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 Abysmal Tale Number Eleven: Skeleton Mine

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Posts : 259
Join date : 2009-08-07
Age : 36
Location : South Dakota

PostSubject: Abysmal Tale Number Eleven: Skeleton Mine   Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:29 am

Welcome Back, Ladies and Gentlemen

This is one I like to call: Skeleton Mine.

What drives a good man into the darkness? Is it absolute power that accomplishes this impressive feat. Or is it something more simple, something less complex that any man can grasp, greed perhaps?

Who does not lust after unseen wealth and all it brings, millions have killed for it, and other just as terrible unspeakable things just for that shiny metal people covet more than life it's self. Yeah, it is the gold people came for, and they came in droves and towns sprung up all over the landscape. These places happened to be some of the most violent places in the world, at the same time they had business bigger than any around. If you could not find what made you happy here, be it liquor or women, you did not belong here.

It was one of these places, just like any of the other ones out there, that the legend of the Skeleton mine begins. The Gold Rush to California is just beginning. The year is 1849 the Natives are still a terrible danger to miners killing those who would intrude on their sacred lands, gold mining is a very dangerous occupation in more ways than one.

Six miners with gold fever would come to California and these six would be remembered as the violent ones, and due to their apathetic view of others, they would kill any who would get in their way. There was no law out in the sticks of the frontier, none but the six shooter you wore at your side. These six claimed many times over in the local saloon that they had killed several Indians and miners alike, true or not the others began calling them the "Skeleton Crew". They were as followed:

Jack: This one was as bad as the west could make them at the time. The self proclaimed leader of the gang.

Tristan: The Quiet one. Not many had ever heard this one speak, he was Jack's Brother, biological or not is unknown. This man would put a bullet in you and never even blink.

Buck: Loudmouth and violent, to cross him in anyway, even a wrong look and you would pay the price in blood.

Rusty: This man was a heavy drinker, but he seemed to have a sixth sense about the gold and where it was located, he was usually pretty accurate.

William: The Professional miner. He is violent and greedy, but he knows how to mine and was the best of the group when it came to mental status, but dark all the same.

Matt: By far the strongest and oldest of the group, superstitious though.

The town was called "Blackstone" Nobody knows how it got that name, but it is said that the founder had a prized black rock that he thought brought him good luck, so he called it that, but nobody really knows for sure now. The six came into the town, it was at night, late but nobody knows for sure. What is known is that the six checked into the local inn and stayed there for the rest of the night with out incident.

The next day Matt was the first one awake and he decided to scout out the town, the others were still sleeping, they were not much for mornings. The town was eerie was it was populated with all kinds of people looking to get rich. Hot and dusty already in the morning and it would not get any better, Matt decided to check out the local saloon, and there destiny awaited.

In the corner was an Indian, old and apparently completely insane, his stories of gold were so outlandish nobody would believe him. He spouted off about entire mountains of gold and silver for the taking, so much gold you could pick it up out of the river, entire fistfuls of gold nuggets. The locals would not trust an Indian, you see in those times it could have been a trap just to get them all killed. Not Matt, he believed the old timer. "Just where is this gold at, old timer" he asked in his rough voice. The Indian seemed to get a odd look on his face, but he replied quickly " I show you where the gold is!, you will allow me to have some upon our return?" The old man said with English, broken but understandable. Matt was about to answer, but he was cut off by gunshots from out side.

The other five had apparently awoken and met up with some past people they had bad blood with from earlier, nobody knows who was shot in the street on that day, but it rushed the events that were to take place. Matt nodded to the old man and rushed outside. The crew did not stay this boomtown very long at all. The old man and the crew abandoned the place.

The old man lead the six men into the wilderness, this man seemed to be inhuman compared to the others when it came to endurance. Legend has it that the old timer never broke a sweat even once, but the others would constantly be exhausted at the end of the day's journey.

At the first night the group settled by a river, the silence was unnerving, it did not seem like this was a natural place. The moonlight reflected off the mountains and the shadows looked like great beasts from a time long past. The river sparkled, it was gold in the water. The group were going to pan the gold here, there was enough to make a fortune. The old man insisted that they did not, for in two days time they would find gold that make this look like useless dust. Reluctant to listen to the old man like that but they believed him for now and left the sparkling river behind.

On the second day at sunrise they were all woken up by a terrible scream that sounded like " death laughing." The old timer told them not to worry about it, it was just a "Thing not to be known" Ominous and disheartening, especially for Matt. The group traveled deeper into the wilderness, the place seemed to get more alien as they went along. No game could be sighted, or no sign of their tracks either. The summer's heat did not even seem to penetrate the cool mountain air. The men always seemed to have an unnatural chill running down their spine.

The second night came upon them. The events that follow are unclear, we only know what we were told. The night was darker than ever, and just beyond the protection of the fire light things were lurking, but they were not human things, but they were like no creature the men knew. The unrelenting waves of fear crept over them slowly but surely. Each of the men had to deal with it in their own way. Buck finally snapped. He could not take it anymore. The old man seemed not to notice the fear, or the situation.

Buck Wandered into the night screaming and firing his weapon off, he got off all six shots and they all rang out and echoed. Buck's last words were " No...I didn't mean it...HELP ME....." Then there was silence, no more sign of the lurking things, even the night seemed a little lighter. There was little sleep that night in the end though each man was really in it for themselves, what they did was their own business, like walking into the night.

The next day they looked for Buck. There was no trace of him left, they did not look long though. The old man said "He offended the spirits of the land" The men convinced themselves it was some kind of mountain lion. They would reach the mine by this night and that was more important than the stupidity of Buck, besides this just meant more for them.

Then there were six left. The day was the hardest traveling so far. No sane man would come this way, in fact they looked at their maps and they were no help. The rocky terrain and the climbing wore them all out...all but the old man. Just when Jack was going to blow the old man away, as he was reaching for his gun. The old man stopped "We are here" he said in a monotone and low voice. And Indeed, there was gold here. It seemed to be laying about. Not in their wildest dreams did they imagine this. The walls seemed to be made of gold, the pond in the middle were filled "Rocks" of gold.

Legends state that even the river was pure gold and its shores were lined with silver, and that the men instantly forgot about their fears and their loss, all of them were millionaires, or they would be once they get it back to town. The old man seemed to be happy, and the other five instantly had a plan in their eyes. Their greed over took them.

Night came and the old man was killed in his sleep with a single shot from Tristan's gun, the water and the blood mixed, the body was gotten rid of in a hurry. This would be the longest night. The men talked about how they would get their gold and what they would do with it. But strange thoughts began to wander into their minds, thoughts of betrayal and murder. It began slowly as things often do, and soon enough the fighting broke out. William is credited with breaking it up and getting them to trust each other again.

The next few days were uneventful. The men really did not even have to dig for their gold, they had to pick up the biggest nuggets they could carry off. The body of the old man had vanished sometime in the night, none of them questioned it. On the third night of gathering way more than they could possibly carry back on their own they made the collective choice to make it back to the town and from their they would set up their claim. They looked back upon the massive golden conclave for the last time and set upon their way back.

It did not take long for the alien landscape and the eerie silence to close in upon them just like it did on their way up to the place. Buck's mysterious vanishing was not forgotten, and sometimes they thought they could hear a broken and twisted version of Buck's voice screaming through the trees in terrible agony. That first night was a sleepless one.

The fire was lit with ease, but the weather seemed to be against them, the wind kept blowing the flames low. Nobody really knows what the conversations were that night, from what was told as tough as each of the men were, there was a quiet and gnawing fear eating at their souls. Visions abound and terrifying noises would keep them awake and even make them doubt their return to the town at all.

The sun rose and showed its mercy upon them and seemed to drive the evil out of their minds and away from their presence, However all of their supplies they had left for food and water were missing, nobody saw who or what took them during the terrible night. The men decided to double their pace and try to get out of the the wilderness as fast as they could. The evil of the mountains was not finished with them. It was just after noon when something happened to Tristan, what is not exactly clear. He screamed about seeing devils and monsters, he shot Matt in the leg and was aiming to kill William, but Jack acted quicker and killed the only man he called brother right between the eyes, it was a reaction to somebody shooting at them.

Tristan was the only man of the group to receive a burial on that trail of death, his grave was marked with the gold he carried with him and he was buried with his gun. William's wound was superficial and he could still walk. Jack reportedly never said a word after this event. Now there were only four left. The second night was upon them.

The darkness was upon them, it seemed the day itself was not permitted to linger in this dark area. This night would be the one the one that destroyed them all. The evil would not permit them to leave it would seem. Just after night fall it struck. If it was real or not we will never know. The remaining four men saw something coming from behind them. It was "the devil" it was big and black it is said to have shiny red eyes and it smelled liked a thousand rotting corpses. Rusty and Matt took off for their own lives. Will and Jack are said to have disappeared in in the dark, gunshots ringing out in the distance. Nobody had reported seeing them since.

The duo ran the rest of the night down the trail they had come up with, in the dark it was hard to tell what way they were going, but they knew they were going away from the monster, away from the gold, away from the cursed mountain. They don't know how far they ran or how long. In the night distances can be deceiving and make you feel like you are not moving at all. They came upon a town they did not start at.

This town was called Shank, that is all that is really known about this dead end was on its last legs as the miners were all moving out for more gold.

Making their way to the saloon dazed, starving and completely exhausted they told their story to the others in the place. Rusty was in the worse shape of the two and if he had shoelaces, he was shaking so badly he could not tie them. Matt was more sensible as he could be after the ordeal.

Nobody believed his story about the gold, but they could not deny the size able nuggets he showed them. Stories were told though that the two were just a wandering pair of people trying to make the gold rush bigger than it really was, or that they stole the gold from other miners.

Rusty never changed his story that there was a "massive gold vein up there in the mountains" but his story never told with out the misfortunes that took place and the people he went with. Rusty ended up using his money he took with him to travel the west and became infamous for his Drinking binges until one night he had one drink too many and died sitting at a bar stool in San Fransisco California in 1854, His last drink was dedicated to the Skeleton Crew of 1849, and their journey into hell for gold.

Matt spent the rest of his life trying to get back to the gold, each time he brought professionals and massive expeditions into the mountains and tried to find the the bloody trail they had taken. Matt could not even relocate Tristan's grave site. They say Matt went into the mountains for the last time in April 12, 1861. He was never seen again. When they cleaned out his living quarters all they found was maps into the mountains leading to nowhere, and one final golden nugget that was bigger than any had seen. And of course the story of the journey written by Matt, so that people could always know that it happened.

This is how the Skeleton mine story became to be. There is no proof of the Boom town called Shank or Black rock. There was a massive fire in the record keeping offices and many of the older towns that fell apart would fade into history and vanish forever kept alive by memory. The skeleton crew themselves would fade into legends, many people turned the story into a ward against greed and power.

Hundreds of people would venture into the mountains as time went on, most of them would not be seen again, those who would return would be discouraged, or be found wandering the wilderness as an invalid, mumbling about some monster or spirit, but usually they would not return at all. The mountain was eventually closed off by the Government in 1899 due to the"vanishings and happenings" it was connected too.

If the story is true, the gold still remains, waiting for someone to claim it...not to say there would not be attempts.
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