Jeremy was being tucked into bed by his father, just like any other night. The boy had finished brushing his teeth and changing into his pajamas, and had just said his prayers.
“Daddy, tell me a story!” Jeremey said.
“Okay. What kind of story do you want tonight?” his father asked.
“Tell me something scary!” Jeremy demanded.
“Alright. In less than a week, there’s going to be an election in this country. However, no matter who wins, we’re going to be represented by someone that doesn’t care whether we live or die.” his father said.
Jeremy glared at his father. “I meant tell me something shocking.”
“Alright. When two or more people love each other very much…” his father started.
“I meant tell me something scary and shocking!” Jeremy said.
“Ah, well I’m afraid I don’t know any stories like that. Unless you count the ghost train, that is.” his father said.
“Ghost train?” Jeremy asked.
“Yes. See, the story begins with an old man named Tanner. Old Tanner had gotten very wealthy over the years by doing some very wicked things.” his father said.
“You mean like the President?” Jeremy asked.
“Almost, but Tanner wasn’t quite that wicked. Anyway, no matter how rich Tanner got, he always wanted more. One day, he purchased a train and took out a large insurance policy on it. Then, he rigged the train so that it would be derailed on its first trip. When the train crashed, it killed everyone on board. Tanner collected the money from the insurance company and made off with a fortune.
One year later, as Tanner was sleeping in his bed, he was awoken by the sound of a train whistle. He knew that there were no train tracks anywhere near his mansion, so he rose from his bed and looked out the window. There he saw the very same train that he had caused to crash. The train came to a full stop, and all the people that had died in the crash came out, chanting the name of the man who killed them.
Tanner tried to run, but there was no escaping the vengeance of the people he had killed. They grabbed him and dragged him onto the train. His screams of terror could be heard for miles as the ghost train took him down to Hell.
That was many years ago today. Legend has it that every year on this night, the ghost train will visit those that have wickedness in their hearts and drag them off to Hell.”
“Goodnight son.” the father said.
“Aw, that story wasn’t scary at all.” Jeremy said.
“Well, I tried.” the father shrugged.
Jeremy’s father kissed him on the forehead and turned out the light. Jeremy soon fell asleep. Later, in the middle of the night, a shrill whistle woke Jeremy from his sleep. He looked out his window, and saw an old, decaying train pull up to the house.
Jeremy screamed when he saw the dead passengers file out of the train. As they got closer to the house, he could hear them chanting. “Jeremy! Jeremy!”
Jeremy didn’t know what to do. He looked around his room for anything that he could use as a weapon, but there was nothing. As he dove under his bed, he could hear the incessant chanting getting louder. “Jeremy! Jeremy!”
Jeremy cowered under his bed, hoping that the ghastly horde wouldn’t find him. Soon he heard them bust down the front door. He could smell their stench as their footsteps got closer and closer. He couldn’t stop himself from screaming when they broke down the door to his room, chanting. “Jeremy! Jeremy!”
One of the dead horde, a decayed man wearing a desiccated train conductor’s uniform, reached under the bed and dragged Jeremy out. Jeremy screamed when the conductor picked him up. As the conductor began to strangle Jeremy, he made a silent prayer for someone to come and help him.
Suddenly, the conductor stopped choking Jeremy, dropping the boy on the floor. The conductor then took a decayed photo from his pocket. He looked at the photo, then at Jeremy, and then back at the photo again.
“Are you Jeremy Palmer?” the conductor finally asked.
“No, I’m Jeremy Walker!” Jeremy said.
The conductor put the photo back in his pocket and turned to the others. “Everyone back on the train! Looks like we got the wrong kid!”
The dead passengers all groaned in disappointment, then turned around and filed out of the house. The conductor was the last one out, turning to Jeremy with a cold dead look in his eyes. “We’ll be seeing you, Jeremy Walker.”
Then the dead passengers filed back onto the ghostly train. Jeremy watched from his bedroom window as the train started up and pulled away, heading for part unknown.
And that, my friends, is the story of why Jeremy started doing drugs when he got into college.