It was a cold California night as the traveler was heading home along Highway 11. This highway was also known as “Autobahn Verfolgt”. The lone traveler sped down the desolate roadway attempting to keep consciousness. All that surrounded him were tall trees flowing in the midnight air. Their branches rustling against others, shaking leaves and needles to collapse to the Earth. He soon came up to mile marker 11 and pulled into the rest stop. As the engine came to a dead stop, he jumped out of his vehicle and made a short sprint to the restroom. Upon entering, a vile smell rose to his nostrils and caused him to choke.
“Hello? Is anyone in here?” he shouted as if expecting an answer.
Cautiously stepping over puddles of brown and other mysterious shades, he stood before a urinal. Slowly dropping the zipper he made a quick check that nobody was in there with him. After reassuring himself, he relaxed and let go. He exhaled a deep breath as the contents of his bladder emptied onto the urinal cake causing it to decay with each splash. When he was finished, he zipped up his jeans and stepped over to the sink, almost slipping from one of his wet footprints. Down the row of sinks, murky brown water began to spill from the cold faucet. He stood there disgusted and confused. A dark solid slowly flowed up from the drain in his sink as the water ran down it.
“This place needs to be looked at…” he thought to himself as he observed it carefully in the mirror.
As he came back to his own view in the mirror, a faint figure could be seen eyeing him from the corner of the restroom. In a moment of shock, he turned around to see that nobody was actually there. He then paced outside into the rain and looked into a vending machine for a snack. The only item that caught his eye was the single bag of Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos. Reaching for his wallet, he found correct change and deposited it into the machine. He could feel his mouth begin water as the bag dropped from its position.
As he grabbed the Doritos and ran back to his car, he could see the same figure that was in the bathroom standing on the opposite side of the road. It only glared at him.
“Hello?” he shouted as he took one step closer to his car.
In a brief moment, a flash of lightning blinded him and the figure was gone.
“Just another hour and I’ll be home,” he thought.
He tossed the chips onto the dashboard and put the key in the ignition. It took a few attempts until the engine finally turned over. Pulling out of the rest stop, he continued his journey home. The windshield wipers were not doing such a great job as the sky continued to spray his car. He turned on the radio to keep himself occupied. Turning the dial, nothing but static came through his speakers.
“Damn, why should I expect anything different?” he mumbled under his breath as he reached into his glove compartment for a CD.
Before a CD could be selected, the rapid flash of red and blue lights ahead caught his attention. Emergency vehicles were at a crime scene where a semi-truck had combusted into a mass of flame. Slowing down he could see the driver melted to the leather of the seat. As he looked closer, it almost appeared to be the same person from the rest stop. In a dead moment, both the man and the charred cadaver’s eyes met, gazing into each other’s souls. A police officer told him to continue on and be careful.
The music that blared from the speakers kept his mind occupied from the terror he just witnessed. As the final song came to an end, the traveler noticed the mile marker was scratched out.
“That’s just great. What kind of prick does such a thing? Bloody punk…” he spoke to himself.
The travel began to feel like an endless tunnel of darkness. Keeping his eyelids open felt like a thousand burdens until they fell shut for a half second. Within that sudden break of time, he had lost control of the car and swerved from side to side in order to regain control. This was impossible with the vast amount of rain that layered the asphalt. Before him, the lone figure that he had seen earlier was standing in the middle of the highway as the car flipped.
The driver felt everything going in slow motion as the vehicle completely flipped over the man in the street. Crashing to the ground, the vehicle continued to roll and flip until it had hit a tree. The driver was covered in blood as glass lacerated his skin. In small intervals, he could see the figure getting closer to the wreckage until he blacked out a moment. The figure was replaced by emergency vehicles responding to the wreck. An officer helped him out of the twisted metal and gave him to the paramedics. He was gently set onto a gurney and lifted into the ambulance. His vision continued to fade in and out.
“Sir, you need to keep calm as we are doing everything in our reach to help you!” one of the EMT’s shouted at him.
As his vision blurred in and out, he saw the figure standing over him. Its melted face looked into his eyes. His mouth was melted together with a few exposed teeth. The figure slowly turned its head before engaging in a banshee like screech as it tore away at the man’s chest.