"Ghost Town USA"

Chapter 1
The Sandstorm

By wierdgrace

The hot sultry desert spread out as far as the eye could see. The sun relentlessly beat down on the white sands.

One lone car was winding along a snake like road, crossing the burning sand. As it traveled, winds now and then came up blowing more sand across the road and making it hard to keep the car on the single paved trail.

Wilma Thurman, an unmarried schoolteacher, was hanging desperately to her steering wheel. Her dark hair pulled up into a bun, had come loose hanging in strands down the sides of her face.

Her usually pale face was red and sweaty from the desert heat. Every now and then she had to remove the large dark sunglasses that covered her eyes to wipe away perspiration.

It was June; summer vacation had started at her school. Wilma was thirty-two years old; her life was taken up by her work and nursing of her invalid mother. She had just lost her a few months ago. Now she was on her way to visit her Aunt Clara who lived in Nevada.

Aunt Clara and Wilma had become steady correspondents since she had lost her mother. She had become a widow several years ago, and wanted Wilma to come spend some time with her.

She drove for several more miles and still nothing came in sight. She had to keep going because the red warning light was blinking and the car would quit at any moment. There was nothing in sight and no cars had passed her in hours.

Two empty thermoses lay on the seat beside her. One had been full of coffee, the other ice water. She was so tired, her eyes felt gritty as she stared at the road before her.

It had become a trail, half covered in sand. Suddenly the car jerked as its engine made a couple of hard noises and stopped! It was now completely out of gas. She sat there for a moment terrified. She opened her door; the heat from the boiling sun reflecting off the desert enveloped her instantly. She stepped out of her car into Hell.

Wilma stretched her aching muscles as he looked frantically around her. She saw no sign of life or even any cars.

"What am I going to do?" A hot dry wind started blowing around her. It was so strong that she had to brace her feet to keep from being carried away by it.

She got back in her car and closed the windows. It was smothering inside, but she didn't want the sand blowing in. Now she couldn't see anything as the wind picked up more dust and sand throwing it against her car.

She began speaking to herself, "when this stops I need to get out and walk. I know what is in back of me, nothing, so I have to move forward."

The storm went on and on. Finally she had to open a window to get some fresh air in her sweltering car. She put her sweater in the opening to keep out the blowing sand. She was exhausted. She tried to keep her eyes open but they closed, her head fell forward onto her chest as she sank into a dreamless sleep.

Wilma suddenly jerked awake! The car was silent; the sand storm had stopped. She couldn't see out any of the car's windows. She turned on her lights; they dimly showed a mountain of sand in front of her car.

She was glad to open her window to the fresh night air. It was still hot, but it felt wonderful to her as she took a deep breath. She opened the glove box and took out the flashlight that she had put there.

"You better go on." She said as she pushed the button. She breathed a sigh of relief. She directed its bright beam outside the open window.

Outside the road was completely covered over with sand. Without thinking she tried to start the car, it turned over and died. The empty light blinked at her constantly. The gas tank was bone dry.

It was time to leave the car. If she started walking, there might be a house or some sign of life, civilization up ahead. She shook her head sadly at the predicament that she was in. She started walking slowly away from her car.

Author Notes I want to thank you Knowledge for your help on this chapter, She helped me with these changes, again thank you.

Chapter 2
Ghost Town in sight

By wierdgrace

Her mouth was so dry and she knew she needed water. She knew that when the hot sun came up she would not be able to walk in it. So, she got out, giver her car a backward look, as though it might be the last time she would see it. Walking in the pitch dark was not easy.

A few stars hung in the sky, but no moon yet. She kept the flashlight directed ahead of her and she was covering ground fast. Every once in a while she would stop and shine the light on both sides to see if any buildings or something or anything showed up, but nothing but cactus and desert.

Then the moon came up and it was gorgeous, sending a weird glow over the land. It looked so close to the earth. It was a full moon so Wilma turned off the flashlight to save the batteries and in the greenish moonlight walked on. Still nothing in sight.

She had lost sight of her car long ago.

Now her legs and body were hurting in every muscle from the exercise she was not use to. All she had on was a light blue blouse and blue cotton Capri's and they were soaked with sweat.

She was stopping more often and sitting down on the hot sand to rest. She had to keep saying to herself, "I have to go on and get somewhere before the sun comes up again."

It was harder and harder on her. She felt like lying down and going to sleep. The moon was getting lower and lower in the sky and in the east, she could see light of day advancing, another hour and the sun would come up.

Now she was staggering ahead. She fell and lay there a second then sat up and looked all around.

Suddenly, South of her she saw a light. At first, she thought she was imagining it, but it was blinking on and off. She leaped up and as fast as she could walk, she headed for that tiny light.

It was the first sign of life she had seen in this desolate place. Maybe, she thought, it is a gas station. She reached down, got a tiny rock, and put it in her mouth to suck on, as she was panting badly in the heat. The sun was slowly coming up above the horizon and as its glare hit the light, she was following.

Now Wilma could see it was a sign, a wooden sign that was across the road, if it were a road. There was lettering on it but it was too far for her to read. She now had to stop and rest.

She removed her sandals she was wearing. Her ankles were swollen up badly and she rubbed and rubbed her feet and then decided to walk barefoot and carry her shoes. The sign was getting bigger and bigger.

She kept her eyes on it. Her only hope was to get there before the sun got higher and hotter.

Suddenly Wilma heard a whisking noise. She looked down and there was a sidewinder rattlesnake. It was hissing and moving fast toward her. She ran a ways and then again put on her sandals.

The noise of the desert around her was coming to life in the dawn of the day. She saw many snakes as she went toward that sign. She had to go slowly now as large spider-like insects darted across the sands. It was terror, like the one she had never known before.

Now to the side she saw a clump of sand. It was high and looked as though it was covering something. Wilma went over and brushed some of the sand away to see what it was covering.

It was an old car all rusted and looked as though it had been there for years. She dug further and suddenly a million knats swarmed out and around her.

She backed up and headed for the sign. Now she called out at the top of her lungs, "Is anyone there?" No Answer.
By straining her eyes, she could now read the lettering carved into the wood.

It read, "Ghost Town, U.S.A."

Author Notes Enjoy this short book of a ghost town, more to come tomorrow, I am working on spags, and grammar.

Chapter 3
Ghost Town, Food

By wierdgrace

The sign was old and the wood that held it up was rotted in spots. The light she had seen a reflector someone had nailed up there on the top. It must have caught the moonlight and now it glistened in the sun.

She stood there and prayed aloud, "Please God, let someone be there."
Now tears were rolling down her face, making track marks through the sand and dirt covering her face.

Her lips looked split from the heat. Then as she drew nearer she could see buildings in the background. They were old ones with no paint left and some had collapsed from the elements.

Nevertheless, they were buildings and before the sun got too hot, she could get in some shade to get some rest.

Now as she got closer to the sign she heard the tinkling of water. It was behind the one pole that held up the aging sign. A spring that came up out of the sand made a little pool as it gurgled up out of the ground.

Above it, on the same pole, was a sign carved into the wood,' Friends refresh yourselves from the eternal pool.'

Wilma threw herself on the ground and drank fully, letting her face rest in the cool, clear water.

After drinking her fill, she stuck her head and all her hair into the water, bathing herself as much as she could without removing her clothes Then she put her sore feet into the pool.

It filled up fast, the other water running over and into the hot sand. A few green, tiny plants grew at the side where the water spilled over.
Wilma was refreshed and felt like a different person as she made her way to the first building.

Her hair was long and black and now it hung down in wet ringlets. The first building must have been a post office since it had cubbyholes in shelves and still had some letters in them. She picked up one and it was stamped 1898.

She put it gently down so it would not come apart in her fingers.
The heat was building up as the day advanced, so Wilma looked around to find a building all in one piece.

She knew she would have to lie down and get some sleep soon. This was as street; she could feel cobble stones under the sand. Now she saw a complete building except there were no windows. She had a hard time opening the door. She got it open just far enough to slide her body through. It was empty except for some old duffel bags on the floor and it was cool. The bottom of the dirt floor had slits in it connected to the outside walls to let the air in.

She shook one of the bags out to be sure there were no spiders in them and lay down. She slept soundly all day but she kept dreaming she was still walking through the sands. She awoke dreaming of food.

She was starving and thirsty again. She stepped out the door and the heat of the desert hit her in the face. So she made her way to the spring she saw, to the side of her, an old outhouse, went in, and relieved herself.

Her body was dehydrated. She needed more water. She headed for the spring again, and this time drank until her thirst was satisfied. Now she had to try to find something to eat.

It was getting dark quickly so she took the flashlight, which she had hung onto, and started from one empty building to another. Some were still standing and entrance was easy, others were broken down and there was no way she could get in.

Then she came to what looked like it could be the only hotel in this town. She could see the dim letters that had been printed on it, an H then TEL., the L very faded. Wilma pushed open the sagging door. Thick dirt was on the floor and dust was everywhere. There were old wooden tables, some with legs missing but still standing.

A long wooden bar ran the length of the room, all covered with this fine dust that made it all seem a century old. A wooden open window at the end of the bar. She flashed the light through it, yes, it was the kitchen, and it was where they had passed food through for the diners. Shelves behind the bar were empty except for an old bottle here and there.

Wilma's went through a half swinging door into the huge kitchen. The shelves were empty, no food of any kind. She didn't linger long in there. She went back into the bar and at the other end she saw a shadow on the floor. Wilma carefully made her way over there.

The dust rising under her feet as she walked. She picked up what looked like a bag. Yes, it was an old canvas duffel bag, like a gunnysack. It was full of something. She sneezed from the dust, as she raised the bag up and laid her flashlight on the floor with it light pointed at the bag.

She turned it upside down and dumped the contents on the floor. There was an old tin cup, two cans of Pork and Beans, Hard rack, Beef Jerky, one tin plate and a knife, spoon and fork, also a bedroll.

She immediately put a piece of beef jerky in her mouth, chewing and enjoying the flavor. She was all excited at her find and just hoping the Pork and Beans were okay.

She gathered it all up, put it all back in the sack, and carried it all back into the kitchen where she spread it all out on the huge drain board and looked at her treasures. Oh yes, a water bag was also in the sack.

Wilma dug around, found a beer opener, and opened one of the cans of Pork and Beans. It looked all right so she dumped them out in the tin plate, which was clean from being folded up right.

Wilma was starving and the Beef Jerky she had chewed on had made her hungry. She dunked the Hardtack into the juice of the beans, softening it a little.

It was a biscuit of some kind with no salt in it, but it tasted delicious.
Now she was thirsty and made her way out to the spring with the water bag. It was canvas so sh put it in the water to soak thoroughly so it would hold water.

After filling it up, she held it to her mouth and drank her fill. Then she filled it up to the top again and made her way back in the darkness to the Hotel. She decided to sleep there and used the bedroll, after shaking it outside. Wilma placed it on the floor and slept soundly again, waking at dawn.

The terrific heat of the day was already building up and she woke covered with perspiration. As she sat up her head was aching and she cried aloud, "I have got to get out of here.

It doesn't look like anyone comes this way. I will check and see if there's any gas anywhere and try to get back to the car. I have to do something. I am losing my mind talking to myself."

Wilma took a deep drink of water and chewed on Hardtack. Then she remembered a dream she had had. She was going up the stairs in her dream.

Author Notes AS you can see lots of She, it Then, and spags, well work on fixing so enjoy the story. I fixed some of the errors.

Chapter 4
Dream Land

By wierdgrace

So now, Wilma went over and looked up the big flight of stairs. Some stairs were broken and others missing; the handrail was loose, but she decided to look up there.

She carefully made her way up the broken steps and got to the first floor. Worse than the main floor, all the doors to the bedroom hung off their hinges, or no door at all.

It was one terrible mess. She kept feeling a pull inside her and kept walking down the long hallway. She headed for a door she saw, and found it was tightly shut.

The door was not like the rest. It looked like solid Oak, and there was no sign of wear and deterioration like the rest of the place. Wilma paused, then hesitatingly put her hands on the doorknob and turned it.

The door opened and Wilma was in complete shock as a cool breeze came out of the room. As she stepped inside, the door behind her closed, and lights went on in little lamps that looked like candles inside. It was cool and beautiful in there.

Her feet sank into the deep pile of the rug. She saw a canopied bed with white lace. The bedspread was hand knitted and a blue material showed through. There was a little nightstand, an antique rocker, all with crocheted arms and backs on the rocker and chairs, where you would lay your head. She could not believe this, after all she seen in the town.

Then a voice came from a door that opened into another room.

A young voice, a happy voice, said, "Come in, I have been waiting for you."

Wilma walked over to the door and looked into the eyes of the most beautiful girl she had ever seen.

The girl looked like she was in her teens, with curly blonde hair all around her head, like a "Halo" and cascading down her back and over her shoulders, with the bluest eyes she had ever seen.

She had on a flowing robe that covered her from her neck to her feet like a cloud.

A table was set for two and the smell of fresh perked coffee was in the air.

"Sit down Wilma, breakfast is almost ready," the girl said.

Wilma, as though in a dream, walked over and sat in one of the high back chairs at the table.

When she could get her breath, she said, "
Who are you? Where did you come from?"

"I am Lillian, now eat as we will be going to work pretty soon," answered her hostess.

She set a plate with eggs and bacon, crisp fried potatoes and toast all in front of Wilma. With no more questions for now, she ate, and drank her coffee out of an antique coffee mug.

"You were hungry. I am glad you like my cooking. I always eat breakfast up here in the quiet of my rooms. You know how it is downstairs." Lillian said. She was daintily eating as she talked.

Then music drifted up, as if from below, and Lillian said, "Oh, we have to hurry, the crowd is arriving. I will go get dressed, your outfit is on the bed and you do need a bath, it's so dusty outside." As she talked she pointed to another door.

Wilma questioned her, "I want to ask you some questions, if I may?"

"No time now," Lillian answered, "We will have plenty of time later."

Therefore, Wilma got up, as if in a dream and went into the room Lillian was pointing to. It had another Canopy bed. On the floor, there were towels laid out, a huge iron tub or vat all filled with warm water.

Laid out on the bed were clothes like those that dancing girl's wore in times long ago. The slippers and all. Wilma pulled off her dusty clothes and sank into the warm water.

She was washing with a perfumed soap when the door opened and Lillian stood there in a short skirt, tights and slippers, and said, "I am all ready so I will go on down. Come down when you are dressed and I will introduce you and show you the ropes," and she was gone.

Wilma pinched herself and she could feel it. Surely all this had to be a dream. She thought of the downstairs with the dirt and broken furniture. She asked herself, "How could this be happening?"

So she quickly finished bathing and put on the clothes that lay on the bed. They fit her perfectly. She felt like a fool in this outfit but a long mirror showed her a girl she had never seen before.

She hurried to the outside door and opened it. A blast of music met her ears from downstairs. Guitars, Piano and Drums. She could make out the different instruments as she heard the music.

The terrible hall she had been in an hour ago was all transformed, new rugs; the large staircase was like new. She walked over and looked over the balcony; there were crowds of people below.

Miners were coming in the door, all laughing, and talking. A scene out of the past. Lillian was greeting them all. Now there were more girls in the same costume. Lillian looked up, saw Wilma, and waved to her to come down. So she, moving as if in a dream, descended the stairs into the crowded room below.

Author Notes A dream back in time, enjoy, I am working on spags and past and present right now, so enjoy for now. thank you fanstorians

Chapter 5
Ghost Town, The end

By wierdgrace

Her Aunt Emily was worried to death about her niece. When she hadn't shown up after five days, she called the apartment back east, no answer.

Then she checked with the manager and found out Wilma's left when she said she was leaving.

However, her aunt had had no word or call from her since she had called and said she was leaving.

Aunt Emily called the Police and they said, "Give her a few more days, as she may have gotten tired from the long drive and stayed over a few days somewhere to rest."

The Aunt didn't think so but she waited. After a week, she put out a missing persons report. Then a man that had taken the wrong turn in the road, like Wilma did, came across her car.

He wrote down the license plate number and the name and he could see all of her luggage was still there, also that the car was out of gas. He turned around and went back.

A sign that had been across the road had blown over and it said, "road Closed."

So he went the other way, came to a service station, and reported the car he had discovered. The police got right on it and sent others out to check the car.

They followed the road that Wilma had walked on, coming to the old faded sign that said, "Ghost Town, U.S.A." They drove in, the first cars that had driven there in years.

Inside the old Hotel and dance hall they found Wilma. She was sleeping on the dirty burlap sack. They carried her out and took her to a hospital. She was dehydrated but recovered in a few days.

She told the police about the spring water she had found. They checked the entire Ghost Town out and no water of any kind was found and no people. The upstairs was worse than downstairs.

Doctors, police, and everyone else figured it was all just delirium from the heat.

But in checking the history on the Ghost Town, they discovered there had been a Lillian there, a famous dance hall girl.

The doctors told them, "she is not dehydrated enough to have been out in the desert that long."

Wilma went back with her Aunt to her home. She was in perfect health and drove her car. She still insisted it had happened! What do you think?
Another Ghost Town Mystery, unsolved so far. Another story later.

Author Notes A ghost story, hope you enjoyed, add more later when I catch up,

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