Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Railroad Children
, when I was around 6, my mother took us
to a railroad track in the dead of night to see the spirit of a man with a
lantern, who used to guide the trains. We were terrified as usual but, we were
also always excited. Texas
The legend, as my mother told us, was that if you parked on the tracks the lantern man would come by and wave you off the track with his lantern. If you moved on all would be well but if you stayed a spirit train would plow through your car, and maybe take your soul.
Here's what we experienced.
The area was quite a ways from our home, maybe 15 to 20 miles. That evening we all piled in the old batman car, (an old black car with high fins on either side of the trunk, which we named the batman car), and headed out to visit the unknown. My mother was driving and her mate, Jean, was in the front seat. My older sister Becca, younger sister Pepper and myself were in the back seat.
We had seen and experienced so much in our short lives that it was actually all quite routine. Like going to the drive-in for most families.
On the way my mom, Jean and Becca talked, my younger sister played with something in her lap and I stared out the window into the gathering darkness and daydreamed. When we finally arrived I was surprised at how ordinary the place was.
It was a little, old paved road, which came to a railroad crossing. There were the typical RR signs on either side, with the rails running across the road at the top of a steep little hill. There were woods on either side of the road with a clearing running along both sides of the tracks for as far as we could see. On the other side of the tracks there were woods again and the little road curved sharply away.
After my mother announced that we were here, she slowed way down and we coasted closer to the tracks. As we coasted she told the story again about what were here to see. As we neared the tracks she stopped the car on a small incline, and turned it off. She wanted to see what we all felt or saw from there. We sat there for about 30 minutes but nothing happened at all.
After about half an hour Pepper and I became restless and wanted to go. Eventually my mother gave in and tried to start the car. It wouldn't start. She tried several times, but nothing, it didn't even make a click. Jean wanted to get out and look under the hood but my mother said it wasn't right wouldn't let her. Much discussion and griping ensued.
Suddenly, out of the ruckus Jean shouted "there!". We all looked and sure enough, a blue orb was bobbing along the tracks heading straight toward us. We were instantly mesmerized by it. As it came closer it seem to grow in size, not because of distance but it actually seem to get larger. It started out about the size of a tennis ball and grew to basketball size. It passed right in front of the car, no sounds, no man, no nothing. Just this wonderful blue orb.
It passed the car and we watched it go on down the tracks until it eventually disappeared. Whether it actually disappeared or just got to far away to see, I don't know.
As we sat in quiet amazement the car just suddenly moved an inch or two forward, all on it's own, then stopped. My mother started to say something when it moved again, just an inch or two. Jean told her to take it out of gear and as soon as she did, it started to move steadily along.
We were all talking excitedly. We thought it was so cool, the car was moving Up the little hill all on it's own! But the fun came to a sharp end when we started to hear the giggling of children outside the car.
It was barely audible at first, like you weren't sure you were actually hearing it, but it soon became clearer and louder. It was as if a bunch of kids were happily pushing our car along. But it didn't actually feel like they were happy, it felt very wrong and ominous. It was the laughing that didn't feel right, it sounded negative and just not right. We all instantly felt chilled by it, there was a malevolence in those giggles. We became afraid, Pepper started to cry and was begging to go home now.
As if in answer to her cries, as suddenly as it began, it stopped. No more pushing or laughing. My mother put the car back in gear and that's when we realized we were on the other side of the tracks. The children had pushed us up a small incline and over the tracks to the other side.
We sat there a few minutes in stunned silence. Someone said to try the car and when my mother turned the key and the old car started right up. We drove away shaken but in awe.
On the way home my younger sister had fallen asleep, my older sister may have, she was being very quiet. My mom and Jean were talking and I was back to my inevitable staring out the window, daydreaming and going over what had happened in my mind. My thoughts were soon interrupted by someone in the front yelling "look at that!". My mom had slowed way down and they were sticking there heads out the windows and looking up.
The 3 of us in back roused and stuck our heads out too. Off to the right and up in the sky was a huge, odd metallic cylinder. My mother later described it as a cigar shape.
We kept driving very slowly, barely moving but still creeping along. The object came right over our car and we were suddenly enveloped in the brightest light I've ever seen.
But I'll leave the rest of the story for another time.