Jim jumped sideways, dropped to one knee and started firing. The gun roared and the fire flew, but it did no good. He kept a comin’. We started running again, as fast as our legs would carry us. Jim in the lead, then me and Daniel bringing up the rear. Pretty soon we hear a scream. I turned and saw Daniel down on his hands and knees, the tomahawk was stuck in his back. In the moonlight the shaft disappeared, just like the arrow in the tree.
“Jim, we gotta help him!” I hollers.
“Too late!” he roars back, “Keep running!”
I turned again, just in time to see Daniel being drug into the woods. By something I couldn’t see. As I ran I could hear his screams, getting louder and more agonizing. Then it got quiet. Maybe the ghosts was busy with him, even the drumming and chantin’ stopped. We didn’t stick around to find out.
After we’d gone a mile or more, we stopped to catch our wind. It was still quiet.
“I think we lost ’em,” Jim says, “Sons a bitches!”
I shook my head and tried to catch my breath. “Ya can’t just lose a ghost!”
“Well I don’t see ’em or hear ’em, do you?” He says and reloads his guns, “Pretty soon we should be outta here.”
We stayed for a few more minutes, then started again at a brisk walk, as we were both getting pretty worn down.
After a bit, we came around a turn and saw something hanging from a tree. I knew it had to be a person, cause it was kicking and thrashing about.
“Who’s there!” Jim says, real ugly like, “You lookin’ to get shot?!”
Right before our eyes the fellow catches on fire. Started at his feet and moved up across his body. Then we could see his face. It was Daniel. Then he starts screamin’ at the top of his lungs. We ran about lookin’ for some way to get him down, but there was none. The fire reached his hair and face, it was burning the skin right offa him. And the sounds he was makin, Christ!
Jim fired one shell and put him outta his misery, then he curses and cocks the gun. “Sons a bitches are playin’ with us.”
“Just leave the stuff behind.” I says, “Maybe that’s what they want. It’s our only chance.”
“Go to hell,” Jim scowls. “I ain’t givin’ ’em nuthin’. Only some lead if they come close enough.”
“Please,” I was near beggin’, “I want to make it outta here.”
“Then you better git movin’,” he snarls, real mad again, “Or you’ll be next.”
I looked at him in the moonlight, his eyes was blazing mad. I was beginning to think he was Lucifer himself.
Before we’d gone two steps, a Shaman appeared on the trail in front of us. He was dancin’ and chantin’ and wavin’ his arms about. Jim walks right up to him and fires at his head. Doesn’t do a damn thing. He just keeps at it.
“Come on!” Jim hollers and runs right through him.
I gritted my teeth and done the same. We charged down that trail as fast as we could go. The screeching and drummin’ started again, even fiercer this time. I looked over my shoulder a couple of times and could see somethin’ coming behind me. I ran faster.
We started going downhill. For the first time I felt like we had a chance. I knew we was getting close to the road. I ran faster, harder, then I tripped. I crashed over bushes, bounced off rocks and slid up against a tree. I hollered for Jim at the top of my lungs. But he didn’t answer. He just kept running. I got to my feet and started moving again, but not as fast. I was hurt bad. I could see hands reachin’ for me through the trees. White, cold dead hands. I put my head down and tried to move faster.
I knew I was getting’ close. Then I heard the car’s engine start. I yelled, screamed at the top of my lungs, but the bastard wouldn’t wait. I could see the headlights come on through the trees. By the time I reached the road, he’d turned around and started driving towards town. But he only went a few hundred feet and drove into the ditch. As I got closer I could see him flouncing around in the cab. Punching at thin air. Then his rifle went off a couple of times. I got real close, then the car started to burn.
I grabbed the door handle, but it was jammed. Something was fighting him, his head slammed against the driver’s door, and the window shattered. He reached out to me, I pulled on his arm, but something dragged him back inside. I couldn’t see what it was. All I know the flames were getting real high. And the screamin’ started. He was burning alive, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. After a couple of minutes, I had to step back. It was getting too hot. But I got a real chill. I knew I was the only one left and they’d be after me next.
I started to run towards town, but I was kinda blinded from staring at the burning car. I only got a few yards and I tumbled into the ditch. Down a bank and onto a pile of rocks. I figure I musta blacked out cause when I opened my eyes, it was daylight. Pouring rain. I crawled my way outta that ditch and onto the road. The car was smokin’ but the fire was out. I didn’t bother to go look inside, I couldn’t bear it. I just hobbled towards town. I walked for hours. Every time a bush rustled, the wind blew or a bird chirped close, I cringed and ducked. After a few hours a feller came along in a pulp truck and gave me a lift. He asked me what happened, but I couldn’t speak.
It was days before I could go outside again. My knee was sprained, I was cut and bruised everywhere, and I was terrified. Some junk dealer got word there was an abandoned car and went to get it. He said there was nothing inside. I guess Jim’s body was gone. And so was the Indian treasure. Thing is, when he hooked a rope onto the car, it started burning again. Real fierce. But it had been raining for days. He had a hard time just to cut the rope. Back in them days, people were pretty superstitious, so no one would touch it after that. So it just stayed there. It took years before I could even drive out there again. I don’t like to think about it.
Great Uncle Edward said he really didn’t believe the story. So Thomas took a big slug of whiskey, went over to a desk in the corner and pulled out a small, burlap sack. Then he dumped the contents on the table. A tomahawk head, pipes and some arrowheads. He said he’d forgotten about them until he made it back to the boarding house. Then he’d been too afraid to return them to the burial ground. It was the first time he’d taken them out of the sack in 40 years.
Edward asked him why he didn’t call the cops. Thomas said no one would’ve believed him, and no one was going to miss a few drifters. He cursed and said he wasn’t afraid any more, just angry after telling the story. He knew robbing the graves was wrong, but so was killing three men. Edward thanked him for the story, then continued on his way to town.
The next morning when he drove back by the house, he was shocked to see it had burnt to the ground. There was nothing left but the basement. He stopped and talked to the firemen. Thomas was dead. They said the police had ruled it a fire caused by “suspicious smoking”. Edward said nothing to them, but told us that it was too much of a coincidence. Then my father spied me on the stairs, and sent me back to bed. I laid awake for hours, too terrified to close my eyes.
So there you have it, I hope you all enjoyed it! Keep the fiction experience going by grabbing up my novel, “the vision” Just clink on the link and thank you very much!http://www.amazon.com/The-Vision-ebook/dp/B009SX8K0W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358861661&sr=8-1&keywords=jason+lawson+the+vision