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Friday, 2 November 2012

THE ARCTIC GHOST FROM THE WEST


Submission by a Blog Reader:
“THE ARCTIC GHOST FROM THE WEST ”
The following story was sent in by Jennifer Estes

I work on what’s called The North Slope, an arctic oilfield at the very Northern tip of Alaska. There are a couple thousand workers here, all from different major oil companies and we all work remotely, and rotationally- meaning we usually are here 3 weeks or so, and then fly to our homes throughout the U.S. for a break, or RnR.

While we are here working, we live in "camps". Basically like modular homes on stilts that can be moved. Each room is tiny, with only a single bed and a closet and a small window. Think of a mini Motel 6 without all of the amenities.

Last winter, when temperatures had reached around 65 below zero I started doing some research on a project, I have always been a fan of the "Wild West", and in particular Wyatt Earp. I decided in my down time to pick something out that jumped out at me about that era, and write a story about it. While doing my research, I happened upon information about Mattie Blaylock, otherwise known as Celia Ann Blaylock, Wyatt Earp’s former prostitute and eventual common law wife who died of a drug overdose after she and Wyatt went their separate ways.

Her story fascinated me, and in the 24 hour frigid darkness, I began to search the internet to find as many clues as I could to her life.

A week or so after my search began, one night after toiling over the internet I laid down on my bed to finally get some sleep. I turned off the light and closed my eyes. As I was drifting off, thinking about Mattie, another thought occurred to me. "I have such a hard time finishing projects, I don’t know if this story will ever come to actual fruition. Maybe I should just let it go."

Suddenly, my room light flipped on. Simultaneously, both my window curtain (yes it was closed- it was at least 60 below zero outside) and the curtain near my closet blew up like a huge gust of wind had passed through. I sat up in bed, staring at the curtains and then at the light switch. It was flipped up. I had just turned it off moments before. My heart was racing and the room was filled with electricity that was almost tangible.
 
I was alone in my room and unsure of what to do. The wind died down but the electricity hadn’t. The air was charged. I whispered "Mattie- is that you?"

There was no response. But I started to feel hot, like my skin was on fire. I decided to leave my room and go out to the common area and gather my thoughts. I called my husband in Washington and told him what had happened.

He simply said "She wants her story told. You clearly thought about quitting. I don’t think she liked it."

After an hour or so I went back to my room. I sat down on my bed and said out loud "Mattie- I won’t quit. I will finish. I promise." And she never came back.

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