The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

The Adventures of Gabriel Celtic

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Another Halloween Special! - The Legend of Ol' Red Eyes!

A couple of years after writing The Legend of West Fork (which takes place in the 1800's) I wrote a Pepper and Longstreet story based on the same legend. Bringing an old legend to life in modern times was kinda cool...and since Longstreet is a ghost...


Well...you get the point...creeepy with a side of...creepy!


Anyway...here's the story....Enjoy and I hope you can sleep tonight! (Creepy laughter in background)


The Legend of Ol Red Eyes

“Purportedly seven feet tall with a large black, shadowlike body, Ol Red Eyes is said to carry a massive double-headed ax which he uses to…part the head of his victim from the rest of the unsuspecting body.”
Mr. Fuhrman smiled at his students’ shocked reactions. He loved repeating this eerie story of the legend every Halloween.
Continuing in a purposely creepy voice, “He will emit an eerie growl like that of a wolf. Lacking a real head, his glowing red eyes are said to float over where his neck would be.”
Looking around the room at the now-expectant eyes of his students, he knew they were ready for the coup de gras.
“And there is just this one… last… thing…BOO!”
Mr. Fuhrman laughed hysterically at some of the students’ responses, with a few of the girls in the front row letting out quick screams.
Pepper Jones smiled at Mr. Fuhrman’s theatrics. She had to admit, he certainly loved his history, and did his best to impart that love onto his students by making them get totally involved in his classes.  
“On All Hallows Eve,” the teacher continued then, “this very dark and mean apparition will come out of the cemetery to take the head of some unwary traveler for himself. There have been unconfirmed reports of several instances over the last century of finding headless bodies in the area on November 1st.”
Mr. Fuhrman then reached down to his desk and picked up a small, very old book.
“In fact, in 1889, John Bailey wrote a book on the subject that he called ‘The Legend of West Fork’. In his story, he recounts what he claims to be a true encounter with Ol Red Eyes himself. According to the book, he escaped losing his head on Halloween night with the help of the ghost of his grandmother.”
Looking at the book fondly, he then looked back to his students. “Although the book was very popular in its day locally, I believe this is the only copy left. Fortunately for you, I have made copies for all of you on my desk. Make sure you take one; it will be on the test.”
Groans filled the room as the bell rang in the hall, signaling the end of class. As Pepper gathered up her books, she felt the presence of someone hovering over her desk.
“Longstreet!” she whispered as she started looking up, “I told you not to come to school…”
“Who’s Longstreet, Red?”
Pepper’s heart skipped a beat as she realized it was Jamie Larson standing beside her desk, looking at her quizzically with a smile. He had called her Red since they were in the 8th grade. Hating it at first, she had gradually warmed up to the nickname as Jamie had gotten cuter.
“Oh…nothing,” Pepper stammered, embarrassed. “I was just…never mind.”
Jamie’s smile grew larger then. “What are you doing tonight Red? A bunch of us are…”
“Pepper, are you going with us tonight?”
Beth had been Pepper’s best friend forever, and she interrupted from across the room as she walked quickly toward Pepper’s desk.
Seeing Pepper’s confused look, Beth looked at Jamie questioningly. “Didn’t you ask her yet?”
“I was about to,” Jamie huffed, “but somebody interrupted!”
Looking quickly back to Pepper, “A bunch of us are going out to the West Fork cemetery tonight…to try to find Ol Red Eyes. Wanna come?”
Pepper was surprised, having been looking forward to giving out candy to the neighborhood kids. A creepy dark cemetery was not her first choice for a Halloween night.
“Where else would you spend Halloween?” Beth squealed when Pepper voiced her concerns. “It’s the perfect place to go tonight! You’re not scared are you?”
She hadn’t meant the question to sound mean, but Jamie took it that way.
“Hey Beth, I don’t think we need to taunt her to go; she can make her own decision.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean it that way; Pepper knows me well enough to know when I’m kidding. Don’t you Pepper?”
“Okay.”
Beth and Jamie both looked at Pepper after she uttered the word.
“What do you mean Pepper, okay what?” Jamie asked.
Pepper looked up with a smile, “Okay…I’ll go. Sounds like fun!”
***
Pepper was reading Mr. Fuhrman’s handout in the courtyard at lunch when she had her own haunting.
“Howdy Missy.”
The handout fell to the ground as Pepper jumped in her seat.
“Dammit Longstreet! Pepper hissed, “Will you quit sneaking up on me like that?”
Realizing then where she was, she glanced around her quickly to make sure she was alone.
“Besides, you’re not supposed to come to school; what’s gotten into you anyway?”
Longstreet shrugged. “Don’t rightly know little lady. There something different about today. Ain’t put a finger on what it is yet though.”
Pepper was a little miffed that Longstreet had shown up at school. Although far from unpopular in her classes, she knew that some people thought her a little off. When Longstreet was around, she had a hard time concentrating on her work, as well as communicating with him. Sitting alone and talking to oneself was never a good formula for appearing sane.
Something struck Pepper just then, something that had never occurred to her before. Considering the planned excursion she and her friends had scheduled for that night, it also sent a chill up her spine.
Longstreet was a ghost.
And he was acting different.
And….it was Halloween!
Of all of the stories and legends she had either read or heard over the years, there was a common theme that seemed to reoccur in many of them.
Things were really different on Halloween….at least for ghosts.
“Jacob,” Pepper questioned her friend quietly, “can you tell me what it is that seems different today?”
Looking confused, Longstreet appeared to give Pepper’s question some serious thought.
Pepper was quite used to the expression now showing on Longstreet, as it was a quite common occurrence. Longstreet really didn’t know he was a ghost, and for that reason, many things confused him about the modern world.
It was only lately that Pepper had been able to prove to him that there were such things as ghosts. While she was at Band Camp this summer, they had helped a ghost with some unfinished business that had kept her from moving on.  
Even though Longstreet had interacted with the ghost during the case, Pepper could tell he was still confused about the whole subject.
“Well little lady, I’m not rightly sure. I got this here tingling going on, and I felt an urging to come to this place…to tell you something.”
It was Pepper’s turn to look confused. “Tell me what Longstreet?”
“That’s the thing missy; it don’t make no sense.”
No one could annoy Pepper faster than Longstreet could, and her aggravation level kicked up to bonus level as he him-hawed around the subject.
“Dammit Longstreet,” she hissed loudly, “spit it out! I have to go to class in a minute!”
Longstreet hesitated a few more moments before delivering the message that had been implanted in his mind by some unseen force.
Finally nodding imperceptivity, “I guess I’m supposed to tell you missy….don’t go!”
***
“Don’t go?”
Pepper repeated Longstreet’s ominous message.
Longstreet nodded. “That’s what were in my head to tell you. Don’t know what it means though.”
Another chill ran up Pepper’s spine…a warning from the beyond?
“Seriously Longstreet, are you making this up? It isn’t funny you know.”
Her heart sank when he repeated the confused look at her question. He really didn’t know what it meant.
This was just getting too strange. The only ghost she knew, acting strange and giving her mysterious warnings…all having to do with Halloween?
The bell rang then, telling her she had five minutes to get to class.
“I better go Longstreet. Maybe you would feel better if you went for a ride on Lady.”
She could tell Longstreet liked the idea, nodding slightly with a smile before he disappeared with a whoosh.
Gathering her books, she started off for class, the ominous warning about their planned outing tonight heavy on her thoughts. She didn’t know what to do about it though. No one would believe her if she told them that a ghost had warned them not to go. And even if she didn’t go with them, her friends may still be in danger.
She realized suddenly that her stomach hurt, and she felt clammy, a cold sweat having broken out across her brow.
Sighing as she entered her next class, she took her seat and made ready for the lecture. But the teacher’s words never made it to her paper; her mind was too distracted as her thoughts centered on a completely different subject.
Ol’ Red Eyes!
***
Glancing down the road, the icy chill returned as the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Two dim red orbs seemed to be staring at him. The large flowing shape of a man dressed in black fog could be made out below the glowing spheres, a humongous ax head hanging down from one hand.
He realized suddenly that he had forgotten to take a breath. Inhaling sharply now, the sound broke the silence of the dark road.
“I thought it was just a story,” he gasped quietly, “he really exists?”

Pepper gulped when she read this. She was in her room…rereading the copied story that Mr. Fuhrman had handed out.
She was still unsure about what to think of the legend. John Bailey’s story was supposedly true…according to him. And then there was the strange and ominous warning that Longstreet felt compelled to pass on to her this afternoon.
But on the other hand, it was a mystery, and she knew that her overwhelming need to solve any unknown was keeping her in the game. Still, this was unlike any mystery she had ever tackled.
Putting down the story, Pepper wheeled herself over to the computer. Punching in a search, she was disheartened by the results. ‘Weapons to use on spirits’ had garnered her 17 million results, and most of them dealt with mineral spirits and descriptions of how to build weapons for computer games.
Thinking about how to reword her search, she tried about a dozen combinations with little success. Frustrated, she went back to the story.

“Yes, he is real,” the now somber girl replied. “We must hurry; his powers are stronger the closer it gets to midnight.”
“Walk with me,” the girl said determinedly while quickly pulling John into the cemetery. As they made their way through the gravestones, Red Eyes followed on a parallel course. The sound of a low growl accompanied his progress as he made his way through the gravestones.
“Listen to me,” Mary whispered, “there are a couple of things you need to know.”
She leaned into him, pushing him slightly to the side to miss a stone that had appeared before them.
“Firstly, he is not very fast for a spirit, but your escape still needs to be quick, as quick as you can run!”
“Ok,” John answered, not feeling as confident as his response indicated.
“Secondly, you can’t look at him, his eyes are hypnotic. If you do look at him when he is close… you’re a headless corpse.”
John cringed.
“The last thing you need to know Johnnie is that he can only go as far as the boundary fence. If you can get past that, you’re free.”
She then pushed up on her tiptoes and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Are you ready Johnnie? We’ll turn around quickly, and run like the wind back to the road and past the fence. If he gets close, I’ll try to distract him, he can’t hurt me.”

If the story was true, John Bailey had at least had one advantage that they didn’t. His grandmother had come back in the form of a little girl to help him.
And she knew all of the rules.
“How do I get myself into these things,” Pepper lamented distractedly as she read the story again.
“Into what things little lady?”
Pepper jumped out of her chair, her heart skipping a beat as Longstreet’s unexpected appearance filled the quiet room.
“Dammit Longstreet, can’t you knock or something!”
Longstreet seemed momentarily confused at her outburst, but then quickly returned to his normal, determined look.
“I figured there was an assignment a-brewin, felt that tingling again.”
Pepper was about to dismiss his statement when a sudden thought struck her.
“You know what? I think you do have an assignment!”
***
Having thought about John Bailey’s ghostly help when Longstreet had appeared, it hadn’t immediately occurred to Pepper that she had her own ghostly help.
“Lay it on me!”
Pepper giggled at his response. Although Longstreet had a hard time understanding the things of the modern world, he had nonetheless recently started repeating certain more modern phrases. Sometimes he even used them the right way!
“We are going to a cemetery tonight, to investigate an old legend. It might be good if you were around…you know…just in case.”
Longstreet seemed to mull this over in his head.
“This have anything to do with that feeling I had earlier?”
Pepper nodded. “I think so. But I’ve been doing some research, and it seems that you may be just the help we need…you know….if it’s true.”
Pepper quickly went over the highlights of the legend, including what she thought were the important parts described in Mr. Fuhrman’s handout.
Seeming confused at first, Pepper knew that he was trying to make sense once again of the fact that he himself was a ghost.
“I don’t know missy, seems a might like a tall tale to me.”
“It may be Longstreet,” Pepper said while nodding, “but if nothing else, it will be a nice trip out to the country.”
That seemed to please Longstreet, as he was never more comfortable than when he was away from the city.
Nodding decisively, he uttered, “I’ll be there,” before turning and walking out of the room through the wall.
Pepper felt some relief that Longstreet had agreed to go. She was still unsure as to how she felt about tempting fate by going to the cemetery, but having Longstreet there gave her a good feeling.
Now, there was just one more thing she needed to round up before she left to meet her friends. A small thing she had come across on her internet search that may or may not help.
She put on her jacket and headed downstairs. As she put her hand on the handle of the item she was looking for, she noticed that it was clammy.
Once again a shiver ran down her spine as her mind projected an image of Ol’ Red Eyes.
***
“What’s that?” Beth asked Pepper as she retrieved the item from the trunk of the car.
“Oh, just something I read about. It might be helpful…you know….if we do see him.”
Beth shrugged with a smile. Pepper could tell that she was just here for the fun of it, figuring that the only thing scary here tonight was in their imaginations.
Pepper hoped she was right!
Volunteering to drive, Pepper had made sure that she parked outside of the boundary fence, a safe haven if one believed John Bailey’s story.
The waning moon covered with swiftly-moving clouds lent an eerie glow to their surroundings as they exited the car and gathered their equipment. Then they congregated in a group at the front of the car. Jamie and Beth had wide smiles plastered across their faces, as did Lana and Zeke.
Pepper was the only one that wasn’t smiling.
“Come on Red, don’t take it so seriously,” Jamie said as he put his arm over Pepper’s shoulder. “I’m here to protect you!”
Pepper’s heart leapt in her chest at Jamie’s touch, but the mixture of emotions now rolling through her mind left her stomach lurching. She nevertheless plastered on a small smile, nodding wordlessly at Jamie.
“Everybody ready,” Jamie asked happily of the group. The others nodded and started walking toward the gravestones. Everybody was equipped with flashlights, and Zak had even brought an EMF meter he had bought off of a ghost hunter’s website.
“See anything on EMF yet?” Jamie questioned Zeke as they approached the fence.
“Nothing yet,” Zeke answered seriously as he kept his eyes on the meter, “Just a couple of blips.”
They made their way along the road until they were in front of the graveyard, and then climbed over the short wall spreading across the front of it.
“Ok, we’re in!” Jamie said loudly as Beth and Lana giggled happily.
“Think we should split up,” Zeke questioned the group. “Like they do in the TV shows?”
“No!”
Pepper’s outburst had surprised everyone, including herself.
“I mean, let’s stick together for awhile…you know…to see how the EMF meter works!”
This seemed to make sense to everyone, so they proceeded up the slight hill that the cemetery was built on. Every few feet, the EMF would let out a short blip, initially scaring everyone at the sound. After a few false alarms however, everybody’s nerve was up, and they continued on up the hill.
As they approached the top of the hill however, they again heard the small blip of the meter go off.
Except this time, it kept going.
“Whoa!” Jamie exclaimed excitedly, “Something’s happening!”
“And the meter’s still raising,” Zeke almost shouted in his excitement, moving the meter left and right to get the strongest signal.
Finally settling on a direction, he held it steady as he continued to watch the meter.
“Man! This thing is still climbing…it’s almost pegged!”
The group’s excitement at their sudden discovery was almost equally matched by Pepper’s dread. Standing slightly behind the others, she watched as her friends excitedly gathered around the beeping meter.
Suddenly, something caught Peppers eye from beyond the group.
“Guys…”
Jamie looked back at her, “What is it re…”
His question was interrupted by a low growl coming from farther up the hill. Jamie snapped his head around as the whole group brought their eyes up in unison.
If it had been a brighter night, the color draining from everyone’s faces at that moment would have been apparent as they looked upon the set of red-glowing orbs.
A multitude of screams erupted in the next moment as the group of four turned as one and ran for all they were worth back down the hill, Zeke dropping his meter where he stood.
Pepper didn’t move, frozen in place as the dark apparition seemed to stare at her momentarily before following the others in a flash. Before Pepper could regain her senses, she felt a breeze beside her as Longstreet suddenly appeared with a whoosh!
Quick as a flash, he was after the black cloud that was quickly catching up to her friends.
Finally coming to her senses, Pepper yelled after her friends, “Head to the car! He can’t get you there!”
Quickly reaching down, Pepper grabbed up the now silent EMF meter and started running down the hill at an angle toward the boundary fence. At that moment, she saw Longstreet catch up with the black figure and tackle him from behind, the two falling to the ground and rolling down the hill.
Then they disappeared!
Pepper happily saw that Longstreet’s efforts had given her friends enough time to make it to the car, and hopefully safety.
Her friends immediately started yelling at Pepper, encouraging her to hurry.
Their calls were drowned out however by the loud, angry wail of a wolf!
Pepper froze.
Looking back down to where the sound had emanated from, from where Longstreet had tackled the entity, she could see nothing.
“Longstreet?” she called out quietly. “Longstreet! Where are you?”
At that moment, the meter in her hand started beeping!
Pepper’s heart skipped a beat as she realized what the noise meant.
Ol’ Red Eyes was coming for her!
“Don’t look at his eyes; don’t look at his eyes,” she repeated to herself as she dropped the meter and grabbed onto the fireplace poker she had brought from her house with both hands.
Her search of the internet had garnered her but a couple of ideas, ones that may or may not be true. The iron of the fireplace poker supposedly would disable a spirit temporarily if it was touched with it, theoretically feeling like a burn to a demon.
Pepper prayed that her information was correct as a black cloud-like being started forming in front of her.
Where the hell was Longstreet?
Gulping back her fear, she swung the iron at the apparition before it was fully formed, the red eyes having not yet appeared.
A howl of pain erupted from the demon as it disappeared in a poof of smoke.
“Longstreet!” she cried as she turned and ran for all she was worth down the hill. Within seconds however, she heard the sound of pursuit behind her, accompanied by a fierce growl.
Grabbing the iron tool in her right hand, she swung it blindly behind her, apparently connecting with her pursuer as another angry, painful wail ensued.
“Longstreet! This isn’t funny Longstreet,” she cried out again as she once more heard the sound behind her. Just as she could see the low fence spreading out in front of her…she tripped!
Dropping the fireplace poker in her fall, Pepper immediately rolled onto her back, her arms frantically searching for the iron tool as Ol’ Red Eyes rose above her to the full of his seven foot stature, the glowing red eyes now blazing. Raising the head of the giant double-headed ax above his head, he let out a howl of satisfaction as Pepper closed her eyes for the last time.
***
The sound of a loud grunt in front of her forced Pepper to open her eyes, just in time to see Longstreet and the black apparition fall to the ground entwined together.
“Git goin missy!” Longstreet yelled as he threw some punches at the glowing red eyes as they rolled on the ground.
Not needing a second warning, Pepper jumped up and over the low fence in a single movement, sprinting the last fifty yards to the car.
Beth was crying as she wrapped her arms around her friend.
“I thought we had lost you!” she sobbed into Pepper’s shoulder. Pepper hugged her friend back as she looked around the ashen faces of her other friends.
“Come on! Let’s get out of here,” Pepper said, everyone immediately piling into the car at her suggestion.
Starting the engine, Pepper did a quick u-turn in the road and headed back to town. The whole trip back, everyone was solemnly silent, only mumbling goodbyes when Pepper dropped them off at their cars.
Wow,” Pepper exclaimed to herself when everyone had left, hardly believing the memories that were swirling around in her head.
“Told ya not to go,” Longstreet uttered, suddenly appearing in the passenger seat.
Relieved for once at his sudden appearance, Pepper looked him over quickly.
“You ok Jacob? He didn’t hurt you did he?”
“Not so’s you’d notice, although I was kinda paralyzed for a bit whenever I wrestled the critter. That’s why it took so long to get back to help you.”
“Don’t worry about it!” Pepper exclaimed, glad her friend hadn’t been hurt. “You showed up in the nick of time!”
Nodding, Longstreet seemed thoughtful.
“He’s still out there you know. I couldn’t do anything to stop him, least ways, not for long.”
Nodding, Pepper gave her friend’s concerns some thought.
“Maybe we can work on that another day…together.”
Longstreet seemed relieved that they were done for the night.
“Think I’ll go find Lady, see if I can get a ride in to work out the kinks.”
With that, Longstreet disappeared with a whoosh!
***
Finally back at her house, Pepper was ready for bed, but the night’s events were still spinning in her head.
Not sure what to do with herself, she absentmindedly picked up her teacher’s handout and leafed through it. Setting it down suddenly, she pulled her keyboard toward her.
John Bailey’s story is so old,” she thought to herself. “Maybe it’s time for a new chapter in the legend.”
With that, she started typing:

The girl listened with disinterest as her teacher went on about the old local legend.

“Purportedly seven feet tall with a large black, shadowlike body, Ol Red Eyes is said to carry a massive double-headed ax which he uses to…part the head of his victim from the rest of the unsuspecting body.”
Mr. Fuhrman smiled at his students’ shocked reactions. He loved repeating this eerie story of the legend every Halloween.

You will find the purchase link for The Pepper And Longstreet Mysteries below~



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