We arrived around 10 P.M. on one rainy night. We waited in the station, huddled together me and Stan as the a cold wind blew about us. We would have arrived earlier, but our train was delayed for an hour. We quickly learned trains on occasions only traveled through Charlestown a few times of the month, and when it did, it was never on time. We were the only ones to alight at the station of Charlestown where we waited and waited. The rain was not descending heavily, it sprinkled lightly in a continuous grade, that if you stood out underneath it within minutes you would have been soaked from head to tow. I was already feeling muggy from the weather and getting wet would have added to my dampen spirits. I could see Stan was doing worse for wear as he tried to find warmth from his new blue suit. He visage displayed the grimace he felt for his current position.
We had a lovely trip to begin with. We had traveled to a few wonderful places across the mountains and lakes by train, stopping at these little hidden towns, painted with their own characters and old charms. It was truly exciting traveling along side Stan. We were rather enjoying ourselves, though, it wasn’t a vacation for Stan. He was a journalist and he wrote about such travels. Normally he traveled alone, and this time he had asked me to join him. I was thrilled. I was certain along the route he would propose to me, but I was getting ahead of myself. Everything was going all right, that is, until we decided to travel to Charlestown, where everything began to sour. Everything began to go wrong and all the luck in the world began to befell us.
It all started when Stan began asking around for Charlestown and how we could get there. The map showed no roads that lead to it, but it existed. The folks in every town were cagey and became even more distrustful when Stan mentioned the name Charlestown. They would leer at us and simply kept silent and walk away. Stan wasn’t dissuaded. He was curious than ever to get to Charlestown, he grew more curious when people avoided talking about it. I began to worry, that perhaps it was a bad idea to travel to Charlestown.
“Maybe they are afraid of talking about the town,” I told Stan.
“Afraid of talking about a town?” Stan laughed. “What is so scary about it?”
“Maybe something bad happened there,” I cautioned, “like a murder.”
“The more I am willing to go,” Stan said. “I am a journalist, this is a story that needs to be told. I must go there.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Stan,” I was becoming unsure of the whole thing.
We were in the town Carpa, walking the streets, I as a tourist, Stan as the reported as he tried to get anybody to talk about Charlestown. I could see the look in their eyes as they evaded Stan and hurried away from him. I was getting that bad feeling in my belly as you do when something awful is about to happen. I tried to relax myself and repeat Stan’s words in my head, ‘it was only a town’. I would have enjoyed myself better when a man came out from the alley as I had stopped at a window to look at the display of dresses the shop exhibited. I thought he was going to mug me. I was about to turn and run after Stan when the man psst me over.
“Hey, lady,” he looked at me suspiciously. “You don’t want to go to Charlestown. It’s a bad place. Nobody goes to Charlestown unless they are looking for trouble.”
“Why is it a bad place?” I asked.
“I just is,” he said menacingly. “People who go there don’t ever come back the same. Whatever your husband is looking for, tell him to stop, there is nothing there.”
“He’s not my–” he didn’t let me finish my sentence.
“You don’t want to go there,” he warned me. “It’s a bad place.”
“Why is it such a bad place?” Stan asked. I hadn’t realize he had walked up behind me.
“It’s a place of ill luck,” the man glared at us. “You won’t find anything there. It’s riddled with calamity and a bad omen. You go there and nothing, but tragedy will follow you. You heed my words if you know what’s good for you.”
A chill ran up my spine.
“Poppycock,” Stan dismissed the fellows words. “Probably just stories. You’d be amazed how embroiled these towns people are in their folklore.”
“But, Stan,” I started to protest.
“Myths and legends,” Stan said. “That is all they are. Come one, let’s go Ollie. I know which train to board to Charlestown.”
“I have a bad feeling about this, Stan,” I said to him.