Fantasy Science Fiction posted March 20, 2010 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 

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Looking for food and shelter

A chapter in the book Ghost Town USA

Ghost Town, Food

by wierdgrace

Thank you so much for the artwork ducilla, it is perfect
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.

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.
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