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The Eagle's Nest

"Aquila the Eagle"

Echoes From The Past (Part VI)
(A Ghost Story)

The heat and thirst were starting to affect my senses, and I was beginning to panic. I knew that invisible eyes were peering directly into my very soul. I wandered in a half daze back to the center of town. As I passed the church again, I heard that same disembodied voice saying, "Remember, it's safe in here."

In the distance I saw a building that I hadn't noticed before. It stood by itself and had a flag flying over it. At one end of the porch was a mailbox and I realized it had to be a post office. At the other end was a newspaper vending machine, which didn't strike me as strange. At this point, nothing did.
"The front door is open", I thought to myself, "Flag flying, front door open, dear Lord, please let there be someone inside."
I looked up and read the sign on the front of the building, "United States Post Office, Pioneertown, California 92268"
"They even have their own zip code. Now why does that seem perfectly normal."

I stumbled onto the porch, through the open door, and looked around.

"Anyone here", I said, with a harsh, raspy voice. "I need water. Can anyone help me, please?"
Just silence. Nothing but the sound of the wind.

The inside of the post office looked like it was open for business. All the usual things that are in a regular post office. Clerk's window, a drawer with money and stamps, a scale for weighing the mail, Wanted posters on the wall, and notices from the Postal Service. I looked through the door of a back room. No one there. On a table was a pitcher and bowl with a ladle in it for drinking water. Dry as the desert.
It was as if every living creature had been lifted out of the town and taken to who knows where. In a daze and a state of confusion, I careened out the door, back into the dry, dusty street. and fell to my knees.
"I wouldn't stay there if I was you," I heard a voice say. "When things start to happen. you're liable to get hurt"

With that I felt invisible hands lift me and help me to a small shed near the post office. A sign over the entrance read "Stage Stop" As I stood breathing heavily, leaning against the entrance, I could sense and then make out shadowy, ethereal figures pacing back and forth, moaning and crying.
Then a cloud of dust arose and I heard the sound of horse's hooves and wheels rolling.
A voice called out "All aboard. This is the stage for Purgatory. The next stop is Purgat......" The wind erased the rest of the sentence. Again the sound of horses and wheels, and when they had faded away, I saw that the stage stop was still filled with the ghostly figures.

By this time I was no longer in control of my senses or emotions. The combination of heat, thirst, and fear had pushed me to the brink of hysteria.
"Please, please get me out of here", I cried, tears streaming down my face.
I wanted to get back to the car. There, I felt I would be safe and, if necessary, I could drive back down that treacherous road, even if only on three tires.
As I stumbled back to the main street, I saw out of the corner of my eye, something that looked vaguely familiar. I had seen years before the very same thing in the movie "The Gunfight At The OK Corral"
Then voices shouting and yelling.
"They're at it again. The Earps, "Doc" Holliday and the Clantons down at the old corral."
Women and children crying and the sound of gunfire. I was in the middle of the original gunfight. I knew they were only sounds and sounds couldn't hurt me, but I wanted to get out of that madhouse before I went completely crazy. I started to run for the car, had gone about twenty feet when I felt a hot, searing pain in my right shoulder. The force of whatever had hit me spun me around and I fell to the ground. I lay there, gasping for breath, looking to the sky and then, everything went black.............

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