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Traveler's Tales: The Screamers

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1887, Somewhere in the middle of Texas
Bindle Man

I am a traveler of the deserted. I look into places abandoned for long periods of time. I was in a tavern the other night, having a drink, and heard some men talking. They were talking about an entire town that was abandoned since 1864. I walked over to them and they immediately stopped talking, staring at me like I want to start something.

"You lookin' for a beatin', sonny boy?" one of the men, who had a large scar on his cheek, a beat neck beard and a cowboy's hat, said to me.

"I couldn't help but overhear your conversation," I replied. "Something about an abandoned town?"

"What's it to ya?" he retorted.

I was beginning to think he is suspicious of me. I stared at him for a moment; for all I knew, he might have shot me if I gave him an answer. He looked back at me and smirked.

"Alright, I'll tell. There is a town a ways northeast of here, said to be haunted. Anyone who has been there has never returned. That is if you believe such things. I don't."

I nodded in thanks and walked out to the room in which I was staying. I gathered up my things in my bundle and headed off. With me, I carried my trusty .357 revolver, a sawed-off double barrel shotgun on my back, a large combat knife, some dynamite, a canteen of water, some matches, a torch stick and cloth, a sleep roll over my shoulder, a small journal with an array of pencils, a bottle of whiskey and my lucky bowler hat along with my pipe. My name is Samuel Blake—I am a traveler of tales.

I begin to make my way northeast of town with a bottle of whiskey in my hand I just picked up from the saloon. Hope he doesn't mind, he was passed out. On my way, I must have walked for 3 hours or so with nothing in sight. He was right, it was a ways. Cheeky bastard. I set up my camp and slept the night. The next day, I bundled up my tent and snuffed the fire. I turned to the way I was headed. Only when I looked, a deserted town was in the distance. I walked towards it wondering if had always been there.

I finally reach the town. Dead and broken. A few buildings looked like they caught fire. I have been here for only a matter of minutes and a large storm was coming my way rather quickly. I took shelter in the nearest building which just happened to be a saloon. I went upstairs and took a room. I sorted all my stuff onto a table. I got my gun loaded on my hip and lit my pipe. I proceeded outside into the rain. Wet of course. The dirt becoming liquid beneath my shoes. I walked about a bit until I saw something. A small figure, relatively short, a silhouette of a kind and incredibly fast. I jogged over to where it was, in an alley between the bank and the doctor's building. It had no clothes on, curled up in a ball with all skin burnt to a crisp, shivering in the cold rain. I asked, "Are you...alright?" It stopped shivering slowly stood up turned around and screamed.

It screamed a shriek of terror into my ears. I yelled attempting to cover my ears and fell to my knees. After a moment or two I attempted to reach for my gun in my holster, pointed, and fired in the center of the creature's forehead. The shrill screaming was finally finished. I stood up and began to walk towards the creature, lying dead on the ground. I shook, gun still in hand, bending down to examine the monster.

It was only a matter of two feet high and had no eyes. The sockets were glowing a glow of magma, as was its mouth. I sat down for a moment to gather my thoughts and made a sketch of the creature. After all my years of hunting tails, I have never seen anything like this before. I decided to call it a screamer.

Right after I finished writing, another scream was heard in the distance. My eyes widened and I quick turned. Another screamer was standing there, peering at me with its glowing eyes. I put my small journal into my pocket, stood up, aimed my gun and began to pull the trigger. I stopped, for two more appeared. All three began to shamble my way. I walked towards them and them two me, my gun sighted. I heard yet another scream to my left.

Six more screamers appeared. I put my gun away and drew a match and a stick of dynamite. I lit it and throw it towards the group of six, immediately, I drew my gun and fired on the three, then reloaded. Chambers almost full, a grand amount pour out from all directions. From alleys, building, top floor windows, and even the very ground. I fired a few shots in any direction I could, possibly hitting a screamer or two. With no other thought I ran for my life, plowing through the creatures.

I quickly barricaded myself in the building of which I had made camp, throwing every possible thing on the doors and windows. I was somewhat safe for now, my heart still pumping from the fear of the swarming screamers.

They await outside, shrieking and waiting. Taking a few breaths, I calmed down and wrote down more of what has just occurred in my journal. I finished writing; I packed my things into my sleep roll and threw it over my shoulder. I lit a torch and a stick of dynamite. I threw the stick of dynamite at the barricade and then the torch. I ran out as fast as I could, plugging my ears in hope of dulling the sounds of shrill screams. I ran as fast as I could. I looked back and saw the town no more. It had also stopped raining and turned into the piercing sun. I walked, walked till my feet felt like they were to bleed. I collapsed at the edge of town from which I came, escaping from a nightmare. I am Samuel Blake, a traveler of tales.

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