Mctral Fields

I still don't believe it, 35 years after it all happened that one night out in the oil fields and I still don't know how or why he came to be.  My old friend Tom turned into one of the vilest things ever seen in the Mctral fields.  I suppose it was all from that old vat of petroleum Chuck was too lazy to chuck out.  I just don't understand why he turned.  There's a lot of things I don't understand about those old days, and talking only helps some to unravel a tad bit of the mystery.  

Tom was my only friend out there in the fields.  We worked day in and day out, pumping the very life blood out of the Earth and processing it to be used in large smoke machines people call cars.  We liked to pretend that there was the world out there waiting for us once we left the fields, but it came clearer to us as the months went by that many of the workers who worked here never lived to an old enough age to travel.  Lifting could break your back, you could get poisoned by the oil, hell, we even lost Travis to one of the barrel container lifting machines themselves when the lifter didn't watch where he was moving the crane.   His body burst over the deck like a fresh water balloon.  Took Tom and me four hours to mop it all off of the main deck.  The family tried to sue the oil company, but no amount of money they could have won, nor the money they received in the settlement could replace what they had lost.  But what I lost was far beyond even what I'd consider ordinary, and still, plagues me to this day.  There was a time when we were both working in the fields and a young girl had caught Tom's eye.  She was beautiful and wore a beautiful blue dress every time she came to the fields. Tom sighed every time he heard her speak.

"Hey, Uncle John!  I've come to bring you lunch!"

The overseer would laugh and thank his niece every day for bringing him food. "Thank you, Jess!  I always appreciate you bringing me food from home.  Make sure you tell your Aunty that I love her and miss her."

"I sure will, Uncle John!"

Her uncle was the main overseer of the rig and made sure we worked tight shifts so that we could get done as much work as possible per shift.  The same was for him.  He would never allow himself to leave the fields, even if it was to head home for lunch or dinner.  He was an honest and good worker, one who cared about his work and his employees like he did his family. That was why his niece would bring him food.  Tom grew to be more than a bit fond of her and had begun talking to her on breaks when she came by to deliver the overseer his lunch.  They seemed to hit it off well, and Tom would never stop talking about her.  "Tom, you need to focus less on that girl and more on that hard work!  You won't be able to afford a ring, let alone her uncle's favor if you don't put in the work for it."

I would always tease him like that when we were working on the pumps and moving barrels.  "You don't know her, Vic!  She's the one for me.  I know it!  I promised her that I'll become overseer and be able to provide for both of us."  He would always talk about her like he was a poet, always thinking of new ways to describe her beauty.  I admit, sometimes it would pester me, but it wasn't anything that was worth fighting over.  More than anything, it made me happier to see Tom so happy.  For the most part, things had been looking good overall for him, that was until Ben arrived.  Ben was a new supervisor from the big city who came out to the fields to earn a new promotion back in the city.  He wanted to be a big shot more than anything and had no respect for anyone else, especially for women.

It didn't take long before he caught sight of the overseer's niece and began making advances.  She always tried to get him to back off, but he was too persistent.  Tom got jealous and interjected between them.  Ben took two weeks pay off from his work card and put him to work down with the dangerous machinery for shoving him away from her.  The overseer liked Tom and wanted to help relieve him of his punishment, but this supervisor was from the big city.  He had authority over everybody in the fields and could do what he wanted.  
The overseer tried to get Ben to change his mind, but that proved far more difficult than he realized.  "Come on, Ben!  The poor guy didn't mean anything bad by it.  He was just looking after my niece."

"I don't want that boy anywhere near her.  She's only here to deliver you your food and the only people she can talk to are you and me."

"But Ben that's blasphemy!  You can't control what my niece does or doesn't do!  Jess is her own woman and you shouldn't talk about her that way!"

At this remark, Ben revealed a large revolver and placed it up to the overseer's forehead.  "You see here John, I'm your new boss, and since we're so far from the city, I can do whatever the fuck I want around here.  That includes fucking your niece if that pleases me."  The overseer was ready to attack Ben, seething with outrage, but remained seated where he was in his chair as the barrel of the gun remained flat against his sweating forehead.  "You won't get away with this, Ben.  Someone from the city will-" And as those words flew out of the overseer's mouth, a bullet whizzed straight through his large skull, fracturing it into many pieces and splattering across the walls of the overseer's office.  Ben laughed at the grisly sight of the overseer's fresh corpse laid out in his work chair.  "Unfortunately for you, John, I have all the power over you, and no one will come to stop me."  It was later in the evening, and I could see the entire horrific event unfold from my work bench.  I had a good vantage point over the rig and the fields so I could see directly into the overseer's office.  Tom had been working with me on repairing some of the machinery up high on the rig when we both heard the gunshot and saw Jess make her way over to the overseer's office.  Tom immediately stirred up into a frantic frenzy, desperate to protect the woman he loved.  

"Something's wrong, Vic!  The overseer's been shot, and Jess is on her way!  I gotta-I gotta protect her!"  

I grabbed Tom by the collar, "Do you understand what you're doing man?  Ben's loaded, and taking on a man like him will leave you for the dead."

He shoved me away from him, "I don't give a damn!  Jess is the only one for me, and I'd die for her.  I've gotta save her."  I tried to reach for Tom, but I was too late.  He ran across the rig, brushing past people in his wake to save Jess, but he wasn't quick enough.  Ben stepped out of the office and tripped Tom mid-run.  Tom flew forward and landed at Jess's feet.  Ben yelled out to all of the workers from his post. 

"Everyone except for Vic,  head home for the evening.  We have some repairs we need to make to the machinery, and we can't have everyone working while we repair it."

All of the workers immediately went inside the main work office to check in their work cards and left in their cars.  The rig had cleared out in minutes, and only I was there to witness the gun that Ben had aimed at Tom's head, and the horrified expression strewn across Jess's poor face.
"What are you doing here, Tom?"

"I saw what you did, Ben.  John is dead, and I know you're here for Jess."  Ben lifted up Tom by his collar and held him against the guard rail.  

"See here, Tom.  I liked John.  That's why I gave him a quick end.  But you, you've been getting in the way of letting me have my fun with Jess here."  Ben lifted Tom above the railing.  "I'm gonna make sure this hurts."  Ben slammed the hard side of the barrel against Tom's forehead and tossed him down into the oil pit below.  I started to run towards Tom's sinking body but stopped dead in my tracks when a bullet flew right past my head and into the staircase next to me.  "Make another move, Vic and I'll make sure Jess cleans up more than just her uncle's body."  I watched on as Tom's body quickly sank down into the oil and the machine pumping the oil out slowly stopped as he sank.  Poor Jess reached out to Tom from the railing but was snatched by Ben.  He put the gun up to her head and forced her into the overseer's office.  He made her clean up and toss out her dead uncle, blood still fresh.  I could hear her sobs and his yelling from my post.  I worked on the machine repairs and did my best to hurry.  I wanted to leave that site more than I had wanted anything in my entire life, but in my haste, I broke one of the levers and had to remain there and repair my mistake.  All the while, I could still here Ben commanding her to clean up.  My blood stopped flowing and my body petrified at the horrified cries of Jess.  I did my best to look away, but that only made Ben angrier.  
"Work harder, Vic!  I'm not letting you leave until that machine is completely fixed!"
He turned his attention to Jess who was covered in the blood of her uncle.  "Now go clean up!  Head to the showers and change into the dress in your uncle's desk."  She shook her head in fear but jumped when he fired off a bullet right next to her head.  "I'm not going to tell you again.  Go!"  Jess ran down to the showers, crying, and hurried up showering off the blood.  My stomach churned as Ben continued to watch me from the overseer's office.  He wanted to watch me suffer as he committed his unholy acts.  Jess hurried back to the office after Ben fired off another warning shot, barely missing her left leg.  "Hurry up!  Don't keep me waiting!"  Jess hurried up the steps to the office but stopped at the door.

"No.  Please don't make me do it.  Please don't do this to me, Ben!"  I tried to look away as Ben reached for her, but that didn't prevent me from hearing her screams.

Ben did something unspeakable that night.  Robbing a young girl of more than a loved one.  He robbed her of her innocence, violently ripping her apart.  Her screams echoed across the field, but no one but me could hear the sounds.  She cried as he tore through her savagely.  His remarks made it evident that he was proud of what he was doing.  "Yeah!  You like that you filthy farm whore!  That'll teach you to try and ignore me.  Take it deeper bitch!"  She would scream at him to stop, but that only made him angrier.  He became more aggressive and would beat her with his pistol.  "Hold your tongue you dirty, cock-sucking bitch!  Shut your mouth and this will all be over soon."  I was mortified by the noises that emanated from the office.  I didn't have to look towards the office to know that Ben was staring right at me as he violated Jess.  But what made my entire body tremble was when I heard him finish.  Jess was out of sight from the office window, having slumped to the floor.  But it wasn't long before I heard her screaming again.  Ben had dragged her over to the rig edge and had hoisted her up.  He gave her a final sickening kiss to her lips.  The act was so vile that Jess instinctively slapped Ben across the face.  Ben pulled out his revolver once more and slapped her across the face.  He placed the barrel of the gun inside of her mouth and whispered something in her ear before firing the gun.  He tossed her beaten and battered body down into the oil below.  Having been satisfied, he called out to me.  "Vic!  Go home!  It looks like the machine is operational again.  Don't speak of this to anyone."  I nodded my head and made my way down the steps, but came to a stop once more.  

The very ground beneath me started to shake, and the rig began to sway.  The oil below us began to boil up and rise.  A powerful roar emanated from down below and a plume of oil rose up.  Ben raised his gun to meet whatever was rising out of the ground.  The oil began to split at the bottom and revealed Tom's upper half, pale but intact.  I rushed to the side of the railing to see Tom's face.  His features had changed.  He was now much paler, had jet black hair, and oil was dripping from the top of his scalp.  "Tom!  I thought you were dead!"  Ben pulled the trigger to fire his revolver again, but he had run clean out of bullets.  The oil that was forcing Tom to float above the ground at eye level with Ben began to change shape.  The oil began to extend and shape itself into a massive arm with a hand.  Ben began to run away in fear, but Tom was faster.  The hand gripped itself around Ben's torso and pulled him close to Tom's face again.  

"The name's not Tom anymore.  I'm SpooksMctral, and I'm gonna make sure that we both stay here in these miserable fields together."  

Tom began to slowly sink back into the oil, dragging Ben along with him.  "You can't take me!  No one can take me!  I'm a Carnegie god damn it!  This can't happen!  No!  Please, God!  Help me!  Nooo!"  Ben sank down into the oil without a trace.  

The company later found out about the overseer and Jess having died, as well as heard of Ben having disappeared.  They appointed me as the most senior worker there to be the new overseer and left me to oversee the Mctral fields.  And it has remained that way for the last 35 years.  My older age and time working here has helped to heal some of the wounds I carry from that night, but I could never tell them of what became of Tom.  No one could find out what Tom had become, less he become one of the government's strange experiments.  I've kept hearing rumors from the workers who would work late at night about them seeing something that sounded like Tom lurking in the fields.  A large figure composed purely of black oil staring at them from a distance, this was the description I most commonly received.  The names for him changed from "The Oil Man" to "The Mctral Fields Ghost" to "The Mctral Man".  I decided to fuel their curiosity and dropped in the name of "SpooksMctral" as a possible name for him.  They really seemed to like it and the name stuck.  I'll likely take this secret to the grave, but I someday hope to tell this tale myself.  This is a secret I have now written and will likely take to the grave, but I will bear that burden alone.  For the sake of my good friend, Tom, and for the sake of the fields, I hope to one day be able to tell his tale, and that I can tell of what became of him before the Earth swallows me as well.


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