The posse waited for the train in Perdition Utah. They went and got a drink at a bar. Moira found a catholic priest at the bar named Father Donavon McGinty.
“What are you doing here?” asked Moira.
“I’m waiting for the train for Lost Angels. It comes tomorrow.” said the father.
“The trains coming at midnight.” said Moira.
Sally told the tale of the how she had killed the Wendigo that had plagued this town for a week.
They went to the station and the train rolled in. It was hand painted the Nightingale on the engine.
“How much to Lost Angels?” asked Sally.
“$10 for your own room in the sleeper car.” said the conductor.
“That’s cheap.” said Moira.
They boarded the train and found their rooms. Moira and Sally bunked together and the men got their own rooms.
In the morning the posse went to get breakfast. They notice the patrons’ clothes were decade out of date. They looked out the window and they seemed to be going faster than any train except the Hellestromme express and that train had shook like it was coming apart. This train glided as if it was flying. Sally noticed a child staring at her with pale skin and long black hair.
“What’s your name?” asked Sally walking up to the child.
The child floated backwards and Sally reached through the child. Sally pretended to stumble and sat on a man’s lap.
“What the Hell?” asked the man.
“I’m sorry I am so clumsy.” said Sally. Turning to the posse "I could feel him but my hand went through the girl. The people ignored the girl and ignored the posse.
The posse went to the bar to get a drink.
""What’s your name?" asked Sally.
“Maggie.” said the bartender.
“How long have you been here?” asked Sally.
“I can’t recall.” said Maggie.
“You don’t remember how long you’ve worked for the company?” asked Moira.
“I can’t recall.” said Maggie.
“When were you born?” asked Sally.
“December 5th 1846,” said Maggie.
“So you’re thirty?” asked Sally even though she seemed twenty.
“We should talk to Miki.” said Sally.
The posse went to their rooms and Sally asked “What’s going on?” asked Sally.
“We’re in the Hunting Grounds.” said Miki, the mummy,
“Who told you to get on this train?” asked Moira.
“An old man?” was he dead?" asked Sally.
“I don’t know.” said Miki.
“I’m going to kill you.” said Sally.
They went back to the bar car and the little girl was crawling across the ceiling. Sitting at a table playing poker was Sally’s Mimaw, Otis father, Moira’s 15 year old brother Declan, and James six year old little sister. They were smoking cigars and drinking.
“Mimaw!” shouted Sally running and hugging her.
“Your dead. You do know that don’t you?” asked Sally.
“You always such a kidder.” said Sally’s grandma.
“No you really are dead. How did you get here?” asked Sally.
“I just got on the train.” said Sally’s Mimaw.
Moira talked to her brother about his last days. he remembered every day up until the day he died. Otis pulled his gun and shot his father in the head.
“He was a sumbitch.” said Otis with a shrug.
No one reacted.
“What is going on?” asked Sally.
The little girl skipped away.
“Come on.” she said.
They went to the diner car and people were eating lunch. The day seemed to be traveling quickly.
“What’s your name?” asked Sally.
“Chelsea.” said the girl.
“Have something to eat.” said the little girl smiling.
The posse looked at the food and the spaghetti had turned to maggots. The little girl played jacks. Moira put holy water on the jacks and when The little girl picked them up she cried out her hands smoking. Sally poured out a bottle on her. Chelsea screamed floating into he air smoking. The walls dripped blood and she disappeared.
“Where’s Father Donavon?” asked Moira.
They found him in the bar car.
“Something is not right. We’re going to fast, and a little girl told me to fuck off.” said Father Donavon.
“Father what can we do?” asked Moira.
“i’m not trained in exorcism…we could pray.” said Father Donavon.
Moira put holy water on her hand and touched Miki. She jerked away her skin turning black and smoking.
“OW! what was that for?” asked Miki.
“How did you turn from all ugly and gross to this?” asked Sally gesturing.
“I need life force regularly to live.” said Miki.
“How does that work?” asked Moira.
“I just feed a little. People get tired and I stay alive.” said Miki.
“Why didn’t you tell us about Magnus? Why didn’t you tell us about this train? Why can’t you tell us how to get out of here. I am going to kill you.” said Sally handing the box with Miki’s heart to Otis.
“Don’t suck any of us off. Don’t hurt any of us.” said Otis.
“You have any luck with that priest?” asked Otis of Moira.
“No.” said Moira.
“Priests are useless. You can suck off the priest but not all the way.” said Otis.
Miki put her arms around the priest.
“uh hu.” said Donavon.
After a few minutes he slid to the floor exhausted. The black spots on her skin healed.
It grew dark and the posse went to their rooms.
James went to sleep and woke up hearing a scraping sound. he turned up his bedside lamp and his small room was filled with dead clowns. He pulled his gun and fired until it clicked empty.
An angel came to Moira.
“Are you an angel? How do we get off this train?” asked Moira.
“You will.” said the angel.
“If someone comes back from the dead are they evil?” asked Moira.
“When people come back from the dead they invariably bring something evil back with them.” said the angel.
“Would it be wrong to kill them? is that what they would want?” asked Moira.
“Yes.” said the Angel.
Sally woke up to Laughs at Darkness sitting on the edge of her bed.
“Laughs. How do we get off this train?” asked Sally.
“I can teach you a ritual.” said Laughs.
“What happens if we stay on the train until the end?” asked Sally.
“You will be ok.” said Laughs.
“How did you get here?” asked Sally.
“I am never far from you.” said Laughs.
Laughs taught Sallly the ritual and then Sally went back to sleep.
Otis had a nightmare of a clawed beast attacking her. He woke up bruised and sleepy.
The next day they already neared death valley. Sally started the ritual. They seemed to speed up more and more. The train blew it’s whistle and pulled the brakes. They lurched and the train jumped off the tracks. They floated to the ground and the trained faded as it fell from the trestle. They saw below the bridge a rusted train. Going down to the bank Father Donavon said a prayer for the dead. Farther down the beach Chelsea stood watching them.
The posse went to Hardwick’s boarding house.
“We’re looking for my Uncle Stone.” said Sally.
“I’m sorry for you..” said Hardwick.
“What?” asked Sally.
“Stone’s the meanest scariest son of a gun I’ve ever seen. Reverend Grimme arrested Stone himself a couple days ago.” said Hardwick.
“Was there anyone else?” asked Moira.
“Yeah Michael Flannagan was sleeping on a cot in his room he was also arrested. I think they took Dr Snead to the hospital…oh and The ladies Henrietta and Milly had already left for San Jose.” said Hardwick.
“Can we see it?” asked Sally.
The door was knocked off its hinges. The room was a shambles. All of the furniture had been tossed around the room and was mostly smashed up. There were burnt patches on the walls, ceiling, and carpet, and a good portion of the plaster on the walls was cracked, like it was subjected to great heat. The room looked like it had been turned upside down. What were presumably Stone’s personal effects were strewn around as well, torn and smashed. A search It looks more like a tornado hit the place.
There were strange scorch marks all over the walls and ceiling. They looked like the
kind of burns that a flamethrower would make, but they’ were far more localized. And a flamethrower wouldn’t put out enough consistent heat to crack all that plaster.
There were puddles of metal that vaguely resemble pistols,
A small, wooden box had somehow survived the maelstrom that swept
through the room. The lock on the box had been broken open, and the box was
filled with shredded newspaper. It looked like there was an object packed into the
box, but it was gone now. Glued to the inside lid of the box was a piece of paper with
the boarding house’s address scrawled on it. An engraved plate on the box lid
carried the inscription "Dr. Garland Snead.
“Where could we find Snead?” asked Sally.
“Our Lady of Mercy Hospital.” said Hardwick.
Sally claimed James was Snead’s nephew. They went into the room and Snead was in traction with pullies holding his limbs up.
Sally stole some opiate suppositories off the table.
“How did you get here?” asked Sally.
“After the crash of my flying machine Rex left me in a hospital. he sent someone to pick me up and then they stole the diamond. Then we came here. I was a little better then I got drunk and fell down the stairs and re-injured myself.” said Snead.
“Where’s the Diamond?” asked Sally.
“Stone had it so probably Rock Island Prison.” said Snead.
“Where’s Henrietta?” asked Sally.
“San Jose.” said Snead.
“Where’s Magnus?” asked Sally.
“I don’t know.” said Snead.
“You don’t know?” asked Sally pulling on the pullies.
“No. Ow!” said Snead.
“What can you do for us?” asked Sally.
“I know someone. Clementine Norbert.” said Snead.
“And?” asked Sally.
“She works in records. She hates Grimme. Her brother was arrested a year ago for jaywalking and he’s still there.” said Snead.
“What else?” asked Sally.
“There’s a key to a safety deposit box that has my life’s work in it. A device.” said Snead.
“What device?” asked Sally pulling on his pullies.
“OW! A freezeray. Ow!” shouted Snead.
“What’s going on in there?” asked A nurse.
They left. As they walked Otis said “Miki you can suck him off. All the way.”
Miki went back in the room.
“Did we kill him?” asked James.
The posse went to city hall to the records office.
“Clementine Norbert? Dr Snead sent us.” said Sally.
Shh. Who are you? How can I trust you? Clem.
“You trusted Snead and he trusted us.” said Sally.
Clem looked around and pulled a manilla envelope out of a drawer.
“Here is everything I have on The rock prison. I was going to bribe someone to tell me if my brother was alive but I couldn’t find anyone. Everything’s here. Plans. Staff. Shift changes. armaments. The works.” said Clem.
“Thank you.” said Moira.
1 ghost rock