July 28th, 1972
It was a warm summer day, here in my home town of Juno Texas. My 7-year-old kids, Jack and Susan, were playing jump rope with our neighbor's 6-year-old kids, Claire and Jon.
This, however, is not a story about me, or my kids. It is the story of Derek, my neighbor. Derek was an odd fellow. He kept to himself most of the time. He didn't like to play with his kids, or talk to me.
He had something planned. He had planned that he would go off and take a 3 day hike, west of the Devil's River. As he prepared for his hike, he was grumbling, "I will show them... I will show them all that they're real...". We had no idea what he was talking about, like always.
"Just his schizophrenic ramblings." We thought.
Derek went to his children and he said, "Good bye children. I will be back in three days time. Nothing will happen to me."
Of course, he was wrong.
July 29th, 1972
Derek had set off on his hike. He was around 6 ours in when he realized he had forgotten something - his gun. He though, "Damn, Damn, Damn, Damn, DAMN! I don't have any protection against the creatures in this area!" Boy, did he need protection.
He though, "Okay, okay, calm down. Calm down. I can carve myself a spear with the wood from this tree." He took out a sharp rock, and started carving a spear.
He thought, "Hey, I could probably put this rock on the other end!" So he did.
July 30th, 1972
It was two days into Derek's adventure, but he was having some trouble. He finished his water the other night. He started to get really thirsty.
He thought, "I know, I can drink the liquid from this cactus!"
So he stabbed it with his spear, and put it against his face and drank as much as he could before he started feeling sick. He had forgotten the most important rule:
Don't drink liquid from cacti.
He started thinking, "It's okay, I just drank a lot a once, this will go away."
But man, he was wrong. As night crawled into view, he started getting tired. He went to sleep, and rested most of the night.
July 31st, 1972
It has been four hours since Derek last drank, and he was getting thirsty in his dreams. Suddenly, a noise came out of nowhere. Derek shot awake, grabbing his only weapon. He looked around, and didn't see anything at first. But then he looked past the bushes, and saw a minivan.
Derek thought, "Holy... What was in that cactus liquid I drank!?"
He crawled towards the minivan, when suddenly, there was a voice... It said in a slow, old voice, "Derek... We can help you... Put away the wooden weapon."
Derek was getting desperate for water, so he dropped it. The tinted windows on the van started rolling down, and first what he saw was a pirate hat. He looked closer, and noticed that this... Pirate... Had no skin. "A skeleton?" he thought.
The Skeleton pirate replied, "Yes, my child, I am a skeleton pirate... But..."
Derek interrupted him and said, "But?! But what!?"
The skeleton pirate quietly said, "I am also a vampire..." Derek was frozen in fear, not even able to blink. The Skeleton Pirate Vampire reached out an touched his shoulder. He fainted instantly. The minivan then drove off, never to return.
Derek hasn't returned, after 30 years... He is presumed dead. They say if you head on down to Juno, you can still see Jack, Susan, Clair, and Jon, at 36, and 37 years old.
Wearing the same clothes as on July 29. Doing nothing but playing Jump Rope, chanting, "Derek will come home... He promised us... Derek wouldn't lie... He promised us."