The Hitchhiker :
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” I said solemnly as I pulled up in front of my friend’s house. She dug her phone from her purse and waved it at me.
“Call me now, and I’ll stay on the phone with you until you get home. Don’t be scared. There isn’t anything in the dark that isn’t in the light.”
I had always hated driving from her house to mine at night. We both lived on the back roads. There were no streetlights, and the trees masked the moon. I nodded and gave her a half-hearted smile as she unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the passenger side door. She waved her phone at me again with a smile as she slammed the door shut, leaving me alone in the car. I hurriedly fished around in my purse for my own phone as she disappeared into her house. Once I found it, I called her and pulled away.
“Heeyyyy!” She chirped.
“I hate my life.” I moaned.
“You’ll be fine. Why do we have to live on such creepy roads?”
“I don’t know. Maybe we should both move into town.” I joked.
“Maybe we should just move in together and not worry about driving at all.” She replied with a giggle.
I sped along the curvy road, narrowly missing an opossum that was lounging on the shoulder. We spent a good ten minutes talking about random things to keep my mind off of the drive. I kept checking behind me in the back seat periodically which, in hindsight, wasn’t a wise thing to do while speeding down a dark, curvy road while on the phone.
I turned a sharp curve, and approached a piece in the road we referred to as “the roller coaster”. It was a straight stretch with large bumps that made your belly flip when you went over them at a certain speed. My friend was in the middle of explaining her television show to me when my phone cut out. This was not a good time for me to drop a call. “The roller coaster” was dark and uninhabited with a large tree covered hill on one side, and a dark drop off on the other. I knew I wouldn’t keep service through the entire trip home, but loosing service at this particular location was a worst case scenario. I waited hopefully for her to call me back, since it was more dangerous for me to shuffle through my contacts on this road.
I glanced at my phone to see if she was calling yet. I still didn’t have service. When I glanced back up at the road, I saw a tall dark figure. I cursed, swerved, and slammed on my breaks to avoid hitting what I believed to be a man. I stopped my car completely and looked around. Not seeing anyone, I decided it was my eyes playing tricks on me after looking at a bright phone screen, and I continued driving.
Once I got passed “the roller coaster” my phone began to vibrate. I answered and it was my friend.
“Sorry, I lost service.” I said.
“It’s all good. Where you at now?”
“Just passed the roller coaster. Almost on the main road.”
There was a stretch of road that was maybe a mile long that I considered a main road, even though it was really just a more populated back road. I prayed silently to encounter another car, although that was unlikely at two in the morning.
“You’re almost there. You got this!” She said encouragingly.
I drove across a bridge, and reluctantly turned and crossed the train tracks onto my road. My road was another dark, uninhabited back road that was about four miles long.
As soon as I took the first curve I lost service again. This time, however, I shouldn’t have dropped the call quite yet. I didn’t want to glance at my phone again after my last experience, so I hoped that my friend realized that I shouldn’t have lost service yet. Apparently she didn’t. I waited and waited but there was no call.
I was to a point in the road that was always overly dark. Even during the day, it made me feel uneasy due to two obviously vacant trailers situated overly close to the road.
With my peripherals, I saw another tall shadow by the road not even two feet from my car. I glanced in my rear view mirror, and saw nothing. When my eyes darted back onto the road, I saw him. He was the size of a taller gentleman, cloaked in shadow. The only features I could see on his darkened face were the glimmer of his eyes. He stood close by the road in the curve that I was about to inevitably pass through. He slowly lifted a dark arm and I could see that his thumb was pointed upward.
I tried my best to focus on the road as I sped like a bat out of hell around the curve. I could have swore I heard a low, deep, monotone voice behind me say, “Drive carefully.” I looked in my rear view mirror, and briefly thought I saw a dark shadow in my back seat. I whirled around and saw nothing but a bunch of old clothes and empty McDonalds bags that I had tossed back there carelessly. I turned back to face the road, and sped the entire way back to my house.
I haven’t driven alone at night on those roads since.
I will tell you now, this story is true. You can say it was my imagination, but I’ve driven those roads at night scared out of my wits more than once. That was the first time I saw anything abnormal, and the last time I will EVER drive those roads in the dark. My friend can drive herself from now on. I am done. I should also tell you, and this may very well be unrelated to what I saw that night, but the next morning my husband was walking up the road, and saw a large crudely sharpened butcher knife at the end of our driveway.