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The Trucks

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The trucks would arrive every night at a few minutes past midnight, and I was always awake to see them. They arranged themselves in indiscernible patterns and flashed their orange lights to pierce the snowy veil as they went about their uncanny business. Their mechanical rumbles echoed dully, the sound numbed by the thick layers of winter snow. My eyes were practically glued to the window every night when unknown drivers piloted the trucks into the woods. Somehow the trucks squeezed their way between the brittle old pines and maples, managing to leave the place apparently untouched come next morning when I went out to investigate.

Every night I would sit on my bed, blanket wrapped softly around me, and stare as the trucks came one by one. All of them were a metallic gray color, and in all there were at least five of them. I never understood their business in the woods, and I stress that I still don't. It seemed to me that the heavier the snowfall, the more active they were — perhaps realizing that there would be fewer to observe when the snowy veil is thicker. My imagination, always impeccably expansive, wove complex tales regarding the mystery trucks, but no matter how hard I try these days I cannot remember any aside from... one.

One night after I had fallen asleep (after the trucks had vacated the area), I dreamed that I sat in the posterior seat of one such truck. The twin seats ahead of me were obscured by impenetrable darkness, but the truck's headlights illumined the frosty roads ahead. Snow heavily fell, as always it did, and the falling flakes resembled millions of tiny white comets. The truck lumbered along, while I glanced sidelong at the windows to my left and right. Nothing was to be seen save for towering trees very close at both sides of the road. It was evident that the road itself was a one-way, as suggested by its blunt narrowness. A shivering feeling of uncertainty ruled in the back seat of that truck.

Finally the truck slowed. That was when I gazed toward the front again and was greeted by the sight of the woods which lie behind my home. The headlights still lighted the way, but the driver and their passenger were uncomfortably motionless — I looked closer, attempting to draw their attention (my dream self, of course, could not comprehend the strangeness of the situation), but I discovered that what I had mistaken for two living beings were nothing more than hallucinations of my mind; both seats were empty. In some weird development, I found myself suddenly in the driver's seat.

I guided the truck slowly into the woods, and was shocked when I found that the truck indeed passed unharmed, and the trees safe just the same — but it was no matter of squeezing between the trees. Rather, the truck passed through them as if it were a phantom, and the same could be said of myself. Every pine and every maple phased through the truck and me while I piloted the truck to some unknown place as the moon rose higher in the sky and the snow fell heavier. Only when the truck slowed to a stop did I wake from my slumber, finding myself lying in my bed where I had always lain.

It was morning. My first impulse was to check through the window for the trucks, or simply to observe the woods. They were unchanged, and no sign of the trucks was present. As always.

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