Strange and mysterious stories of the unknown and unexplained
August 26, 2017
Quite Curious receives the Global eBook Bronze Medal for Short Stories/Essays for 2017.
Those unexplained mysteries all around us—what thought-provoking enigmas they are! They are so curious that I have made a life-long study of them. Some seem to solve themselves over time and some become more and more mysterious. There are those that seem to bounce around slowly in a shadowland, destination unknown.
I have my favorites. Jack the Baboon is one of those. He was a baboon long ago in South Africa, near Grahamstown, that was able to correctly pull the lever for the train signals. He is not known to have ever made a mistake and was paid in brandy and other treats. He assisted the human signaler that was handicapped. No one taught him. He knew what to do from listening to train whistles.
There was the case of The Baby in the Suitcase. Someone threw a suitcase off a rural bridge in early 1900s Ozarks. The suitcase was supposed to land in the water, but it landed on the bank and was discovered by a passing farmer, curious about the noises coming from inside—noises that were being made by an unhappy baby. He took the infant home and he and his wife raised it, a little boy, always keeping feelers out for the parents, but not trying too hard. Who threw the baby away? No one ever found out, but a strange woman, not known to anyone, attended an open house at the farmer’s, when the baby was welcomed to the area by neighbors bringing gifts and well-wishes.
Then there was The Healer, an immigrant that lived in the late 1800s that traveled America performing faith healings. His name was Francis Schlatter and he seemed to have a divine aura about him—and a thick accent. The people he treated, (by his taking their hands and saying the Lord’s Prayer while gazing toward heaven) claimed to have complete cures for their ailments and there were thousands. Then one day, Schlatter left a note that stated that his work was done and he started a trek to Mexico, barefooted. They found his body later, alone, with a few of his provisions, on a remote Mexican mountainside.
There is the story of the Mason in Revolutionary America that was in the process of being executed by his Indian captors. In a move of sheer desperation he offered up the secret Masonic hand signal for dire situations. He was spared by the Indian chief—who was also a Mason. The chief had been educated in Europe and that is where he received the Masonic rites. He escorted his Masonic brother safely to an outpost.
There are more mysterious ghost ships and crewless ships than we can shake a stick at, with no answers decades after their discoveries. The Del Gratia is one such enigma—a ship frozen in time, with the crew gone and activities on board frozen in mid-completion.
There is the strange case of a Sunday school class on the Texas Gulf Coast, long, long, ago, that decided to conduct their class in the open mouth of a beached whale.
There is the odd hoax perpetrated by writer, Virginia Woolf, her brother, and three friends, in which they posed as foreign dignitaries on a train, costumed in elegant, exotic outfits, and speaking a language of gibberish that confounded the train staff and other passengers.
There was that grouchy butcher that made glorious drawings of flying machines and put them in notebooks several years before they were even invented and in use. He claimed to have seen them in the sky. Did he see them, or did he make them up? The detailed drawings were discovered after his death and almost tossed out with the rubbish.
There was a person on trial in the Ozarks Mountains for killing a man, when the murder “victim” walked into the courtroom. The execution of the accused was halted in the nick of time.
In the mid 1970s, the huge receiving dishes pointed at outer space received what appears to be an intelligent signal. It has been known ever since as The Wow Signal. Who sent it, and when?
When workers made their standard delivery drop of supplies at the Eileen Mor Lighthouse on the Scottish Coast, they discovered the three lighthouse keepers missing, again, with activities left, mid-completion. Was it monumental waves that had been crashing in the area or something more sinister? No one knows their fate…
Then there is that early 1950s incident that occurred in a small Midwestern city: cobras seemed to keep popping up all over the city—King cobras, striped cobras, Indian cobras. Could a quaint little pet shop in the center of town be a source? No one was injured but there is still plenty of mystery—how many were there in all? If they did originate at the pet shop (most likely) where did they come from? Why would such a shop even have deadly poisonous snakes? And, why so many?
I wrote about all of these strange events, and more in a weekly blog for Venture Galleries. When I had enough of them I decided to bundle them into a volume. They are not mostly facts and figures, but instead short stories with fictional characters that explore the mysteries—sometimes as flies on the wall. Quite Curious is the volume that delves into the mysteries mentioned here. Curious, Indeed is a second volume that picks up after that, and More Curious Still is still being written.
On Sunday, August 13, 2017, Global eBook Awards (GeBA) announced that Quite Curious received the Bronze Medal in Short Stories/Essays for 2017.
The Gold Medal in the category went to Andrew Stiggers for The Glassblower’s Daughter and Other Tales from Southwest Germany, and Mara Purl’s work, Where an Angel’s On a Rope received the Silver Medal for the category.
To read the mystery stories in greater detail look for the eBook, Quite Curious, by Sara Marie Hogg on Amazon. You will also find Curious, Indeed available there. So many unexplained mysteries!
Find the short story collection HERE.