A sort of response to the Zombie challenge as there weren’t really Zombies in the old west, but plenty of ghosts and other scary things in the night.
Jalen, Dan, Brett and Cole had gone on a camping trip. The older men were sitting by the fire drinking coffee and listening to the younger ones try to out do each other telling ghost stories. It was a favorite past time at night around the campfire.
Jalen said, “I think you boys have scared each other enough tonight. It’s time to hit the hay.”
Brett pouted. “Aww…just one more Jalen? I have a really good one.”
Dan looked at Jalen. “I don’t want the two of you tossin’ and turnin’ all night or havin’ nightmares.” He said.
Cole said, “Don’t worry Dan, we won’t.”
Dan with a hint of sternness replied, “See that you don’t.”
Jalen eyed Brett. “That goes for you too my little outlaw.”
Brett nodded. “I’ll be okay Jalen.” He told the Sheriff.
Jalen said, “All right, just one more ghost story, then it’s time for all of us to go to sleep.”
Brett grinned and began his tale. “Well you know when the moon is full like it is tonight there’s a ghost train that comes through here. Apparently there was a train wreck here long ago. We saw the old train tracks earlier. I heard that a train carrying prisoners derailed and everyone was killed. They say on a night like this once it gets real quiet you can hear the moans of the prisoners…they’re stuck on that train forever.”
A chill went down Cole’s spine at Brett’s tale and his eyes were wide. “Do you think we’ll get to see it tonight?”
Brett shrugged. “You can never tell.” He continued with his story. “They say you not only can hear the moans of the prisoners trapped forever in that ghost train, but you can even hear the clacking of the cars as they travel over the track and some nights you can even hear the train whistle too.”
Cole hung on Brett’s every word. He glanced over at their partners to see if they were listening. They seemed to be absorbed in their own conversation. Cole turned to Brett. “They can never leave the train?”
Brett shook his head solemnly and said, “No…never.”
Cole bit his lip. “That’s awful.”
Brett nodded. “Yeah, they say if you hear them and see them, if you try to approach them and help them you’ll be pulled into the train and will be trapped right along with them and never be able to leave the train again either.”
Cole shivered this time at the awfulness of that happening. “I’ll be sure to not go near if we get to see them.”
Brett nodded. “’Kay, I wouldn’t want to lose my best friend to the ghost train.”
Cole nodded. “Me neither.”
The boys finally settled down to sleep with their partners and the fire burned down until there were just embers and the full moon lit the surrounding landscape bathing everything in a silvery light.
As the night wore on the wind came up and began to moan in the tops of the trees and clacking the branches together.
Cole was in a restless sleep and when the moaning of the wind grew more pronounced he sat bolt upright in his bed roll his heart pounding as he heard the moaning and as he listened he heard a clacking sound like train wheels on tracks. Cole hissed…”Brett!”
Brett who also hadn’t been sleeping soundly awoke immediately. “What is it?” He asked in a soft whisper.
Cole asked, “Do you hear it? The train is coming!”
Brett listened and he heard the same sounds as Cole had and shivered. “It’s comin’ all right.”
Jalen disturbed by Brett not being close and the whispering cracked open one eye and listened carefully to the two younger men.
Dan also had been disturbed by his partner not being near and listened to the boy’s whispered conversation. He glanced over at Jalen and noticed the other man was also awake. They exchanged a grin with each other.
Brett said to scare Cole further and himself as well, “They’re comin’ to get us all right…There ain’t gonna be anythin’ our partners are goin’ to be able to do about it either.”
Cole huddled into himself. “Don’t let them get us Brett.” He whispered.
Brett said, “I’ll try not to let them get us, but I can’t guarantee anythin’.”
Dan and Jalen had heard enough and of one accord the two older men got up and took hold of their respective partners and put them over their laps.
Cole and Brett both let out a squeak and a squeal.
Jalen said, “Don’t worry…we’ll chase the ghosts away!” He smacked his hand on Brett’s bottom.
Dan added, “We have a foolproof way to chase them away.” Smacking Cole’s bottom.
Brett and Cole both yipped and yelped as their bottoms were well heated by their partners, focusing their attention on the heat building on their bottoms instead of any ghostly apparitions.
Once the older men knew they had their partner’s attention they said; “Now the ghosts are put to rest.”
Brett and Cole pouted as their partners released them and they rubbed their bottoms.
“You two are scarier than any ghost or scary things in the night.” Bret said with a frown.
Cole nodded in agreement grimacing as he too rubbed his bottom.
Jalen and Dan exchanged glances and Jalen said, “Glad to hear it.”
Dan grinned at Cole as well at Jalen’s words, and then both older men took their partners into their arms and cuddled them, taking them back to their bedrolls to sleep the rest of the night away in safety from any ghosts.