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This is the next novel that I am working on. It’s a vampire story set in New York, though later books will go beyond there if I end up writing them. It’s very rough at the moment, but follow along and you’ll see something good.
The plane touched down with a thump before speeding down the LaGuardia runway. It felt like it would never stop. Within moments, though, it did. Kyle Falconer breathed a sigh of relief. “Whew! We made it.”
Next to him, Jerry Miller stretched nonchalantly. “Of course we did. You think God would let us die when we’re doing his will?” At six-three, Jerry was a good six inches taller than Kyle. Jerry, a well-built college football player known as “The Oklahoma Tim Tebow.” He might have been the only person still Tebowing, but that was to his credit.
Treia leaned over Kyle’s seat from behind him. “I want to see the Statue of Liberty!” Her short, auburn hair hung down as she tilted her head down to address them.
“That’s great,” Kyle said. “But remember the real reason we’re here.”
Their branch of Campus Christians had come here, along with a dozen other branches, to attend the Empire State Christian Conference. Of course, that didn’t mean they wouldn’t get some sightseeing in.
The plane taxied up to the gate and, within minutes, people began disembarking. They all met up in the terminal in front of the gate.
Their leader for this trip was Tom Hill, a middle-aged African American with thinning hair but an undying passion for Christ. “All right, everyone. We have to pick up our luggage from Carousel Sixteen. Remember to be patient and give all the other passengers room to get their stuff off the belt. Now, come on — I’m Moses and I’m leading my people out of the terminal!”
After retrieving their luggage, they all piled into shuttles that would take them to their hotel in Manhattan. Along the way, they passed through Queens. Kyle noted the rustic look of the place; there were probably great opportunities to minister here. The grandeur of Manhattan was nowhere to be found.
They soon passed over the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. Now, they could all see the magnificence of New York City. Towering buildings clustered closely together one after another; advertisements aplenty; food trucks/carts everywhere; countless theater productions. They drank it all in.
“Look at all those skyscrapers!” Treia marveled next to Kyle.
Sitting behind them, Tom said, “Actually, they aren’t all skyscrapers. A skyscraper is made primarily of steel.”
“Cool,” Jerry said. He sat next to Tom.
“We’re now over Roosevelt Island,” Tom said.
Roosevelt Island lay in between Queens and Manhattan and kind of looked like a tiny version of the latter. They were driving over the southern end of it.
Their driver turned on the radio which apparently had a news program going on. “There has been another series of killings in New York today. Attendees at a Maghrib prayer service at Islamic Devotion Society were brutally murdered during the service. Police describe the scene as a house of horrors. The Christian extremist group David’s Purge has claimed responsibility. They’ve been calling for the annihilation of non-Christians the world over.
“On the other end, the Islamic extremist group Ealim al’Ahlam, led by cleric Yousef Al-Bakir, has condemned the killings and has promised a holy war if there are any more atrocities like this.”
“How could anyone do that?” Treia said.
“I don’t know,” Kyle said sadly. “But I know one thing for sure: Those aren’t real Christians. We’d never do such a thing.”
“It’s horrible, but they’ll soon be exposed for the frauds they are,” Tom said.
“Stay positive, people,” Jerry added.
Kyle had to wonder at mankind’s capacity for evil. Sometimes he secretly questioned why God kept them around. In such cases, he quickly chastised himself. Remember what George Michael said. You gotta have faith. Nothing happens without a reason. Even all this is the Father’s plan.
“In other news, the BBC recently reported another killing by the international assassin known only as Graveyard. He killed his sixth high-profile target yesterday when he assassinated the Venezuelan ambassador to Great Britain in broad daylight. He or she is wanted by INTERPOL for their crimes.”
The news report ended and Tom Paar’s “St. Elmo’s Fire” began playing. “You broke the boy in me, but you won’t break the man,” he sang.
The shuttle eventually arrived at their hotel on Lexington Avenue. “Here we are,” Tom said. “The Lexington Excelsior Hotel.”
It wasn’t a particularly large hotel, maybe ten stories. It had a plain brown façade like a lot of the buildings around here. However, the interior was another story.
“Whoah! A freaking fountain!” Jerry exclaimed as they entered. Indeed, there was a two-story fountain in the lobby.
“It’s beautiful,” Treia said.
“And, in beauty, there is proof of God,” Tom said.
They checked in.
* * *
That evening, Kyle, Treia, and Jerry sat on one of the beds in Kyle and Jerry’s room playing Trivial Pursuit: Bible Edition.
Kyle landed on yellow. Treia picked up the corresponding card and read it. “‘To which tribe of Israel was Saul a part of?’”
“Too easy,” Kyle said. “The tribe of Benjamin.”
“Correct!” Treia said, high-fiving him.
Jerry began singing to the tune of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “You’re a show-off. Anyone can seeeeeeee.”
Kyle sang back. “Didn’t mean to make you cry.” Treia burst into uncontrollable laughter.
When the game ended, they held hands on the bed and prayed. Treia led. “Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for bringing the three of us together in middle school. You have blessed us greatly and we are forever indebted to you. Please watch over us and those we love. We are yours. Forever and ever. Amen.”
“Amen,” Kyle and Jerry said.
They got off the bed. “Guess I’ll be heading back to my room,” Treia said. She hugged them and left.
“We’d better turn in. It’s getting late,” Jerry said.
“I’m with you on that one. It was a long flight from Oklahoma,” Kyle said.
And, so, they went to bed. The conference wouldn’t begin for a few days, but they had come early to do some sightseeing, and they would be getting up early for that.
* * *
Kyle woke later that night. The clock on the nightstand read 2:15. Strangely, the door to the room was slightly ajar.
He got up and walked by Jerry’s bed to close the door. It was then he noticed Jerry was gone. Must’ve gone to get ice or something and didn’t close the door all the way.
However, his feet abruptly stepped in something warm. Turning on the lights, he discovered the floor was covered in a red liquid. Alarmed, he rushed over to Tom’s room, only to find his door was ajar, too.
“Tom!” he yelled as he rushed into the dark room. “I think something’s happened to Jerry!” There was a horrid smell he couldn’t place.
He hit the lights. Nothing could have prepared him for the sight that awaited him.
Stacked in piles throughout the room were the mutilated bodies of his friends. Some had limbs missing, some had eyes missing, and others were beyond recognition.
Treia and Jerry were placed together on one of the beds. Her throat had been ripped out. His head was in her lap.
He was about to scream when something strange-smelling was placed over his mouth and darkness overtook him.
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You can feel some spirits in this church!
At the end of July, Cheyenne, Wyoming will be hit with big rodeo crowds. If you’re there looking around for things to see and do, you might want to take a look at some of the paranormal places in the city. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is one of many. Thanks to https://www.hauntedplaces.org/state/Wyoming for this fantastic little post. I lived for a number of years in Cheyenne and can attest to the fact that something about this place is indeed haunting.
“The bell tower of the church is reportedly haunted by a stonemason who fell to his death while constructing it. The legend claims that two Swedish immigrants who were skilled stoneworkers were hired to construct a bell tower on the church, and one day, when the tower was about halfway completed, both men simply failed to come back to work. The unfinished tower was capped off with a roof and used as a study for a time, however, the pastor who used it reportedly complained of banging noises coming from the walls and it went unused for a time. Years later construction on the bell tower resumed. Those workers were apparently bothered by strange noises, banging sounds and whispered voices and many refused to work on the tower after having a chilling experience. Someone apparently came up with the idea of building the ghost its own room in an attempt to appease him and apparently, this allowed the workers to return to their task with some peace of mind. Years later, it is claimed that one of the original stonemasons returned to the church and told the pastor that his fellow worker had slipped and fallen to his death. Fearing that a police investigation would lead to his being deported, he had sealed the body up in an unfinished section of the wall and simply walked away.”
Visit St. Mark’s Episcopal Church In Cheyenne, Wyoming For a Good Haunting was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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