Friday, October 28, 2005

Just in time for the weekend...

I was riding home along a quiet, tree-lined road one afternoon. Fall had arrived, and although the leaves hadn’t changed yet, they were fading fast. The air was cooler, giving a hint of things to come. The road was straight and flat, and the shade under the trees gave way to patches of bright sunlight. All in all, it was a lovely day.

Far behind me, a car rounded the bend and motored along slowly. It was moving slower than I was and seemed to stay in the shade all the time. I couldn’t see any sunlight sparkling on the paint or the chrome, though I did see some chrome bits on the front and sides. It looked like an old car, something from the 40s or 50s, big, round, and all black.

But I didn’t pay much attention to a car that far behind, and since it wasn’t overtaking, I didn’t give it a second thought. It was far back, and I couldn’t even hear the engine. Soon, I reached a main road and turned toward home, the car quickly forgotten.

The next day, I saw it again. It was behind me as before, but much closer this time. Still, it didn’t seem to reflect sunlight. Since it was closer, I could make out what it was, and I was startled to realize it was an ancient Cadillac Hearse, one of the really old ones with flower vases attached to the sides. I’d never seen one except in the movies. It stayed behind me; still quite a way back, but I had a vaguely uneasy feeling about it.

That feeling ratcheted upward on my next commute. The Hearse appeared just behind me again, as if by magic. I never saw it turn out of a side street. I never heard it coming. Suddenly, it was right behind my back wheel. It didn’t even make any tire noise. But I got a better look at it that time. The car was old with its paint oxidized to flat black. The chrome was rusty, pitted, and dull. But the oddest things were the windows. Just like the body, they were flat black, even the windshield. I couldn’t see the driver or any of the interior.

It motored alongside and passed. That’s when I heard the engine. It throbbed at a low rate, sounding almost like a heartbeat. It was obviously a powerful engine with a substantial muffler. But there still wasn’t any tire noise. It swept by, and I checked over my shoulder for more traffic following it. When I turned to look ahead, it was gone!

This was very weird. I’m normally a levelheaded, calm kind of guy, but this had me spooked.

The Hearse appeared each day after that, always when I was looking in another direction. It disappeared equally quickly and I never saw it happen. And I was very nervous whenever it was nearby.

I told Mary about it and she said I was probably imagining the whole thing.

Yesterday afternoon, I gleaned another clue. As the mysterious Hearse swept by yet again, I cold faintly make out a logo on the passenger side, an area of paint just slightly less oxidized than the rest of the door. The letters were so hard to discern I wasn’t entirely sure I’d read them properly, but their faded outline seemed to be “H. Horseman, (illegible) Hollow”.

I decided to drive the car to work for a few days.

Happy Halloween!

1 Comments:

Blogger Fritz said...

The reaper's after you, man!

I just got back from a lunchtime ride with two of my coworkers. Temp in the mid-60s, light breeze, partly cloudy. The tree leaves are all shades of yellow, orange, red and green and it was absolutely gorgeous out.

It was a fast ride -- we averaged 18.6 mph over 24 miles -- but we still enjoyed the autumn scenery.

4:16 PM  

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