It was a dark and foggy night…


Mickey Minner

Read my stories at the Academy of Bards
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Copyrighted 2018


“Donna, are you sure about this?” A blond woman gazed through the car’s frosted window.

“What are you worried about?” A curly haired woman asked pulling into one of the few empty spots in a very crowded parking lot. “It’s just a couple of hours of listening to stories. Come on, Kayle,” she said switching the engine off then pushing her door open, “it should be fun. Besides, you’re the one always saying I should show more interest in local history.”

Looking around uneasily, Kayle stepped out of the car. “It’s kinda creepy,” she groused peering at the grey mist blocking out much of their surroundings. “It wasn’t foggy at home,” she noted with a frown.

“We’re closer to the river here,” Donna stated shutting her door before stepping around the back of the SUV to join her apprehensive wife. “You know that draws the fog on cold nights.”

“It’s getting thicker,” Kayle observed when the cars parked at the end of the lot disappeared into the swirling murkiness.

“I’ve never known you to be freaked out by fog before,” Donna said pushing Kayle’s door shut so she could lock the car. Tugging on her wife’s jacket, she headed toward a rusted wrought iron fence adjoining the lot.

“I don’t normally walk around graveyards when it’s dark and foggy,” Kayle grumbled but she allowed herself to be pulled toward an arched opening in the fence.

Passing through the gate, the gravel parking lot gave way to a recently mowed lawn, the scent of cut grass still hanging in the air. Donna paused to look about the cemetery, its graves covered in deep shadows. “There are supposed to be guides stationed at various places. We just walk up and join any group we want,” she explained setting off toward a small cluster of people standing not too far away.


The women had barely moved a few steps when a gust of wind blew a grey cloud of thick fog between them and their objection.

“Evenin’, ladies,” a gravely voice startled the women.

They spun about looking for the voice’s source.

A man slowly materialized as the mist partially dissipated. He wore a pair of well-worn denims and a faded flannel shirt, both covered in patches. A beat-up Stetson hat sat atop a head of unkempt grey hair that hung down past his ears. His slightly bent back and strong, calloused hands attested to a life of hard work.

“You be lookin’ for one of them guides?” he asked as he lifted one booted foot off the ground and rubbed it against the back of his pant leg to brush off some of the muck covering the cracked leather.

“Um, yes, we are,” Donna responded.

“Well, now, I dun thought you might be,” he said cordially. “I’d be pleased to point you in their direction.” He paused to remove his Stetson and scratch his head. “But I got to warn you,” he continued after returning the old hat to its rightful place. “They’ll be saying that they be telling you about the town’s beginnings. But they won’t be telling you the real stories. They’ll be telling you the truth… that ain’t in doubt. But what I mean, if you want to hear about the folks that truly turned this place from a muddy spit on the stage road into a true and good town, you won’t hear about that from those folks.”

Intrigued by the man’s oddly fascinating claim, Donna asked, “I don’t suppose you could tell us about them?”

“Well, now that you asked,” the man smiled, “I surely could.”

Donna returned the smile. “Lead on.”

“Just a minute,” Kayle snapped. “We don’t even know who this guy is,” she protested looking suspiciously at the man. “Look how he’s dressed.”

“All the guides are dressed in period attire,” Donna blurted out. “Who the heck do you think he is?” she asked glaring at her wife. “I’m sorry,” she addressed the man. “The fog has got her a little on edge,” she told him.

“I understand, ma’am. Kinda got the willies myself. But,” he glanced about, “I seen it much worse. Now if you be wanting another, no hard feelings.”

“Wait,” Donna cried out when the man turned away. “She’ll be fine,” she told him before again facing her wife, “Kayle… please,” she implored the reluctant woman. “I bet his stories will be a lot more interesting than the others. And I want to hear them.”

Nervously, Kayle tugged her jacket tighter and pulled the zipper up. “Alright,” she hesitantly agreed. “I guess we can always scream for help if he tries anything.”

“Won’t be no need for that, ma’am, I promise,” he assured.

“Of course, not,” Donna agreed cheerfully.

“Just a minute.” Kayle glared at their guide. “If we’re spending the next few hours with you, you can knock off the ma’am crap. I’m Kayle and she’s Donna.”

The man nodded. “Alrighty, you can call me Whipsaw… that’s what everyone else does.”

“Whipsaw?” Kayle repeated the strange name. “Bet there’s a story behind that,” she stated of the obvious nickname.

The man chuckled. “There surely is ma’am… I do beg your pardon, ma’am… I mean to say Miss Kayle.”

Donna laughed when Kayle rolled her eyes. “Okay, Whipsaw, let’s get this night started.”


The women followed as Whipsaw led them past other groups listening to guides relate typically boring stories of businessmen who had set up shop in the early days of the town. They eventually made their way to a far corner of the cemetery where several neglected gravestones stood in no apparent pattern.

“It’s deserted back here,” Kayle stated nervously. “Why’d you bring us so far from the rest of the people?”

“Here’s where you got buried if you was considered less than respectable,” Whipsaw answered stopping beside a grave bearing a stone that tilted slightly backward. “Seems we’ve been neglecting your marker,” he spoke to the grave’s occupant. “This here is Mrs. Albert.”

Donna noticed that there was no adjoining grave. “Where’s her husband?”

“Nobody ever knew Mr. Albert,” Whipsaw answered. “She being a widow when she arrived. Some folks asked but they found she was not too willing to give any particulars about him. Town was just getting started when Mrs. Albert arrived riding a horse and leading a mule… both good sized. She rode right up to where some of the boys was raising walls for a new establishment and asked what it would take to buy the place. Boys thought she was pulling their legs but she insisted she had the funds to make good on her offer. Didn’t take long for a price to be agreed upon and that was the beginning of Mrs. Albert’s Gentlemens’ Club.”

“Sounds like a brothel,” Kayle sneared.

“Well, it’s true the Club had rooms for working ladies,” Whipsaw agreed. “But Mrs. Albert also served the best food in the territory and her drinks came straight from the bottle… she never poured any watered down.”

“A right upstanding character,” Kayle quipped sarcastically.

“That she was, Miss Kayle… that she was. Turned out that besides being a fine cook, Mrs. Albert was one of the best damn poker players anyone had ever had the pleasure of sitting down to a game of cards with. Many a gentleman passed their evenings enjoying a good meal and an honest poker game.”

“Before ending upstairs,” Kayle added with a smirk.

Whipsaw studied the resolute woman. “You have something against working ladies?” he asked.

Kayle shook her head. “No. Just waiting to hear what she did to make her so special.”

“Alrighty, then let me get to that. Now, Mrs. Albert had a soft spot for any that were down on their luck. And any that asked would be given a few chores that would earn them a hot meal and enough to get them on their way. Plenty of the founding fathers being talked about over yonder made use of her generosity more than once.”

“I bet that isn’t included in their stories,” Donna remarked with a smile.

“No, Miss Donna, it is not. Owen and Thomas… they started the first mercantile. Mrs. Albert gave them a loan when they needed to pay for freight they had ordered. Old man, Hennessey, would have never got his bank started if Mrs. Albert hadn’t agreed to open an account in it. Even Mrs. Stewart, one of the proper ladies, asked for some help to keep her boarding house in business when she fell on hard times. Mrs. Albert helped all of them and many more. Though none seen fit to come when we placed her here.”

“Typical,” Kayle muttered.

“Mrs. Albert even put some money up for the town’s first hospital.”

Donna grinned. “I doubt you’d get the snooty administrators today to admit it was initially funded by a brothel.”

“Likely not,” Whipsaw agreed patting the top of the crooked headstone. “I’ll be back later to fix this, Mrs. A,” he said turning away. “Shall we continue?” he asked before carefully walking around the grave.


Whipsaw moved to a grave a few steps away then introduced Donna and Kayle. “This here is Mrs. Abigail Monroe.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Kayle brightly greeted the grave’s occupant.

Donna tossed her wife a questioning look. “Finally warming up to this?” she asked.

Kayle shrugged. “Guess it took a while to get into the mood,” she feebly explained. Listening to Whipsaw talk about Mrs. Albert, she surprisingly found herself enjoying his tales of a less than proper woman who had made significant contributions to the young town.

Grinning, Donna slipped her arm around her wife’s waist. “I knew you’d come around. And who was Mrs. Monroe,” she asked their guide.

Whipsaw smiled. “Glad you be liking my stories, Miss Kayle,” he said before beginning his next one. “The town was a bit bigger when Mrs. Monroe stepped off the stage. Of course, at the time, she wasn’t Mrs. Monroe yet. She was brought here all the way from the old south, right after the trouble between the states ended. Man who brought her was a slave owner before the war… and he’d lost everything by the time it ended. Everything, that is, except for Abigail. He came with his family and brought Abigail along as a nanny. Didn’t give her any say in the decision and she, being young, didn’t know enough to say she wouldn’t come.”

“Jerk,” Donna and Kayle exclaimed at the same time.

“That he was,” Whipsaw agreed. “But not too long after they got settled, his horse was spooked by a rattler and threw him into a ditch. Unlucky for him, his head bounced off a rock and killed him. Town buried him over yonder.”

Donna grimaced at the thought of such a violent death.

“Not long after the funeral, his widow decided to return to her family in the south. And not take Miss Abigail with her.”

“She just left her here?” Donna was outraged.

“’Fraid so. Miss Abigail watched them get into the stage. All she could think was she didn’t know a single sole in town and they were leaving her without a single coin in her pockets.”

“What creeps,” Kayle hissed. “Don’t bother showing us his grave.”

“Well, now, don’t you be feeling sorry for Miss Abigail. As sad as it might seem, it was the happiest day in her young life… she was finally, and truly, free… standing alone in that dusty street.”

“I suppose Mrs. Albert took her in,” Donna offered hopefully.

“Was no need. See, Miss Abigail had a good head for numbers. She dun taught herself how to add and minus while serving her master. As soon as the banker found out, he hired her as his clerk since there weren’t many with much schooling in town. Put her in charge of deposits and withdrawals, he did.”

“That’s an important job for a woman back then,” Kayle considered. “Especially, a woman who was also an ex-slave.”

“That’s the truth,” Whipsaw agreed. “At first, there were many in town opposed to the idea. But Miss Abigail won them over with her always being pleasant; but, mostly, because she never made a mistake in her counting. Like I said, she had a good head for numbers. Good enough to save a little each payday until she was able to open her own business… a dress shop. Seems besides knowing numbers, she was quite talented with a needle and thread. Wasn’t too long before even the respectable ladies had her making dresses for them.”

“Good for her,” Kayle cheered.

“And her good luck wasn’t over,” Whipsaw continued. “One day she was walking from her shop to the bank, where she still worked in the afternoons, when she bumped into Mr. Monroe. He had recently built a brewery at the edge of town where a creek flows into the river. I guess you could say it was love at first sight for Mr. Monroe. Smitten as he was, it took him several months to convince Miss Abigail to marry him.”

“And they lived happily ever after?” Kayle guessed.

“Not quite,” Whipsaw answered. “But, don’t go gettin’ too far ahead… let me be telling you the whole story. After they was married, Miss Abigail convinced Mr. Monroe that he would do better to sell the brewery and build a pumping station higher up the creek. With that built, he could lay pipe and sell running water to the business folks. And that’s just what he did.”

“Then they lived happily ever after?” Kayle tried again.

Whipsaw shook his head. “Seemed Miss Abigail wasn’t to have long with her husband. Cholera hit the town and he was one of the first to succumb. But she didn’t let that stop her. She took over the running of the water company and decided that she should be selling water to the homes in town as well as the businesses. Only problem was, the wooden pipes being used weren’t strong enough to stand up to the higher demand. So she sent an order east for a supply of iron pipes. And as soon as they arrived, she started replacing all the old pipes and laying new ones to homes that asked for them.”

“Smart woman,” Donna stated proudly.

“That she was,” Whipsaw concurred. “But that wasn’t the end. The water company was doing so well that Miss Abigail hired a pair of seamstresses to take over sewing duties. And to keep herself busy, she bought the print shop. Having decided the town needed a newspaper, she set to work writing and printing one.”

“Was that it?” Kayle asked, amazed at the list of the woman’s accomplishments.

“That was a mighty lot, don’t you think?” Whipsaw responded.

Kayle nodded, “I’d say so.”

“Miss Abigail seemed to think so too. She didn’t buy any more businesses but she ran the newspaper until she was ninety-six. By then, she had sold the water company and her dress shop for a tidy profit. Folks encouraged her to sell the newspaper but she told them she had too much fun with it.”

“Fun?” Donna asked.

Whipsaw chuckled. “Every week she’d write stories of the fancy social events in town and about folks going off to visit relatives or being visited by the same, who had a baby, who got married, who was jailed for being drunk… that sort of thing. But she got her greatest pleasure when she included stories involving the respectable ladies who had shunned her when she first arrived in town.” He chuckled again then winked at them. “You know, embarrassing stories… like when the banker’s wife stumbled and fell face first into a mud puddle. But she really got a kick printing stories about their not so secret affairs.”

Donna and Kayle laughed.

“No one tried to stop her?” Donna asked.

“Oh, they did. She knew they didn’t like it but she just kept writing about them. Some of the founding fathers over there,” he said sweeping his arm in the direction of the other parts of the cemetery, “tried to buy her out. But, by then, she had more money than most in town so she had no need of theirs. And, after all, she was just printing the truth.”

“Quite the revenge,” Kayle murmured.

“Some would say it was well deserved,” Whipsaw commented as he shuffled away from Miss Abigail’s grave.


Leading Donna and Kayle around the isolated section of the cemetery, Whipsaw told them about more women who had made a difference in the growth of the town.

A laundress who nursed a young soldier after he had suffered a life threatening gunshot wound. Due to her care, the soldier had survived and became the town’s first judge. And the restaurant owner who, after a particularly harsh winter storm, had offered free meals to travelers trapped in town. For many, her kindness had kept them alive during those bleak weeks.


“’Couse, there’s many more just like them,” Whipsaw informed Donna and Kayle. “But it’s getting late and the folks running this shindig won’t like it if I keep you too long.”

“You mean we’re done?” Kayle protested.

“Almost,” Whipsaw said coming to a stop beside a grave surrounded by a well-cared for picket fence. “I thought you might like to meet Miss Lizbeth Warlee,” he told them. “Without Miss Lizbeth, many of the folk being talked about tonight would be nothing but forgotten memories.”

“Do tell,” Kayle encouraged.

“Miss Lizbeth and her husband bought a small piece of ground west of town and did their best to clear the rocks and farm it. One day, he didn’t come back to the house for supper and Miss Lizbeth went looking for him. It was a terrible sight for her to see, her husband lying in the middle of their cornfield… dead.”

“Oh, my gosh,” Donna gasped. “What happened?”

“It seemed the hard work just done him in. And him being just twenty seven.”

“That’s awful,” Kayle sighed.

“Farming wasn’t easy back then… especially if you wasn’t used to hard work.” Whipsaw took a moment to gather his thoughts. “After she buried her husband, Miss Lizbeth tried to keep the farm but it weren’t easy. It didn’t make enough to pay for decent help so she did most of the work on her own.”

“Must have been lonely out on a farm by herself,” Donna pondered.

“That it was. After a time, Miss Lizbeth started taking in the kids around town that had no folks. She’d always wanted a family and she figured taking in orphans could give her that.”

Kayle chuckled. “Plus a free labor force.”

“Now, don’t you go be thinking that way. Miss Lizbeth was good to those kids. They helped her in the fields during the day but the evenings were spent learning to read and write. She even asked Miss Abigail come by to teach them their numbers.”

“That was nice,” Donna murmured.

“Wasn’t long before Miss Lizbeth’s little farmhouse was too small for all the kids she’d taken in. So, she sold the farm and, using the money she got for it, she bought a lot in town and built an orphanage. Right fine place it was. Three stories tall with lots of rooms for those kids and a big yard with a fence all the way around it… looked just like this one here. It even had a classroom to continue their lessons.”

“Wasn’t there a school in town?” Kayle asked.

“Yes. But parents were supposed to pay for the teacher. The kids being orphans—”

“Couldn’t pay,” Kayle finished.

Whipsaw nodded. “Everything was going real good for Miss Lizbeth and the kids. Then cholera hit the town.” Whipsaw frowned. “Terrible thing, cholera is. You can be feeling fine in the morning and, by noon, you’re so sick you can’t stand. Stuff gets into you and it’s damn hard to get it out. Half the town was sick in less than a week.”

“Isn’t their medicine for that?” Donna asked.

“Sure, now it’s available everywhere,” Kayle answered. “But, back then, few towns had access to it; especially, if there wasn’t a doctor around.”

“That’s the truth,” Whipsaw said. “Closest thing to a doc the town had was an old Union surgeon at the fort. But he was still troubled by the war and spent most of his time with a whiskey bottle.”

“What did people do?” Donna asked anxiously.

“Well, at first, town folk were too terrified to know what to do.  Then, Miss Lizbeth, with the help of Miss Abigail and Mrs. Albert, took charge. They gathered all the sick at the orphanage. And, with the help of them kids, they spent day and night doing what they could to ease the suffering.”

“The children didn’t get sick?” Donna asked.

“Nope. You get cholera from drinking bad water,” Whipsaw told them. “Lot of the town was pulling their water from the river then but the orphanage got it’s from the water company… good clean water.”

Kayle smirked. “Bet the water company had no shortage of customers after that.”  

“Hush,” Donna admonished her wife. “Let Whipsaw tell the story.”

“Thank you kindly, Miss Donna,” Whipsaw said with a nod, then he continued. “Them three ladies made sure the sick had clean clothes and bedding; hot food, and clean water to drink. It weren’t easy and half the sick couldn’t be saved. But when it was all over, there was many in town that owed their very lives to them ladies.” Whipsaw turned toward the grave, taking a long breath and releasing it slowly. “Unfortunately, Miss Lizbeth caught the cholera from one of the sick and… died.”

Donna sniffled softly. “That’s so sad.”

Placing her arm around her wife’s shoulder, Kayle pulled her tight against her. “Damn,” she muttered.

“It was indeed a sad day when we carried her here. She was a darn fine woman.”

“I certainly hope those fine upstanding people over there came to her funeral.”

Whipsaw shook his head. “No. When it was all said and done, few respectable folks wanted to admit they were nursed back to health by tainted women.”

“Grrrr,” Kayle growled under her breath. “How was Miss Lizbeth tainted?” she demanded.

“Weren’t many that approved of her being friendly with Miss Abigail and Mrs. Albert. Not to mention, most in town didn’t like so many orphans about. They thought them kids would bring nothing but problems to their businesses.”

“Jerks,” Donna and Kayle said in unison.

“Uppity folks can’t see past their own nose most times,” Whipsaw observed.

“Well, it was nice she was given a good resting place,” Donna said at the neatly maintained grave.

“Mrs. Albert and Miss Abigail paid from her stone. But it was them kids that fixed it up so nice. They put up the fence and kept it neat. Even came over once a month, to place fresh flowers on it. Miss Lizbeth loved flowers.”

“How sweet,” Donna said. “What happened to the kids?”

“Without Miss Lizbeth, there wasn’t anyone to take care of them. Miss Abigail and Mrs. Albert tried to find someone but never could. It wasn’t too long before the town folk demanded the orphanage be closed down. Miss Lizbeth having no heirs, the town took over the property and turned it into the first hospital… they not wanting another cholera problem. Mrs. Albert arranged for a real doctor to come from back east to take care of any sick. Some of the kids stayed in town if they could find work but most drifted away. Funny thing, though…” Whipsaw paused for a few seconds. “For years after, Miss Lizbeth’s grave was tended and you could always find fresh flowers on it. Happens, sometimes, even today.”

“The kids must have loved her a lot,” Kayle said.

Whipsaw nodded. “She was the only woman to show them love, that’s a fact,” he said smiling sadly. He then stood quietly for a few moments. “Well, Miss Donna, Miss Kayle,” he finally addressed the waiting women, “it’s getting late. It’s time to let these ladies rest.”

“We had a wonderful time, Whipsaw,” Donna said. “I’m so glad you offered to guide us.”

“Your stories were great,” Kayle added with a grin. “Thank you,” she said looking about to orientate herself to the way back to the parking lot. “It’s felt like you knew the women personally.”

Whipsaw chuckled. “Just head that way,” he pointed across the cemetery, “you’ll have no trouble finding your way.”

“Thank you,” Donna said then turned to follow her wife back to the car. “Good night, Whipsaw.”

“Good night, ladies.”


Following a few steps behind her wife, Donna almost rammed into her back when Kayle suddenly stopped in the middle of the parking lot. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

“We should have asked Whipsaw to show us his grave,” Kayle declared.

“Damn, you’re right,” Donna exclaimed. “Hey, do you think we could find it?”

“Let’s go ask the organizers… they must know where it is,” Kayle said heading back into the cemetery. “Come on.”

The women quickly spotted a lone figure folding up a collapsible table and shifted their steps directly toward him.

“Evening,” the man greeted them as they approached. “I’m sorry, you’re too late for the story telling.”

“No, that’s okay. We’re heard some.”

The man smiled. “Good,” he said before looking quizzically at them. “Did you forget something?”

Kayle shook her head. “No. We were just wondering where Whipsaw’s grave is located,” she explained.


“Yes. Our guide was portraying Whipsaw. We would like to see his grave.”

“I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. We don’t have anyone who plays Whipsaw. Oh, we’ve tried… he was quite the character. But we’ve never found anyone who could really represent him faithfully. He’s a hard one to do.”

Confused, Donna brow wrinkled up. “No, it was Whipsaw. That’s what he said,” she looked at her wife to verify her statement.

“Yep. He said Whipsaw.”

The man stood, his eyes shifting from one of their faces to the other. After several minutes, he shook his head and smiled. “I’ll be darned.”

“What?” Kayle insisted.

“Um… it might be easier to explain if you come with me,” the man said gesturing for them to follow him. “My name is David, by the way.”

“I’m Kayle. This is my wife, Donna.”

David acknowledged their introductions with a nod. “Pleased to meet you.” He led them to a grave but stopped several feet from it. “Listen, this is going to sound a little crazy but I swear it’s one hundred percent true.

“You’re not making much sense,” Kayle snapped.

David held his hands up, palms toward the annoyed woman. “Give me a chance… I told you it would sound crazy.” He moved closer to the headstone. “This is where Whipsaw rests,” he said illuminating the grave with a flashlight.

Donna and Kayle eased forward until they could read the writing on the headstone.

“I don’t get it,” Donna said after a moment. “It says Wilma Kay Andrews.”

“Keep reading,” David instructed.

“Known and loved as Whipsaw.”

“No one ever knew his last name,” David explained.

Kayle straightened then turned to face him. “Huh?”

“One reason it’s hard to find anyone to play Whipsaw is because he lived his life as a man but was truly a woman.”

“How’s that possible?” Donna asked. “I mean we aren’t talking the twenty-first century. This was the mid- eighteen hundreds.”

“I know. Here’s the story. Whipsaw arrived in town with the first wagon load of supplies. He was one of the best muleskinners around and could get a team of eight mules to do things no one else could. No one questioned him being a man because he walked, talked, and swore like any other of the hard working men. He even had an eye for the ladies.”

“So why do you think he wasn’t a man?” Kayle asked.

“Whipsaw got up one morning before sunrise and, as was his usual custom, he walked straight for the barn to check on his mules. Only this morning, he didn’t make it. He was found in the middle of the alley behind the Gentlemens’ Club where he stayed when in town. By the time the doctor was notified, Whipsaw had died. The doc figured it must have been his heart. No body knew exactly how old he was but he looked to be on the upper end of life.”

“Still not explaining the woman part,” Kayle urged.

“Well, Whipsaw was carried to the undertaker so he could be prepared for burial. And when he went to put Whipsaw into the new suit Mrs. Albert donated, that’s when it was discovered that Whipsaw was, in truth, a she and not a he.”

“You’re kidding,” Donna sputtered. “No one knew?”

“No one that would admit to knowing. Although, some suspected Mrs. Albert must have since Whipsaw spent his nights at her place. But, she insisted she had not. At that point, it really didn’t matter.”

“So, how did they know his… her real name?”

“When they went through a saddlebag he carried, they found some papers. Whipsaw had family in Indiana. A letter was sent to them asking if they wanted the body sent home. Response came back that Wilma had chosen to live her life in the manner she did… and she could be buried in the west she loved. But they did ask that her given name be placed on the stone.”

“Damn,” Kayle whispered. “That’s amazing.”

“I can’t believe a woman could have lived as a man back then and not be found out,” Donna murmured.

“It wasn’t unheard of,” David said. “Most famous one would probably be Calamity Jane. But, then, she didn’t keep her womanhood secret.”

“Absolutely amazing,” Kayle declared. “Darn, I wish we knew that when Whipsaw, or whoever that was, was talking to us.”

“Um, that brings up another issue,” David said nervously.

“What’s that?” Donna asked.


“Spill it,” Kayle demanded.

“The Whipsaw you met… was the real Whipsaw.”

“What!” both women shouted.

David blew out a long breath. “Like I said before, we don’t have anyone playing Whipsaw. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t show up every now and then.”

“What do you mean?” Donna glared at the man.

“It usually happens on foggy nights… like tonight. I’ve got to be honest, when I saw that fog rolling in, I wondered if he would make an appearance. You’re not the first to have him as a guide.”

“i don’t believe you,” Donna growled. “We did NOT just spend over three hours interacting with a ghost.”

“I’m telling you, we don’t have anyone impersonating Whipsaw. We don’t.”

“This is a lot of bu—” Kayle started.

“It’s the truth,” David persisted cutting her off. “There’s no other explanation. “He tells things that no one else knows. If we do some research into his stories, we always discover he’s right. Unless you lived back then, you couldn’t know half the stuff he does.”

“I don’t believe it,” Donna grunted. “Come on, Kayle… let’s get out of here,” she said pulling her wife behind her.

“Wait, please,” David pleaded as he ran after the women.


Kayle glanced to the corner of the cemetery where Whipsaw had taken them. Something seemed out of place. “Hold on, Donna,” she called to her wife storming toward the parking area.


“I want to check something out,” Kayle explained.

Frowning, Donna watched her wife walking in a different direction. “What?” she repeated as she reluctantly followed.

“That,” Kayle said pointing at a gravestone when Donna joined her.

David ran up to them. “Ladies, please,” he said panting.

“When did you fix that?” Kayle confronted the breathless man.


“Mrs. Albert’s tombstone!” Kayle barked. “It was tilted backward earlier. Whipsaw said he would come back and fix it. So when did that happen.”

“We didn’t fix it,” David told them. “It’s been tilted for years. It’s up to the families to take care of stuff like that.”

Kayle looked at Donna who was staring back at her with wide open eyes.

“This is too freaky,” Donna said shaking her head in disbelief. “Can we go now?”

Kayle nodded. “Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah,” she whispered grabbing her wife’s shaking hand. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Please, wait,” David begged. “I want to hear what Whipsaw told you.”

“It’s still foggy,” Kayle yelled over her shoulder. “Maybe if you ask him, Whipsaw will talk to you.”

A disembodied chuckle floated through the cemetery.

“I’ve heard that before,” Donna said just before she and Kayle took off running.


“You don’t think what David said was true?” Kayle asked. She and Donna were sitting in their car safely parked inside their garage having arrived home moments before.

Donna swallowed nervously. “I’m not sure what I believe,” she answered honestly. “And I’m not sure I want to even think about it.”

Kayle nibbled on her upper lip. “I know it’s kinda creepy—”


“Okay, a lot creepy,” Kayle corrected. “But you have to admit it’s an intriguing possibility. Not to mention, a fascinating story.”

“You were freaked out by the fog but now you’re okay with a ghost showing up?” Donna asked incredulously.

“I’m just saying—”

“Donna quickly placed a trembling hand over her wife’s mouth. “Babe, I love you. But if you say one more word about this right now, I may have to kill you,” she said dramatically.

Kayle laughed. “Okay, let’s go inside. Some sleep will do us both some good.”

“As if I plan to go to sleep. Can you imagine the nightmares I’ll have?”

“Come on, I’ll keep you safe.”

The women exited the car then walked to the door that would allow them access into their house.


After the garage grew quiet, a golden mist started to swirl in the back of the car. Moments later, two women materialized into transparent shapes.

“Cute couple,” Whipsaw said to her companion.

“It’s so nice to see two married ladies living happily. Though, it’s a shame it took so long to make it legal.”

Whipsaw chuckled. “Why, Mrs. Albert, you saying our joining weren’t legal?”

“I’m just glad no one ever figured out who Mr. Albert really was,” she giggled.

The golden mist began to swirl again then disappeared taking the two women with it.



This story is fictional and comes from my imagination. However, Whipsaw’s tales are loosely based on real women who lived in the old west.   

          …… Mickey