Chapter 1

Kansas is a hell of a diverse place. Urban metropolises are surrounded by vast countryside dotted with small towns. There is something about living in a small town that fosters extreme living. Some have an extreme work ethic, others turn a relaxing hobby into monuments. A man rolled a ball of twine until it became the centerpiece of Cawker city Kansas. Political commentary became a statue garden in Lucas. A civil war vet named S.P. Dinsmoor created concrete caricatures surrounding his property, he is entombed in one of them. Look it up. Its called the Garden of Eden.

A two hour drive east from the "Garden of Eden" will bring you to a little town called Stull, or as it is locally known, the "Gateway to Hell." The story is that somewhere in the cemetery there are steps leading down into the land of the dead. Ruins of a burned down church were supposedly used for satanic rituals, and human sacrifices. Locals swear that if you cross two glass bottles in the shape of an upside down crucifix they cannot be broken upon the walls of the unhallowed chapel. The chapel was torn down two years ago but people still talk of weird events happening in the site.

I have always believed this crap to be the wild imaginings of liquored up bumpkins board and exhausted from being out in the sun too long. Why else would you spend your evenings wrapping twine or creating a statue of doctors crucifying the working man. SP Dinsmoor was a cheapskate who hated anyone who billed for services. Tours of his property start at 5 dollars.

However my friend Dave was a believer. Oh boy did he believe. Stories of crop circles, the Illuminati, ghosts, and goat eating monsters all fascinated him. How a man who is almost finished with his doctorate in drone avionics can be so gullible I really don't know. Most of the year indulging his hobby is pretty easy. If he starts talking about some crazy pyramid scheme ( some involving actual pyramids) just redirect the discussion to airplanes. Aeronautics might get boring and technical, but they tend not to lead the discussion into flights of fancy.

The only time of year that my friend becomes truly insufferable is Halloween. Each year he plans a trip to somewhere strange in Kansas with an odd history. Last years' exploration of the murder house from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was actually a pretty great trip. Nothing like scaring your wife a bit with something creepy to make an exciting night in bed. But the build up before the trips is a bit wearing. For three weeks the only topics of conversation are related to the trip and the research and plans he is making.

One time his wife Lee-may actually flashed him to pull him back from his thoughts of an upcoming trip to a haunted bridge. Right in the corner booth at Old Chicago, she straddled his lap, lifted her shirt, and made him motorboat. She tells him all his conspiracy talk gets her horney, but i think she just found a more effective way of changing the subject than airplanes. As for a detailed description of the shape of her breasts and nipple color, you will have to be content with guessing. The only view I had of the situation was that of my wife's fingers quickly covering my eyes.

Anyway, this year Dave became very excited about mid may. He asked if we could move up the trip this year to next week. Someone had partially rebuilt the chapel in the Stull graveyard overnight, and we had to go and see it before it was torn down again by the city council. It was a little short notice but school was going to be over next week and Tracy wouldn't have to teach. So I said Yes.

Two days later I got a call from Lee-May mid-afternoon, saying that Dave got a call that there were lights around the new chapel site and he left immediately. She has not heard from him in 24 hours and is worried. The police wanted 48 hours so she begged me to look for him. As soon as I said yes, the horn honked from my driveway.

"Well come on Harry" she shouted.

I grabbed my wallet and my handgun. (concealed carry permit) left a note for Tracy, and got on the road to Hell.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Science Fiction / Horror / Mystery / Voyeurism /