After I left the power plant and went to work for Dell on August 20, 2001, I wrote letters back to my friends at the plant letting them know how things were going. This is the ninety eighth letter I wrote. Keep in mind that at the time when I originally penned this letter I didn’t intend on it being posted online.
4/13/04 – The Boiler Ghost
Dear Friends from Sooner Plant and others,
Kelly was cleaning out our closet over the weekend, and she ran across some old papers from my former life at Sooner Plant. She asked me if she could throw them out, so I sifted through them, and I ran across a piece of paper that was folded up and all stained with Fly Ash. When I opened it, I found that it was a short story that I had written when I was on Labor Crew 21 years ago. I had written it for Bob Lillibridge.
When we were on Labor Crew and we had to work in the Economizer tubes cleaning the caked up ash with Cross-cut saws welded end on end, we would climb into the small crawl space halfway down the tubes to spread the tubes from below. Bob used to grab Ronnie Banks by the legs and Yell, “Boiler Ghost!!!” Ronnie Banks had Claustrophobia, and it would throw him into a panic. So I had written this story to Bob.
It went like this:
From the darkness of the boiler it came.
The Boiler Ghost, black, enormous, full of hate.
I watched with disbelief as it edged its way along.
Its eyes, red and piercing, with a stare of terror
It glanced first this way and then that.
As its eyes passed through me I was filled with
Such a terrible fright that I felt near the point of death.
The massive head hung down between two pointed
Shoulder blades vulture-like.
The most terrifying thing of all was the gaping mouth
That hung open.
It was full of such a terrible darkness,
So dark and evil as if it were the gates of Hell.
Just then I noticed its eyes had fixed on Bob.
He was pressed against the wall by the piercing stare,
His mouth open wide as if to scream.
Eyes bulging out in utter terror.
Mindless with pure fright.
I tried to scream, but felt such a choking force
On my throat I could make no noise.
With steady movement the monster advanced toward Bob.
Bob was white as ash staring into that dark empty mouth.
Smoke poured out of a flat nose on that horrid face.
It reached out a vile and tremendous hand
And grabbed Bob,
Who burst into flames at his touch.
In one movement he was gone.
Vanished into the mouth of pure darkness.
The Evil Ghost glanced first this way, then that,
And into the darkness of the boiler it went.
All was quiet,
The roar of the boiler told me I was safe once again.
Until the boiler ghost should decide to return.
Kevin James Anthony Breazile
Kevin J. Breazile