Saturday, April 09, 2011

Stull #12

The moon was bright in the sky as Frank, Matt, Katie and John headed toward the Little Vawter Bridge in Pacific Township. It was almost one thirty in the morning as they turned onto Vawter Road to head to the bridge.

“I got the form filled out to send to the National Register,” Frank said. “Hopefully it’s approved.”

“Why are we going out there tonight?” Matt asked.

“After Katie fell off the bridge a few months ago, I’ve been wanting to get back out here and see if it was just a fluke that she fell off or if she was really pulled off the bridge,” Frank said. “And she refused to let me go without her.”

“I didn’t just fall off the bridge. I was pulled. I felt something tug on my arm,” Katie said. “I’m not some clumsy idiot who can’t sit down without toppling over.”

“Nobody said you were,” John said. “But I agree that there is not ghost out there. The ‘tug’ you felt was probably the wind or some odd body spasm that felt like someone grabbing you. You moved your body in an odd fashion thus causing you to fall into the creek.”

“That excuse still makes me a clumsy idiot!”

“And that excuse doesn’t explain how Judith’s friend died,” Matt reminded.

“He was being stupid and got himself drowned,” John argued. “I’m not saying I have all the answers but I know there is no ghost out there.”

Frank pulled over and put the truck in park and shut off the headlights. “We’ll see. We’re here.” Frank opened his door and stepped out. The others followed, each with a flashlight. Frank also had a camera.

The moon reflected off of the Little Vawter River and the bridge causing the bridge to be seen clearly as if it was the daytime. Frank headed toward the bridge, his flashlight leading the way.

John lagged behind the others pointed his flashlight toward the tops of the trees. “Watch out for snakes,” he said. 

“In Memory Of”

“I was sitting right here,” Katie patted her hand down where she was sitting when she fell over the bridge. “I felt something grab my arm which was kind of behind me with my fingers holding onto the edge. It then pulled on me and down I went.”

John shined his flashlight over the bridge and looked down at the river. “That’s a long way down. I’m shocked you only broke your arm,” he said.

“It could’ve been worse,” Frank began. “Cracked your skull, crushed a rib, broke your back.”

“Yes, thank you Frank,” Katie said angrily. “And I only broke my arm because that’s the arm I landed on.”

“So what are we doing here?” Matt sighed. “As much as I would love to get back at the ghost who hurt Katie, do we actually have a plan here?”

“We’re going to reenact the night Katie fell off the bridge while a couple of us investigate the river bank,” Frank revealed.

“I’m not sitting on this bridge again,” Katie spoke up.

“You won’t. John will. You will stay here and make sure nothing takes him while me and Matt put on boots and walk up and down the river bank.”

“Put on boots?” Matt questioned. “I don’t think ‘wearing boots’ is part of my job description.”

“Your job description says ‘…and any other duties or tasks ordered by the Society head’. And I am the Society head so go back to the truck and get the boots. Katie, here is a camera. Take as many pictures as you can but make sure John doesn’t go over the side of the bridge.”

“That’s reassuring,” John said.

Frank and Matt began following the Little Vawter River toward the west. They stayed along the south bank. “So how’s everything going?” Frank asked Matt.


“How’s everything going? It’s been awhile since we’ve hung out together outside of work. We’ve been spending a lot of time trying to find out why the male members of your family keep dying young and you’ve been doing a bulk of the work. I just want to make sure you are still doing okay.”

“I’m doing fine. Katie’s been really helping me through all of this.”

“That’s good. I know I’ve been spending too much time on trying to find that stupid book. I’ve been thinking of just forgetting about it and moving on to something else. Like the ghost you had sex with.”

“Can we not mention that?” Matt asked.

“Or figuring out what happened to the people of Rock Creek. There’s so much more we could be doing than trying to find a book that may not even exist anymore,” Frank sighed.

“I know what you mean. I’ve been wanting to take some time off and maybe do some stuff I’ve always wanted to do. Also, our ten year high school reunion is coming up and I feel like I haven’t really accomplished anything,” Matt said.

“Really? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to stand in your way…”

“No, I’ve loved working for you and helping out with the Society but don’t you ever want to leave and see the country?”

“I have been thinking about expanding our paranormal investigating to outside of Ohio,” Frank said. “If you really want to do some traveling, you could do some part-time investigating for the Society. I have been getting calls from people wanting us to investigate places in Wisconsin, Iowa and California.”

“I’ll think about it. It would be nice,” Matt said. “How far do you think we’ve walked?”

“I don’t know. Quarter of a mile maybe?” Frank looked back where they had come from. “I really haven’t been paying atten…” Frank stubbed his foot on a hard rock and toppled over, landing hands first into some mud.

Matt chuckled. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” Frank grunted as he stood up. “That was a really sturdy rock.” Frank shined his flashlight on it and saw that it wasn’t a rock.

“It’s a tombstone,” Matt said. “’In memory of Amelia Betts. Buried in Pacific City Cemetery’. Why is this all the way out here?”

“I don’t know. Here, hold the flashlights over it so I can get a picture. Maybe I can find something out about Amelia Betts when we get back to the Society.”

“I have your baby,” Katie said, leaning over the bridge as John sat on the edge. “I have your baby!”

“I don’t think this is working,” John said as Katie huffed and crossed her arms.

“I didn’t think it would,” Katie said. “Maybe I was just imagining being grabbed,” she sighed and leaned against the railing.

“Or you did actually feel something. Just because something isn’t there doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Whether it was a ghost or your own imagination, something grabbed you and pulled you off of the bridge,” John explained as he jumped off the railing and stood in front of Katie.

Frank and Matt emerged from the woods. “I see John is still alive and well,” Frank said. “So nothing happened?”

“No,” Katie said. “Did you find anything?”

“We found a tombstone,” Matt said.

“We’re thinking it’s the tombstone of the woman who supposedly drowned here. When we get back to the Society I can do some research on this,” Frank said.

Frank and Matt were alone in the Rock Creek Township Historical Society. Frank had finished researching Amelia Betts. Mrs. Betts went out for a walk in the woods but slipped into the river and drowned. Her body was found where the tombstone is now but she was buried Pacific City Cemetery. The stone near the river was eventually forgotten.

“I’m glad we found it, that way we can try to preserve it,” Frank said.

“Frank?” Matt began. “I’ve been thinking about our talk tonight and I have decided to do the out-of-state investigating. After our reunion, of course.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

“Yes. I think I need to get out of not only Stull but the county.”

Frank hesitated for a moment. “That’s cool. I think expanding our paranormal positions will really get our name out there. I’ll get to work on it,” Frank smiled.