I am fairly new to the whole truck driving experience. I took up this lifestyle a meager six months ago after I suffered an excruciating ten year gig at a health insurance call center. With this new driving job, I typically transport auto mechanic parts statewide. The job pays fairly well for my humble lifestyle as a bachelor and grants me an adventure with every route.
The past six months have been so liberating compared to the 9 to 5 hellhole that gradually chipped away at my sanity. I couldn’t take another second of sitting in that suffocating cubicle without going absolutely psychotic or strangling myself with my headset cord.
The open road was the savior of my soul. I spent everyday traveling somewhere new in my own truck and blasting my own music. Long gone were the constant hums of countless telephones ringing and the mundane chatter of soulless office consultants. I have been able to explore the nooks of my state and I’ve met interesting characters during these travels.
Despite the liberation that truck driving delivers, after this latest journey I am ready to hang my hat and leave this industry all together. You see, this last route took me along a desolate old dirt road out in the boonie outskirts of Amarillo, Texas.
The delivery started as any other; I was to transport custom automobile parts to a receiving facility in the heart of Amarillo. With my departure beginning in Fort Worth, I had quite an extensive drive ahead through the monotonous plains of Texas.
The drive was unremarkable and lengthy. I drove through numerous boonie towns that consisted of rusted buildings and dilapidated streets. The interstate highways offered no saving grace from the dull drive. Vast brown plains extended on either side of my truck while mesquite trees folded over themselves, starved for a drop of water. Dried tumbleweed skittered alongside the dry breeze as if in an effort to escape the scorched earth. This pattern of monotony persisted until I reached about 70 miles outside of my destination.
Twinkling stars danced along the night sky’s horizon as the brights of my headlights illuminated the vacant two-way road ahead.
It had been over an hour since a vehicle had sped past my truck at the mile marker labeled 140. Not a a living soul besides myself inhabited the road; I was alone.
At my sides, looming shadows of tangled foliage erupted from the pitch black plains. Their dead branches curled up like wretched claws reaching for the glimmering stars in the inky sky. The empty road ahead coupled with the silence in my cab caused a creeping eeriness down into the roots of my soul.
I knew just the cure for this dilemma. I began to quickly fumble with the radio dial seeking to cure the unease of the piercing silence and to liven the damper atmosphere. I was met with droning static with each radio station I dialed through.
I furrowed my brow as I knew the lack of radio signal should have been impossible with my proximity to the city. I sped past the Mile 66 marker while quizzically pondering the cause of the radio’s inability to receive signal.
I alternated from peering at the radio and back to the desolate road when a flicker of light caught my eye in the side mirrors of my truck.
The pinprick of a single headlight shone through the immense darkness behind me. Finally, I thought, a motorcyclist embarking on a late night cruise will relieve my perturbed spirit. I sighed a breath of relief as the loneliness began to dissipate from my racing mind. I turned off the radio and refocused my attention to the long stretch of road ahead.
I peeked back at my side mirrors to check on my lone companion. My breath caught in my dry throat. What was once a pinprick of light evolved into a bright orb of luminosity in the matter of seconds.
How did this traveller manage to close so much distance in a matter of moments? Their figure was still obscured by the cloak of darkness, but their headlight was rapidly intensifying as they sped forward. I slowed my speed to allow the traveller to bypass my truck.
I glanced back to my left side mirror to discover the motorcyclist was now maintaining a healthy distance behind my truck. My heart stopped as, upon closer inspection, all of my previous presumptions of this “person” were immediately rendered false.
This was no motorcyclist at all, in fact, it was a bicyclist. How in the hell did this pedaled means of locomotion move so damn fast? Perplexed, my eyes squinted to further study this phenomenon.
Almost immediately, my situation went from quite odd to absolutely terrifying.
The figure was entirely naked. Smooth white skin covered it’s tall, thin frame. Impossibly long, crooked arms extended from the handle bars of the bicycle. Pointed elbows jutted outwards towards the dark sky as enormous claws gripped at the bike’s handles. The “person’s” legs were too long for its body. It’s sharp knees projected outwards meeting its wretched elbows. The figure was proportionately comical. I mean, it’s body was just too damn tall compared to the bicycle’s petite frame.
It’s face was the most horrifying of all.
It was entirely smooth and devoid of both eyes and a nose. White skin stretched over it’s hollow eye socks all the way down to a sharp spear-like chin. However, an incredibly wide mouth extended to where it’s ears should have been. Rows of jagged teeth, similar to a sharks, decorated an impossibly broad smile. It pedaled with a merry tempo, slowly zigzagging while its long limbs slide past each other in a disgusting dance.
I floored the gas pedal.
My heart pounded as the truck’s engine roared with all of the horse power it could muster. I could see the bike’s headlight fade into a minuscule ball of light as the distance between us speedily increased. I exhaled the trapped air from my lungs as the figure disappeared from view.
An anxious sweat slithered down the goosebumps on neck as my heart strained to regain a regular rhythm.
What the hell was that thing, my mind anxiously pondered. My truck regained a much more legal speed as the adrenaline began its decline from my body.
My eyes captured another mile marker along the side of the barren road. Mile 66.
Hell no. No. No. No!
This mile marker should be long gone. I know that I past it long before that creature made its appearance. I had no choice but to press forward; what other option did I have?
My tight grip on the steering wheel caused my knuckles to turn bone white. I made another glance at my mirrors. My gaze was met with an empty road behind me.
I tried to regulate my breathing as my eyes shifted to the shadowy plains on my left. What I witnessed almost caused me to swerve off the road.
That forsaken creature was pedaling right beside my truck!
It’s smile was so damn wide that the top half of its head caved towards its backside. It’s razor sharp teeth embellished a gaping black hole that was its mouth.
I hit the gas pedal in hopes to escape my tormentor once again. Except this time, it kept up to speed. It’s long spindly limbs appeared as if they were in overdrive, scissoring up and down with intense extortion. It’s head tilted up to the sky as if laughing at my pathetic efforts to escape.
Up. Down. Up. Down. Up and down went it’s honed legs as it maintained speed with the acceleration of my truck. My breathing intensified and my heart thudded with what was only raw fear.
I quickly shifted my eyes to the right side of the road. Mile marker 66 reappeared once more. I released a guttural wail.
As if in mockery, the entity began to cheerily zigzag it’s bicycle in delight of my panic. It’s frenzied pedaling persisted as I tried to escape.
What the fuck do you want from me? Leave me the hell alone! I screamed at the top of my lungs whilst hot tears streamed down my quivering face.
The creature shook its white head to the sky, letting out a silent laugh of pleasure.
Suddenly, it slowed its speed to a lazy stride, as if taking a casual ride out of leisure.
I accelerated once more and the figure faded from view.
I cried. I cried like a babe cries for its mother. Why was this happening to me? Why was I the victim of such torment? What was that thing? Now, I’m not much of a believer of the paranormal, but I’m definitely reconsidering my worldview once I reach Amarillo.
I slowed as another mile marker made its way into view.
My heart dropped as I continued the only direction I could go. Onward.
This continued for several minutes as I sped forward. As my truck crept over a low hill, my despise awaited on the other side. The creature was casually bicycling forward, now in front of me.
How it had managed to bypass my truck without my notice was beyond me. I had thrown out all logic and reason many miles ago.
The creature slowly spun its head to “look” at me. It’s body was still facing forward. It’s mouth stretched into that terribly insane smile. Suddenly, it bellowed the screech of a banshee.
My blood ran as cold as ice. However, I quickly devised a plan. If my fate was to suffer in this purgatory, I did not want my tormenter to exist in this hell alongside me.
I pounded the gas pedal with all of my strength and raced forward. This only made the creature smile wider. My heart pounded so hard I thought it would burst in a bloody heap from my chest.
Closer. Closer. Ahead was another marker: Mile 49.
Closer. Oh my god, please work!
My truck collided with my assailant. It’s thin, wiry body entangled upon itself as it hit by windshield. A collision of thuds could be heard atop my cab. I screeched to a halt.
I put my truck in park and exited.
The creature’s bicycle lay in front of my truck. It’s wheels were bent over themselves, like a dying roach curling in death’s wake.
I slowly paced towards the back of my truck and peered behind the cargo bed. The creature lay mutilated in the road. It was a broken mess of limbs, cracked in all unnatural directions. I peeked at it’s face. Even in death, its wide, razor-sharp smile pointed to the sky having a final laugh.
I started to hear cracking. The bastard wasn’t dead. It’s limbs began to fumble for stability. It snapped its neck and it’s horrifying grin met my eyes.
I wasted no time. I sprinted back to my truck and floored the gas. In my mirror, the creature began to crawl upside down on all broken limbs. It scrambled like a black widow ready to capture its prey. It gave one last piercing screech from its terrible mouth as I left that creature in the dust.
I drove for what felt like hours. The road lay vacant as the black plains began to be sprinkled with scattered house lights. I passed a sign once more.
Amarillo - 25 Miles.
I was free.
I made it to Amarillo not long after. I delivered my shipment and phoned my boss immediately and gave my resignation.
I have no idea what happened on that forsaken night. I don’t know what that creature was.
What I do know is that I am scarred beyond repair. I sincerely hope the call center will take me back.