“Come on, Mark, you are always slowin’ me down,” Fourteen-year-old James Wilkerson yelled at his little brother, Mark, who trailed him.
Mark was eleven and according to James, completely spoiled by his parents, simply because he was the youngest. There was no doubt in James’ mind, who was their parent’s favorite between the two. The jealousy James felt created conflict between the two boys which never ceased. James would rather not have anything to do with his brother at all. Regardless how mean James became to Mark, his brother seemed to want to hang around him. James just did not understand it at all.
Now, James’ plan for Halloween night changed because of his brother. Their mother had become ill, and their father had to stay with her. Therefore, it fell to James to take care of Mark .
“I’m comin’, I’m comin!” Mark yelled at his brother as he ran faster toward James.
By the time Mark caught up with James and his three friends, they had reached the dirt road that led to The Lord’s Cavalry Baptist Church. According to history reports, construction on this church was completed on April 12, 1856, five years before the Civil War began.
When the war began on April 12, 1861, the church membership dropped quickly due to most of the men leaving to fight in the war. This, of course, left the women alone to take care of their large families.
According to stories passed down, the church became a field hospital for both Union and Confederate Soldiers. The women and the pastor of the congregation took it upon themselves to care for any soldier that came along, regardless of which side he fought on. Though there was no real doctor on hand, the women did the best they could to care for wounded and dying soldiers.
Several soldiers did recover and return to their respective sides until, according to history, the hospital was overtaken and destroyed. No one knows for sure who attacked the church grounds, since everyone present on the day of the attack, October 31, 1863, were brutally massacred.
Now, some 150 years later, on this dark Halloween Night, the five boys were there to explore the haunting graveyard.
Mark glanced at the moon in the sky and swallowed hard as the wind picked up, rustling leaves and dirt across the roads. “I don’t like this. Can’t I go back home?”
“No, you can’t go back home,” James snapped, slapping his brother on the back of the head.
“But home is just up the hill and across the field, and I have dust in my eyes.”
James shook his head. “Stop being a scared little baby, Mark. We all got dust in our eyes, but you don’t hear us crying like Mama’s boys.”
Tim and Eddy laughed at James’ remark, but Adam shook his head as he walked to Mark’s side. “It’s alright, don’t you listen to them. I’ll stay with you, okay?”
Mark looked up at the bigger boy of the group and nodded somberly. “Thank you.”
“Yeah, good idea. If you stay with him, then it’ll free me up to enjoy my night. I owe ya one, Adam.”
“I ain’t doing it for you, James. And I don’t want to hear you poking fun at Mark again tonight, or I’ll get you.”
Mark laughed quietly inside at James’ drawn face when he heard Adam’s threat.
Tim and Eddy laughed, but then when Adam pointed his finger at them, they too, ceased musing. “That goes for y’all too.”
The three boys turned and ran toward the old abandoned church ahead of Mark and Adam, without speaking.
As Mark and Adam made their way down the old dirt road, they could hear the others opening the squeaky door of the building and stepping inside.