-Author's note: Just a disclaimer that no disrespect to the Aboriginal people or their culture is meant by this purely fictional tale. Although
Black Mountain is a real place and has great cultural significance to the Aboriginal people of North Queensland, this tale of pure fantasy is based
only on the legends of the area. I personally have a great deal of respect for the Aboriginal culture, history and dreamtime stories. See bottom for
more information on the real Black Mountain.
The 4x4 ground to a halt at the near the edge of a rocky clifftop. Before it lay the endless piled rocks and crags known as the Black Mountains. All
four doors opened at once, the four teenagers spilling out in a sea of endless chatter and boundless enthusiam even the steeped humidity could not
dissolve. Two boys, two girls, they surveyed the cloud covered mountains before them.
“On foot from here ladies,” the eldest, one Thomas Barnett stated, opening the cover at the back of the vehicle to reveal rolled up tents, camping
supplies and two army issue backpacks. He hoisted it out with effortless ease. A firefighter for the Australian Army, he and his companion Jaryn were
the peak of physical fitness. The two girls, Cassie and Amanda, their respective girlfriends, peered over the edge to the rocky outcrops and gum trees
that seemed to reach out for them far below.
“Ladies huh?” Jaryn huffed, smacking Tom in the back of the head, “I’ll lady you son.” Tom laughed along with the others, handing the
remainder of the hiking gear to the others. Secured and ready go only minutes later, Tom turned to the others.
“Try to keep up ok?”
The trek down the steep pathways took at least three hours in the hot sun, the clouds coming over constantly threatening rain, and not letting up the
feeling of stickiness as the sun dipped below the rocky peaks. As afternoon approached, they found themselves at the base of a small watering hole,
the water so clear you could see the jagged bottom with ease.
“Well I don’t know about you guys, but I reckon we make camp here,” Tom offered, removing his now heavy backpack. The others agreed, setting
their tents and making a small campfire as the deep blue of the sky gave way to black, dotted by endless pinpricks of light. They laughed and played
as the campfire silhouetted their antics, as the alcohol flowed and the laughs died off, they found themselves seated around the fire, the last of the
day’s heat giving way to the cool stilness of night.
“You know they say this place in haunted?” Cassie said as she reclined in Tom’s arms.
“That’s just a myth started by aboriginals to keep white people out of here,” Jaryn replied, rolling his eyes, “oh what? You think there’s a
Yowie out there in the dark, waiting for us? Ghosts maybe? Oooooohhhh! C’mon ghosts! C’mon Yowies! Come and get us! I’ll take ya!” Jaryn leapt
to his feet, dancing around the campfire, shaking the branches of the nearby trees, yelling out to the ghosts of Black Mountain to come and get
“We should tell some ghost stories!” Amanda said suddenly, as Jaryn returned to her side.” The others seemed a little hesitant at this idea, as
she leaned forward into the fire.
“Ok then, I’ll go first. Once there was a young man who worked on a station. His first and only love, was for his employer’s daughter. But she
had eyes for another.”
“Wait. Is this a ghost story or a love story?” Tom challenged, laughing, receiving a shoe in his general direction.
“Shutup! Now, the man’s name was Jack Long, and his love’s name was Wendy. Wendy Harris. The man she loved was a Jackaroo named Shane Cotton. He
was a strong, quiet man, who took his job seriously. When Jack found out the girl he had eyes for loved another, he became enraged. He waited for
Shane to leave to safety of home one day, and tracked him out into the bush. When he came across Shane, he sneaked up behind him, and beat him to
death with a rock!” Picking up one of the volcanic black rocks, she slammed it down on another for dramatic effect. As she did that the fire cracked
and popped, startling the group.
“That is the worst ghost story ever Amanda,” Tom stated, reaching for another beer.
“I’m not finished yet you dork,” she glared across him.
“Now then, to hide the fact he had killed Shane, Jack tried to dig a shallow grave to put his body in, but after a few feet, he discovered rocks.
Lots and lots of black rocks, just under the red dust. He lifted the rocks out one at a time, some small, some huge, but eventually after a day of
lifting and digging, he dumped Jack’s dead body in, piling the rocks on top of him. Unable to replace the entire mound, he piled the rocks high,
until he had built a cairn of rocks over Jack’s dead body. He then returned to the homestead where Wendy awaited him. He waited patiently until a
few weeks later when another stockhand returned with the news Shane had been killed.”
The others yawned, waiting for the punchline.
“Now then, the other stockhands blamed the aboriginals living nearby for killing Shane, and they formed a posse, Jack at the lead, and went out into
the bush. They found the camp of aboriginals a few days later and slaughtered them to the last man. Jack killed the medicine man, the shaman casting a
curse upon Jack as he died.”
“Is this like going somewhere?” Jaryn asked his girlfriend, yawning. She slapped him playfully.
“Will you let me finish? Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, Jack returned to Wendy’s arms, his secret safe, or so he thought. A week later he was checking
the southern ranges, when he came across a mound of black rocks. As he approached they moved, a bloodied hand pulling free! It was Shane, all broken
and beaten, pulling himself free! He pointed a mangled finger at Jack, and said he would be next. Jack panicked, grabbed a rock and beat Shane’s
head in again. Unable to bury him, Jack piled black rocks over his body again, burying him. Another week went by, and Jack found another black rock
cairn, Shane coming out to terrorise him again. Again he killed him with the black rocks, and piled them over his corpse.” She caught her breath,
taking a large swig of her Vodka Cruiser.
“Finally, after weeks, there were black rock cairns all over the homestead. Shane would reappear, and Jack finally realised he was cursed by the
aboriginal medicine man. Unable to reverse the curse, he went insane, killing those around him who found out his horrible secret. Eventually Wendy
found out about all the deaths, Jack killing her right next to her former lover. Insane with grief, he piled up all the black rocks over the piles of
dead he had created, until a great mountain of the dead formed. Seeing he was high above the land, he threw himself to his death from the black
mountain he had created, his body dead on the rocks below. To this day, they say the ghosts of Jack Long’s murdered workmates and lovers still haunt
this place, and that their spirits roam the jungles and mountains, looking for lovers they can kill to join them in ever lasting agony.”
The words hung for a few minutes, where it seemed even the creatures of the tropical jungle were silenced by the words. Then, laughter. First Tom,
then, Jaryn. Amanda stood up, her hands on her hips.
“That was, without a doubt,” Jaryn laughed between breaths, “the worst ghost story ever!” Amanda slapped his shoulder.
edit on 8-6-2012 by 74Templar because: story edit
edit on 8-6-2012 by 74Templar because: (no reason