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The Children of the Infinite

Hunting GhostsFrom Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal edited by Buck Weiss. Story by Scott Bartlett

A few days later, the three of us found ourselves sitting around an oak table at the Chadwick library. An unused fireplace was sending a draft throughout the library’s sitting area. I put my coat on and began to flip through the sheer pages of an old book from 1905. The first few pages were dog-eared and torn with faded yellowed tape holding them together. As I got further into the book, every page mentioned a character that was now immortalized as a street name. I saw woodcarvings of small factories that were now skeletal frames of scorched bricks.

In the center of the book was a map of the town, depicting how it looked when it was established in 1830. The town was nothing but fields and pastures, and the drawings of oversized cows drove the point home. A line signifying the Mohican River split the town in half and the two sections were labeled “Upper Village” and “Lower Village”.

I turned a few pages and saw how the town was mapped out when the book was written in 1905. The sections of town, Montague and Lakeville, were added. Illustrations showed thriving factories, bridges, dams, churches and graveyards. I ran my finger along the long line that said Lovell Road. With the exception of the town landfill, Lovell Road was still woods. In the middle of the woods I could tell that something was once written there in pencil and later erased. As I looked closer, the word looked like “Graveyard”. I ignored it, chalking it up as graffiti.

I thought it would be an easy enough report. We would mention a few streets named after dead people, complain that all the factories closed down and say that as soon as Chadwick got MTV, the free world would be safe from the commies. I could probably milk seven pages out of street names, Chris could write about a few factories and John would rewrite the Red Dawn screen play. I didn’t see anything about Millbrook, and chalked it up to Chris reading something wrong.

“There’s nothing on Millbrook. Let’s just write a few pages and then have John’s mother type it up.” I looked over at John who was thumbing through the Ghosts volume from Time-Life’s Enchanted World series. “She sells Avon and is good at bull shitting.” John ignored me, his nose deep in the book.

“That book doesn’t have anything. Check this out.” He said, putting a census book from 1860 in front of me. “Look at the addresses.”

The book contained names, ages, addresses, children and occupation; all written in an almost illegible script. Familiar sounding names popped from the pages, probably ancestors of current residents. Then I noticed something, there were references labeled Chadwick TWN, Montague, Lakeville – and Millbrook.

“I see Millbrook.” I said, raising my voice a little.

“Now check this out.” Chris placed another census book in front of me. The year on the spine was 1865, the last year of the Civil War. “Millbrook isn’t in this one.”

What happens next? Read Hunting Ghosts: Thrilling Tales of the Paranormal to find out.

Copyright 2013 Black Oak Media, Inc. You do not have permission to copy this post.

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