Late at night on a highway in Northern Ontario, a woman driving her car is reliieved to finally find a gas station that's still open, so she pulls in. The attendant comes out and walks up to the driver's side. He stands there, waiting until she rolls down her window. She slips it down just a crack.
"How much?" he asks. She tells him to fill it up.
The attendant walks towards the back of the car and stands there a minute. The woman waits, then looks into the side-view mirror. The attendant is just standing there, facing her. She's feeling pretty nervous, wondering why he's not pumping gas. Then he walks back up to the window and taps on it. "You need to open the flap ma'am."
Feeling stupid, the woman reaches down and clicks the gas flap open. The attendant walks back and starts pumping the gas. A minute or so later he finishes, and clicks the nozzle back into place on the pump. Then he stands there for a moment. The woman keeps looking at him in the side-view mirror, feeling quite ill-at-ease. She doesn't like this: being alone at a tiny gas station in the middle of nowhere with only this stranger.
The attendant then walks back up to the window and taps on it. She reaches into her purse and takes out her credit card, rolls open the window just a crack again, and as she passes the card through looks up at the attendant. He's staring down at her with wide, frightful eyes. She looks away quickly, really creeped out, and she rolls the window back up as soon as the attendant grasps the card. But he doesn't go to the cash booth, he just stands there a moment. The woman can't bear to look at him again.
Finally he says, with a voice muffled through the closed window: "Ma'am, there's a problem with your card. Could you please step inside the cash booth?"
"What's wrong with the card?" she asks loudly, with a definite strain in her voice.
"Something's wrong with the barcode. I'll need you to come over to the cash so we can make a call to the company."
There's no way she is getting outside her car, on an empty, dark highway, late at night, with only that weirdo around. Besides, she realizes, as a sudden chill overcomes her, how could he know if there was a problem with the barcode if he hadn't even been to the cash desk to swipe it? The woman's breathing suddenly increases as she feels panic creep upon her.
She summons up a note of restraint in her voice: "Please, can you just call them yourself?"
"Sorry, but I'll need to see some I.D. Could you please just step over to the booth? It'll only take a minute."
Realizing he won't let it be, she whispers a prayer and reaches into her purse to check for cash. Yes! She has a fifty dollar bill. Clutching it in her hand she unrolls the window just a crack yet again and passes it through.
"Nevermind, I'll just pay cash."
"Ma'am, are you sure?" he asks.
"What?" she almost yells, as she accidentally looks up at him again. The same wide, fearful eyes staring down at her. She looks away. "Yes! Cash!"
"I can fix the card problem, you just need to come over to the phone with me," he says. She's really terrified now, and half-screams at the man: "Listen a-hole, it's cash! That's all your getting from me!"
"Alright, alright," he responds, "Now you just wait right here and I'll go get your change. Don't move. I'll be right back."
She can see him out of her peripheral vision, walking backwards towards the booth, always facing her. She can't bear to look his way. She can't imagine what he has in the booth. What if he brings it back with him?
frick the change, she thinks, just as she realizes he also still has her credit card. She can't take this anymore: frick the card, I'll cancel it!
She starts up the car and as soon as it hums to life she tears away and off into the dark night.
The attendant is in his booth on the phone, breathing heavily. An official-sounding voice on the other end asks: "Did you tell her?"
"No," the attendant responds, "I couldn't."
"He had a knife and a finger to his lips. I tried to get her out of there, but the whole time he was watching me from the floor behind her seat."
I was driving a shortcut from Twentynine Palms, CA to Albuquerque, NM. Twentynine Palms is located in the desolate high desert east of LA. The shortcut was all two lane road through total nothingness, except for passing through Amboy, CA. Amboy is a nearly abandoned town nearly as far below sea level as Death Valley, with a dormant volcano and lava field on one side and a salt flat on the other. It was also, at the time, a hotspot for satanic group activity.
So I was driving by myself in the afternoon. I stopped in Amboy and snapped a picture of the city sign, just to prove I was there to friends who dared me to take that route to I-40. I got back in my car and proceeded to drive up into the mountain range between Amboy and I-40.
Once I reach the top I am driving north through a canyon with high grass on both sides of the road. Up ahead I see some stuff in the middle of the road. As I approach I slow down to see a red Pontiac Fiero stopped sideways across both lanes, a suitcase open with clothes scattered everywhere and two bodies laying face down in the road, a man and a woman.
I stop a hundred feet or so away and the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. Being a Marine, I reach under the seat and pull out a 9mm pistol and chamber a round. Something seemed very wrong, it looked too perfect as if it were staged. An ambush? Was I being paranoid? Something was just wrong. Getting out of the car seemed unthinkable, it was the horror movie move.
As I scanned the road I saw a line I could drive. Pass the guy in the road on his left, swerve to the right side of the woman, behind the Fiero and I'd be on the other side. I dropped it into first gear, punched it and drove the line I planned.
I passed the back of the Fierro without hitting it or either of the bodies in the road. I continued forward a couple hundred feet and slowed down so I could breathe and let my heart slow down. As I looked up into the rearview mirror I saw that the two bodies had gotten up to their knees and twenty or so people emerged from the tall grass on either side of the road by the car and bodies.
At that moment my right foot smashed the gas pedal to the floor and did not let up until I had to slowdown for the I-40 east onramp.
I will never know what would have happened to me had I gotten out of the car to check on the bodies or stopped my car closer to them. Somehow I do not think it would have been good. Sometimes real life can be scarier than a movie.
When I was about three years old, back in the mid eighties, my mom and I were in the parking lot of the old AP in Baker. She was loading the car with the groceries and a car drove up and a man grabbed my arm and tried to drive off. My mom put a death grip on my other arm and wouldn't let go. The tug of war lasted about twenty seconds before the man just grabbed her purse and took off.
This is a story that happened to my dad several years ago. My family runs and lives on a large farm, and around summer each year we are often forced to work longer hours than normal in order to harvest hay for the livestock in addition to the other routine duties. Well, my dad was finishing up one of our neighboring fields and had just a few more bales of hay to go, so he decided to work through the night and be done with it. Around 2am he finished the last hay bale but noticed that it didn't come out properly from the baler. He raises the arm of the tractor up as high as it would go, hitting about 10ft, to cast light on the bale. He exists the tractor and begins to approach the bale about 7ft from the tractors headlights. As he is removing excess twine from the bale he suddenly can't see. Then the realization of what was happening started to creep into his mind. Something was standing between him and the headlights of the tractor. Waiting. He came home several hours later, early in the morning, clearly disheveled. He told me the story, concluding that eventually it decided to leave. My dad said he stood in the newly restored light with his back against the hay bale for the rest of the night, unsure what to do. When the sun began to come up he circled the tractor and made his way home. He followed that by saying, "I knew almost immediately something wasn't right. My mind wanted me to believe that a deer or one of our cow's wandered in front of the tractor, but the lights were 12ft high."
This is a story about my dad: One day when he was young, about 10 to 12 maybe, he was playing outside near a small river with a friend. He lived in southern Wisconsin, so it was probably cold as frick. While playing, they notice something strange in the water; it's a capsized canoe, with 2 guys who were probably fishing, hanging on for dear life in the freezing water. He says they had already turned sort of blue-ish and could barely talk. So the 2 kids get the men out of there and essentially save their lives. It's a big thing in their town, there's a story about it in the local paper and everything. Everyone is happy. Fast forward about 5 years. My dad is on his way to a concert in Chicago with one of his buddies (the same kid as above) in his new car. Of course they were young and stupid and it was the 70's, so who the frick wears a seatbelt, right? Well as they were driving past some bar, where there was some big party going on, a mobile home comes flying out of the parking lot out into the street. The driver obviously didn't look at all and was probably drunk. My dad crashes his car head on into this trailer and totals his car. The fact that they weren't wearing seatbelts saved their lives; the bottom half of the car was crushed (the crash propelled them forward/upward). Luckily nothing happens to him or his friend. Not a scratch, only shock. Just as they get out of the car and try and catch their breath, the propane tank on the trailer explodes and the whole thing catches on fire. Stumbling out of the trailer come 2 guys in flames, screaming/moaning, skin bubbling, they die right there on the spot in frint of everyone (people from the bar had gathered round). Turns out these 2 guys were the exact same fishermen he and his friend saved 5 years ago. This is all true by the way. I didn't believe him at first, but he showed me the articles in the paper and his parents confirmed.