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Allen Clarke Allen Clarke
Recommendations: 18

Take a Left Turn at Oak Road


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Start Writing

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She had a friend.

Here I sits at 7 in the AM, because I couldn`t sleep. Every once in awhile, I feel inspired to write something that will cause people to realize that there is a Power greater than evil.


      When you look into the abyss, then the abyss will look into you.



                                                 Freidrich Neitzsche



Chapter One



     There is a place of local legend in the vicinity of Hood`s Hollow which is of


particular interest to those who luxuriate in the sensation of getting scared shitless.


Personally, I like to keep my drawers freshly laundered and smelling of sweet spice.Go


ahead, laugh, if you must,I do understand, quite perfectly, you see.



     Now, please understand, that I am no Stephen King, no, not by a long shot, but,


nevertheless, I do try. Sorry, I didn`t mean to get off on another rabbit trail, but


here goes nothing. Oak Road is at the intersection of 16 North and 14 West, as the crow


flies. Or, rather, should that be... as the bull flies. A street light faintly


illuminates the intersection. The area is surrounded by shimmering amber waves of

wheat.



            Just a stone`s throw from the intersection there stands a shab,drab,greying


farmhouse. The locals claim that the Depression-era building seems to have a life of its`


own. It`s been long ago deserted of human habitation, of course. I did say...human


habitation, did I not?



     The house has three stories and...(ahem) holds a... story, all of its`own unique


flavour. The winds and ravages of time have weathered the house so much so, that its`


former beauty is but a whisper in the wind. Incredibly so, most of the original glass on


the windows is perfectly intact. In fact, all of the original doors still squeak on their


hinges. Dusty lace curtains hang sheerly from the sills and seem to open and close at


different times of the day and night. People that drive by cannot help but roll by


slowly, hoping to catch a glimpse of something that they`re not quite sure of.



     Stranded hitch-hikers have tried to spend the night there if they were caught


in the rain. At last count, none had stayed the night. On coffee row, whispered tales of


  hikers picked up late at night near the vicinity of the old farmhouse abound in the


local history. Some were speechless, while others babbled incoherently. In every case,


all, seemed grey and old, before their time. When asked where they had come from, they


would sit silent and trembling. Some would sob with relief, as they saw the headlights of


a vehicle slowing down to pick them up. It seemed as though they bore the look of someone


greatly delivered from something they could not describe. One derelict gentleman, had


only to whisper, ``It`s there, you know, at the corner of Oak Road, it lives


there...don`t ever go there...please, don`t ever go there.``And his voice trailed off


down into a low whimper. S..s..say your prayers tonight, won`t you? And say one for me.``


     With that, he guzzled down the last of the whiskey from a tin flask.


Chapter Two



     Earlier that evening, Stranger had been dropped off at the crossroad by the old


farmhouse. A distant rumble in the south and a flash of lightning caused him to consider


spending the night in the foreboding grey structure. The withered sign at the


intersection read Oak Road. Wearied from long hours on the road, Stranger only wanted


to get home to the reserve. At that moment, he would have been satisfied to crawl into a


culvert for the night.



       At about a hundred yards toward the south he spied a figure against the dim light,


perched on a telephone pole. Stranger squinted his eyes in the dimming light and thought


he saw the bird had assumed..a human-like form? The old boy lightly dismissed it seeing


he had heard stories of shape-shifters since early childhood. He blinked once


more and ;the bird flew away, cawing wildly; as though, the avian was disturbed by his


prescence.

     Presently, an eerie glow descended on the drear, greyed crossroads. A drop of


rain fell on his leathered ancient face. Looking down the road, he saw a


faint glow of headlights, then gave up, knowing that it was only someone turning off


onto a side-road.



     Drizzle of rain baptized the old man as he peered into the cab of the 57 Olds.


Wisdom whispered that he might ascertain if this was a safe ride. Surreptitiously, he


felt into his cowboy boot and felt the cool reassurance of the derringer. She was a


beauty with mother of pearl handle glistening with a deadly silver finish in the half


light of the evening. He let it ease back into the small brocaded leather holster in


which she was cradled.


      Looking less suspiciously at Driver, a bolt of lightning jagged


down onto a nearby field and it dispelled his imaginings. Stranger rasped dryly into a


pink hanky as he boarded the car. With that, he began his tale in short, pained


increments, pausing intermittently, as if for dramatic effect.


``So, tell me what did they look like?``asked Driver.


    The man,at the wheel,grew intensely interested at what his passenger was about to
say. The grizzled look of his passenger belied the wisdom that usually comes with age. Driver snuffed at the air and percieved that this man had dire need of soap and hot water. Driver gripped the wheel, as an inexplicable air of tension turned the corkscrew of dramatic expectation in the cab. Outside, flickers of night flew by, consuming the miles while seconds ticked off on the silvered chrome dash-clock on the Olds.



``They looked..like..they was made of ..cardboard.``


``What?``came the rasped reply.


``You know..kinda dirty and brownish-grey. Like they been draggin`round in the mud. And


they stunk ta high heaven.`` Much like yourself, thought Driver.



``Did they say anything? he spoke out of the darkness.. of ignorance.. of the deep hidden things.


``Yes..they did, but I...I...I... couldn`t make out what... they were trying to say to


me.``



     Driver was piqued.Trembling in anticipation, he ventured still further to draw from the well of truth.



``Well, come out with it man, what kind of language were they speaking in?``


``How the hell am I supposed to know. I only gotts grade three.``


``Was it English?``


``It sounded like gibberish, almost like the way a kid would speak when you take away his


stick of candy.``


``Well, if it wasn`t English, what was it?``


``Well, I thought I had heard it in the R.C.ccchurch I went to once about a hundred years


ago. Kinda like one of those old languages.``


``It sounds like Latin.``


``Friend, I wouldn`t know the difference. All`s I know is that it sounded pretty


freakin` wierd.``


      Driver began to wax preponderous. He had long held a nagging fascination about``things that go bump in the night``.


``Once upon a midnight deary...``Driver began to quote an old dead Englishman.


``Huh?``came the confused interjection.


``Oh, just something I read back in my school days.``


``The ony readin`I dooz these days is them Archie comics.``


``I`m ecstatic for you.``said Driver with subtle-edged sarcasm; knowing it would


escape the old man`s head.


``I gotts ta tell ya`, friend, ya just saved my bacon back there.``Stranger rubbed his wrinkled hands together, as if to warm them.



     Moments later, the radio crackled to life, as the announcer sputtered out the weather details.


``It gonna be plenty wet.``


``Say, have you ever done anything...just for the Hades of it?``


``Huh?``came the uneducated reply.


``What say...what say..``


``Wha?``Stranger wasn`t sure what was coming next. He could already see himself curled up


in his horse blanket back home.


``What say..we turn this buggy around and go back to that place and just see...``


``Are ya freakin`flipped, mister? You don`t know, no, ya just don`t know! No idee,


whatsoever!``


``Well, I`m the driver and I decide where we go and how fast we get there. Get it?``


Chapter Three


     If the truth be known, Driver was a driven individual.He had always been a drive-in


fanatic, especially when it came to those old horror flicks.He was always the first one


there at the admission booth whether he arrived by car or not.The love of Karloff and


Lugosi consumed him. The first time he saw The Wolfman, rumour was, he tried to style


his hair after Lon Chaney. Hidden under his bed were dozens and dozens of``Tales from


the Crypt``and other horror fan magazines of that era. Halloween was


his favourite night``to howl``.



    It seemed that no one understood his twisted love for,``the willies.`` It mattered not


since he was the man in charge, and he determined they were heading back to the old


farmhouse. Someone had told him back at that Chevron gas station,``Take a left turn at


Oak Road, and keep going!`An ominous tone was caught up in the trembling voice


of the gas jockey. `Dumb hicks,` he thought,`I don`t think too many possess a back-


bone.` He, on the other hand, didn`t have a tad of caution when it came to encountering


inexplicable events. Driver felt he was above it all somehow. He was convinced that


in his world all could be explained away by science and logic. Therefore, he didn`t fear

as other men do.



  ``Yer nuts, mister...I`m getting the H outta here!


  ``Ho..hold on now, old son, you`ll bust your neck if you jump out now!``


  ``Yer crazy if you think I`m going back there with you!``


  ``Well, hey, you know what? I just decided I`m going to take the old Canwood highway.


We just passed it at the crossroads.``he lied.



     With that he turned the Oldsmobile around and spun a U-ee on the blacktop. Damn,if


his car didn`t look like The Bat-Mobile.In a cloud of blue smoke, Driver took off with


his captive passenger.



  ``Yer making a big mistake, mister.``said Stranger, as he spewed out a chaw of `baccy`


out the window.


      Stranger dozed off. He was very, very tired. He was an old man. He`d seen things


defying explanation. He`d been in situations which make grown men cry. Many a


time, he`d find himself staring down Death. One time, he faced down twin barrels of a


Remington. It was the recognition of an old friend which saved his life. Well, he


figured he was going to put back the thing he had stolen momentarily. It was only a hunk


of baloney and a loaf of dry bread after all. Was a man to be blown away so easy over a


lousey loaf of bread, he figured. The old friend threw down a five dollar bill (just in


the nick of time) but not before Stranger stood there``soiling``his shorts. Driver had a


look of puzzlement,when he heard the old man chuckling in his sleep. But,he recoiled


with distaste, as Stranger let out a seeping,silent,but deadly fart into the enclosed


confines of his beloved 57`Olds. Driver made a mental note,``Must remember to fumigate


car.``


Chapter Four


     The unlikely daring duo rumbled off the main road and onto the Oak Road house ...


scraping in on the tire rim. With a devilish sparkle in his eye,Driver lurched up behind


the house out of view of passerby motorists.


     ``Shit, never thought to fix the spare.``came the feigned school-girl display of


disappointment.There appeared to be a panting to his words which scantily concealed an


excitement imbedded within its` inflection.


     Then, the storm clouds started to roll in. Dark billows augmented


ominously the gust and howl of dust and wind. Nature, itself seemed to herald a


disturbance in the scheme of things to come.


Slowly, but surely, the dark clouds of despair began to roll in. It was well past the


hour of turning back now and the old man knew it.



      `So this is where it ends,``he mused as though he was languishing over his last few


drops of cheap muscatel. The truth is, he had never truly savoured the fruit of the


vine.There was never anything quite as quietly viscious as the harrowing after effect of


wine when it turns against a man. After awhile a man tends to question whether he is a


man after all. He finds too much courage in the bottle. After awhile his sense of


reality gets horrifically lost as he succumbs to her irresistable drag downward. And,


yes it can be rightfully argued that according to that old Chinese proverb,``At first


the man takes a drink, then the drink takes another drink, then finally, the drink takes


the  man.`` And in his lifetime, Stranger calculated, that he had foolishly imbibed a


river or two of the demon brew.


``I`m going ta sleep in the car tonight and with both eyes wide``he spoke to the wind.


Driver, on the other hand, didn`t give a shit as to whatever transpired between dusk till


dawn. He was eager for some excitement in his life. He was the kind of damn fool that


runs with the bulls. It could be rightfully asessed that there was something


definitely askew in his thought processes. The fool would think nothing to run naked


through a crowded skating rink just to get a reaction from the throng. He knew the power


of spectacle. Driver felt that the more outrageous, the better. Driver savoured the


chill that runs down a man`s spine when there didn`t appear to be anyone in pursuit.


      Stranger hunkered down for the night in the back seat. Six wild


horses couldn`t drag him out of his nest of security for the night. Five wild


women with cherry-flavoured lipstick couldn`t sweet-talk him. Inwardly,he resisted


presumptuous impulse.


  


      Knowing the vehicle wasn`t going anywhere, he resolved to packing in for


the evening. Slowly drifting off to Nod, the last thing he heard was Driver rustling


out of the car to enter the farmhouse.



     ``Good luck, pardner,``he mumbled to himself, and succumbed to the Sandman.


     He dreamt of Mexico and its`long sandy beaches. Damn,it was hot down there, he


mused. This was all speculation, of course, since the closest he`d ever been to Mexico


was Taco Time. Oh, well, at least the old coot could dream. He kept his hand holding


tight to that little pistol he had transferred from his boot closer to his heart in his


vest pocket. He figured,`` if this guy tries to homo me up or something, he gotts


another thing coming.``He grunted with animal satisfaction with the secret knowledge


that he had a little bit of insurance.


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