Fillmore Western Railway brings a classic to life
By Bob Crum — Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Story and photos by Bob Crum
The stars high in the sky were ready to twinkle as the sun retrieved its dose of daily light. Down below... in the grasp of irrelevant reality... witches – their brooms in the repair shop – cheerfully boarded the Fillmore & Western train. It was either take the Pumpkin Liner to the fabled Ichabog or hope for a flying carpet. Hope gave way to riding the train with the likes of Roman soldiers, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and other surly characters of various sorts.
Arriving at Ichabog, disembarking passengers were bathed in the light of the full moon. Ahead lie the stark eeriness of the corn maze. Upon hearing the screams of one lost in its bowels... no one dared to venture in.
At the ready, marshals on horseback stood guard to protect the tractor-drawn wagons about to take brave souls for the ride beyond the dark recesses of the glen the locals call... the Christmas Tree farm. From within the shadows of the stalwart trees lurk many dastardly goblins and ghouls of all kinds. From the reaches beyond lurked the members of the Boo Hoo gang setting about to snare the head of the horseman in black. With the slightest tinge of imagination... one could visualize ghost bunnies rising in the clouds of dust created by the horses thundering past the wagons. Or were they real... ghosts... spirits rising from their graves.
Out in the boondocks...past the saloon... and the undertaker... a briskly-burning campfire warmed two victims of the enraging battle between the marshals, the Boo Hoo gang and... the mysterious headless horseman clamoring about for his head. Around the next turn screeching zombies pounced from the darkness... as a human escaped their claws and paws and climbed into the wagon. In the nick of time... the wagon pulled away from the clamor.
Then... in the clutches of the lower 40... the sound of thundering horses pounding the earth... approached the wagons. 'Twas the baddies of the Boo Hoo gang. Given the notion there's strength in numbers, the wagon riders huddled. As the horse riders past... the leader held high the head of the black-cloaked horseman yelling... the head... the HEAD!
No sooner had the dust began to settle when the apparition appeared riding his majestic black steed. The headless mysterious figure slowly approached the wagon of riders... searching. The breathless figure reaching out in desperation... hoping. Disappearing as mysteriously as it appeared... riding off into the moonlight... and out of sight.
Before long the marshals finally arrived. Upon hearing of the Boo Hoo's niddering deed... they rode off post haste on the trail of the hoodlums.
The wagons resumed their travels interrupted once again on the trail by ghouls and zombies... recapturing the previous escapee carrying her off into the field kicking and screaming. To no avail of course. Not one wagon rider dared help fearing the zombies' wickedness.
Then... beyond the clutches of the unreal and surreal... again the thundering hooves of the horses as the marshals approached the wagons. One of them holding high the majestic head of the black-cloaked headless horseman rescued from the hoodlums... gently presenting it to one of the wagon riders for safe keeping. Until... that is... the black-cloaked horseman returns. You will not know its presence until you feel the breath of his head... breathing once again... as he snatches it from your grasp. And your endless nightmares begin.