A Little Outside Mexican Hat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
The barren land of southern Utah provides the setting for the haunting.

Submitted: August 14, 2012

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Submitted: August 14, 2012

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A little outside Mexican Hat, Utah, a small town in the middle of the red rock desert, the Jones family chugs along in their five-year-old Ford Taurus.  They’re in Navajo territory now.  As they look from side to side, they see the small wooden-planked huts alongside the road where those Native Americans sell their jewelry and other crafts.  To the right, the sun creeps slowly down, so they’re traveling south.  The rocks in the area turn a bright pinkish color as the last rays of the sun hit them and they slowly they disappear into a deep blueness from the newly dark sky.

 

The headlights go on, and the Jones family keeps going at a steady 70 mph.  It’s quiet, and Mr. Jones looks in the rearview mirror and sees the stretch of road miles and miles back to where they were twenty minutes ago.  He looks back ahead and it’s dark with no sight of any headlights.

 

The wheels go over bumps at ten-yard intervals, and each time, the bodies go up and back down like bobble heads.  The dad looks at his speedometer to check his speed and he notices the orange light at the bottom right corner and knows he needs to get to a gas station soon or the family will be stuck there for a while.  The kids in the back complain that they’re not getting any service, and this gets Mr. Jones worried, but he keeps silent for the sake of keeping the family at ease.  He looks over at his wife and smiles at her still figure, asleep.

 

He keeps going, heading toward what he makes out to be large rocks in the distance shaped like women laying on their backs.  It’s not an accurate description, but if you saw them, with a little imagination you could see it.  As he steps on the gas a little bit more to get up the steady incline, he feels a hollow feeling with his feet.  He presses the gas again and again trying to get some more juice out of the last few drops he has in the tank.  He hopes he still has that small tank of gas in the trunk and that he didn’t take it out to make room for the luggage.

 

Eventually, he pulls over on the side of the road to where the gravel is.  “What’s wrong, honey,” says the wife who wakes up to the car’s sudden stop in motion.  “Nothing dear.  I just have to get some gas from the back,” Mr. Jones says.

 

He opens the trunk and moves around the bags to look for that crucial gallon.  He looks and he looks, but he cannot seem to arrange the bags so that he can find it.  Finally, he takes all the bags out, and his stomach clenches.  All there is in the back is a wrench and some water bottles.  He takes a deep sigh and asks the kids if they get any signal.  They look up at him with worried eyes, but he can’t see that because of the dark.  No, no signal.

 

Okay, now Mr. Jones starts to worry.  The wind picks up and soon it begins to swirl around the car.  They hear a faint howling in the distance.  Was it in front or behind?  They look around, but nothing.  They hear it again.

 

A light from up ahead comes toward them.  Mr. Jones wonders if it is a car, but it can’t be because it’s moving way too slowly and plus it is only one light, so it can’t be headlights.  It slowly creeps closer toward the family in the car.  He calls out at it, but it just keeps coming at the same pace.  He looks closely and sees a dark figure behind.  Then he jumps to the sound of the howling again.  He turns around and the figure is suddenly at the front of the car.  It looks like a man, but its features are distorted.  It is very dark, darker than a man usually is.  The figure still holds the light in its hand but its face is still dark.

 

The family is frozen in the car, and Mr. Jones decides to ask it for help.  The dark figure just stands there, stoic like a statue.  Then the howling comes again and when the dad looks up, the figure is face to face with him.  Now the dad looks into the figures face and sees that he has no eyes.

 

He looks up and down at the figure and makes out something in its hand.  Then in a swift motion, it brings it upward and a sharp pain hits Mr. Jones in his left side.  He goes down and the howling continues.  Slowly, the figure kneels down at him and chants in a language different than anything he’s ever heard.  The last thing he saw was the thing’s mouth open and close upon his face chewing with its few jagged teeth.

 

In the morning, when the sheriff was making his daily rounds, he sees the Taurus on the side of the road.  He looks and sees the body of Mr. Jones off to the side, his eyes hollow spaces with blood on the edges, his insides torn out and left for the birds to eat, an arrow still in his left side.  In the car he finds the rest the same way.


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