Category Archives: Season 11

Nightmare on Helm St

Title: Nightmare on Helm Street

Author: Waddles 52

Summary: An evening of Halloween fun doesn’t go as

planned.

Rating: PG13

Category: MT

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. Just

for fun. Not for profit.

Archives: Two weeks exclusively for the VS11

Halloween Special, after that please ask.

Feedback: Sure. Waddles52@insightbb.com

Thanks: To Satchie for her skillful beta and

encouragement.

“Well, we managed to get another expense report in

under the wire,” Dana Scully announced as she breezed

into the basement office she shared with her partner.

Fox Mulder looked up and continued to read the

pamphlet in his hands.

Leaning over his back, she read aloud, “Industrial

Nightmare. The mother of all haunted houses.

Guaranteed to make your worst fears a reality. Open

October 3rd through November 2nd, 7-12 PM. Come if

you dare.”

Scully couldn’t help laughing. “Why are you so

interested in this? Is the haunted house actually

haunted?”

“Not that I’m aware of. The guys went the other

night and said it was awesome.”

“Now, that scares me. Are you going to go?”

“Yeah, I’m considering it. What exciting plans do

you have for this Halloween evening?”

“Just the usual Halloween stuff. Hand out candy to

the three or four kids that knock on my door, then

eat the rest of it myself.”

“Wanna check out the haunted house with me?”

Scully thought it over for a few seconds. “Why not?

Besides, you’ll need someone to hold your hand when

you get scared.”

“Yeah, right. It’ll probably be the other way

around,” Mulder teased.

“Oh yeah? Put your money where your mouth is,” she

challenged. “The first one who screams buys dinner.”

Mulder stood up and looked down at his petite

partner. “Bring plenty of money because I’m

starving.”

“So am I and I want to eat in a nice restaurant. No

take-out, so be sure to stop by an ATM on the way

home,” Scully countered.

Mulder grabbed his suit coat from behind his chair

and shrugged into it. “I’m sure I’ll be picking out

the restaurant, but I need some money for the weekend

anyway, so I’ll hit an ATM just to make you happy.”

“So, what time should I be ready?”

“How about seven o’clock?”

“I’ll be ready and waiting,” she agreed.

“And I’ll be there along with my appetite.”

Scully picked up her purse and briefcase and Mulder

locked the door. They made their way to the

elevator, each anticipating a free meal.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

At 10 o’clock, Mulder pulled into the parking lot of

the Helm Street Shop and Go and parked in front of

the door. “I’m going to get some aspirin before I

buy your dinner, under protest I might add. My ass

really hurts.”

Scully tried very hard to keep her laughter under

control. “Mulder, I’m really sorry the guy with the

chain saw jumped in front of you and made you loose

your balance, but you did scream.”

“No, you’re not sorry. You just love it when you win

a bet.”

“Well, that too,” she chuckled.

Out of habit, Mulder surveyed the store before he

left the car. It wasn’t crowded, just the cashier

and a customer dressed like Freddy Krueger. “Looks

like he escaped from the haunted house,” he thought

as he opened the door and gingerly slid out of his

seat.

Scully had also observed the shopper in the popular

costume. “Do you need me to protect you from big,

bad, Freddy?” she teased.

Mulder leaned back in the door. “Nah, I think I can

handle a guy in a crappy looking costume with plastic

blades on his hand.”

“Well, give a shout if you need any help.”

Mulder closed the door and limped inside. So far,

the evening hadn’t gone as planned, and he knew he

would hear about it for days to come. To top it all

off he felt the beginnings of a headache behind his

eyes. “Happy Halloween,” he muttered under his

breath.

He found the aspirin quickly and took his place in

line behind Freddy Krueger, who was purchasing a 12

pack of beer and a carton of cigarettes.

“I’m sorry, mister, but the law says I have to see

some ID before I can sell you this stuff,” the

cashier explained.

“I don’t need no ID, ’cause you’re gonna give it to

me, along with what’s in that safe and the cash

register.”

“Shit, what’s with this guy? He doesn’t even have a

weapon.” Mulder was tired and sore so he decided to

see how the cashier was going to handle the problem

before he stepped in.

The cashier began edging toward the phone. “Mister,

why don’t you just leave and we’ll forget this ever

happened. If you don’t, I’ll have to call the law.”

“No cops! Just do what I told you!”

“Okay, this has gone far enough,” Mulder interjected.

“I’m a federal agent. Now, you can either do what

the cashier suggested, or I can hold you at gunpoint

and wait for the police to settle this.”

“No cops!” the Freddy look alike screamed as he

turned to face Mulder.

Mulder automatically reached for his weapon. In that

split-second, the costumed man stretched out his arm

and raked the blades across Mulder’s chest and

stomach. A look of surprise, then pain flashed

across his face. As he looked down he saw the torn

fabric of his shirt, blood quickly turning it

crimson. His legs gave way and he landed hard on his

already bruised ass, then slumped over to rest on his

left side. Mulder’s last conscious thoughts were of

the haunted house. Why did he wait in line for an

hour and pay to have a scary experience when he

seemed to encounter enough weirdness on his own?

In the car, Scully had pulled the visor mirror down

to check her lipstick. Deciding that she didn’t need

a touch-up, she flipped the visor up just in time to

see the disguised man slash Mulder’s chest and

abdomen.

“Son of a bitch!” she screamed, as she pushed her way

out of the car and drew her weapon in one fluid

motion.

The cashier quickly met the robber’s demands as

Mulder lay bleeding on the floor. In the meantime,

Scully positioned herself outside the exit, out of

the thief’s line of vision.

As the man burst through the door, Scully shouted,

“Federal agent! Put your hands on your head!”

The Freddy look alike waggled his bladed fingers and

took a step toward her.

“Don’t come any closer,” she ordered. “I will

shoot!”

The robber ignored her and continued to advance,

slashing at her. Knowing she had no other choice,

Scully fired her weapon and watched as the man

dropped to the pavement. Blood began to trickle from

the neat hole in his forehead above his right eye.

Scully knelt beside him and extended a shaking hand

to his neck. Feeling no pulse, she leapt up and

pushed the door open. “Call 911! Get an ambulance

here on the double!”

Before the cashier could punch in the numbers, she

was beside Mulder, checking his pulse. Although very

fast, it was there. She breathed a sigh of relief

and began to survey the damage from the blades.

Mulder’s ribs had protected his chest to a certain

extent, but those three, long slashes would require

sutures even though Scully was sure that there wasn’t

any major damage. The two cuts across his upper

abdomen were another matter. They were quite deep

and would probably require surgery.

“Help is on the way,” the cashier reported, handing

her a first-aid kit. “What can I do to help?”

Scully opened the first-aid kit and found a few gauze

pads and some antibiotic ointment. “Useless! Get me

a package of maxi-pads, super if you have them.”

“I’m on it!” he exclaimed, running to the back of the

store.

Scully looked around and spied a stand holding free

publications. She quickly dumped the newspapers out,

and after turning Mulder onto his back, put the stand

under his feet to elevate them.

The movement elicited a moan from her partner. His

eyelids fluttered, then opened, just as Scully was

tearing open the package of maxi-pads that the

cashier had just handed her.

“They’re absorbent so they make good bandages,” she

explained, anticipating his question. “I have to put

some pressure on those gashes. It might hurt a

little.”

“Okay,” he agreed, then moaned loudly as she pressed

them firmly on the wounds.

“Sorry, but I need to slow the bleeding down.

You’ll do anything to get out of paying up on your

bets won’t you?” she teased, hoping to keep his mind

off the pain.

“No, I’ll pay up,” he gasped as she applied more

pressure to his wounds. “You pick the restaurant.

Anywhere you want.”

Scully reached for more pads to replace the ones that

had soaked through. “I intend to pick a very

expensive place, one with plates and silverware

instead of wrappers and paper cups.”

“Okay, as long as knives aren’t required.”

“Well, I’ll think it over and let you know later.”

Scully breathed a sigh of relief as the ambulance and

police arrived simultaneously.

“Dinner, dancing . . .” Mulder’s voice trailed off

as his eyes closed, oblivious to the bustle around

him as the paramedics moved in and took over.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Mulder’s eyes didn’t open again until the next day.

He recognized the sounds and smells of a hospital,

then remembered how he came to be there. He took

stock of his situation as his eyes scanned the room.

Several bags of fluid were hanging from the IV pump,

and he observed wires running to a heart monitor. He

was relieved to find that he wasn’t intubated, but

was quickly dismayed when he swallowed and felt an NG

tube. He guessed there was a Foley lurking under the

sheets, along with several other tubes that he wasn’t

familiar with.

“Yes, partner, you have quite a few tubes and wires

this time,” Scully supplied when she noticed him

looking over the medical equipment.

He turned to his left, happy to see her smiling face.

“How bad?” he croaked, wondering why she wasn’t

giving him ice chips as she usually did when he

returned to consciousness. He glanced at the bedside

table, hoping to find the plastic pitcher that was

usually standard equipment.

“Sorry, Mulder. Your stomach has to get a little

better before you can have anything to eat or drink.

You had surgery to repair the deepest lacerations,

but you should be able to return to your regular,

disgusting diet as soon as they’ve healed.”

“You okay?” he asked.

“I’m fine. I had to shoot him when he advanced on

me, but he didn’t touch me.”

Mulder was relieved that she wasn’t injured, but he

knew that she would agonize over killing the

assailant. He reached for her hand and squeezed it

gently.

“So, how are you feeling? Are you having much pain?”

“Some,” he answered as he tried to find a more

comfortable position.

Suddenly, he gasped and froze, his face contorted in

pain. “Oh, shit!”

“Mulder, what is it?” Scully asked, springing to her

feet in alarm.

“Hurts!” he managed to answer through gritted teeth.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Later that afternoon, Mulder was back in his room

after a series of exams, x-rays and consultations.

He was resting on his left side, wondering how he

always managed to get hurt without putting any effort

into it. He sighed loudly, causing Scully to look up

from her magazine. “Welcome back partner. You kind

of gave me a scare.”

“What happened?”

“After you passed out from the pain, the doctor

ordered a very thorough examination and various

scans. The best we were able to figure, your tumble

at the haunted house and your subsequent fall when

you were slashed caused a fracture to your tailbone.

Since you were unconscious until this morning you

were unable to tell us that there was a problem.”

Mulder groaned.

“I’m sorry. You’ll be pretty miserable until it

heals.”

“I guess I’ll live up to Skinner’s pet name for me,”

he deadpanned. “A real pain in the ass.”

“Well, maybe this will help.” Scully grinned as she

presented him with an inflatable ring.

Mulder snorted in disgust.

“Since you’ll be tied to your desk for a while,

you’ll be able to work rings around everyone else.”

Mulder groaned again, more a reaction to the bad pun

than physical pain.

“Next year, Mulder, why don’t we just stay at home

and hand out a few pieces of candy? I can fix some

cider, we can make popcorn balls and watch a scary

movie.”

“You have a deal.” He reached for her hand and gave

it a squeeze. “As long as we don’t watch ‘Nightmare

On Elm Street’.”

Scully squeezed back and leaned over, pushing back

the lock of hair that always seemed to fall across

his fore head. “But I haven’t forgotten. You still

owe me a dinner whenever you can sit comfortably.”

Mulder smiled and closed his eyes. Even though he

lost the bet, he felt he had come out ahead with the

promise of Scully in his life for another year.

Sometimes losing was worth it.

End

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Halloween Eve

Title: Halloween Eve

Author: Girlie_girl7

Email: Girlie_girl74@yahoo.com

Date: 10-30-03

Rating: PG

Category: bit o’fluff

Spoilers: VS 11, anything up to JS

Archive: Anywhere after two weeks at VS 11

Disclaimer: Fox owns ’em

Summary: Mulder’s paranoia takes over on Halloween.

~ Halloween Eve ~

Mulder and Scully were standing in line at Grover’s

Market in Georgetown. Scully was in need of groceries

and as much time as Mulder spent at her place, she

figured he might just as well come along to pick out

his own junk food and carry the bags.

Mulder was leaning over the cart while standing on the

bottom rung, much like a small child would. “Scully,

did you buy any caramels and apples? The best part of

Halloween is eating caramel apples.”

Scully checked her grocery list one more time to make

sure she had gotten everything. “Yes Mulder, I bought

apples and caramels. I always give out apples to the

trick-or-treaters.”

Mulder wrinkled up his nose, “Apples, plain old

apples? Scully kids hate getting apples.”

Scully had finally made it to the end of the conveyor

belt and placed the little divider between her

groceries and the customer’s ahead of her. “Mulder, I

am not contributing to the poor eating habits of

children.”

Mulder looked around and mumbled, “I’ll bet your trick

or treaters wonder where you park your broom.”

“What?” Scully asked.

“Nothing,” Mulder answered.

Scully was getting exasperated with her partner,

“Mulder, will you stop climbing all over the cart and

help me unload it.” Scully could have sworn she heard

him whine. He began to put the groceries on the belt

when he stopped and stared at the clerk, then pulled

on the hem of Scully’s sweater. “Mulder, stop that!”

She said as she batted his hand away.

Mulder looked down at his partner with his back to the

clerk, “Scully, who does that checkout look like?”

Scully tried to look around Mulder but he grabbed her,

“Don’t look, don’t look!”

Scully got up in his face, “Mulder, how am I supposed

to look at her, if you won’t let me look at her!”

Mulder glanced up then looked back down, “Okay, but

look really quick.”

Scully turned her head slightly, as she put a head of

cabbage on the belt, “So.”

“So?” Mulder repeated while he looked at Scully in

amazement, “Don’t you see it?”

“See what?”

“Don’t you think she looks like Eve 6?”

Scully whipped her head around to look at the woman

who was currently scanning a case of Yoo-hoo. “No, I

don’t think she does,” Scully whispered while she

placed the last of her groceries on the belt and began

to dig out her coupons.

“Scully! She looks exactly like her.”

Scully laughed, “She does not.”

“Scully look again, she is even chewing her gum in the

same manor as Eve, when she showed us how she bit that

poor guards eye ball.”

Scully stared at her partner, “Mulder, are you sure

the spirit of the holiday isn’t getting to you?”

Mulder was busy rearranging the groceries on the

conveyor belt, trying to act nonchalant while he gave

the clerk the once over.

He leaned against the counter and whispered in

Scully’s ear, “It’s an Eve, same dumpy posture, thick

thighs, round face, it’s gotta be.”

Scully glanced up from straightening her coupons,

“Mulder, I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.”

The clerk began to scan Scully’s groceries, “Do you

have any coupons ma’am?”

Mulder was leaning against the counter mouthing, “It’s

her.” Scully frowned and hit him with the back of her

hand. He huffed out a lung full of air and moved to

stand behind her.

“Yes, I do,” Scully said, as she handed the Eve clerk

her neatly clipped little pieces of paper.

Mulder walked around Scully and began to pick up the

bags and drop them into the cart when she frowned at

him, and he carefully placed the next bag in. “So

have you worked here long. . .” Mulder looked at the

clerk’s nametag and swallowed hard, “Evelyn.”

He looked over at Scully; she raised her eyebrow in

fact she raised both, he knew now her interest was

peaked.

“You worked here long, Evelyn?”

The clerk continued to scan Scully’s groceries, “About

a month, I moved here from San Francisco.”

Now Mulder’s eyebrow raised, as he spun a can of cream

of mushroom soup Scully had placed on the counter,

“Nice area to live, why’d you move?”

Evelyn shrugged, “I lost my husband.”

Mulder stopped the spinning can, “You did, how did he

die?”

Evelyn scanned Scully’s bag of apples, “He didn’t, he

run off with a twenty year old nurse.”

Mulder looked over at Scully, who shrugged her

shoulders. He grabbed another bag of groceries and

placed them into the cart. “Halloween’s tonight, I

love Halloween.”

“Me too,” Evelyn chuckled in what Mulder would

describe as an evil chuckle, “I’m going to a party.”

“Oh really,” Mulder feigned surprise, “what are you

going as?”

“A mad scientist.”

Mulder was not feigning surprise now; even Scully’s

little ears had perked up with that last statement.

“That will be 68.52,” Evelyn told Scully.

“What?” Scully replied, lost in the thought that an

Eve might be bagging her avocados.”

“68.52,” Evelyn said, as she snapped her gum.

“Oh right,” Scully got out her credit card and ran it

through the terminal.

Mulder placed the last of the groceries in the cart

and waited for Scully next to the exit while he never

took his eyes off Evelyn.

Scully walked over to him and looked back at the

clerk, “I have to admit Mulder, she does sound a lot

like Eve.”

Mulder’s eyes narrow, “I’m getting to the bottom of

this.”

Scully looked around as they walked to her car,

“Mulder are you sure this isn’t just a machination of

your imagination gone wild?”

Mulder opened the trunk and began to put the groceries

into it. “Scully! You said yourself, she sounded a

lot like an Eve.”

“A lot, not exactly,” Scully responded.

Mulder slammed the trunk lid shut and set his jaw,

“I’m going back in there.”

“And do what?” Scully sarcastically asked, “Buy some

Halloween candy?”

“Good idea!” Mulder said, as he turned on his heels.

“Well, aren’t you coming with me?”

“No, my feet hurt, but if she turns on you and takes

your Goobers, you yell.”

Mulder tossed back his head in a silent laugh. He

walked back in the store and grabbed a cart. He eyed

Evelyn as he walked to the candy section of the store.

He tried to keep his eye on the evil clerk as he

tossed bags of M&M’s, Tootsie Rolls, Dumb-Dumb’s,

Sweet Tarts, and Candy Corn into the cart. He picked

up the bag of Candy Corn, wrinkled his nose and tossed

it back on the shelf, then he added a bag of bubble

gum and Hershey’s Kisses.

So far Evelyn hadn’t done anything extraordinary

except shift her underwear out of her crack. Mulder

pretended to be reading the nutritional information on

a box of Milk Duds, while he continued to surveil the

evil clerk. A boy around fourteen had been digging

through the candy section next to Mulder, he looked at

the older man and said, “Hey, if you got to check out

the fat content, you’re to damn old to be eatin’ that

shit.”

Mulder looked down at the pimply faced kid and

frowned, “Go away.”

The little geek wasn’t deterred, “Oh yeah,” he stuck

out his pointy chin, “what cha gonna do to me old

man?”

Mulder pulled out his badge, “Well, I could run your

ass in for that bike you stole or get you for smokin’

weed in the school crapper.”

The kid looked wide eyed at the agent, “How’d you know

about that stuff?”

Mulder towered over the little punk, “I’ve got my

sources.”

The kid backed away from Mulder and started to run for

the entrance. “And get a haircut!” Mulder yelled after

him.

He pushed his cart of candy to Evelyn’s checkout but

another clerk was waving the good-looking agent over

to her aisle. He tried to ignore her. “Sir, sir, I’m

free if you would like to step over.”

Mulder coughed and looked down at his shoes and

coughed again, nearly winding himself on that last

one. Figuring he must be a carrier of walking

Pneumonia the clerk finally gave up. He moved a

little closer to the head of the line and picked up a

National Star Midnight News and pretended to glance

through it. He watched her slap a calf’s liver on the

scales and weigh it then she pulled a tissue out of

her bra and blew her nose. Finally his turn had come.

“Hello again,” Evelyn said.

“Hello,” Mulder smiled, as he tossed his bags of candy

on the conveyor belt. He looked up at the clerk; “We

forgot to buy candy for trick-or-treat.”

Evelyn frowned, “I thought your wife said she was

giving out apples.”

“She is,” Mulder said struggling to rationalize his

purchase, “but these are for me to give out. She is

highly allergic to candy so I have to buy it when she

is not around.”

The clerk raised her eyebrow, “You each give out

treats?”

“Yeah,” Mulder lied, “she gives out apples to the

unhealthy kids and I give out candy to the healthy

ones.”

“Okay,” Evelyn frowns.

“Since I come in here a lot and will probably be

seeing you, let me introduce myself, “I’m Fox Mulder,

and you are?”

“Evelyn Lichfield.”

“Lichfield?”

“Yeah, from the Marin County Lichfields,” Evelyn said,

while she cracked her gum.

Evelyn scans Mulders candy; “You sure must have a lot

of trick or treaters in your neighborhood.”

“Yes we do,” Mulder lied, “we have a family with eight

girls.”

“That’s a lot of kids,” Evelyn said, as she hoisted up

Mulder’s first shopping bag of candy.

“Do you have any siblings, Evelyn?”

“One brother Adam.”

Mulder very nearly dropped his second bag of candy.

“That will be 40.15.”

Mulder pulled out his wallet and gave her two bills

and a handful of change. “Thanks, Mr. Mulder.”

“You’re welcome Evelyn.”

Mulder grabbed his last bag and started to head for

the door when Evelyn said, “tell your wife I hope her

feet feel better.”

Mulder looked at her, “How. . .”

Evelyn gave him an evil grin, “I just knew.”

Mulder nearly ran into a patron while leaving the

store. “Hey watch it!” The man frowned. “Mulder?”

“Sir?” Mulder looked up to find he was staring at

Walter Skinner.

“Sir! Am I glad you’re here, I have discovered an

escapee from a mental hospital working in this store.

I’ll need your help in apprehending her.”

Skinner shrugged in his trench coat, “How do you know

she’s an escapee?”

“Because years ago Scully and I apprehended two of her

sisters.”

“Triplets?”

“No octuplets but each one was mad and

institutionalized.”

“And just where is this escapee?”

“She’s the third clerk from the end.” Mulder pointed

her out.

Skinner stared at the woman and then looked out over

the agent’s head, “Mulder that’s my cousin, Evelyn

Lichfield. Her husband left her a few months ago, so

I got her to move to DC from San Francisco, and I got

her this job.”

“So she’s not a genetic scientist?”

“Mulder, she’s not even a good clerk.” Skinner looked

down at his shoes; “Does Scully know you’re here?”

“Yeah, she’s out in the car.”

“Then I suggest you join her.”

“Right sir, I don’t suppose she comes from a family of

eight girls and eight boys?” Mulder was grasping at

this point.

“Nope, only a brother Adam.”

“Thank you sir,” Mulder dejectedly said.

He pushed his cart full of candy toward Scully’s car

and pulled out his keys, unlocking the trunk and

tossed in his bags of candy.

He climbed in the passenger side and slumped down.

“Mulder, what happened?”

Mulder sighed, “It wasn’t an Eve, Scully.”

“How do you know?” Scully asked, without humor in her

voice; she sensed that he was upset.

“Because she’s Walter Skinner’s cousin, Evelyn

Lichfield,” Mulder muttered as he looked out the side

window.

Scully laughed and Mulder glared.

“Sorry Mulder, but you have to admit that is pretty

funny.”

“Can we just go home?” Mulder pouted.

Later that night a small child dressed as a pirate,

rung Dana Scully’s doorbell. Mulder pulled the door

open as the kid yelled, “Trick-or-treat!”

Mulder handed him a grocery bag full of candy.

“Gee thanks mister!” The kid said, as he tried to

drag the heavy bag down the hallway.

“Yeah, yeah,” Mulder grumbled as he shut the door.

~ The End ~

All the King’s Men

Title: All the King’s Men

Author: Vickie Moseley

Written for Virtual Season 11 Halloween Special

Rating: G

Category: V, X, MSR

Archive: Two weeks exclusive property of VS 11, then

anywhere.

Disclaimer: Mulder and Scully are the property of

1013 Productions and 20th Century FOX. Fort de

Chartres is the property of the state of Illinois,

managed by the Historical Preservation Agency.

Prairie du Rocher is a real town along the

Mississippi River in Illinois.

Please see notes at end.

Merci beaucoup to all the dear readers who have stuck

by us these past three years. We hope to dish up a

great season for you this year.

Feedback to vickiemoseley1978@yahoo.com.

All the King’s Men

by Vickie Moseley

Prairie du Rocher, Illinois

October 31, 2003

11:21 pm

The dark blue Ford Taurus pulled down the gravel

road, coming to a stop at the edge of a field of

corn. The moon shone brightly over the field, until

a cloud covered it for the length of a breath, only

to scuttle away.

“Mulder, is _this_ what you meant by ‘let’s go check

out the sights’?” Scully asked with more than a

little annoyance in her voice. They had just

finished up a particularly dissatisfying team

building conference in St. Louis, just across the

river. Since their plane didn’t leave from Lambert

International Airport until the next day, Scully had

envisioned a night on Laclades Landing by the river,

sampling some of St. Louis’ finer restaurants, maybe

even catching the Blues play hockey at the Savvis

Center. Much to her dismay, Mulder took the rental

car out of the hotel parking lot away from Downtown

St. Louis and across the mighty Mississippi and

south, into the boonies.

“Mulder, is this private property?” she asked,

glancing around the deserted landscape. A stand of

trees bordered the field directly to the north, the

gravel road bordered it to the west. To their backs,

Scully could almost hear the rush of water that was

the longest river in North America. If she

concentrated, she could smell the moisture coming on

the autumn wind.

Mulder was sucking on a sunflower seed, which he

absently spit out the open car window. “County road,

Scully. Albeit slightly less developed than we’re

used to back east, but pretty pragmatic when you

figure the only vehicles to travel this way are

combines and equipped with tractor tires.”

“OK, so you’ve now shown me that you have at least a

passing knowledge of agricultural implements.

Mulder, what the hell are we doing here?” she asked

crossly.

He smiled at her, his expression just visible in the

light of the dashboard. “A picnic?” he offered and

jumped out of the car, striding purposefully to the

trunk where he withdrew a hamper, a camp light and an

old blanket.

She got out of the car slowly, closing the door

against a gust of wind. Leaves from trees she

couldn’t even see in the dark skittered over the hood

of the car and danced near her face before chasing

each other through the skeletal stalks of corn.

Mulder was walking away from the car, next to the

field. He finally settled not far from the trees,

which, in the light of Mulder’s lamp, Scully could

now see were a mixture of maple and oak. She watched

him spread the blanket out on the dry grass, brushing

off a couple of leaves that clung stubbornly to the

fabric. He settled down on the blanket on his knees,

opened up the picnic hamper and started taking out an

assortment of containers.

“Where did you . . .”

“The hotel offers ‘tailgate packages’,” he announced

proudly as he fished around and pulled out a bottle

of wine and couple of plastic glasses. “You’ll have

to excuse the screw cap on the wine. I thought about

getting something more expensive, but figured a

corkscrew would be too cumbersome out here.”

Scully shook her head and after a few minutes sat

down on the blanket next to him. She picked up a

container and opened it, discovering chicken salad on

a tomato. A second container held a roast beef

sandwich on marble rye bread. Mulder elbowed her arm

and she looked up to find him handing her a glass of

wine. “Eat up, Scully. The show should start soon.”

He handed her a fork and she balanced the wine glass

on a level spot near her foot. Taking a bite of the

chicken salad she smiled. It was quite good, with

walnuts and grapes, an indulgence she rarely got for

herself, but one her partner of 10 years knew was a

secret craving. “This is really good,” she told him,

just to let him know he was at least partially

forgiven. They ate in silence for a few minutes,

Mulder polishing off the roast beef in his usual ‘eat

it before it eats you’ manner. He was sipping his

wine when she put her fork inside the Styrofoam

container and placed both in the hamper. “So, what’s

for dessert?” she asked.

In the glow of the camp light, he leaned forward and

captured her lips in a sweet, heady kiss. Not one to

let him get the upper hand, Scully ardently returned

the kiss. A gust of wind came up again and caused

her to shiver, breaking the spell.

“Here, bundle up. It shouldn’t be long now,” Mulder

told her, taking off his jacket and wrapping it

around her shoulders. The day had been warm, but the

temperature had dropped and she wasn’t prepared for a

picnic in the moonlight.

“You keep talking about this ‘show’, Mulder. What,

exactly, are we here to see? Isn’t this the part in

the movie where the children of the corn come out

carrying scythes and kill the two young lovers?”

“I don’t think I saw that one, Scully. Was that

Children of the Corn III or IV?” he shot back, but

finally set down his glass, a sure sign that he was

about to embark on a Mulder story. “Do you know that

we’re sitting on a part of history here, Scully?”

“Do tell? Of course, find me a square inch of land

in this country that isn’t a part of history, Mulder,

but please, go on with your story.”

He shook his head and muttered something that sounded

amazingly like ‘damned skeptic’, but flashed her a

smile and continued. “Right down this road,” he

said, pointing south along the line of corn, “is Fort

de Chartres. It was one of the first forts along the

Mississippi. King Louis the XV built it in 1756,

back when this land was held by the French. Did you

know that many of the names of the towns and streets

in St. Louis come from the French, Scully?”

“I think names of towns like Creve Coeur, Frontenac

and St. Louis itself that sort of gave it away,

Mulder. But don’t let me stop the story,” she

encouraged with a wave of her hand.

“Show off,” he muttered. “Anyway, as I was saying,

Louis the XV commissioned the fort. It was essential

to the fur trade that came down the Missouri to St.

Louis and down the Ohio to the Mississippi, then

further down the river to New Orleans, another major

French holding, and eventually, the civilized world,

which was considerably east of this river,” he

explained.

“Some might be so bold as to say it still is,” she

interjected.

He faked a silent laugh.

“Mulder, the show?” she prodded.

“I’m getting to that,” he told her patiently. “So,

the French had this fort. And one day, one of the

king’s emissaries turned up dead, murdered,

presumably by a disgruntled resident of the fort.

The murderer was never apprehended, but the

townspeople were more concerned about what to do with

the body of a prominent person so far away from the

Court in Paris. A delegation made the trek to

Kaskaskia, the site of the regional government, later

to become Illinois’ first capitol, to determine what

they should do.”

“I’m definitely getting the ‘historic’ part of this

story, Mulder, but it still doesn’t answer my

question. Why are _we_ here?”

“So, it’s said that every year that Halloween falls

on a Friday, and there’s a full moon, you can see . .

.”

At that very moment, a dark cloud obliterated the

moon and a strong gust of wind blew up and knocked

the camp light over, causing it to turn off, plunging

them both in darkness. Mulder instinctively reached

for his gun, Scully coming up with hers almost at the

same time. Both agents peered anxiously into the

near pitch-black darkness.

As suddenly as the moon had vanished, it reappeared.

Scully blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light.

Then, off in the distance, coming down the far side

of the gravel road, she saw them. Horses, at least

two dozen of them. The riders were in tandem, as if

on parade. But no sound came from the hoofs, only

the sound of the wind and the unsettling brush of

leaves on the tall grasses. As the horsemen drew

closer, they turned and headed into the cornfield

across the road, but the corn didn’t part in their

passing.

Soon, wagons came into view, and the two agents sat

in stunned silence. Then Mulder began a whispered

count. “Nineteen, twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two . .

.” Scully thought her heart could be heard a mile

away when the last wagon came into sight and she

heard him breathlessly murmur “Forty!”

And then they were alone. The horsemen, the wagons,

all disappeared into the corn. The wind howled

through the trees and rattled the stalks like bones

as the chill and something else tore at their veins.

Scully shivered, as much from what she’d seen as from

the sudden drop to near freezing temperatures.

Mulder was scrambling to toss objects in the hamper,

tugging at the blanket before she’d come back to

herself enough to rise. He hooked the hamper on his

arm, grabbed the light with one hand and her arm with

the other and hurried back up the road to the waiting

rental car. Tossing the hamper and light haphazardly

in the backseat, Mulder tore open the door and Scully

crawled through to the passenger side, too shaken to

walk around the car to her own door. Mulder crawled

in after her, jammed the key in the ignition and to a

peel of gravel, they sped off down the road.

The lights of Prairie du Rocher were fading behind

them, and the Mississippi River Bridge was coming

into view before Scully found her voice. “Mulder,

what the hell did we just see back there?” she

demanded.

“I didn’t think we’d see it, Scully. Honest, it’s

been years, several years, since the last reported

sighting. I figured it would just make a really cool

spooky way to spend Halloween,” he panted.

“Was that what I think it was?” she asked, shaking

her head in disbelief.

“That was the King’s emissary’s funeral procession,

Scully,” Mulder said firmly. “It’s been viewed in

the past, as I said, but mostly in the late 1800s.

It was seen a couple of times in the 20th Century,

but just once in the past 20 years.” He pulled the

car onto the bridge and Scully was relieved to see

that even at that late hour, there was traffic

crossing the river.

“So, if you didn’t think we’d see it, why on earth

did you drag me all the way out there?” she asked,

struggling to get the muscles in her back to relax.

After being tense for so long, they were screaming

for relief.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 11 years,

Scully, it’s that when I’m with you, spooky shit

happens.” He gave her a grin in the dim light of the

dashboard.

“Actually, Mulder, I think _you’re_ the spooky

magnet,” she said with a sigh, forcing herself to

relax into her seat. For a while they just drove,

the sound of the tires on the bridge reassuring them

that they were safely in the 21st Century. Scully

thought back to the cornfield and the funeral

procession and shivered again, but this time, it

carried a delicious tingle.

Reaching over, she clutched his hand where it picked

at the fabric of his pants. Slowly, she rubbed her

thumb across his knuckles, eliciting a smile from his

lips.

“What?” he asked, glancing over at her before turning

his attention back to the road.

“Where are you taking me next Halloween?” she asked

coyly.

His smile grew brighter. “Have you ever heard of the

ghost woman of Paris, Missouri, Scully?”

the end

Author’s notes: Inspiration for this story was found

in the book _Haunted Heartland_ by Beth Scott and

Michael Norman, Published by Barnes and Nobles Books.

It is based on real sightings of the funeral

procession near Fort de Chartres along the

Mississippi River in Illinois. The actual

processional is seen at midnight on July 4 in years

where the 4th falls on a Friday and there is a full

moon. I moved the date to Halloween because it just

seemed more suited there. The last acknowledged

sighting (and the one recorded) of the funeral

procession was in 1986. The town of Prairie du

Rocher almost joined the provincial capitol of

Kaskaskia at the bottom of the Mississippi River

during the 500-year flood in 1993. The townspeople

and a lot of sandbags saved the town. Fortunately,

the cool heads at the Illinois Historical

Preservation Agency saved the Fort and its contents

from destruction by the floodwaters.