My Encounter with the Railroad Demon

Three kids, always looking for trouble receive a mysterious phone call about a haunted railroad crossing. Naturally, they go looking for trouble, and find it, in the most gruesome way possible. But what did actually happen? 16 years later, the narrator tries to recall the incidents of that fateful day.

August 6th, 1999

I was only fourteen at the time of the railroad demon encounter. Now at age thirty, I’m finally telling the story of that horrific day that changed everything. Me and my two best friends since Kindergarten, Derrick and Shooter loved everything supernatural. If there was a haunted house within a hundred-mile radius we’d be there, armed with flashlights, cameras, and junk food to keep us going through the night. Time and time again we’d debunk a myth, urban legend, or find out that the creepy figure lurking about in the middle of the night was just old Mrs. Jenkins, stoned out of her mind on painkillers and gin. Looking back now, I can’t imagine her son taking care of her every minute of the day and night. That man never had a life other than his mother’s care. Running outside at night with his bathrobe on convincing her he wasn’t a leprechaun. It was on one of those crazy nights that I got an anonymous phone call. I was up in my bedroom going through my ghost and ghouls comic books when my mom calls out for me. “Jimmy!”. “Yeah, Ma?” “Phone!” “Who is it?” “Dunno, just come and get it.” I rolled my eyes at the thought of it being fat Ed the school bully. Once in a while, he’d make phone calls to kids’ houses and when they’d answer, he’d either belch or fart in the receiver then hang up. I felt sad for anyone having to use his phone. Once in a while, someone would have the guts to write some interesting choice of words on his school locker but that seemed to give him more reason to cause harm. I lazily sauntered down the stairs and saw the phone was on the landing and picked it up. “Hello.” I said in a bored tone. No one on the line. “Hello?” Then a quiet hiss was heard. Almost like steam escaping pipes. Anger suddenly flashed before me. Maybe it was the interruption from my comic books or the fact that I was a pimply-faced fourteen-year-old boy that had no girlfriend and probably never would but either way, I wasn’t going to waste one more minute on this joker. As I was about to hang up, I heard it. My name. It was barely audible but it was there. “Who is this?” “Noooo oooone.” Came the response. Everything in my being told me to hang up but I couldn’t help but listen. “The tracks are where you need to be Jimmy. Come to the tracks at the cross anytime, I’ll be waiting for you” Then the line went dead. I just stood there frozen and confused. “Tracks? What tracks?” Then it came to me. The railroad tracks on the outskirts of town, the crossing. Could that be it? My thoughts were interrupted by my Mother ordering me to set the table and call my Father for supper. Roast beef, boiled vegetables, and mash potatoes with gravy were on the menu which told me that I’d be getting roast beef sandwiches for lunch for the next two weeks. I accidentally sighed out loud as I was playing around with my food, the thought of the phone call running through my mind. “What’s wrong with you?” My father looked at me with slight irritation. “Nothing.” I answered and that was a good enough answer for him as he went back to sawing through an extra dry piece of meat. My poor Mother could take a delicious piece of meat and with a smile on her face and all good intentions in her heart, murder the hell out of it. My Father loved her beyond anything, even including me I felt sometimes, so he never mentioned her cooking unless it was to lie and say something nice. “I know something’s wrong James.” Mom picked up where Dad left off. That was the only problem, she was perceptive to every emotion no matter how much you tried to hide it. She stared with sweet patience and concern for my response. “I, uh, I had a fight with one of my friends today. I don’t want to talk about it.” Hoping that would be enough to keep her at bay. She nodded slowly and said “okay, eat your food” but I could clearly see that she believed none of it. That was Mom code for, now I’m going to snoop in your room, check your backpack and pockets, and pretty much stalk you because you are lying to me. I sighed again but this time in my head.

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