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Those Were The Days (HHWC)

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posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 08:19 PM

There are places that locals avoid and everyone else wouldn’t know about. Places forgotten in time and given over to whatever had begun to inhabit them. Sure there are plenty of rumors to go around but no one really knows for sure. No one would dare attempt to find out. These places are very real indeed so vanquish the thought that this will be entirely fiction and not worth the time to read or watch.

Billy walked his bike the rest of the way down the overgrown driveway that led to his Dad’s Uncle’s house. It now seemed to Billy that he would be tasked perpetually with checking up on the old man as a part of earning his allowance. He was sure that the old guy was getting crazier by the second too and Billy felt that his Dad didn’t know the seriousness of the situation yet. Billy would tell him about the crazy things that Uncle Sal had been doing and all his Dad would do is laugh and tell Billy not to worry about that. He’s an old man his Dad would say. He laid his bike down and started through the front door.

Billy would try to breathe through his mouth at this point because Uncle Sal’s place smelled awful to him. It reminded him of when he forgot to start the dryer after loading it with his wet clothes and they ended up sitting in there until the next day. Slowly he’d begin to draw air through his nose as well until he was acclimated to the stench.

“Hey boy, you’re late aren’t you?” The old man questioned Billy from his wheelchair accusingly. Uncle Sal would always say this same thing every time he walked through the door regardless of when he went over to check on him. The old man seemed to have made quite a mess of the place since yesterday.

“How are you doing Uncle Sal? I’m not late but you look like you could use a hand clearing off your table and picking up these newspapers.” Billy stood back and observed the disaster that the old man had created. Billy was sure that Uncle Sal would start mumbling about the beach again at any moment. He was that predictable.

“Nothing in that damn newspaper about the beach. That’s strange because they like the beach this time of year. At least they did when I was younger.” The old man gazed vacantly at the floor as he spoke. Billy wondered if he would be acting this crazy when he was Uncle Sal’s age. How old was Uncle Sal anyway? He looked to be about one hundred to Billy.

“Those creepers took the camera from them Billy. They used it to record my nightmares you know.” Uncle Sal said absently.

Billy was sure the old man was off his rocker but his Dad wouldn’t believe him or listen to him about it. It seemed as though he started talking about this whole beach thing at the beginning of the month and he became increasingly more insistent about it with each passing day. The newspapers on the floor were something new.

Billy bent down and began gathering the strewn newspapers up off the floor. He noticed the date on the top of one of the pages and realized that Uncle Sal was trying to read last year’s news. He pushed the wad of newspapers down into the garbage can which he neglected to change the last time he was here. Billy was preoccupied the last time. He had become interested in some of the things around Uncle Sal’s place and was secretly scoping everything out. He wasn’t only checking out the house but he was checking out what was in that dilapidated detached garage as well.

Billy couldn’t believe what was in that garage. He discovered a damn near mint condition sixty six Impala under a tarp. It was all black with a hard top white roof and there didn’t seem to be too many scratches on it. The scratches that were on it could be easily buffed out Billy was sure of it. He dreamed about how cool it would be to have that as his first car when he was old enough to drive. He would be the envy of the school for sure. He couldn’t check it out too good though because that would be snooping around so Billy hurried out of the garage after seeing it.

He remembered asking his Dad about Uncle Sal’s car in the garage and his Dad didn’t seem too interested. He did seem interested at first when Billy mentioned it to him as if he was remembering something but then he dismissed it and reminded Billy that it wasn’t nice to sneak around like that. He made Billy promise not to go looking around Uncle Sal’s place. Billy turned and addressed Uncle Sal once again.

“Halloween is in a couple of days you know Uncle Sal. I’ll make a note and put it on your door so that the kids don’t keep bothering you.” Billy said. The old man’s face had changed suddenly he noticed. He looked really angry or maybe evil was a better description for it. Billy shuddered as the old man spoke.

“You know why those stupid kids dress up for Halloween Billy?” Before Billy could even muster a response his Uncle continued.

“It’s because the line between the living and the dead is blurred round about this time of year Billy. So the living dress up like the dead to fool the dead into thinking that they are dead too.” The old man raised one disfigured hand to his mouth and slowly wiped away the spittle that had accumulated from his last epitaph.

The three remaining digits always reminded Billy of a claw. Billy could hear an audible sickening hiss emanating from within the now evil looking Uncle Sal. Billy stood transfixed and waited for the old man to end his rant. Billy’s Dad warned him to never talk about Uncle Sal’s hands. It was a terrible accident and the old man didn’t need to relive it.

“I want you to think about something you fake little faker ghoul.” Uncle Sal snarled as he became increasingly more annoyed. More drool accumulated on his wrinkled chin again.

“What do you think happens when the dead dress up to fool the living into thinking that they too are the living?” The old man began to chuckle softly and then stopped suddenly.

“Oh yeah Billy, everything is fine.” Uncle Sal’s face now seemed terribly normal again. Billy wondered if he wasn’t letting his imagination get the best of him. He thought for a moment and then laughed as well to lighten the mood of the moment.

Billy started toward the refrigerator to make sure that the water pitcher was full. He could feel the old man’s gaze upon him as he tried to act unaffected by Uncle Sal’s demented stupidity. He was just an old man after all.

“I’ll change that garbage bag out for you and make sure that all of the garbage cans make it to the curb. It’s garbage night in this little part of town you know.” Billy felt easier talking about what needed to be done as he filled the water pitcher at the sink.

“They’ll record your nightmares for you Billy.” Uncle Sal said softly. Billy paid him no mind and placed the full pitcher back in the refrigerator. He could see the old man watching him from the corner of his eye. He seemed to be pleading for a response from Billy and Billy once again felt sorry for him.

“Sounds like fun Uncle Sal. Where did we put your garbage bags anyway? Was it under the sink?” Billy used that question to place the focus on something other than the weirdness that Uncle Sal seemed determined to pursue.

“Fun? You call that fun? That was boring.” Uncle Sal said loudly and clearly. Billy turned and seen that Uncle Sal was now grinning and it was a sickening sight. It was almost as if his face was not created to project a smile. It made his whole face seem disfigured. Billy looked away quickly and opened the cabinet under the sink.

“Hey, you want to see something really sharp?” The old man asked normally. Billy looked at him and he seemed to be good old Uncle Sal again. Uncle Sal tossed something shiny toward Billy suddenly and Billy instinctively caught it. He looked down into his hand and realized that it was a set of car keys on a key ring. The emblem on the key ring read SS in bold black letters on a chrome silver dollar sized circle. As soon as Billy realized what he was holding he began to smile.

“Yeah, I saw you sneak into my garage boy. You think I can’t watch my driveway from this wheelchair but I can get around alright. Now when you take the garbage to the curb you can go inside the garage and get a good look at her. Who knows Billy? Maybe that car will be yours one day.” Uncle Sal seemed to be reading Billy’s mind. He couldn’t believe the old man just said that. Billy would keep this little exchange between him and Uncle Sal a secret. Dad didn’t need to know about this at all and Billy would probably get in trouble for it anyway.

Billy hurried up and completed all of his chores for Uncle Sal. He had taken the garbage out to the curb and couldn’t wait to look at the interior of that sweet ride that Uncle Sal had been hiding. Billy went into the garage and turned on the lights. He didn’t have to sneak around now and it felt great. He rolled the tarp off the vehicle slowly from front to back, taking in all the details of the fine machine. He then went to the driver side door and hopped in behind the wheel.

The interior was just as nice as the exterior. The radio was ancient and had the big mechanical push buttons for locking in a station that you liked. The header didn’t have any smoke stains and wasn’t torn or drooping. Man it was a nice car. Billy looked at the key ring again and realized he should check out the trunk. Why not, he had to make sure that the trunk wasn’t rusted out. After all, this car just might be his one day. He was smiling wildly as he stepped out of the car and strolled toward the trunk.

Upon opening the trunk Billy was perplexed. The vehicle itself was fine but it was what was in the trunk that had Billy baffled. There was what looked like a large gray suit case with the word Sony on it and under that the letters and numbers CV-2000. Next to that was what could only be a very old video recorder or camcorder. The letters and numbers on that thing were DV-2400 Billy noticed. Next to both of these was a circular metal case.

Billy opened the suit case type object and realized that this was some ancient way to watch reel to reel tapes. There was a little television screen inside and two obvious spots for reel to reel film. He then realized that the camcorder made the reel to reel tapes that are to be watched inside the suit case thing. The circular metal object was undoubtedly a reel to reel film for the suit case. Billy had taken up Audio Visual in school so he knew a little bit about old reel to reel stuff but not this kind of stuff. This equipment seemed ancient.

Billy picked up the circular object and almost immediately smelled what seemed like vinegar. He laid it back down and decided to close the trunk but not all the way. Billy wouldn’t latch it. He would let the tarp hold it down so it seemed as though the trunk was closed. Billy was going to run some of the stuff he saw by his audio visual teacher and see what he had to say about it all. Billy wasn’t sure why he didn’t want to latch the trunk really but he just felt like he’d be needing that stuff.

The next day at school Billy could hardly wait to hear what his teacher thought about Billy’s find. He relayed the description of the objects and even gave him the letter and number combinations. His teacher was floored.

“Billy, what you’re describing is the very first portable video recorder. It recorded in black and white only and it was made by Sony. I believe it was called the Rover. If that kind of equipment is in your Dad’s Uncle’s garage than let them know that it really belongs in a museum. See if you can let me check it out or something. Better yet, see if you can take the stuff home and bring it in one day.” The teacher said anxiously.

Billy went on to describe the circular metal case and the strong smell of vinegar coming from it. He told the teacher how he just placed it back down and didn’t open the case. He knew now that it was a film of something that was recorded a long time ago.

The teacher excitedly explained that the acetate base in old reel to reel films has a tendency to break down after a while and will give off a strong vinegar smell. He explained that baking the container in the oven at one hundred and fifty degrees for an hour should stop the deterioration but the damage that was already done was irreversible.

He also explained how the magnetic strip on the side of that particular reel to reel film recorded the sounds and that it may be too far gone to save. He said that piecing the film back together required splicing tape and that Billy could use some from the equipment locker if he had the patience and time to do it. Billy’s teacher wasn’t at all interested in the film and told Billy that no reel to reel film can last that long in the trunk of a car in an old detached garage. He was more interested in the Sony Rover.

Billy’s mind was racing. It would be a challenge for him to get that film to play alright. He had no problem with challenges. He could do one thousand piece jigsaw puzzles in no time and couldn’t wait to see what was on that reel of film. He thought about how happy Uncle Sal would be when he was able to see the old film that he recorded so long ago so he had to keep this little project a secret from everyone. Uncle Sal would definitely give him that car after fixing that film for him.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by jackflap

It was a brand new day and Billy was finishing up at Uncle Sal’s place. Uncle Sal seemed as batty as ever and Billy would be sure to tell his Dad to check up on him as well. The old man actually started to hang up weird paintings of people in costumes or something for the approaching Halloween holiday.

“Alright Uncle Sal, I’ll be seeing you later ok? Nice pictures by the way Uncle Sal you really livened up the place.” Billy said as he began to leave. Earlier in the day he tied his old red wagon to the back of his bike with a rope so he could tow the old recording equipment back to his house. It was a perfect day to get it over there because his Mom and Dad had gone out for the day and wouldn’t be home until much later. He just had to make sure that the old man stayed in the living room and wasn’t watching him leave.

“You have your favorite program on the television and here is your sandwich and water. I’ll be back tomorrow Uncle Sal and remind me to put that note on your door because there are going to be a lot of kids trick or treating around here.” Billy positioned the old man in front of the television and placed the small tray of food in front of him. He turned and began to leave but Uncle Sal quickly spun his wheelchair around toward Billy.

“We might have to take that car out tonight Billy. Do you hear me? We might have to go to that bridge place. It all depends on what you find out. They’ll be here for me for sure Billy because I already said too much.” Uncle Sal sounded sad actually but it wasn’t the first time he was talking about someone coming to get him.

“Your Dad’s brothers might need a ride you know.” The old man was now speaking a little louder. Billy stopped in his tracks. He couldn’t believe that Uncle Sal would bring up such a touchy subject.

Everyone in the family knew that Dad had lost his brothers long ago when they were all swimming at the river. It was a terrible accident but Billy’s Dad was just a stronger swimmer than the other two. They never found his brother’s bodies either. The current was way too strong and who knew where the bodies would have ended up. It was a terrible tragedy and no one brought it up. Billy composed himself and realized that he was dealing with a very old man.

“No one gets away from them either Billy. Not one. How many were brought there? We chased them all down Billy. Every last one and sometimes I had to drive for them.

No one says no Billy. Not one.” The old man said sullenly as he seemed to be perpetuating his delusion.

“It’s ok Uncle Sal. I will not go anywhere near a bridge, I promise. Now watch some television and relax will you?” Billy turned and started toward the door again. He still couldn’t believe the nerve of the old coot. That’s right, old coot because he deserved that for bringing up what he did. Billy was justified in his assessment of Uncle Sal.

“They had me fooled Billy! They made me think that they were the living but they were really the dead! They knew about that family being at the beach and made me drive them there.” Uncle Sal yelled at Billy. Billy heard this all before and continued to walk out.

“Who goes to the beach in October Billy? It was their own stupid fault you little fakedy faker fake! Can you keep a secret?” Uncle Sal yelled with a voice that was clearly not his own. The hairs on the back of Billy’s neck stood straight and he felt a cold chill run through his body. Billy stopped in his tracks. He felt that any movement he made would elicit an attack of some sort. Billy couldn’t rationalize anything at this point. That wasn’t some old man behind him at all was it? Billy stood frozen.

“Weren’t you listening!” Uncle Sal shouted in his alter voice. Billy cringed as he kept telling himself to move but he couldn’t. He was frozen with fear. It felt like a terrible nightmare.

“Do you think I like my hands Billy? They did this to me you know. So I wouldn’t tell anyone about them. I couldn’t let their secret be known. They dwell in abandoned places Billy. Places that you just avoid.” Billy was relieved that the old man’s voice seemed normal again. He began to tell himself that what he heard was all in his head. He turned slowly and looked at Uncle Sal.

He looked normal. Billy breathed a sigh of relief and began to be more and more convinced that the irrational fear that was overcoming him was all his own doing. He looked out the window at the sunlight and shook the rest of his dread away. Billy took a deep breath and addressed the old man.

“I was listening Uncle Sal. Now you listen to me. My Dad will be over soon enough. This time I’ll make sure of it. You just relax and enjoy your television program and eat the sandwich I made you, ok?” Billy was about to turn away again but Uncle Sal wouldn’t stop.

“Don’t you send your Dad over here Billy. He did all of their rituals and stuff with them and I never looked at him the same again after that time we spent there. His brothers are still there too. It’s like I kinda know that he’s one of them.” Uncle Sal said all of this as a matter of fact.

“That was a strange day for me Billy. After the beach I was so terrified that I would do anything they asked me. They told me where to drive and I listened. On the way we saw your Dad and his brothers walking down the road. In that moment I prayed that they wouldn’t see my car and that the creepers wouldn’t see them either but the damn fools started waving at me and yelling. So I was told to pick them up. God forgive me.” Uncle Sal was shivering as he relayed his delusions to Billy.

There goes the old man bringing up touchy things again. Billy was getting tired of this stuff already. How disrespectful can one old coot be? He wanted to get back home and start working on that film for Uncle Sal. Maybe that would bring him some peace. He decided to just go along with him for now.

“No problem Uncle Sal. I will not send him over as long as you relax and stop all this nonsense that you’re going on about. I’m splitting for now but I’ll be back with a great surprise for you.” Billy hurried through the kitchen and away from the old man so he couldn’t have a chance to say anything else. He tuned the handle on the door and almost stepped out before he was frozen with fear again.

Billy could here a sinister chuckle coming from the living room. Billy’s mind raced to get back to normalcy and stop his fear. He heard Uncle Sal say something in that strange voice again.

“You’re funny…You’re funny…” The old man uttered before Billy could leave.

Billy stepped out on the porch and slammed the door behind him. He shouldn’t be acting like this and he knew it. He was acting like a baby really. Afraid of a defenseless old man are we? Billy laughed and began his film project in earnest.

Everything had gone as planned. The equipment was in his room and Billy had already baked the reel of film for the appropriate amount of time. He was now piecing together a very complicated jigsaw puzzle that he was delighted to be undertaking. Billy hadn’t met a puzzle that could beat him yet and this one was no different.

It wasn’t long before Billy was loading the reel of film into the play back machine. He wasn’t able to really see what was going on with the film when he held it up to the light. That was because of all of the splicing tape he was sure. Not only that but that little magnetic strip on the side that his teacher told him about was all but destroyed. Only small segments remained in tact.

There were sections of the reel that just could not be repaired though. When Billy would grab them with his tweezers they would just turn to powder. So a few sections were missing but most of it was here. Billy turned off his bed room lights and hit the play button as he sat anxiously waiting for the images to present themselves to him. He smiled uncontrollably as his face was illuminated only by the small monitor.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 09:10 PM
I know I probably shouldn't comment before I read a story.
I just saw this (on my new "my friends threads" (yay), and wanted to swing by. You write the best halloween stories ever, so I will have a treat (and knowing you, a big trick, lol) tomorrow!

edit on 10/12/2010 by ladyinwaiting because: Restored previous comment. I should go to bed.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 09:10 PM
Billy couldn't believe what he had saw. He backed away from the equipment slowly and could not breathe. Suddenly he heard a car pull up to the house and immediately wanted to tell his parents about the video. He was sure that it was them who pulled up. He heard a car door slam as he ran to the front door terrified at what he just witnessed. Billy swung the door open and was about to begin crying when he realized that it wasn't his parents at all.

The end for Billy and this story.

All pictures were our own and require no source. I edited them. The sounds in the video were downloaded from a sight that required no accreditation. Although I might say that it was a sight called soundjay.

All events were entirely fictional. Any similarities to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.

The goriest picture in the video was from a wax museum that we have plenty of pictures from.
edit on 12-10-2010 by jackflap because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 09:58 PM
Nice effort JackFlap, enjoyed the story and the movie. Real creepy video, and the pictures enhanced the story.

posted on Oct, 12 2010 @ 10:52 PM
reply to post by jackflap

Great story and very well done my friend, it had me sitting on the edge of my computer chair thinking while reading do I really want to read the next line, Have to admit I don't like scary stories but this was well worth the read. Great ending with the video, also very well done..

posted on Oct, 13 2010 @ 03:28 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone. I just wanted everyone to know that the viaduct is a real place. I went there with the kids back in 2006 maybe. It could have been 2005 I'm not real sure. Anyway, not all of the graffiti was edited in. For example here is the original photo of one piece of graffiti that I found.

There were and still are all kinds of rumors about the place. It was a cool trip.

The Paulinskill Viaduct, also known as the Hainesburg Viaduct, is a railroad bridge which crosses the Paulins Kill in Knowlton Township, New Jersey. The viaduct is still in existence, although the tracks were removed in 1984. Built by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and completed in 1910, it was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world and served the Lackawanna Cutoff, which was opened on Christmas Eve, 1911. It was surpassed in size by another Lackawanna Railroad bridge, the Tunkhannock Viaduct, in 1915. Amongst non-railfans, the Paulinskill Viaduct is known for its internal chambers (used to inspect the structural integrity of the bridge), which are popular among those who enjoy urban exploration.

posted on Oct, 13 2010 @ 07:10 PM
Ahh, I see you have plenty more up your sleeve than just a treat and a trick.
This was really awesome. I love to read your stories, and the graphics make it just that much more interesting and fun. Poor little Billy. He was a good kid. RIP.

posted on Oct, 13 2010 @ 09:04 PM
Jackflap can't help but to remember from my days as an amateur Folk singer and of course the title of your great story.

posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 09:08 AM
reply to post by Aquarius1

That is awesome Aquarius. I'll bet you were and probably still are a good singer. On another note, that equipment that was mentioned in the story was very real as well. It really was the first portable video recorder. Check it out.

The Sony "Video Rover", model DV-2400, was the very first portable video tape recorder available to the general public. The DV-2400 portapack VTR and DVC-2400 vidicon camera, was introduced in 1967. This system was strictly record only. Video Rover recordings could be replayed on any of the CV series skip field VTR's. Recording time was 20 minutes, using a 4-1/2 inch reel of tape.

posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 03:01 AM
Hi Jackflap,

What a very creative artist you are! I read every word of your story...slowly because I knew it would end and I wanted to last as long as possible.

The video is a nice touch. I like visuals. And you put it all together just like a genus would. And that's very kool how you picked an interesting place in New Jersey and also your props, like the old video recorder and the '66 Impala give your story a real feel.

You had me pinned to my computer.


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