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Author's note: Originally a contest entry for UCA's Cryptid Writing Challenge. I am the original author.

The Motor City was once a sprawling, industrial namesake in American automotive culture many years ago. I used to be infatuated with the intricacies of the manufacturing plants the Big Three proudly displayed, each housing their own unique style of car assembly. Being a native to the Detroit area, I would often spend my weekends sneaking into the abandoned plants to take photographs and do some urban exploration.

Typically, I would only find the tattered remnants of a bygone era. Empty assembly halls with various belts and machines laying dormant, covered in dust and left to the sands of time. There was, however, something very odd about this venture.

The Packard Automobile Factory, a relic of the crumbled Motown life for many decades, had recently been locked and gated off from the public in speculation that the structure was far too unsafe to be wandering about inside. 'No Trespassing' signs were plastered across many of the rusty fences. These warnings never truly deterred me from exploring any of the other plants. I decided on this late summer night to get some interesting snapshots in the dark.

I turned on my Nikon and held a flashlight in the other hand as I set about my way through the plant's grounds. Broken windows, cracked concrete, and fatigued metal surrounded me on either side. On the ground before me was a relatively fresh trail of diesel fuel, haphazardly spilt in a curved line into a small loading bay. "Probably some salvagers trying to scrape what's left of the Packard parts," I thought to myself, and cautiously followed it into the open bay. Shrouded in a brick building, I peeked into the loading bay with my light aimed. Nothing except an old, rusted International Harvester. To be exact, a 1964 International Harvester CO-1800 Loadstar. She'd definitely seen better days.

Her cab's paint was all faded, the windscreen cracked and covered in dirt and debris. I snapped a photo of the truck in the dark and musty bay with the flash on. My mind was sidetracked from the trail of diesel fuel momentarily. I glanced down with my light pointed and saw that it led underneath the truck before me.

"Surely they couldn't be trying to syphon an old International, right?" I pondered. The fuel inside those lines must be from at least the late 60s. The plant closed in 1958, but was used for storage until the 1990s. Even if the truck had been left here since the 90s, it wouldn't be any good.

I heard the whine of a starter trying to spin and turn over the old diesel. My heart began to race.  Did I just catch someone trying to hot wire this International Harvester? "Hey, who's in there!?" I asked loudly. No response. I approached the cab, trying to get a good glance inside, since it's a tad higher off the ground. With my heart racing, I stepped around tentatively toward the driver's door and hoisted myself up the side steps leading up to the window. The door was locked and I started to aim my light inside.

The cab was completely empty.

A surmounting sense of terror overtook me. I backed up slowly as the engine fired up and the grill of the International creaked and groaned as it ripped open like a rib cage. Several flesh and metal melded appendages surfaced out from deep inside the engine bay. I overcame my horror-induced paralysis and fled. The loud growl of the throaty diesel V8 revved up behind me. I turned briefly to snap a quick photo while running. The flash only made this monstrosity even more enraged.

A Halogen gaze atop a bipedal, mechanical eldritch horror was now shining down on top of me. It harkened back to my old childhood nightmare of being trapped inside of a narrow railway tunnel with the engine fast approaching out of the dark.  

The noise of the piston rods slapping inside the engine block grew closer and more intense as the exhaust note increased in volume. I ran without glancing back toward the main entrance, hopped the fence, and kept onward to my vehicle parked not far down. I hardly recall what else happened that evening, but I do remember getting up out of bed the next morning.

My shoes reeked of diesel.

Curious to know what sort of hellish nightmare I encountered last night, or if it was real at all, I turned on my camera to check the gallery. Two faded, yet bright lights towered above me at that moment, with the oxidized International grill between them. Underneath was a black mass of flesh, fuel lines for its veins, and in the middle of it all, the Detroit Diesel engine burrowed into its chest.

I deleted the photograph in the vain hope that I'll just disregard this as my own delusions. It's for the best anyways.

Written by DoombladexDylan
Content is available under CC BY-SA