the camera as hard as he could. They both watched it fall into the muddy river.
MARY HAZEL PHOTOGRAPHING GAIN WITH MULTIPLE IMAGE LENS JULY 14, 1978
This photograph was taken by Claude B. Henson on July 14, 1978 at the Clarksville river park. I have no way of knowing which photographs are his and which are Mama's, but usually he took black and white photos and she took color photos, so he gets credit for all the black and white ones and she gets credit for the color ones.