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Insanely Inane Thoughts

If fate doesn't make you laugh, you just don't get the joke.

Jackson's Rock

This was supposed to be a writing challenge and 'twas to be about 250 words. I think I might have exceeded the word limit infinitesimally...

Luckily, there had been someone to help them.

Rhea and Aryan were newlyweds and had decided to go on a road trip across the country. Of course, they had been busy exploring contours other than that of the country around them but they put it down as wanderlust.

They had seen most of the country in the oppresive heat of March and had made it without much car trouble. Just as they were thanking their stars for such unblemished luck, they had a flat. In the middle of nowhere!

“Lucky for us, you were around to help us. We thought we had escaped the Ides of March but then, on the first day of the next month,” said Aryan to the old man.

“Aye; there ain’t no help around for miles, son,” said the old man while helping him with the flat.

“We were looking for a place called Jackson’s Rock a few miles from here,” Rhea told the old man while looking out for other vehicles. She hadn’t seen one for a long time now.

“Aye; there be a town called that but there be no people in it,” said the old man with a twinkle in his eyes. He let out a cough and then started fiddling with the pipe dangling by his breast pocket.

“How so?” asked Aryan, happy to keep the old man locked in small talk.

The old man was enjoying this immensely; it wasn’t everyday that he got to talk to such nice people. He puffed on his pipe and let out another cough. This led to a series of hacks but he still clung onto his pipe.

“Me lungs not what they used to be; the quack be telling me that it be pneumonia. Anyways, ol’ legend has it that a disease spread to all the people and the town be rid of ‘em.” There was that twinkle again.

“You know what kinds disease it was?”

“Nay; all me knows is that Jackson’s Rock been a ghost town since me diaper days," said the old man while his eyes sparkled in the evening sun. A faint smile crossed his lips before he let out a cough again.

Rhea giggled as she made her way towards Aryan. She whispered something into his ear and giggled some more. Aryan eyed the old man with apprehension as the evening sun inched towards the mountains.

“You aren’t a wandering spirit or something, right? Like the ones we see in the movies?” Aryan asked the old man with trepidation

“Don’t worry on me, sonny. I live just ‘round the bend in an ol’ hut with me sheep,” the old man chuckled as he puffed on his pipe. His eyes twinkled dangerously as he eyed them.

“I never did get to pose you young ‘uns. Where ye from and what ye doin’ in a dead place like this?”

A muffled roar traveled through the evening air catching the old man’s ears.

“Seems ‘sif ye sonnies in g’luck; that’s a truck, if me ain’t mistakin’ my ears. They not what they used to be,” said the old man as he turned towards Rhea and Aryan.

A lone note fluttered on the car’s hood. Rankled, the old man picked up the note as he let out another cough. “This cough be the death of me,” said the old man as he read the note.

“Jackson’s Rock be a ghost town alright; and ‘twas pneumonia that be rid of us.”

The old man clutched at the sheet of paper; beads of sweat dripping of his brow. He started to cough again when he heard a noise behind him.

"I don't like no monkey business and then they ghosts come to haunt me; just like in the movies," the old man mumbled to himself as he turned around.

"April fool!!" screamed Rhea and Aryan at the startled old man.

The old man was right. It was a truck which came to the rescue of Rhea and Aryan and helped them to take the old man to Jackson's Rock County Hospital. It seemed as if the old man was trying to play a joke on them. That would explain the twinkling eyes, Aryan told Rhea later on.

Only this time around, the joke was on him.
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