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Day before Christmas Eve 2011

My family and I live in the city, but my grandparents live out in the country. I love the country, it's more peaceful than the city.

Every year, my parents, my two sisters and I would drive out to our grandparents the day before Christmas Eve and spend three nights at their big house. The drive would be long, almost four to five hours.

This year was different. My second oldest sister got her license and she wanted to drive. My dad was somewhat against it, but decided to allow her to drive. I think it was a big mistake.

My sister Audrey got lost trying to get out of the city. She tried to follow the GPS we had on our Honda Odyssey's dashboard, but she really couldn't understand where to go. My oldest sister Samantha had her headphones plugged in, my mom was being a worrywart, and dad was about to blow a fuse.

Finally, we got onto the right road and headed out of the city, but we were an hour late already.

I gazed out on the snowy landscape. We drove on the highway smoothly and Audrey was getting the hang of it.

Two hours later, we stopped for gas and a bathroom break. The gas attendant asked where we were heading. My dad said we were going out to Martinsburg. "I'm afraid you can't use 1-85 once you pass the state line. There was a bad flood out there recently and it wiped out much of the concrete," the attendant said.

"We'll take Forest Road, it'll connect us to where we are going," my dad said, but the attendant shook his head.

"Don't go down that road. It'll be very scary for your kids," he replied and dad looks at him in confusion.

"Why would it be scary?" I asked.

"It's haunted by a tailgater," the attendant answered and explains, "Mr. Tom Lisiewicz was an impatient driver. He liked to go faster, but whenever he got behind someone who was slow, he got on their tail and honked his horn until he went around them. Forest Road is not the best place to do that as it is curvy and you can't see around the curves.

"Well, around Christmas in 1979, Mr. Lisiewicz was travelling on Forest Road and was behind a slow driver. It was snowing and the slow driver was going at a safe speed, but Lisiewicz was impatient and went around the driver. As he sped off, he hit a patch of black ice and spun out. His truck flipped over and crashed into some trees. He died upon impact.

"To this day, especially around Christmas, many people said they encountered a tailgater on Forest Road. Whenever someone tried to catch up with him, the car simply vanished when they went around a curve," the attendant finished his story.

I was shaken by the story, but my two sisters thought nothing of it. "There's no such thing as ghosts," Samantha said and Audrey nodded.

The attendant then says, "If you do go down that road, watch out for a red 1972 Chevrolet C/10 Cheyenne pick-up truck. If he speeds up, get over to the side as safely as possible."

We went back to the van. "Can I drive, again?" Audrey asked.

"No, you better let me drive. It will start snowing and you have not had much experience with snow," Dad replied and got into the driver's seat.

I sat in the very back. Audrey and Samantha had their headphones on while sitting in the middle seat. My mom sat in the passenger's seat up front.

We drove for a bit until we came to a fork in the road. Forest Road was to our right and dad turned there. I wasn't sure if I should be afraid.

The road had a grove of trees on both sides. It was pretty, especially now that the snow started to fall.

A few minutes passed and we were still on Forest Road. I gazed out, looking at the trees until something caught my attention out the back window.

A pick-up truck was driving very fast and was catching up to us. "Dad?" I said.

"I see him sweetie, he's going to have to slow down," Dad replied, but the driver did not slow down.

He caught up to us and he was right on our tail. He honked his horn at us. "Back off jackass!" Dad shouted. He slowed a bit, but the truck bumped the back bumper. "Idiot!" Dad shouted.

"Honey, speed up!" Mom cried out. Dad hit the gas, but the truck behind us was going much faster.

"Go around me if you're in a hurry!" Dad shouted out the window. My sisters and I were scared at this point. I looked at the driver behind us. He was wearing a red plaid shirt and had a scruffy beard, but the man driving the truck had a scary look on his face. It was as if he was enjoying this!

"Honey! There is a curve coming up!" Mom cried out.

I wasn't sure what Dad was thinking about, but he drove the van to the other side of the road, risking our lives, and the truck sped off.

In an instant, Dad went back on the correct side of the road and tried to catch up with the truck, but it was a lot faster than the van.

"Honey! Slow down!" my Mom cried out as we reached the curve. Dad did slow down a bit, just enough to safely go around the curve.

Then we noticed that the truck was nowhere to be seen. The road had smoothed out and there was a clearing ahead, but the truck had vanished.

"That is not possible!" Dad shouted. He pulled to the side and put on the hazard lights. He stepped out to inspect the damage.

Then, a car going in the opposite direction stopped on the other side and the driver, an old man came over. "Something wrong folks?" he asked.

"Yeah, did you see a red pick-up truck drive past you at top speed?" Dad asked and pointed to the bumper of the van.

The old man shook his head and asked for the truck's description. "It looked like an old Chevrolet pick-up truck," my Dad replied.

The old man's face turned pale and went back to his car. He came back with a photograph and I stepped out to look at it. The photo had a man standing in front of a red Chevrolet C/10 Cheyenne pick-up truck. I looked at the man, he had a scruffy beard and wore a red plaid shirt. He was the driver I saw!

"That's him!" I shrieked, "That's the driver!"

"Julie, calm down," my Dad said and then asks, "Are you sure it was him?"

I nodded vigorously.

We both looked at the old man. He looked at each of us and looked at the ground.

"I am very sorry, my brother Tom was always an impatient driver. It seems that even in death, he's still an impatient driver. After he died, many people came up to me and my parents saying they encountered him on this road. We told people that Tom was killed in 1979, and as a matter of fact, it was on this very day.

"I travel on this road every year on this day to see if my brother was tailgating or forced drivers off the road. I am sorry to say that he's still doing this for over 30 years," the old man explained.

I noticed that my dad's face was full of shock and confusion. He then asked, "How long is this road?"

"Just two miles till you get to the main road and it'll lead you to the highway," the old man said and adds, "If you want, I can follow behind you to make sure you get there safely."

Dad shook his and had me go back in the van. I saw the old man hand my dad some 100 dollar bills. "Here's for the back bumper," he said, but Dad refused to take it.

"No thank you, we'll be fine," Dad said and went back to the driver's seat. He got the van running, again, and we drove off, leaving the old man behind.

We made it to our grandparents' place just as the sun had set. Grandma made rotisserie chicken, but we just picked at our food. We were still shaken by the incident that we experienced on Forest Road.

Over the years, at Christmas, we avoid going on Forest Road, just so we don't have a scary encounter with the tailgater.


Story by BlueQuartz28