CATEGORY: Challenge - OW
DISCLAIMERS: This is fanfiction. No profit involved. This story is based on the television series "The Magnificent Seven". No infringement upon the copyrights held by CBS, MGM, Showtime Extreme, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp. or any others involved with that production is intended.
NOTE: October 2005 Challenge, offered by JBrooks: Tell us a ghost story.   Halloween is coming up, so let your imagination run amok.  Give us ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night. 
SUMMARY:  Ezra and Vin spend the night in a haunted barn
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: As always, thank you to Tipper and Debby
FEEDBACK: Yes please! comments are greatly appreciated.
DATE: October 16, 2005

An October Tale
By NotTasha...loving the autumn


“Gonna rain,” Vin stated, regarding the slate-colored sky.

“Before night falls, I fear,” Ezra added, scanning the dreary heavens as they rode back toward Four Corners.   “It blew in rather quickly.  This morning there was hardly a cloud in the sky."

"It's October," Vin responded.  "Weird stuff happens in October."

"The month is nearly over."

"Doesn't change a thing.  Still October."

"We’d best find shelter soon.”

“A little rain won’t hurt ya, Ezra,” the tracker chided. He waited for the gambler to sneer before he continued,  “But it’d make me damn uncomfortable, so I reckon we’d best find something to hunker under soon.”

Ezra smiled.  “Agreed,” he stated and kneed Chaucer to a quicker speed, but the chestnut seemed as sulky as the weather and soon slowed.  Ezra sighed at this response.  Tanner chuckled, keeping pace beside him.

They passed through empty fields and open space.  The sky grew darker – thick with clouds and approaching night.  Wind clattered past the bare trees, and stray leaves whisked.  Autumn had taken its hold.  The harvest was in.  Winter was rattling to get its purchase.

Ezra raised a hand to clasp close his collar.  He tucked in his head until little more than his eyes were visible under the brim of his hat.  Vin hunched his shoulders and they kept moving.  The raw wind followed.

Around them, the world grew dimmer.  The sun -- little more than an illuminated disc behind the curtain of clouds -- came closer to the horizon.  Yeah, Tanner thought, it’s gonna be downright nasty tonight.  But there’d been no sign of another living thing for miles – and definitely no nice house with a warm fire and a table loaded with vittles. His stomach growled at that thought.   “We’d best find a place to camp b’fore it gets any worse,” Tanner muttered, unhappily.  “We’ll need to make do with just our blankets I reckon.  Better to be settled in before the rain lets loose.”

“A little longer,” Ezra encouraged.  “Certainly there’s a structure of some sort out here.”  His expression looked bleak as he repeated, “…Some sort.   I’d rather have a roof over my head tonight.”

“If I had my druthers,” Tanner commented, “I’d be back in Four Corners tonight, sleepin’ in my own bed.  Too bad we didn’t leave sooner.”

Ezra gave Vin a baleful look, grumbling, “You can hardly fault me for spending the extra time in Willow Brook.”

“If your winnin’ at the tables costs me a warm bed tonight,” Tanner returned unhappily, “Then I figure it ain’t worth the price, since it was you that put us in this position.”

Ezra grimaced, aware of the extra money tucked safely into his boot, figuring he’d pay everything he’d won for a good room tonight – if only one could be bought.  “Now, now, Mr. Tanner,’ Ezra began – trying to assuage Tanner’s unpleasant mood.  “There’s no need for that.  We both agreed to relax a little longer than necessary and…”

“There,” Tanner said in response.

“There there?” Ezra replied, puzzled.

Vin lifted a hand, pointing to the structure that had come into view.  “Buildings.”

Ezra grinned, seeing the house and outbuildings that came out of the gloom.  “Ah!” he exclaimed, kicking his heels against Chaucer’s sides.  This time, the horse easily complied, with Peso right beside him.


Night fell, and it was nearly black by the time they reached the house.  At first they’d thought the homestead was vacant, but as the darkness thickened, a light could be seen behind the curtained windows.  Chaucer and Peso snuffed and stomped as they grew closer, slowing their strides, and turning their heads.

“Come on,” Ezra encouraged his mount.  “No need to be recalcitrant.  Certainly you will want a roof over your head tonight as much as I.”

Vin frowned as Peso hesitated and stamped.  “Ain’t got time for this,” he grumbled as Peso shook his head.  “He figures it’s gonna thunder some,” Vin told Ezra to explain the horses actions.

Ezra responded with a nod, and patted his horse’s side.  “I assure you, my friend,” he crooned.  “You’ll be much happier if we can find you a place within that barn.”  Chaucer didn't look convinced.  Peso looked out toward the hills.

Tanner raised his voice and helloed the house.

No one came out, but a face peered through the window's parted curtain -- a woman, looking as frightened as a hare with hounds baying nearby.

“Hello!” Vin called, raising a hand and trying to look non-threatening.  Beside him, Ezra smiled winningly – the expression lost in the darkness.  The woman continued to stare back at them.

The gambler and tracker dismounted.  The curtains fell back, and they carefully strode up the front steps.  Vin lifted his hand to knock, but the door opened a crack before he could complete the action.  “Ma’am,” Vin said softly.

“Good Evening,” Ezra greeted, doffing his hat.  The woman stared at them accusingly.  Ezra smiled, looking charming as hell.  “And a fine evening it is.”

She glanced from one man to the other.  “It’s goin’ to rain,” she stated simply, holding the door just wide enough to let herself peer through the crack.

“Yeah, it is,” Vin agreed.

“Which is why we’ve come callin’,” Ezra added.  “Let me introduce ourselves.  I am Ezra Standish and this is Vin Tanner,” he gestured to the other man. He flicked his fingers at the tracker and Vin snatched off his hat.  “We’re lawmen from Four Corners,” he added with an air of authority.

Her gaze switched from one to another, her expression wary.  “I ain’t been to Four Corners for a long time,” she explained.  “I’m Sadie Wilson.”

Ezra lifted a hand from his side, to take the lady’s in a handshake, but her hands still fiercely gripped the door as if she feared they'd try to storm past her.  She stared out at the strangers, daring them to try something.  Ezra let the hand drop.

“We were wonderin’, ma’am,” Vin said, turning his hat in his hand, “If we might find a place to bed down here for the night.  We’re gonna get caught out in this rain elsewise.”

Sadie’s alarmed expression grew in intensity.  “You can’t come in!” she declared.  “My husband, he ain’t home yet.  I ain’t allowin’ no men in here!  A woman ain't safe out here alone so I ain't takin' in no strangers.”

“We’d be happy for the barn,” Vin commented, gesturing to the building in the dark.  Beside him, Ezra let out a sigh.

Sadie eyes continued their nervous darting.  “You won’t want to spend the night in there,” she said in a hushed voice.

“Is it infested with vermin?” Ezra asked with a false pleasantness.  “Fleas? Lice? Mice?”

Vin jabbed him with an elbow, gaining an “oof” from the conman.

Severely, Sadie shook her head, and told them, her voice low, “It’s haunted.”

“Haunted?” Ezra returned, eyebrows raised.

Nodding quickly, Mrs. Wilson told them, “Strange things been goin' on out there ever since my Hank’s been gone.  Things that’d scare the life out of anythin’.  Shapes…”  She let loose her hold with one hand, gesturing vaguely, as if she were trying to touch something gauzy and immaterial.  Her hand snapped back to its earlier position, barring any attempt at entrance.  “I don’t go there anymore.”

Ezra and Vin exchanged a look.  “How long has Mr. Wilson been gone?” Vin asked judiciously.

Shaking her head, Sadie responded glumly.  “Been gone a while.  Should ‘ave been home some time ago.”

Vin glanced about, noticing the poor state of the porch.  This place hadn’t been seen to in a while.  “We’d be happy to sleep in the barn,” Vin decided.  “Would pay you back with some labor, if you want.  We can fix up some things around the place.”

“Now, Vin,” Ezra put in.  “No need for that.  I’d be more than happy to…” and he paused as if the words hurt him. “… pay cash-money for our night in a -- barn.”

“A night out of the weather,” Vin changed Ezra’s statement as the patter of rain sounded on the roof above them.

Sadie’s anxious expression didn’t change.  She looked as if she preferred they stayed nowhere near her – but the rainfall continued and she gazed out beyond them – perhaps weighing her comfort against theirs.

“Please, ma’am,” Vin assured. “We won’t cause you no harm.”

“I assure you,” Ezra added.  “You won’t even know we’re there.”

“It’s gonna be dreadful wet if we don’t find shelter,” Tanner continued, his eyes taking on a puppy-dog innocence that almost made Ezra laugh.  Standish didn't even try for the same expression himself.

The woman worried her bottom lip.  Finally, she came to a decision.  “If you’re not afraid, you can stay out there,” she said as she pulled her face away from the opening.  "If you come near the house, I'll take up my rifle and blow a hole or two in you.  Can't let you in here with Hank gone!"

“Thank you, ma’am,” Vin got out before the door closed.  “That’s right neighborly of you.”

“Yes,” Ezra said with a sigh to the shut door. “Thank you kindly.”  He grinned, happy to keep his bankroll intact and turned toward the darkness.  “The barn?” he questioned his friend.

Vin grinned.  “Better than nothing,” he stated and headed out to fetch their horses.

“Haunted barn,” Ezra added, following.

“Oh, I ain’t afraid of no spooks,” Vin told him.  "And if it is a ghost hauntin' the place, it's probably just her husband, keepin' an eye on things."

Ezra stopped.  "You honestly believe her?"

With a chuckle, Vin admitted, "Women -- they get ideas in their head sometimes.  Can't explain 'em.  Come on.  Let's go."

"The barn," the conman sighed as he shook his head. 


The rainfall became a downpour as they entered the barn – the heavens let loose just as they were safe from the deluge.  Vin felt about the doorway, until his hand clasped the lantern that he knew would be there.  He pulled it free, sensing the tug of cobwebs and brought it close to him.

He found his matches, and a second later, the match flared, and the lantern’s wick ignited, illuminating the place.

Vin and Ezra stood quietly as they examined their quarters.  The barn was filled with the odor of rotting straw.  Spider webs hung from everywhere like weird decorations.  A stall door hung askew on its hinges.  A work rag hung on a nail, looking brittle and stiff.  A bucket, tipped on its side, hosted a rat’s nest.  And all about them was the scurry-flurry of startled animals seeking shelter.

"Been a long time since anyone's been in here," Vin said wistfully.

"I suppose Mrs. Wilson wasn't lying when she said she didn't come out here anymore," Ezra added, furrowing his brow.  “Perhaps there was some credence to her statement that one shouldn't remain in this space for long.  We’re going to spend the night here? Whatever shall we do?”

“I aim to sleep,” Vin returned.   “Courage, Ezra,” he said, grinning at the gambler.

For that, Ezra gave him a dirty look.

Outside, the rain pounded.  Above them, the roof wept – sending little droplets into the hard packed earth.  Ezra sidestepped to avoid a soaking, and he brought Chaucer about to keep him from the same.

Vin chuckled, leading Peso to the broken stalls. “Seems that they’ll be okay in here,” he decided.  “Figure we can try out that pile o’straw over there for ourselves.”

Ezra crossed his arms over his chest.  “And what makes you think that’ll be dry for the night?” and he winced as a big drop struck his forehead and ran down his face.

“Seems dry enough,” Vin told him.  “What say we try it out?”


They had settled in for the night.  The horses were tended to, bedrolls laid out, a cold meal prepared from what they’d packed with them.  When the thunder started – the horses grew more anxious, shuffling unhappily in their stalls.  The men had done what they could to block them in – to keep the restless animals contained – and the attempt seemed to be working.  They both knew their horses well enough to figure they’d come seeking their riders in the night if left at their own devices.

Lightning lit the cracks between the weathered wood, and wind occasionally found a way in, sending straw flying.  Without anything else to do, the two weather-weary men crawled into their beds for the night.  “Night, Ez,” Vin called, snuffing out the light.

“Goodnight, Mr. Tanner,” Ezra returned, lying back on the mattress of straw.  Thunder rolled, crackling and barking and roaring.  Around them, rain came in – dripping through the ruined roof – drabbling onto the ground below.  All around them – drips and drops – creating a strange symphony.  But, the pile of straw, as Vin suspected, remained dry. Thank God for small favors!

Vin stayed quiet, listening, wondering about the warning from Mrs. Wilson – wondering about ghosts and the possibility of a haunted barn.  The night seemed alive around him.

“Do you believe in ghosts?” Ezra asked in the night.

Vin pursed his lips. “Well,” he started, and then said nothing for a moment, wondering what Ezra would think.  “I spent a fair amount of time ‘round people who believe in spirits,” he explained, trying to hedge his response.  “The people believed that the spirits of their family walked with them. That those who'd passed on kept watch over 'em.   One fella would talk to his brother as if he was there.  Another man saw the spirits of the warriors he’d killed.  He was certain that they were coming to take him – and he used strong magic to keep them away.  Man died sudden-like.  I wasn't there at the time, but others tell me that he just dropped dead in the night."  Tanner stared up at the dark ceiling.  "I ain’t quite got it figured myself.”  He waited for the urbane man’s response.  “Seems they were otherwise normal fellas.”  When Ezra said nothing immediately, he asked, “What about you?”

“I spent some time in the Caribbean,” Ezra told him.  “They have strong beliefs in that part of the world.”

“Yeah?” Vin tried, because Ezra had gone silent again.  “You come across anyone who’d seen a spook?”

A sigh, and Ezra continued, “I knew a man – an intelligent and right-minded fellow.  He swore to me he’d been attacked by the spirit of an evil creature.  He told me that he was minding his own business, walking from the local tavern to his home, when he encountered something he could barely explain – a presence – a shape that seemed vaguely human.”  Ezra’s voice became soft and amazed.  “He felt chilled to the bone as it came at him.  It was little more than a pale smear of light against the blackness.  As it came closer, he could make out its horrible face – twisted, thin – a maw of rotten teeth.  It reached for him; its touch seemed to stop his heart.  The wraith tried to steal his breath away and he nearly suffocated under the influence of that specter before he was able to break away.”

Suddenly, a shrill creak sounded nearby -- nearly a scream.  

"Ahhh!" Vin exclaimed, in a most unmanly way.

“What?” Ezra cried at the same time.  “What was that?”  Both men bolted upright, grasping for their guns.  

The creak repeated – long, loud, cranky – metal on metal – screeching in the night.  The two men panted – staring out across the dark barn – weapons aimed.

“Ain’t nothing,” Vin said, trying to sound convincing, trying to calm his racing heart. “It’s that gate on the stall.  Peso probably bumped into it.”

“Ah yes,” Ezra responded, sounding as if he was attempting smugness, but he couldn't hide the quickness of his breath.  “Of course.  What else could it be?”

They continued to sit upright, listening for the sound to repeat – but the creaking groan did not return and after a moment, they realized how foolish they seemed.  Thunder rolled again and then it was quiet -- only the sound of rain.  The night was dark -- and stormy.

Vin chucked, and Ezra echoed the sound.  Guns were returned to their proper places.

“Back to sleep then,” Ezra said, nestling himself into his bedroll.

“Yeah,” Vin decided.  “I could use some shut eye.”  And both men lay back in the straw, but neither closed their eyes.  In the blackness of the barn, they lay, eyes open, listening to the darkness.  It was damn silly, both of them understood.  They were grown men.  After a moment or two of foolishness, they allowed themselves to relax, to close their eyes and attempt to sleep.

But sleep didn’t come easy.  The rain continued falling, hiding any possible rustling that might be going on around them.  The thunder quieted.  Vin drifted off, as Ezra continued to listen to the maddening sounds.  And then there was a pause – a strange quiet – and then the sound of bells.  

Ezra shot up in his bed, heart pounding, astounded at the tintinnabulation, searching for its source.  And then he saw it.

He let his jaw hang for a second.  Vin,” he hissed.  “Vin!”  One hand shot out, grasping hold of the tracker.  “Vin!”

Tanner sat up quickly.  “What?” he whispered.

“Do you see that?” Ezra asked urgently.

Vin narrowed his eyes to glare out at the blackness – except – it wasn’t all black.  There, in one corner, light danced.  Tanner sucked in his breath as he watched the ghostly image undulate.  “Ezra…” he returned.  A chill wind touched his face.

“Do you see that?” Ezra repeated, his grip on Vin’s arm getting tighter.

Vin’s hand fumbled for his matchbox, and a lucifer flared to life, illuminating their small portion the dank barn.  The image disappeared under the light – and the two men were left to stare at nothing.   The little dome of light only reached so far – but there was nothing to see.  Slowly, Vin turned toward Ezra and met his gaze.  The gambler’s eyes were wide.

“You saw that?” Ezra asked urgently.

Vin bit his lip.  “Seemed to be somethin’ movin’ there, but I ain’t seein’ anythin’ now.  Horses are still upset,” he stated, gazing toward the animals that hadn’t stopped their restless movements.  “I don’t like it.”

The flame reached Vin’s fingers and with a curse, he flailed out the light.  “Damn it!”  Again, bathed in blackness, the two sat side-by-side, gazing toward the corner.  Vin narrowed his gaze.  “It was nothin’,” he declared.  “Nothin’ to worry about.”

Ezra sighed. “A trick of light, no doubt.  Definitely not Mr. Wilson, come back to check up on his frightened bride.”

“Yeah,” Vin agreed.  “No Hank Wilson.  Nope.”

“Did you hear bells?… earlier?” the question was asked tentatively.  “It seems to have stopped, but for a moment, I was certain.”

“I heard ‘em, Ez,” Vin responded.  “It was real soft-like.  I thought it was a dream.”

“Good, good,” Ezra replied, glad that he wasn’t the only one.  Sounding a little fortified, he went on, “It seems, perhaps, that the rain has eased a bit.  We might have a chance at sleep. Good night, once again, Mr. Tanner.”

“Yeah, goodnight, Ez.”

Yet, they sat a moment longer, gazing off at that corner.  Finally, almost at the same time, they started settling themselves again, but Vin curled himself about so that he might keep an eye on that area – just in case.

The rain continued – soft at times – other times louder -- dripping relentlessly.  Rain came down the inner walls, finding the easiest path, running in little rivulets to the ground. Vin dozed, listening to the incessant tapping, the rustling of the restless horses, listening to Ezra breathe and trying to determine if Standish was sleeping or awake and listening as well.

Vin suspected he slept for a time – but then, it started again – the tiny tinny sound of bells.  Vin held his breath, and twisted his head, trying to get a better view.  Nothing… he could see nothing. Slowly, so as not to alert his companion, he pressed himself upright – aware of the crackle of straw beneath him.  He stared, willing his eyes to see in the blackness – willing himself to see.

And there it was – again – wispy and light – something moved.  He froze, watching as the form writhed in the open space.  Mr. Wilson was back to check on things – he was back.

Vin listened as the horses became silent, as the falling rain seemed to fall way and become nothing but an empty hiss in his mind – he watched it move.

There was darkness and light within the shape. Faces seemed to appear, forming and submerging in the image.  It danced about – coming nearer and seeming to draw away.

All sound seemed to disappear.  Vin could hear nothing outside of the beating of his own heart as the specter cavorted.  He felt cold in the breeze, staring unblinking, wanting to see everything – and at the same time – willing it away.  What are you? he thought.  Who are you?  Are you Wilson? What do you want?

BANG!  Something clattered – the sudden noise shattering something within Tanner’s stillness.  He gasped in surprise, unconsciously reaching out his hand to grab hold of Ezra as his heart galloped in his chest.  The southerner came awake in a start, flailing out one hand in fear, trying to free himself as Tanner gasped beside him.

“What the hell?  Leggo of me!” Ezra shouted.  “Leggo, you demon ghoul!”

“It’s me! It’s just me!  Hang on,” Vin tried to find his voice as he reached, shakily for the lantern.  Somehow he managed to light it, and in a moment, their little home was illuminated again.

Ezra gazed at Vin in concern, his own face a little paler than usual.  “Vin?” he asked quietly, as if verifying that the tracker’s identity.  “Are you quite all right?”

“Fine,” Tanner managed quickly.

Ezra nodded, swallowing before he asked, “Did you see it again?”

“Yeah.” Vin lifted the lantern, narrowing his gaze as he tried to find what had made the noise.  He could find nothing.

“I saw it, too,” Ezra said softly.

“Just now?”

“Earlier.  A little earlier.  I thought for certain I had seen it coming toward us,” Ezra said softly.  “I kept quiet, thinking..." and he gave Vin a guilty glance.  "That it might just leave us alone if I did nothing.  And then it just… disappeared.”

“Heh,” Vin responded, holding the lantern high, and then he let out a breath.  “What time is it?”

Ezra pulled his watch from his pocket.  “Nearly 2am.  Still some time before sunrise.”

Vin nodded.  “Ya know, I ain’t really feelin’ like sleepin’ anymore.  What do you think about a hand or two of cards?”

Ezra smiled gratefully.  “That sounds like a fine idea, Mr. Tanner.” He pulled a deck from his pocket and shuffled.

They played poker without any stakes, their voices hushed.  The game seemed a labored as they continually gazed off toward that dark corner, but as the night drew on, the illumination from their lantern grew weaker until, with a groan of disappointment the men watched as the flame finally failed and the room went dark again.

“Damn,” Ezra muttered.


The remaining hours until sunrise were long as they spent their time watching the dark and lighting their stash of matches until all were used up and a pile of matchsticks littered the area.

The specter hadn’t returned, but it didn’t stop them from looking for it.  The rain lessened and by the time morning approached – the dark little barn seemed almost normal.

As the first dull-gray tones of morning filled the sky, they pushed wide the doors, glad to find that the rain had stopped.  The air was filled with the clean clear scent that always followed a good rain.  Vin was damned relieved to see the dawn.  There were times during the night when he wondered if they’d see it again.  He glanced to Ezra, seeing the same pleased expression.

They moved about the barn, packing up, getting ready to put this place behind them as quickly as possible.  Vin found his saddle tipped onto the ground.  He’d left it on the dividing wall on Peso’s stall.  “Must have mis-balanced it,” he told Ezra.  “Probably a rat or something knocked it down.  Bet this is what fell in the night.”

Ezra winced at the mention of the rodent and turned away, finding a strip of sleigh bells hanging on one wall – a puddle at its base.  He laughed.  “And this is undoubtedly what made that uncanny sound. Water dripping from above set the bells to ringing.”

They further investigated the room – finding a large gap in the siding.  “Bet the moon broke through at times,” Vin decided, glancing about the room.  “Moonlight came in through here.”

Ezra barked a laugh.  “And illuminated this ridiculous rag!” he stated, pointing to the long piece of cloth that dangled from a nail.  “That’s all it was.   Just moonlight on a rag.  Ha!”

Vin grinned, damn glad that they’d figured it out.  “We’ve been kinda silly.”

“Completely,” Ezra returned, laughing.  “Oh, we got ourselves worked up over absolutely nothing!  How very childish!”

Vin laughed, too, shaking his head in disbelief.  How had they allowed this to happen?  He cut his laugh short.  “Nothing,” he said.  “Not a word of this will ever reach the others!”

Ezra’s face became serious as he extended a hand.  “Agreed,” he stated, and they shook on the deal.

They prepared their horses and moved out of the barn as the morning continued to light the world.  "I will tell you this now," Ezra said sincerely, "I will not be remaining here a minute longer.  I don't care if that woman prepares us a breakfast fit for kings.  I will not stay!"

"Couldn't agree more," Vin responded.  "Don't see how the woman stands it here."

As they strode out of the barn – they finally were able to get a good look at the property.

Vin frowned as he saw the house.  In the dusk it had seemed in need of a little help, but now as dawn had further illuminated the site, he realized that the place was in much sorrier shape that he could have imagined.

The house seemed half-sunken. The roof had fallen in.  Windows on the upper floor had been broken.  The paint had long peeled way, leaving it gray and ghostly.  Vin and Ezra exchanged a mystified look, saying nothing.

Slowly, they approached the house as they had the night before, and Vin knocked.  The door swung open, revealing an empty room, thick with dust.  There was no sign that anyone had been within that room for months – maybe years.

Without a word, without a sign or gesture, both men descended the porch steps, mounted their horses, and fled the site.


“Ah, the Wilsons,” the old timer said, rubbing the back of his head as he held his hat.  “Sad story.”  He leaned one arm against the fence as he talked to the two horsemen that had come across his property.  “Hank, he went off to the war and never came back.”

“The war between the states?” the well-dressed one asked, sounding perplexed.

“Aye,” the old timer responded.  “That it was.”

“Been ten years or so since it ended,” the mangier one stated.

“True. Hank went off to war, full of great ideals.  He kept tellin' his Sadie that he'd be back -- be back soon with wonderful stories.  Sadie believed it, kept believing he’d come back some day.  Kept waiting for him to return.  My woman and the others in these parts used to go look in on her, but she never wanted anything from anyone.  She’d sit in that front room – night and day – waitin’ for him.  Their house used to be so warm.  Friendliest couple you’d ever know. Anyone was welcome there.  But Hank’s goin’ off to war killed something in that woman.  She wore down to nothin’ but a husk.  Then, Sadie up-and-died.”  He sucked his teeth at that statement. “We found her.  Buried her proper out by the barn.  Found there was a letter waitin' for her at the General Store.  My Beth read it.  Said that Hank got himself killed."

The farmer returned the hat to his head and sighed.  "She never got that note and she’d probably would be waitin’ for Hank still if she was alive.”

At those words, the two strangers nodded, and without voicing a goodbye, they turned and kept moving.


Hope you enjoyed the story. comments and suggestions

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