Jimmy Evans: Nightmares of Mountain Meadows Massacre

Updated on March 13, 2020
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis is an enthusiastic researcher, reader, and writer of history. Historical fiction based on actual facts is her expertise.

Mountain Meadows Shallow Graves

Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in 1859
Mountain Meadows Massacre Site in 1859 | Source

Nightmares of Mountain Meadows Massacre

"I have nightmares sometimes, too," David continued. "Bad ones and I tried, in the beginning, to run away from them, but found out I had to remember what caused them before I could heal from it. You ever hear about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Jimmy?"

Jimmy still stared out the window, his back to David. He jerked his head to the side and tensed up then he gripped the sill of the open window so hard his knuckles turned white. Pain and fear were stirring up inside him and it felt like his stomach was churning inside out. He felt like something dangerous was approaching him and he wanted to hide.

"That name, Mountain Meadows ... it scares me ... something bad, I think. I don't wanna think about it ... it seems evil," Jimmy seemed to be shrinking back from something. His hands, then his whole body started shaking.

David watched Jimmy closely. It seemed like the boy was trying to hide and withdraw inside himself. David thought maybe he should not go any further about the massacre, but he could see Jimmy was close to remembering something.

"You okay, Jimmy?" David went over to stand closer to the boy. "I'm here for you if you need to talk."

Jimmy dried his eyes again and kept staring out the window like he was searching and trying to remember. He started to speak but could not get any words out and just mumbled short sounds. David knew the boy was scared and was going to break. He wanted to hug the kid and console him but he could not stop the memories now.

Jimmy had to find his past, no matter how painful. David cautiously continued to talk, to draw out the things in Jimmy's mind. Mat had entered the room, saw and heard what was happening and motioned for David to keep on talking.

David continued talking quietly, watching Jimmy closely.

Bury the Dead

"My commander was assigned to take his regiment to bury the dead two years after the massacre. I had to obey orders and help,"

David started talking quietly and slowly. "There were bones all over the place because the dead were buried in two shallow mass graves, one for the men and boys and one for the women and girls. Some bones of babies were still clutched in the arms of the mother's bones."

Jimmy's whole body jerked then he froze. Suddenly he started sobbing and grabbed his head with both hands and screamed, "Ma! Ma!".

Jimmy doubled over, arms wrapped around his waist. He backed into a corner and screamed so loud that Johnny, the station master, came running in the room. David gently put his arms around Jimmy, rocking him from side to side, trying to console him.

"You are safe now, Jimmy. I will protect you," David repeated over and over. Jimmy screamed and sobbed till his voice was hoarse and he collapsed in David's arms.

David carried the boy over to his cot and sat him on the edge. "Send the fill-in rider today, Johnny. Jimmy can't go out."

David lay Jimmy down and got a towel to dip in water. He kept patting Jimmy's face with it and talked soothingly. "It is okay, now, Jimmy. You are okay, you are safe ... I am here with you and I'll keep you safe. Mat is here, too. We will stay with you."

Jimmy moaned and sobbed for a long time, turning back and forth on the cot as memories rushed in. He kept calling out, "Ma! Ma!"

He started pounding his head with fists and David had to hold Jimmy's wrists to stop him from hurting himself.

Mat pulled out his medicine bag from a locker. He uncapped a bottle and held Jimmy up by the shoulders. Putting the bottle to Jimmy's lips he tipped it just enough to give Jimmy a sip which he swallowed. Jimmy coughed and sputtered then started calming down a little.

"It's laudanum," Mat told David. "He should calm down in a few minutes. He is experiencing intense emotional pain."

David held the boy and rocked him as Jimmy cried for a long time, gradually calming down till he fell asleep. David,s heart was breaking for the boy and did not want to let go of Jimmy. He held Jummy against his chest, cradling him like a baby.

"Dang! I wish Rebecca were here," he whispered.

"What happened? Memory coming back?" Mat asked.

"Bad memories are surfacing and he is beginning to remember," David whispered.

"Poor kid," Mat slowly shook his head. "Let's hope he makes it through and begins to heal. I hope you're ready for this, David, it could be really bad. Jimmy probably saw a lot of horrible things back then."

Horrific Memories

Horrific Memories Torment Jimmy
Horrific Memories Torment Jimmy | Source

To be Continued

Note From Author

Sources for all historical facts will be available in the conclusion of the Jimmy Evans story.

© 2020 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      3 weeks ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Ruby Jean. Yes, it is good for Jimmy to remember for it is the beginning of his healing. I am so happy you are enjoying the story so much. Thank you, dear lady.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      It is good that Jimmy is remembering, but sad that he's hurting so badly. A really good story that I'm enjoying very much.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      3 weeks ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Devika. It is so great to hear from you. I appreciate your reading and commenting. Take care.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      3 weeks ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you, Zulma. So glad you like this story and Jimmy.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      This is an interesting story and I surely grasped every bit of it. Your story makes me wonder of these massacres.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Okay, I thought I wanted Jimmy to remember and start healing. Now, I'm not so sure. I feel so bad for him.

      You've done a good job of making Jimmy so real. I can't believe how quickly I got invested in this character. Nicely done.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 weeks ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Doris. Thanks for following the story. David and Rebecca were married long before the massacre and moved to California. Rebecca's family was moving to live near Rebecca, unfortunately they were in the ill-fated wagon train.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile imageAUTHOR

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 weeks ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi John. I get so involved with my characters I can feel their emotions. Jimmy has had a rough life so far. Thank you for commenting.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      I must say that I am really enjoying your story, and I'm looking forward to the conclusion. I am curious though. I would like to know how Rebecca came to be married to David after she survived the massacre. If it isn't part of this series, I'd like to see you do a sidebar story on them.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I can only imagine how traumatic it would be to suddenly recall the massacre of your family. Good writing Phyllis.


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