Yet another photograph in what is a series pushes the story along
It’s a reminder of a past that I have only seen in old movies, which to me, adds a great deal of importance to the preservation of any material that gives us a sense of what it was like many years ago.
It doesn’t mean that what we see happening because films, like stories, are sometimes based on some fact but the majority of it is fictional padding, adding a picture of how it might have been.
To find out what really happened, it is possible to find archived newspapers and municipal documents going back a long time, quite often the fodder for many history books.
This is how we think the wild west was, at times quite a dangerous place to be. But, in the main, it was probably a lot more mundane, just trying to make a living off the land, battling the vagaries of weather, fighting off all manner of hazards, both predators and humans, or trying to eventually eke out a living after a gold strike brought thousands of would-be prospectors.
Towns came and went, mines came and went, each leaving the ghosts of their people and buildings behind.
As for my story, it’s probably going to be an amalgam of everything I’ve read or seen, but with my own spin.
So, the story so far – Our hero is away on a driving tour and had come to a covered bridge.
The thought that it might be a portal does cross his mind, but not being a believer, crosses it. Then, after a few miles comes across what seems to be a deserted, or ghost, town. But, it’s not deserted, the car’s gone and in its place, a horse.
I woke up in unfamiliar surroundings.
I didn’t remember going to sleep, which, for a moment, was a worry.
It was not a bed I was lying on. It was hard, like a wooden plank, and, looking up, the roof was very high above. A cathedral ceiling.
I dragged myself up into a sitting position and looked around. It is a church. A very old church made completely out of timber. The sort of church one might find in an old town.
“Ah, you’re awake?” A voice came from behind me, the sort I instantly reminded of a priest.
I turned. A man that had the requisite collar and shirt, but not your typical priest.
“Where am I?”
“Church. Fergus thought you’d died of fright. Have to say I thought that too, but Doc reckons you’re tired from a long ride. Where you from?”
I was going to say from New York, but I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I held that thought and just said, “Back east.”
“Running from what?”
Was everyone who landed on their doorstep running from something? At least I wasn’t dressed in a suit, just a flannel shirt, and jeans, with sturdy hiking boots. They were the only item of my apparel that could be out of place in this setting.
“A woman. She picked another man, one I thought was a friend.”
It was as close to the truth I’d get. There was a woman, it was just she didn’t like me as much as I did her. The both of us couldn’t stay, so I quit and left.
“Well, it’s too late to go on, the hotel’s out the door and thirty paces straight ahead. Tommy’s taken your horse to the livery stable.”
My interview was over.
“I’ll see you at the service in the morning.”
Odd, when I walked out the church door, the scene had changed from what I last remembered. At dusk, there were lights and people. Not many, but just enough to give the town an air of reality.
Until I saw two women walk past, in traditional 1860s dresses and bonnets.
This had to be a historical town that went that extra mile for reality. It had to be.
© Charles Heath 2020-2022