Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

The voice on the phone said, "I understand that you are a friend of my son, James. He has gone missing. I require your assistance in bringing him home again...”

A university student has gone missing. Can his friends find out what has happened to James Frazer in 1920s Massachusetts?

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Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Tue Mar 31, 2020 11:22 pm

Friday March 7th, 1930 9.35am.
Baton Rouge Train Station, 100 South River Road, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


As Oscar alighted from the train, there was a huff of steam and the train jerked forward. Inside, the four men shuffled forward, finding themselves following the guard through a well-appointed saloon car and into the sleeping car beyond.

Wordlessly, he indicated two of the two-bunk wood-panelled compartments with a Jack-and-Jill washroom in between. The number ‘1’ displayed prominently on the windows indicated this was first class, though in truth, this was the only sleeping compartment on the train.

Both compartments were set up for daytime use, with the upper bunk folded away and the lower bunk fashioned as a couch, with suitcases stowed beneath. The guard pointed out the menu, which indicated that dinner would be served at 7.00pm, and then trudged out of the compartment and back in the direction of the saloon.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:10 am

Image

"Dinner?" says William. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'd like to eat lunch first, but not yet. I had breakfast in the hospital not that long ago. I'll feel a little better once we're out of Louisiana, but let's not let our guard down. I'm not so worried the authorities will try to detain us. Those snake worshipers aren't going to be too happy with us either, and they're not about to let a little thing like a state line stop them."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:07 am

Howard slumps into a seat, exhausted by events.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:42 am

"Honestly, I can hardly believe any of this happened. Whole thing's just insane, I tell you." Lawrence said, slouching into his seat to recollect the past events and plan for the future.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:59 am

Having had a disturbed night in hospital, and with recent events and the soporific rocking of the carriage, the four men soon dozed off. It was only when the door of a neighbouring compartment banged shut that they were jolted awake. A moment’s confusion gave way to recollection as they realised where they were.

Outside, the bright spring sunshine shone upon sharecroppers working in the fields alongside the moving train.

Spoiler:
Spot hidden, please.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:57 pm

Howard is too tired and drowsy to care about the scenery. He tries to go back to sleep.

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden 35: Spot Hidden: 1d100 92
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:30 pm

Image

William notices something.

Spoiler:
Spot Hidden roll (60% skill) looking out the window:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
46
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:50 am

Spoiler:
Spot hidden 26%,
Bullfrog rolled 1d100:
78

Whatever it may have been, Lawrence certainly didn't notice it.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:12 am

Spoiler:
As William awoke, there was a flicker in the corner of his eye; something had moved near the door, although there was nothing there now.


The train continued to roll through the countryside, with just the occasional ranch house breaking up the views of open fields bathed in the spring sunshine. Further up the sleeping carriage, another door could be heard, although quieter this time. A glance at a watch showed it to be approaching 11.45am.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:37 pm

Image

"Did anyone else see that?" whispers William. "There was movement near the door, but it's gone now. I think that might be what woke me up."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:07 am

Thomas shook his head. He hadn’t seen anything.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:20 am

Howard grunts and shakes his head.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:44 am

"Haven't seen a thing." Lawrence states, awakening from his well-deserved rest.
"Do you reckon it could have been a person?"
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:06 am

Spoiler:
Whatever it was, it wasn’t a person. Besides, they would have heard the door closing if someone had been in their compartments.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:36 pm

Image

"No," says William. "I didn't hear the door closing, either, and I would have if it had. I hope it wasn't a snake."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:16 pm

Spoiler:
Whatever William thought he saw was ethereal, rather than corporeal. It was about the height of the door handle, rather than floor level where he might have expected a snake to be.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:09 pm

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"No, not a snake," says William, shaking his head. "It wasn't a physical being. It was about as high as the door handle. I guess whatever it was could have gone through the door while it was closed."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Bullfrog » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:04 am

"You don't think it coulda been some kind of ghost or something, do you?" Lawrence concernedly questioned, standing up from his seat to go have a look at the door. "Well, either that or you're just seeing things."
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby HoneyDog » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:02 am

Howard opens his eyes.

"What did it look like?" he asks.
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Re: Ch. 10. Black Train Blues

Postby Philulhu » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:27 am

Spoiler:
There isn’t really anything William can add to the description already given.


The door itself was nothing out of the ordinary, just a standard wood-panelled carriage door except for a small brass plaque with a leering gargoyle’s face.
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