Strange Tales of Cochise County in “The Midnite Cab Company”
As a big fan of the Twilight Zone and the XFiles, eerie stories surrounding dark places, especially those connected to military installations, have fired my imagination for decades.
Imagine a cab driver on the night shift, making his way through the dark corners of the desert in our sleepy little town, up to the Fort, around the chilly, one-lane bridge on the San Pedro River.
When the Sierra Vista sidewalks are rolled up and put away for the evening, the whispered creatures and happenings begin to waken. At least they do in the mind of local author CJ Fletcher.
Take a Ride with the Midnite Cab Company
"The Midnite Cab Company never existed, yet, it is always present. Driver 51 never was, but, always is. The dilemmas faced by both are not 100% true, yet, they are also faced by many of us on a daily basis."
Amazon's book description of the Midnite Cab Company written by local author CJ Fletcher, tickles the imagination. The stories are fictionalized accounts of rumors, whispers and the fertile mind of the author, made ever more creepy as they circumnavigate the mind with familiar settings in our area.
Let driver 51 (pronounced Five One) take you to the unseen and oft hidden areas of the county - and the psyche.
Meet CJ Fletcher
I sat down with author CJ Fletcher, curious about his newly released tome of short stories.
I asked CJ if he could help me define which genre his stories fall into, since they seem to cover a plethora of topics. He told me, "I'd call them Flash Fiction stories, but also Creepy Pastas."
That was a new one on me, so I consulted Google for clarification on exactly how Flash Fiction is defined.
Flash Fiction Creepy Pastas
Wikipedia.org defines Flash Fiction: "also called minimalist fiction, [flash fiction] is a fictional work of extreme brevity that still offers character and plot development." Ok, great. But what about this pasta flavored fiction?
Creepy Pasta is a portmanteau of the words creepy and copypasta or copied and pasted text. It further defines this genre as, "internet sharable horror-related legends" These stories, "can include topics such as ghosts, murder, zombies, rituals to summon paranormal entities and haunted television shows and video games".
Check and check. The Midnite Cab Company travels to al these spots. And more.
CJ said he was inspired by his fascination with 1950s and 60s era thematic or moral stories, similar to the type found in series like Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone series.
"Basically," CJ told me, "these stories take you to the dark places in the human psyche, asking the reader to examine the shadow side of humanity."
With a glint in his eye, he tells me that at least one of the stories is true, but he won't offer even a hint as to which one.
Feral Children is a fictionalized account of an event he actually witnessed; CJ just filled in the gaps with his imagination. The true part of the story is creepy enough.
In his story, The Thing in the Sky, CJ explores government conspiracies, like you might find in 90s television show, the X-Files.
Ever heard of a Betz Mystery Sphere? Fallen Angels explores what would happen if one fell from the sky right here in Cochise County.