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I’ve been driving the same route to and from work now for the last twenty-three years, without fail. As the saying goes, I could probably drive it with my eyes closed. This old highway, with its un-repaired fissures, seems forgotten by the state. The conifers grow in thickets just feet from the shoulders and the weeds between haven’t been trimmed since ’94.
It doesn’t bother me though. I like the feeling of seclusion, the notion that if I wandered away in there I could disappear for eternity in the adventure that is Mother Nature. I love the outdoors. I can’t wait to get home and sit on my back porch, with my Coors and my book, and watch the sun set behind my Appalachian back yard. But what’s that at the curve ahead?
It looks like a sapling. No, wait, it’s definitely a man. He’s moving his arms. But Jesus, he must be at least seven feet tall. Now that I’m coming right up on him, he may be taller than that. That’s unheard of, not to mention that he’s on foot way out here- and in a suit. Well, maybe I should pull over and help him out. How the hell did he get out here?
What th- OH MY CHRIST…
Holy shit - He didn’t have a face. That guy didn’t have a damned face. Wait… that’s not possible. No way. Calm down… You were imagining things. Too many hours awake. That’s all. I’ll go back and just tell him the truth. He’ll never get anywhere before night fall.
Where the hell is he? Did he go into the woods? The brush doesn’t look walked on. Hello? You still there buddy? Sorry I peeled out like that… do you need a ride? Hey, man? You out there? Hm. Maybe he went to take a piss. I’ll give him a few seconds.
Well… that’s strange as hell, but I can’t sit here all night. Hey, I’m leaving! Now or never, pal! No? Alright man, sorry.
Where did he go? I must be losing it. I just need a good night’s sleep. Or a beer. Ten minutes from now I can just rub this out with a brew. Whew. Can’t wait.
It’s almost dark. Maybe I’ll have to skip sitting out back. But I’ll definitely catch the ‘Cats game. They better keep their shit together. But what the hell did I just see? I would swear that I just saw a freakishly tall man with no face. It couldn’t have been real. But a hallucination? I’ve never had problems with that… at least to my knowledge.
I felt like I was being watched this morning on the way to the car…that happens to everyone though. Where could I have pulled it from… I haven’t watched any crazy movies lately. I’m just gonna chalk this up to some college kids pranking me for spring break. Creative kids though… maybe I should see what my editor thinks about a story…
Oh man. Five more minutes and my weekend officially starts with a cold one and the big game. Tomorrow morning this is just gonna seem really stupid. I wish I’d at least gotten a picture of that shit though. It would’ve been nice to have some proof for the guys. Maybe I shouldn’t tell them I almost had an aneurism over a guy in a business suit.
Aaaand there’s the driveway. Thank God, it’s good to be home. That meeting was brutal. Jonothan can suck it… He just hates that they chose my proposal over his. What an ass driller.
It’s kinda cold tonight… Hmm. Strange for this time of year. Wait… did I leave the porch light on? Must have… Oh there it is again… that being watched feeling….
Oh for the love of God stop scaring yourself. You’re a grown man. It was just a damned trick. Some piss-ant somewhere is laughing their undescended balls off right now at their video of a guy speeding away from a hitchhiker. Bleh.
To the kitchen! Those super cold labels are calling. Wow, kitchen lights are on too… must have been pretty out of it this morn-
OH NO! OH MY GOD! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HE-
Excerpt from Mockingbird County Sherrif's Police Report, March 28th, 2011:
According to Detective Michael Cole, the victim was reported missing on the following Wednesday after being unexcusedly absent from his place of business for three consecutive days. The victim would respond to no form of communication, and his address indicated his residence to be approximately twenty miles out of the city limits. The victim was single, with no close living relatives.
Upon arrival at the residence, Detective Cole received no answer at the door, and was “olfactorily” assaulted upon a change in wind direction as he was leaving. With probably cause, he entered the house after finding a spare key under an obviously false rock in a nearby flowerbed.
The following entry is transcribed directly from a voice recording of Detective Cole, describing the scene of the homicide.
“For the first time since my rookie year in ’87, I vomited. The walls were painted solid with browned, decomposing blood and specks of what I presume was the victim's flesh. I drew my weapon, and did the best I could to breathe through my mouth, but it was so putrid I could taste it in the air."
“I proceeded to clear the house, noticing no signs of forced entry or struggle in any other location. I found no one else, so I returned to the kitchen to try to sort out the… I’m going to call it a slaughter, but that’s an understatement. At the time, I believed there had to be at least three victims from the amount of …dispersion. But I didn’t believe it later when I was told there was only one variety of DNA present at the scene, and no fingerprints… Excuse me…” (the detective leaves the room for approximately two minutes here, returning looking pale).
“I apologize… but it has been the worst case of my career. I still don’t sleep well, and I have sought counseling. But I digress. Upon closer inspection, I observed what I think were teeth scattered in all four quadrants of the kitchen. Next, I found an eyeball with orbital muscles still attached under the kitchen table. Please keep in mind that I still don’t know what color the walls had been painted - There was that much blood."
“But what I found at the end is what's forced me to consider turning in my badge. I’ve worked hundreds of cases, some of them almost as gruesome, but never have I seen what I found last. I found the largest intact piece of the victim, his abdomen, laying in the kitchen exit on the other side of the room. His intestines were exposed, and they were stretched and twisted into his living room’s ceiling fan. Again, I’ve seen the work of a gratuitous amount of lunatics, so yes, I have seen my fair share of intestines.”
“But the victim’s ceiling fan is sixteen feet from the floor…”
End of Recording.
The preceding case is still under investigation, and note that all files and evidence notes have been transferred to Detective Jamison Grant, until Detective Cole is again psychologically sound.