Mareritt. For my father.
Midnight has come and gone. The clock: blurred as it always. A firm grasp on the time: that has passed. Lazily drifted around 2300 without recourse. Lying down in the sweet spot, the comforts had taken ahold. Restless before, but now acquiescing to R.E.M., the feathered down has captured and cradles you into a spell. A few twitches jerk you in and out of light and deep sleep. These sudden twitches ease themselves and a cavernous slumber has you out cold. The journey through the subconscious mind has begun. A new world reveals itself. No time to digest this new environment though. A drive on a lonely road is slowly coming into focus. Isn’t that how it always starts?
With the surroundings coming into a soft focus, The eyes adjust to the still blurred dashboard. There really is no recollection of driving in this automobile, but it’s accepted as transportation to finish the matters at hand. The road is a fairly generic road that is found out in rural areas. Along each side is a 3 tiered razor wire fence, guarding what appears to be corn crops. The crops look to be around 3 quarters the way done for the year. Practical deduction puts the current time of year to be around late September. It’s still very dark outside so it could be anywhere from midnight to 3 a.m. A crisp Autumn breeze flows in through the window caressing the hair and bringing a faint plant/shit smell wafting into the nose. It’s of no concern because most of these areas tend to have this odor to them. The fact that all these crops are safe-guarded by this over abundance of razor wire is a little disturbing. Maybe the locals are rabid bootleggers? Maybe this is the only crop that will bring forth a decent yield around here? No time to take soil samples. What is the real danger though? Razor wire is expensive, but the mind of the subconscious tends to stray away from answering logical questions as such.
The speed being maintained is a decent pace. That is known. Any sudden hills or curves can be easily navigated and conquered. Looking over at the passengers side is an empty seat. This is a solo late night drive, and now it almost seems soothing. The breeze coming in and a quiet drive down a bizarre road, is not that alarming now. No music is playing but the dimly lit lights of the hazy dashboard are rather disarming.
Noticing also that the road maybe a usually lightly traveled one, an encounter with anyone or any other late night land cruiser is unlikely. The way here has leveled out now for miles and doesn’t really seem to lead anywhere in particular. No farm houses or gravel drives. No cross streets or even street signs. It’s a good thing highway psychosis has no effect in this world. Whoever these fields belong to must have massive parcels of land. Also they want their crops as safe as they can make them from any threats. It’s as if the is nothing beyond the layers of crops. No trees are visible and even the moon has yet to make an appearance, even though there is a slight glow along the road. That could just be the high beams coming from the front of the car though.
Rubbing the eyes, a shadow like figure is venturing forth up the way on the right side. Estimations put it at around 75 meters and closing. Thats not saying to much as depth perception is in the same boat as logic here. The figure becoming slightly more visible with each coming second, has an outline of an old tattered duster, and a hat the likes of which has not existed in this century. Just barely peeking underneath the worn out hat, a shock or jet black hair fans out across the shoulders. 50 meters and closing.
On this road? Really? A wanderer of some type? Or maybe a local drunkard from some unknown near by establishment? Couldn’t be the latter. Anyone wandering this far out would have to know their way back. How does one walk down a road without the heels kicking the back of the duster. This vagabond is actually gliding down the road! This is getting a bit more unsettling with each closing meter. 30 meters.
A quick pump of the garbled horn illicits no acknowledgment from the drifter. A few flashes of the high beams yields no change as well. The contour of the jacket, hair and hat are becoming more vivid now. 15 meters to contact.
The suspense has brought a very unusual and real fear now. This uncertainty as to the identity of this potential contactee has become frightening. A quick glance reveals no hands protruding from the worn jacket, although the arms stay firmly at the side through all the movement. 3 meters. 2 meters. The last meter. A wet panic spreads across your nervous system. A cold sweat breaks on your brow. Are you going to uncover and unmask this unknown horror? Now the drifter is parallel with the passenger window. Don’t look over! Look over! Don’t look over! Wrestling with this brush of paralyzing terror.
Out of no where a foul, putrid breathing is smelled. Like a heavy breathing on the side of the neck. Looking over now to the right, every worst fear imaginable has been confirmed. 2 hollow and pitch black sunken eyes now lie just a few centimeters over. A bony, twisted and slender face grey with soot, and wrinkles which have distorted it as to give it no discernable age, has made your forcible acquaintance. The heavy breaths continue without any word being uttered. Sheer and unadulterated terror is slathered across your face. A mesmerizing exchange of fear and curiosity has you both locked in to each other’s eyes. How one could lean through the window and get this close while not even visibly moving and single body part, defies everything. Plus still managing to keep on pace with the car!
A scream has rumbled up from the belly and is cast out of the mouth. IIIIIIAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! IIIIIAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! Slamming both feet on the gas, this introduction must come to an end. The car reaches dangerous speeds. Both hands at 10 and 2 now violently swerving the automobile from one side of the road to the other. The drifter doesn’t even flinch. Continuing to burn holes in the side of the head.
IIIIIIIIAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! IIIIIIIAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! More screams are ejected at full volume from your head. All over the road and wishing for a quick death! The ghoulish face has not moved at all. Never muttered a word but you have discovered that the mouth has been sewn shut by some dense thread. Does it desire communication. It doesn’t matter now. Death is the only plausible escape at this point. Letting out another ungodly shriek, the sound of a loud thunderous clanging fills the air. Brrrriiinnnggg! Brrriiiinnggg! Sucked out quicker than the entrance into this world, now lying in a bed. Focus comes back in seconds. Soaked sheets are all around: thoroughly saturated. A rusted, aged alarm clock next to the queen sized bed reveals one thing. You are late for work.