336 E. Brown Street
Waverly, IL 62692
THE RILEYVILLE MYSTERY
It was a beautiful autumn day in Rileyville; Pastor John Dawson had completed Sunday morning worship and was heading into town to visit a sick parishioner. Pulling into Harvey's Gas and Grub, John's favorite place to eat as well as catch up on some good fishing stories from a colorful character everyone referred to as granddad Ernie. Granddad Ernie was a regular at the Gas and Grub, pretty much a hang out for all the local good old boys. The ladies gift of gossip couldn't hold a candle to these old boys. These guys could spin tales with the best of them.
Of course most of the stories were pretty fabricated, so you kind of had to separate the facts from the fiction if you know what I mean? Today was different though, someone had moved into the old Smith house on the outskirts of town. So why's that such big news? Well, the old house had sat empty along while. The local town kids always considered the old house haunted because it had been vacant for so many years. So as you can imagine, the place was pretty run down, not to mention the weeds had pretty well taken over the place.
Pastor John walked into the Gas and Grub and took his favorite seat next to the window. Waitress Betty came over, "Coffee and the usual John?" "Yes Betty, that'll be great, thanks." says John. Betty returns with a cup of coffee and says, "Well I guess you heard about the old Smith house?" "Yes, I have. Who moved into it?" asked Pastor John. "Not really sure no one seems to know as of yet." Betty says.
"Oh boy, strangers in town", Old granddad Ernie says as he sits down next to Pastor John. "This could be the start of something!" Ernie continues. "Now Ernie, let's not start spreading stories, you know how superstitious people get around here." says Pastor John. "Hog wash," Ernie says, "it's just another day in the big town of Rileyville, or should I say village. I don't think we have enough population to be considered a town yet." Ernie chuckles. Betty comes over with Pastor John's eggs and bacon. "There you go John, just the way you like 'em." Old Ernie speaks up. "You mean greasy and burned?"
Ernie laughs. "That'll be about enough out of you "ole man", one more word and you're out of here." Betty says with a smile on her face. Ernie replies, "Oh now Betty darling you know you're the love of my life!" "Yea, yea that's what they all say." replies Betty. Pastor John asks, "Betty, what does Harvey think of our new neighbors at the Smiths house?" "Just that he hopes they like to eat out, more business for the Gas and Grub." Betty replies. Pastor John finishes his breakfast leaves his usual tip, and out the door he goes. Getting into his car he heads for Miss Myrtle's house to see how she's coming along having come down with the flu recently.
Little prayer and some thoughtful words from the church fellowship should do her wonders he thinks to himself as he leaves the Gas and Grub. As he pulls away, an old black Cadillac slowly drives by. The windows are tinted so he can't see the driver inside. Pastor John watches as the old Black Caddy drives on by down the road heading in the direction of the old Smith place. Pastor John wonders if that's their new neighbors. Later as he leaves Miss Myrtle's house, after his Pastoral visit, he heads back to the Parish and parks his car. Walking up the sidewalk to the house he notices little Tommy Daniels setting on the steps.
"Hey Rev!" Tommy shouts "Hear about the Smith house? Someone's moved into it." "Yes, that seems to be the talk of the town." Pastor John replies. "What have you heard? Is it a couple with children?" the Pastor asks. "I've got make a stop by there one of these days to welcome our new neighbors."
"Can I come?" Little Tommy asks. "Well," says Pastor John "I don't see why not as long as you behave yourself." "Just thought it would be neat if we have a mad doctor or vampire living in our town." says Tommy laughing. "Well what ever you do leave your stakes and hammer at home Tommy." Pastor John says "We don't want to scare them away, our town could use some new faces around here, it's been awhile sense someone new has moved to town." "Yea I know! That's what makes it "so mysterious". Why would any body want to live there anyway, that place is haunted!" says Tommy. "O now Tommy just because the place has been empty awhile that don't make it haunted." replies Pastor John.
"Oh yea, then why hasn't anyone ever stayed there for long?" asked Tommy. Pastor John said "Well Tommy a big o house like that is probably pretty expensive to heat during the winter months I imagine." "I think it has ghost living in it" Tommy says. "You young Man have a very vivid imagination." Pastor John says. Tommy says "I got to go Rev., but don't forget to pick me up when you go to visit the new people or person (whoever they are). Maybe it's Dr. Frankenstein! That would be so cool." Tommy says. "What ever." Pastor John replies, "I'll pick you up at the Gas and Grub tomorrow at 10 a.m. Be there or I'm leaving without you." "Oh I'll be there Rev!" Tommy answers.
The next morning Pastor John pulls into Harvey's Gas and Grub a little early to have breakfast before visiting the new neighbors. As he walks into the diner and sets in his usual spot Betty slaps down the local news paper and says to Pastor John "Turn to page two and read the obituaries, your not going to believe it!" "What? Who passed? Is it one of our town's folk?" the Pastor asks. "Just read it." Betty says. "Where is everyone this morning?" Pastor John asks looking around the empty diner. "Just read the damn obituary column John, you won't believe your eyes." Betty says. "Alright" Pastor John says "I'm reading, I'm reading. Holy smoke! You have got to be kidding me. I just stopped by to see her yesterday. She was feeling much better even said she planned on being in church this Sunday coming up. What could have happened Betty?"
Betty replies, "That's just it, no one seems to know for sure, and he just found her lying dead on her bedroom floor." "Who found her?" Pastor John asked? "The sheriff went by to take her some homemade apple pie I'd baked for her, found the house unlocked went in when no one answered the door and found her on the floor dead. They're thinking heart failure, she was eighty-seven years old. Her poor old dog was lying next to her body howling, carrying on something awful." Betty says, "Poor thing." "Who Myrtle?" asked Pastor John. "No her dog! Well I mean yes poor Myrtle too!" Betty says. Pastor John said "I never knew Myrtle had a bad heart or a dog either for that matter." "She kept the dog inside the house with her just let it out when it had to take care of business so to speak, other wise it pretty much stayed close to her in the house." Betty said.
"It was a quiet dog never barked much. It was getting on in years too like her. Just really sad is all." Betty continued. "Yea it sure was sudden. Well," Pastor John says "here comes Tommy, I promised I'd take him with me when I headed out to meet the new family in town at the old Smith house. I'll Talk to you later Betty." "You be careful Pastor, we don't know anything about these new people." Betty replies. "Oh Betty, now you're starting to sound like Tommy. Quit your worrying." Pastor John says. Tommy and Pastor John head up the long winding driveway to the Smiths old house. Tommy asks Pastor John "Did you bring your Holy Water Rev?" "Holy Water, what in the world would I need to bring that for?" Pastor John asks. "In case there are demons or vampires. You can drive them away by throwing it on them!" Tommy said. "Tommy you've been watching the Sci-Fi channel way to long son." replies the Pastor.
"Well you never can be to careful Rev." Tommy says. Pastor John parks the car in the driveway and he and Tommy make their way to the door and knock. But no answer, so Pastor John knocks again, still no answer. "Well let's check to see if the car is in the garage." said Pastor John. Looking in he sees the old black caddy setting in the garage. "Well I guess that was him I saw drive by the other day." Pastor John says. "You saw him? What did he look like?" Tommy asked. "Well," Pastor John said "he had two long fangs and a black cape." "Wow! I told you," Tommy said "he is a vampire!" "No," Pastor John said "I'm just kidding. I couldn't see what he looked like cause of the tinted glass in the car." "Well that's strange in its self Rev. Don't you think tinted glass is strange?" Tommy asks.
"A lot of older people prefer it," Pastor John says "because they have trouble driving in bright light during daylight hours. It's somewhat common." Pastor John says. "Not around here it isn't." says Tommy. After checking the garage Pastor John and Tommy head back up to the house and knock once more no answer. "Well," Pastor John says "maybe they went somewhere, on a walk or something. The weather's really nice today." "Maybe their sleeping," Tommy says "down in the basement!" "Now why on earth would they be sleeping in the basement?" Pastor John asks.
"That's where they keep their coffins." Tommy says, "They sleep during the day and get up and roam at night. Like Bats!" "Boy, you have been watching too many scary movies on TV. Let's go we'll try again another day." Pastor John says "Maybe after Sunday services.I've got a funeral service to prepare. I have to get back to the parish." Pastor John states. www.amazon.com/Rileyville-Mystery-1-Garry-Lewis/dp/1461036526/ref=cm_lmf_tit_6