Monday, October 29, 2018

Tis’ The Season…

by SS Hampton Sr.

Ahhh, no. Not elves and reindeer and “ho ho ho.” More like black cats, flaming eyed pumpkins, haunted graveyards, and “BOO!!!”

About three hours northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, on the road to Reno, is the small town of Tonopah. Founded around 1900 it was once a prosperous silver mining town; now it is a quiet, friendly little town where travelers can still find an old time hospitality.

The Nevada Camera Club of Las Vegas, of which I am a member, conducted a field trip to the nearby International Car Forest of the Last Church, located outside of Goldfield, Nevada, south of Tonopah. Participants could spend the night in Tonopah, but the high point would be night photography at the Car Forest. I thought this would be a great field trip to take my son, his wife, and the three little grandchildren on.

So, I discovered that on the north side of Tonopah is the famous Clown Motel. There are some 600 clown dolls in the motel office. The motel rooms are decorated with framed prints of clowns. These are not the clowns of “It” fame, but smiling, happy clowns. Nonetheless, according to the front office, sometimes there are paranormal activities in the office and the rooms. It seems to depend on how many people traipse through the haunted graveyard next door—a lot of visitors seems to trigger paranormal activity.

The haunted graveyard, formally known as the Old Tonopah Cemetery, was established in May 1901. The cemetery was active until April 1911 when the number of dead became greater than the plot of land, due in some part to the Belmont Mine Fire, and a mysterious, unidentified plague.

And then, about 25 miles south of Tonopah is Goldfield, Nevada. In the early 20th century Goldfield was a booming gold mining town, a status that continued into the 1940s in spite of a fire that devastated the town and surrounding area in the 1920s. Today there is a small population remaining, along with the reputedly haunted Goldfield Hotel. But most interesting is just south of Goldfield, off to the eastern side of Highway 95, is the International Car Forest of the Last Church.

The International Car Forest is an artistic endeavor involving the partial burying of some 40 old cars and buses and vans that are decorated by various artists known and unknown. It is free and open to the public. The Car Forest is a different artistic concept, but I enjoyed it, as did my grandkids especially. Not only did we have fun, but I learned quite a bit about night photography. Previously, it was a hit or miss affair for me; but I made sure to take plenty of notes, I know I’ll do much better at night photography in the future.

That night at the Clown Motel my 9-year old grandson turned on all of the room lights and the bathroom light. I had also told my grandkids that if they felt like looking out the window at night, make sure their mom or dad looked first—no telling what might be looking back. Their eyes grew wide. My son gave me a look of disbelief and I felt kind of guilty. Sort of. Maybe.

My son had also made a comment about whether we’d have to take some sort of protective measures in the rooms if too many tourists wandered through the Haunted Graveyard that day. I told him not to bother. We only had to worry if something followed us back from Tonopah. His eyes grew wide and I felt kind of—actually, no I didn’t. I laughed.

Here's a little from one of my erotica books. I hope you enjoy it.

Sometimes people choose to live life to the fullest…

Burt and Rachel Markham are ordinary small business owners of a seed & feed store in a small Kansas farming and ranching community. Many years before, as young university graduates eagerly anticipating exciting overseas employment, a lifetime in Kansas was the furthest thing from their minds, particularly Rachel who was raised overseas and dreamed of going back.

By July 2013 their twin 18-year old daughters, having graduated high school several months before, go east to attend a university. Burt and Rachel settle into their new life of an empty house and a predictable and unchanging routine that threatens to stretch far into the future.

One summer evening Burt has an idea—but will Rachel accept the idea? If she does, will the idea add new excitement to their marriage, or destroy it?

A song of reserved exuberance began; the feminine voice rolled the sound of many of the French words. Rachel tilted her head to listen to the music.

“Edith Piaf, France’s premier singer back in the ‘60s,” she announced fondly. “She died of cancer. This song, it’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” or “No, I Regret Nothing.” It’s one of her most famous.”

She put her elbows on the table, folded her hands and rested her chin on them. She looked at Burt.

He listened. Maybe it was the title—the voice and music had a slow almost melancholy, and yet proud and defiant feel to it. The music and words added an authentic touch to the dim bistrot. If he closed his eyes for a moment he might be able to imagine a rainy night in Paris, sitting in a French bistrot with his wife in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral, overlooking the Seine River. Paris was a city he always wanted to visit; he knew Rachel and her parents had visited when stationed overseas.

“I’m not really hungry yet,” he said.

She nodded. “Like I said, after.”

Burt looked at the empty foyer. There was “After” again.

Rachel followed his gaze and touched his hand. “I don’t think he’s late yet.”
“I have a feeling he’s about as punctual as you always are,” Burt said with a small smile.
“Any last minute thoughts or rules?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just feel him out and make a common sense decision. If he doesn’t ask to fuck you, how do you let me know you’re interested or not?”

She chuckled. “If I’m interested I’ll touch your foot with mine. If I’m not, I’ll kick you.”
Burt lowered his head and gave her a sarcastic look. “Got it.”

He looked at the foyer again. Saturday night, 7:00 p.m. They were really sitting in a French-style bistrot waiting on a man who wanted to fuck Rachel with Burt’s permission. Would it really happen? Maybe GentlemanNate was a jerk in real life—Rachel didn’t like jerks. She didn’t like men who were loud and pushy, profane or who spoke badly.

The waitress returned with their drinks.

“There’s not a wide variety of food because we follow the old European tradition of few selections, but each one is of loving preparation and excellent taste. Would you like to order something? The figs wrapped with grilled bacon is really good. So are the marinated mushrooms. Both are authentic French recipes.”

“Perhaps a little later,” Rachel answered. “We’re waiting on someone.”

“Of course,” the waitress said. “Just catch my attention when you’re ready to order.”

Burt took a drink of his beer and glanced at the TVs. Sports and news. She took his hand in hers, tilted her head and continued smiling at him.

Maybe GentlemanNate wouldn’t show...

See more books by S.S. Hampton Sr. on Amazon.

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren. He is a published photographer and photojournalist. Hampton retired from the Nevada Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army, the Army Individual Ready Reserve and was mobilized for the Persian Gulf War. He enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. He is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle and Iraqi Freedom with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

Hampton has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a multi-media exhibit. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

He graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. He has been studying at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with in a double major in Art and English.

Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus Press - Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing - Melange Books - MuseItUp Publishing - Goodreads Author Page - Amazon Author Page - Amazon UK


  1. Stan, what an interesting trip you went on with your camera club!!! Best wishes on big book sales!

  2. Loved your post, Stan! This trip seems like something you could slip into one of your books. Wink. Hope all is well with you, and wishing you all the best in your publishing endeavors! Cheers!