Kind of a bland post title bu I couldn’t think of anything else at th moment. Here is the start of chapter three and it moves kind of slow. Jack is looking up records of the river hoping to find some answers as to why he survived. He feels that if he can talk to other survivors maybe he won’t feel so alone.
Blackridge Historical and Cultural Museum. The place that the desk clerk told me to start looking for records about others that fell victim to the River. Maybe it’s just the air conditioning in this old place but, I felt a cold chill when I came in.
“Can I help you?”
“Wh-what?” I turned to see a pleasant-looking woman in her seventies staring at me through round green rimmed glasses.
“Didn’t meant to startle you. I just wanted to know if I can help you with anything today.”
I suppose her smile was meant to comfort but instead I felt as if she were leering at me. “I’m doing some research about Blackridge River and was told this would be a good place to start.” Not exactly the truth but close enough.
“What kind of research?”
“When did the legend start, why was the town built so close to it, who started the town. You know the basics.”
“Okay. I can show you where those records are, but mind that you don’t take any books or items out with you. This is not a library.”
“You should start with the man who painted that picture you were so engrossed in when I startled you. His name is Ben Carthwood. His family was one of the first to settle here in 1896.”
“Ben Carthwood. The name sounds familiar but I can’t place where I’ve heard it.” The picture is very detailed. It that shows the town and the river from a bird’s eye view. And if you look close enough, like I did, you can see bones at the river side. one can also see the date of the painting, 1906. I guess the river has been claiming lives for a long time.
“Carthwood is last name of one the paramedics that saved you last year.”
Getting the second surprise of the day. “You know who I am then.” so much for anonymity.
“Yes I do. It’s not normal for someone to survive the river as you have. Once the river gets a hold of a person they tend to die.”
Stopping in a large room in the back of the building she points me in the general direction of file cabinets, bookshelves and micro film machines.
“So nothing on computer then?” Hoping that there is something here on a good old CD.
“No. no one has bothered with putting any information into a machine. anytime people want to know about the town they start here.” Sweeping her arms out as if this is a room filled with treasure. “Hope you find your information. I’ll be up front if you need anything else.”
Great. I should’ve brought coffee with me. This is going to take all day, hell it’ll probably take all week to dig through all of this.
Starting with the records of the Carthwood family I did find out that the river has been taking lives for about 150 years. I also found out that I made it into the town records. It was probably big news since no one tends to survive an encounter with the river.
Someone has handwritten all the history of this place into the books here. Why not just type the information into a computer data base? Seems like it’d be easier to keep the information current. ‘To each their own’ comes to mind. At least the handwriting is legible. And it looks like the same person has been recording the town’s history for a long time. Or maybe my eyes need a break because then that would mean that the same person who wrote these entries would have to be at least one hundred years old by now. Another mystery it seems.
“Sir we’re closing for the day. You can come back tomorrow if you’d like.”
This time she didn’t startle me, I heard her walking into the room. “What time is it?”
“It’s already eight o’clock in the evening.”
“No wonder I’m hungry. I’ve been at this all day. Where can I find Emma Carthwood? I’d like to ask here where they found me.”
“She works at the local hospital on Grevning Street. It’s the only hospital in town.”
“Thank you. And I’ll probably be back tomorrow. The reading would go a lot faster if the history was on a computer.” Hoping that maybe she was just testing me for some reason and the histories really are on computer in another room.
“Well that may be a fact for you but the fact here is that no one cares enough about the town’s history anymore to want or need to look it up as much. have a good night.”
And with that she escorted me out the front door and locked up the place from the inside. I wonder if she lives there? I should’ve asked here who has been writing the histories. I’ll have to remember that for tomorrow. Right now I need to eat and then see if Ms. Carthwood is on shift tonight.
(c) 2010 Joelle Wilson no part of this writing may be reproduced or copied in any form without permission from the author.