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Mormon Ghost Stories

Interview with the Bishop - Part II

Cover Image for Interview with the Bishop - Part II
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost
Published: 

Read Part I


“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Mark 10: 13-14


President Sutherland leaned back in his chair, a contemplative look on his face. He reached up and rubbed the side of his face, pulling the skin taut as he pulled down on his cheek. Bishop Abbott sat and waited, letting him digest everything he had just heard.

President Sutherland reached into his desk, pulled out a mint, popped it in his mouth, then finally broke the silence.

“If I am understanding you correctly, you are telling me you met Ammoron, as in, from the Book of Mormon, King of the Lamanites, that Ammoron?”

“Yes, I didn’t make the connection as quickly when I was 17, but that is indeed who he is.”

“And after this meeting, you… changed, became immortal? You’ve been alive all this time?”

“Yes.”

“And, this means you are some kind of, what exactly is it you are saying that you are?”

“Well,” Bishop Abbott looked slightly sheepish, “I suppose most people would call me… a vampire.”

“Turns into a bat, flies around, seduces women, drinks blood, that sort of vampire.”

“A lot of that is exaggerated. The not dying thing is part of the package. But no, I can’t turn into a bat. That would just be silly.”

“It all sounds a little silly to me,” President Sutherland said “but you went through the trouble to tell me about it in such a formal meeting, I can’t help but think… that you actually believe all this, you really believe that you’ve been alive since the pioneers!” President Sutherland chuckled to himself. “I’m not sure whether or not I need to have you committed.”

“I know… I know it's hard to believe. But I swear to you, those things really happened. And trust me, I wouldn’t be telling you all this if I didn’t need to. I fully understand how unbelievable my story may seem. But it has real implications that go all the way to today, in this very office, to the two of us sitting here. I’m sorry to have dragged you in, but, this story is your story now, whether you like it or not. I need your help, but in order for you to understand, there is more of my story you need to hear first. My only hope is that you will believe me enough to help me.”

President Sutherland paused once more to rub the bridge of his nose between his eyes.

“Well, I’ve heard this much, guess there is no harm in hearing whatever it is you think came next.”

Bishop Abbott smiled warmly. “Well then, let me begin once more.”

***

My transformation exhausted me so much that I slept through the rest of that night. In the early hours of the morning I woke up, unaware of what had truly just occurred. Ammoron was nowhere to be found. I made my way back to camp before they were ready to set out.

I wasn’t sure what to tell them, but I had blood all over my clothes. So I decided I would tell them the closest thing to the truth that I could. I had heard a cry for help in the distance, met an Indian man, and then been attacked but not killed. I rehearsed the words in my head as I walked back to camp.

No explanation was ever needed, however. When I reached the rest of my camp, I found that many others had been injured, several others killed. Among them was my mother… the only person I was traveling the plains with. I knew in an instant, Ammoron had done this. The others assumed that I had been snuck up on and dragged off while on watch, then he had come back and attacked the others. I let them believe the story they told themselves. I never told anyone about what really happened to me.

The rest of our voyage to the Salt Lake Valley went fine enough, despite the hole left in my heart by the loss of my mother. Though I was starting to notice my proclivity for the night instead of the sunlit day. That made helping with the rest of the trek more difficult. My transformation also came with a new lust for blood that I didn’t understand. I satisfied this by volunteering to work with all the livestock. When we butchered them, I got enough animal blood in me to keep my animalistic hunger at bay.

I spent the next few years in Utah, but I felt aimless. Utah had been my mother’s dream, not mine. After a few depressing years there, I finally made my way to California. I was comfortable enough, but when the Civil War finally started I signed up for the military. I figured my curse might prove somewhat useful in combat. Plus, after suppressing my hunger for years with animal blood, I thought war might be a useful cover to satisfy my… more uncouth cravings.

They kept us stationed in California for a while, but my regiment was among a few selected to go, of all places, to Utah to help maintain the Oregon and California trails. You see Lincoln had become worried about communication to the west being disrupted. I didn’t have much say, so I marched with my fellow soldiers up to the Cache Valley.

My commander was Colonel Patrick Edward Connor. Now you may not have heard of him, but he became somewhat infamous. He was the one in charge during the Bear River Massacre.

There had been a lot of skirmishes and disagreements between the Mormon settlers and the native Shoshone tribe. It all came to a head on January 29, 1863.

I didn’t realize what was about to happen when we first marched out that winter morning. The January snow was thick. We had to trudge through it during the early hours of the morning to be at our strategic location by sunrise. We waited at the top of a hill, looking down at the Shoshone village. I remember thinking as we made our way there that something seemed off. But once we were there at the top of the hill, looking down at these people, I felt sick to my stomach. This was a place where women and children lived.

We started our initial assault. I wish I could say I ran. I wish I could say that I refused to attack those poor people. But I was under direct orders. I didn’t know what else to do. Participating in that carnage is one of the biggest regrets of my life. The initial attack did not go well for us. They were well armed and retaliated. A few of the men around me died, but I came out of the first skirmish unscathed.

We regrouped and it was decided that surrounding them would be a better tactic. I was assigned to one of the groups that would flank the village. After a few hours, they ran out of ammunition. We moved in and the real bloodbath started.

As we moved in towards the encampment, my fellow soldiers started not only shooting the men they saw, but the women and children too. As we got closer and closer to one of the lodges, some of them grabbed axes… they started killing more women and children… I couldn’t stomach it… I broke off from my group and threw up into the fresh fallen snow on the side of one of the lodges that had no light inside.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to associate with these people any longer. Not after seeing the animals they had become. I ducked into the lodge and hoped if anyone came by, I could pretend to be looking for supplies left behind. I could try and hide out there until my regiment set back out to camp.

I heaved a sigh of relief and slid down to sit on the floor of the lodge. It had a large pile of animal skins in one corner of the room. A fire that had been quickly put out was still smoldering in a fireplace. This lodge looked less used than most I had seen before, with minimal other supplies sitting about the room.

I leaned back to rest my head, when I heard the most subtle noise within the room, the lightest sound of someone… weeping. Someone else was with me. I looked back at the pile of animal skins. As I stared, I could see that they were slightly moving up and down. Someone was breathing under there.

I crept over as slowly as I could to the pile. As I got closer, the rising and lowering motion became more and more obvious. Just as I was about to see who was underneath, I heard a loud crash behind me.

“What are you doing in here?” came a call from one of my fellow soldiers. I whirled around to see that it was Jacob, one of the more unruly junior officers of our squadron.

“Just looking for supplies, sir.” I responded. “Not much in here I’m afraid.”

“No women in here either?” He replied, a lustful look in his eye. “I was late to the party in a few of the other lodges. The west flank moved in quicker than my side did, damn them to hell. They’re getting all the fun.”

“None in here sir, I was just going to collect these animal skins and bring them back.”

“Well, alright then, you tell me if any of those women show up.” He tipped his hat then disappeared.

I let out a sigh of relief. Then, instead of pulling back the skins, whispered to them.

“He’s gone now, I am still here, but I won’t hurt you. Are you alright?”

The pile went completely still for a second.

“I promise, I dislike him just as much as you do.”

Slowly, one of the skins lifted and was pushed back. A woman was laying inside of them, clutching close to herself a little boy who was about 7 years old. He had a gunshot wound in one of his legs that appeared to be bleeding quite profusely. An animal skin was pressed against it to stem the flow of blood, but it had already soaked through.

“He’s dying.” She wept. “My boy, he’s dying.”

The boy’s shallow breaths moved his chest up and down. His face looked pale. My stomach lurched at the sight. I wondered if one of my stray bullets could have been the one to have caused such damage.

The woman had a dead look in her eyes as she spoke. “You, why did you all do this? This.. this was our home. We were fine, then you all showed up. We were starving. We were STARVING!” She screamed the last word.

I hushed her. “Quiet, please, there are men around here who want to hurt you, but I won’t. I… I can help. I can save your son.”

“How?” She whispered violently. “He’s dead already, there is nothing you can do.”

“I can, I can save your son… but, there is a cost to pay. A cost he may not want. But he will live.”

“Whatever the cost, we will pay it.”

“I understand.” I said, “My mother would have done the same thing for me. And I would have done the same for her.”

I reached down for the knife on my belt and took it out. I sliced it quickly across the palm of my hand. I didn’t know exactly how it had all worked, but somehow Ammoron’s blood had saved me when I was nearly dead. I figured mine could do the same now. He had drained my blood first, but this boy looked like he couldn’t withstand losing any more blood now.

I placed my palm up to his mouth and let the blood drip in. His mother recoiled at first, but I reassured her this was the only way to rescue her son now. She obliged.

Her son started writhing in pain as he groaned in agony. I held a skin over his mouth to stifle the sound. He then finally stopped spasming and relaxed. His breathing leveled out. The blood stopped flowing from his gunshot wound.

“He’ll recover now, though he will likely sleep the rest of the night.” I said. “He will have… a taste for blood now. Give him raw animal meat, give him animal blood if you have to. But he will live.”

I stood up to leave.

“Wait!” She said, “Please, don’t leave us here. If anyone finds us, they will kill us. Please… help us escape.”

I looked at her and considered. It would be good to help the boy navigate this transformation. I sure wished someone had helped me. I steeled myself then responded.

“Ok.”

Once the rest of my comrades started packing up to leave, I smuggled the mother and son out in a different direction. I didn’t know where we were heading to. But something in me healed a little that day. After ten long years, I was no longer alone.


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