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A Cookeville Haunt

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

A nice walk alone is just what I need to clear my head, I thought to myself as I put my vehicle in park and shut off the ignition. As soon as I exited the car I could feel the subtle warm autumn breeze hit my face and instantly I felt better. I especially loved walking around the area near the depot. Probably why it is the subject of many past painting creations of mine. The sky illuminated by the nearly full moon combined with the warm glow of the Cream City sign felt especially welcoming tonight. As I approached the front of the depot, I noticed my sneaker was untied and sat on the little bench to take care of it. But before I could even begin, I heard a loud meow and my eyes caught a fleeting glimpse of a fat black cat. Poor thing, I hope he was not dumped by someone. My animal rescue instincts kicked in and I formed a plan to take him home and attempt to find an owner in the morning. I could not lay eyes on him anymore so I began searching for him on the south side of the structure where it seemed he was headed. It was then I heard the faint sound of a train whistle in the distance. I thought I was imagining it at first. Trains rarely pass through here at all anymore and at night? Each blow of the whistle solidified that is was real and getting closer. Thoughts of finding kitty were quickly forgotten. I glanced across Broad street and watched the Cream City sign go out. I figured the ice cream shop must be closing for the night. But then the street lights followed along with all the other lights. The wind was really starting to pick up a bit so maybe there was a power outage of some sort? The train noise was really getting close now and I strained my eyes along the tracks toward the direction of the sound, but, I saw nothing. Suddenly, something descended that I can only describe as a” fog” of sorts.I could barely make things out but could sure tell by the sound that the train was indeed now “here." Then I saw…her. She was dressed oddly like she was from another era. Flanking a huge bag which almost looked too big for her small body to carry. Maybe she needed help of some sort? I approached her slowly to avoid frightening her but no matter how close I inched she would not turn her head to meet my gaze. I don’t know at what point I realized I could see right through her which simultaneously froze me in my tracks. I could just stare, mouth gaping as she picked that too big for her tote and boarded the train that I could barely make out. Just like the mystery lady it was transparent as well. Then just like that, all of it was gone! The brightness of the now functional town lights jolted me out of my stupor. Was I losing my mind? I sat on the bench in front of the depot for a bit to compose myself and process what I just saw. I concluded that all the stress I had been under and my love of all things spooky combined with my overactive, creative imagination caused my mind to play a trick on me. Suddenly, I remembered kitty. I searched all over but could not find any trace of him. I needed to get back home anyway and started trekking back to my car parked at the library. As I approached my car, I could make out something perched on my hood. Drawing closer I heard a familiar meow. I reached my hand out to pet the beautiful black kitty who was obviously very friendly and quickly remembered my plan to take him home and try to find the owner tomorrow. That would be later in the day. The morning hours will be for painting with a fresh inspiration still fresh in my mind.

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