I Hate Driving Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short story of a young man recapping a time that left him in absolute confusion and fear.

Submitted: August 10, 2014

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Submitted: August 10, 2014

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There was no better way to blow off steam from a long week of work than spending time with a few of my closest friends. It was the same routine of activities every time we all got together, but regardless, it was still a time worth having. I pulled up to my friend Dylan’s house as usual, and walked into his garage through the back door. Both he and my other friends Christian and Avalon were already sitting around a table sharing hookah from a bong. “Get lost on the freeway, Mr. Navigator?” Dylan said in a rather facetious tone. “That son of a bitch Harris kept me for two hours just folding clothes. Didn’t even get paid overtime for it.” “Relax,” Christian said “It’s the weekend, lets enjoy it.” He handed me a slice of pizza on a thin paper plate and an unopened beer. 

 

After I cooled off a bit, the events of the night were, as I said, a bit of a routine. We all sat in chairs around the table, just enjoying each other’s company while we ate pizza, told jokes, and drank alcohol we were all still too young to buy. Dylan must have sensed this routine we were slowly transitioning into, so he brought up something that was a bit unorthodox for our usual conversations. “So did you guys hear about that old building they tore down?” “Yeah!” Avalon said with a bit of a jump of excitement “Wasn’t it that old boy’s academy that was closed down and boarded up?” “Yeah, I think so.” Dylan said. Christian interrupted “But that place has been sealed off for a decade, why tear it down now?” That was a question that had the three of us rather confused. The boy’s academy was, at the time, a fantastic and ideal place for parents to essentially abandon their delinquent kids for eight weeks with the hope that they‘ll come back refined and respectable. It was only after two years of business that it suddenly shut down for reasons that nobody really knew. “Because,” Dylan explained, “So many people were breaking into it and then just vanishing.” “That doesn’t surprise me.” Christian said with a mouthful of pizza “That place is a haunted hell hole, lord only knows what kind of creepy shit goes on in there.” “I heard it got shut down because the dean was touching some of the boys.” Dylan said “I heard it was because they were drugging the food.” Christian responded “Can we not!?” Avalon shouted. Her actions didn’t surprise me, the slightest mention of anything abnormal almost drove her to tears. She was, essentially, a coward in every sense of the word. “Whatever the reason, there was something pretty unholy going on inside those walls.” Dylan said. “Kind of makes you wonder how many people have experienced something supernatural in this town.” I was quiet the whole time during this topic because I really had nothing to say. At least until Dylan said that. “I have.” I finally said. The three of them looked somewhat bewildered at what I had just said. “Please, do tell.” Dylan said as he sank into his chair and folded his arms. Avalon ran out of the garage and into the house before I even said a word, probably because she just didn’t want to hear the story. I paused for a brief moment as Dylan and Christian were staring at me with an almost star struck gaze. 

 

“It was about a year ago, the details are a bit blurry because I’ve tried to block them out for so long. My best friend Erick and I were driving home late one night from a party. A couple of fights broke out and we weren’t looking forward to being arrested when the cops were called, so we bailed. The light posts that lit up the broken streets filled with poverty stricken houses was almost hypnotizing. I was sitting in the passenger seat dazed and tired, I couldn’t even imagine how Erick felt having to drive. I remember seeing the stars almost painted onto the sky like ink onto a canvas. It was surreal, and it sent a cold shiver down my spine. The longer you looked at them, the more you realized someone or something was looking back down at you. We were almost half way home when I heard what sounded like jingling car keys. I was a bit drowsy when the sound of those keys woke me up. ‘Erick, I’m trying to sleep, get a hold of your keys and knock it off.’ Erick looked confused. ‘Steven… I only have two keys on this lanyard.’ he said in a somewhat loud whisper as if he was trying not to speak too loud for fear of someone else hearing him. I looked at the keys dangling from the ignition and saw that Erick was right. Attached to the dark green lanyard Erick always kept his keys on, there was only two. There was the key to his car which was already inside the ignition and there was his house key just swinging by itself. There was no other object on or near that lanyard that could cause the jingling sound that I was hearing a minute ago. I shrugged it off and convinced myself that I was probably just hearing things.
Twenty minutes later I could hear the jingling again, only this time it was louder the sound of it was almost like a bellowing echo in my ears. This time, Erick heard it too. We both started searching around the car for whatever was making that noise. Erick doing as much as he could while still having to keep his eyes on the road. We weren’t scared at first, just curious. I rummaged through the glove box, the side slots on the doors, even the cup holders -- there was nothing. Not a single thing that was making those noises. By now we were about a fifteen minute drive from home and we had decided that it was just a ringing in our ears from the events of earlier now catching up to us. I shared a slight weak laugh with Erick before turning my head slightly out the window. I heard a brief but thunderous pound on the window and I jerked my entire body the opposite direction of the window and I let out a slight yell. Erick was startled at my reaction and briefly swerved into the other side of the road almost hitting a truck head on before pivoting back to the right side. Erick slammed on the breaks to tend to the situation and all he saw was me sitting slumped in my seat shaking and sweating from anxiety. ‘Steven, what the fuck is wrong with you!?’ he shouted. It took a minute for me to collect myself before I was finally able to even utter a sentence and explain myself. I’m not 100% certain, but I have a feeling what startled me was a man. A man who somehow managed to slam both of his hands onto the outside of the car window. I can’t even describe what the he looked like if it was even a human at all. I remember seeing these big glowing yellow eyes almost piercing through the glass blinding me. That was the only thing that shined through the shadowy figure that woke me up and proceeded to bend the very essence of my own reality. The only other thing that I noticed besides the glow from those eyes were these elongated nails that the man had growing on each of his fingers. I didn’t want to believe it at first but I could see what looked like faint claw marks on the glass each one accompanied by smudged finger prints underneath it. I could hear and feel my own heart pounding in my chest as if in mere seconds it was going to burst through my rib cage.

 

Erick and I sat there numb to everything around us. At that point we didn’t know what had happened. We had no idea if we had just ran someone over or if we were just imagining the entire thing due to insomnia. After five minutes of silence in the dark Erick started to get out of the car. ‘Erick, where the fuck are you going!?’ I shouted ‘I have to know what that was.’ I swore a bit under my breath and got out of the car as well. Erick and I stood there just outside of our opened doors in shock. We couldn’t believe what we saw… Nothing. There was no body on the ground, no stains of blood, not even any footprints. All we saw, was the empty and broken streets dimly lit by blinking light posts. Erick dropped his green lanyard and fell face first onto the asphalt. I picked him up, wiped the cuts on his face clean the best I could with my jacket, and drove us back to his house.”

 

“Holy shit…” Christian said “Is… All that for real?” “Yes, every word.” “Can we get Erick’s side of the story?” Dylan asked “You probably could if you had a Ouija board.” “Huh!?” Christian said “Erick died a month after it happened, natural causes I think… I was right beside him the day he passed, he kept going on and on about seeing a man with half a face and the man kept asking him for a ride somewhere. He said the man offered him spare change if Erick would pick him up.” “That’s weird.” Dylan said “Yeah it is, sometimes he would clutch his ears because the sound of the spare change jingling around would hurt him. Or say he would say. There was nobody in the room but us.” Avalon poked her head into the garage and asked if it was safe to come back in. I looked at the clock and saw that it was getting late, so I decided to say goodbye to Dylan and the others and head home. I clicked the unlock button before I noticed what looked like a small piece of fabric just sitting on the hood of my car. “Avalon probably dumped more of her old junk on my car again. Must have come off one of her key chains. I don’t even like green.” I tossed it without a second thought and proceeded on my way home. My radio must have been busted because I wasn’t getting anything but white noise from the speakers. Oh well, there was nothing good on anyway. My only issue with that however, was that at least the radio was distracting me from this annoying jingling I kept hearing. I must have dropped some change somewhere, I’ll clean it up tomorrow.


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