Monday, December 15, 2014

Down By The River

The night was calm but Chris drove through the winding roads with a barely contained fervor. He was partially elated that he had managed to get off work early but mostly annoyed. Halloween was his night and he always seemed to get roped into working whenever he made plans for it. His steering was smooth but his leg was tense and his foot held in the air above the gas pedal; something he did to keep himself from speeding whenever he got too excitable. The car he was driving coasted on the mainly downward sloping roads, every time it began to slow down too much he risked tapping the pedal to get it back up to speed. He looked at the clock, ten minutes until midnight.


The car approached a wide bridge. Chris slowed down his car and pulled over to the shoulder with five minutes to spare. He wouldn't be able to do any proper rituals he noted, but something small should suffice. Next year, he promised himself as he turned off all the lights to the car and stepped out, I'll make sure to ask for off. And I won't answer the phone when work calls.


Chris took a minute to let his eyes adjust to the darkness and looked at his surroundings. The bridge had no lights to offer and thus was just as dark as any other country road. There was no one around and he saw no waiting cars on the sides of the bridge where the police sometimes laid in wait for speeders. Seeing that he was truly alone, Chris put his keys in his pocket and shut the door with a kick. He hopped over the guardrail to the footpath that led to the bridge's side piers. He may have been alone, but walking the length of the rail and past where the woods began still creeped him out too much.


As he walked away from the rail, a chill swept over him. Chris stopped in his tracks and turned around. Nothing. There was nothing. And there will continue to be nothing because you are alone, dumbass. He shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. Halfway to the pier he stopped again. There was a definite feeling of being followed that he couldn't shake. But every time he thought he felt someone staring there was no one to be found, and every time he thought he heard another person's footsteps it always coincided with his own walking so he brushed it away as another trick of the mind.


Finally he reached the pier and looked at his watch, two minutes past midnight. Chris rolled his eyes. Too much time wasted looking around for stalkers that don't exist. He sat down on the bench and looked out past the vast stretch of water to the houses on the other side. Small dots of light from windows where people were still up. Probably having a party. Probably having a better night than I am. Probably because they had the balls to tell their bosses 'no' when asked to work, yet again, on a day off. He sat for a couple of minutes lost in his negative reverie and would have sat for a couple more when he heard the sound of shoes hitting pavement. Spinning around he once again saw no one.


"Now I know I'm going crazy." He said aloud.


Chris turned around and brought his attention to the river in front of him instead of the houses beyond it. Focusing on the soft sound of the waves below, he tried to let go of any negativity. Long gone was his excitement to do any sort of spell or ritual, and he had forgotten what he had wanted to do before anyway, so he decided instead to meditate and let go of all the frustration the work day had brought. He scooched back on the bench allowing his long, thin legs to cross with ease. Clasping his hands together on his lap, he closed his eyes and practiced his breathing. For a  while everything seemed to go well, he was becoming more relaxed with every exhale and had forgotten about any footsteps he thought he had heard. The more he meditated the more images flitted in and out of his mind's eye. At first he tried to ignore them, Chris was always told to just let any strange thoughts just come and go while meditating, but the more he let them pass the clearer they became. Soon there were clear pictures of young men and women laying on their backs in the street. Dead eyes set in blood bathed faces stared at him. Their lips were frozen open in a silent plea for help they would never again utter.


Chris opened his eyes and wiped away the tears that were forming. He mouthed a silent 'What the fuck?' as he unfolded his legs. He had never had any sort of experience like that while meditating before. Throwing his hands into the air, he brought them back down on his thighs with a slap and got up.


"That's it, I'm going home." He said to no one, "Between the footsteps and bad vibes, now this. I am not about to become a slasher victim from a horror movie."


He jogged back to his car, not bothering to stop and look around him. He hopped back over the guard rail, this time even further from the woods then he had previously, and ran to his cars unlocked door. A quick look into the back seat to confirm he was still alone and Chris threw himself into the driver's seat. He locked the doors and turned the key then froze. An overwhelming smell of rot and river water. From the corner of his eye he saw movement in the passenger seat. Chris turned his head just in time to see the blade held by the bloated corpse fly towards his neck. He opened his mouth to scream but only a wheezing gurgle came out. The dead lips in front of him cracked open from smiling. He stared disbelieving at the degloved hand that gripped the handle of the knife.


"You know, it's not very safe to leave your car doors open." It whispered.



***
I was supposed to post this on Halloween, but this is just the type of obvious dedication to my blog and my writing that my readers have come to know and love about me.


Sometimes I wish that I could stop myself from thinking of stories when I'm alone on bridges at night, it would make for a decidedly less creepy evening. To be sure it wasn't my fault, I was hearing footsteps even though there was no one there. As you can tell though, thankfully I did not meet my demise from a long dead murderer. Instead I got into my car safely and in time for a cop to stop and ask if I was having car troubles. But I also lock my car doors every chance I get out of habit.


I was however woken up as I tried to fall asleep that night by what felt like a hand tapping my arm from the side of my bed that meets the wall. Fun times. Perhaps I should stop sleeping over top of my Ouija board.