“Come on, you’re not serious.”
“What? I am. It’s clearly the fastest way to get to our campsite.”
“But, have you heard of the stories? The deaths? The… thing that lives there?”
“Just stories. I have a friend who uses it every single week for his deliveries, and I just talked to him yesterday!”
I switched off the walkie talkie. “There they go again.” I sighed to Gabby, who was next to me.
“You can’t blame them. Trust me, Brian’s just thick-headed. Anything anyone says, he dismisses. Only thing he trusts are his own thoughts. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe that’s a bad thing. I just find it irritating,” Gabby replied, gripping the wheel harder and glaring at the vehicle in front of her.
“Do you need me to switch it back on?” I asked.
“No, I think that hearing plain silence is a million times better than hearing their incessant arguing.”
“But don’t you think…”
“Relax, we’ll switch it on later. After all, we don’t want the lead car to bring us to some deserted area rather than the campsite we’re supposed to go to, right?” Gabby turned her head to look at me briefly and said.
“Right,” I replied, and leaned back on the leather seat of the car, and looked behind at the back seat. As usual, our camping bags, with all our supplies, still sat on the back seat.
“Stop doing that. You’re making me think someone’s sitting behind us,” Gabby complained.
“Sorry, lady,” I muttered, and turned my head to look in front again.
‘Just a few more hours, and we would reach the campsite where we would camp for the next few days. Brian said he was going to catch a deer. He’s probably going to come back with some nuts and berries again, and Gabby would rage at him, and he probably won’t listen to her again. Ah well, might as well catch some sleep,’ I thought, as my eyelids drooped down, and I nodded off to complete silence.
“Wake up, sleepyhead!” Gabby’s voice pierced through my dream, and I sat up, still half-asleep, realising that we had stopped. Through heavy eyelids, I could see Gabby, along with Brian and Becky, standing in front of some sign on the road.
Groaning, I opened the car door, and stepped out of the car. “Wha’s goin on?” I muttered sleepily.
Brian rolled his eyes, and remarked, “Did you forget? Before you enter the Whistler’s Highway, you must sign the agreement!”
Stepping forward and looking closely at the sign, I remembered. “Oh right, right, right!” I said hastily, as I took out my marker and signed on the surface of the sign.
The sign wasn’t the prettiest thing I saw on the highway:
“DANGER! YOU’RE ENTERING THE WHISTLER’S HIGHWAY!
BY SIGNING ON THIS SIGN, YOU AGREE TO THE RULES OF THE HIGHWAY!
1. DON’T TRAVEL ON THE HIGHWAY IN THE NIGHT, OTHERWISE THE WHISTLER WILL GET YOU!
2. DON’T TRAVEL ALONE, OTHERWISE THE WHISTLER WILL GET YOU!
3. DON’T, ABSOLUTELY DON’T, GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE WHILE ON THE HIGHWAY, OTHERWISE THE WHISTLER WILL DEFINITELY GET YOU!” was emblazoned in red on the sign, with a space at the bottom, where numerous signatures, including mine, Becky’s, Gabby’s and Brian’s signatures, were marked on the surface, with some crossed out for no particular reason. The entire sign looked like it was about to fall off as it very carefully balanced on the post holding it up.
‘Boy, this whistler guy seems like a fun guy to meet!’ Half of me thought to myself, while the other half still felt a bit unsettled by the ‘get you’ part. Becky also seemed to share my thoughts, as she stared upwards worriedly at the sky, which was visibly turning darker.
“Are you sure we’re safe when we go on this highway? I mean, it’s almost night-time, and the sign clearly said…” she stammered.
“Don’t worry! The Whistler is just an urban legend, and I doubt he would be mad if we broke one of his precious ‘rules’!” Brian interrupted confidently. Looking at the three people around him, he remarked, “Now come on! Let’s get a move on! I don’t intend to sleep in the car!”
He had already opened the car door, and was now waiting for us in the car. The three of us sighed, and moved towards our respective cars. The cars started up, and began to trundle down the Whistler’s Highway.
Looking at the empty desert along the highway, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we had made a mistake, and that we were in grave danger. Still feeling scared, I tilted my head and looked up at the sky.
It was indeed getting dark.
After staring at the desert and the sky for about an hour or so, I began to notice something strange. Notably, the dark black sky had turned… purple. Now, I didn’t know much about weather and sky colours and all that, but I knew that the sky shouldn’t be purple at what was close to 9 pm, as my watch helpfully indicated. I tried to mention this to Gabby, but she looked noticeably distracted, and her foot was continuously pushing down on the gas pedal.
It was then that I realised something else.
The car was slowing down.
Looking at the car in front of us, I saw that it was also slowing down.
“Fuck!” I heard Gabby shout as she exerted all her strength into pushing the gas pedal, hoping that the car would suddenly go faster. But it was no use. Both of the cars eventually stopped after a few minutes.
The engine wasn’t dead, and the car was still running, but it wasn’t moving.
“Well,” Gabby said, throwing her arms up in defeat and turning to look at me, “someone’s gotta go out there and fix this damn car!” Looking at her eyes, I knew that she meant me. I sighed, and prepared to open the car door.
“WAIT!” Becky’s shrill voice pierced through the walkie-talkie. “What?!” Gabby shouted in response, covering her ears as though she expected more loud noises. “Remember the third rule! No getting out of the car while on the highway!”
“For god’s sake, Becky, you seriously bought into that sign? It looked like it was erected about a million years ago!” Brian’s angry shout echoed in the car.
“But, the Whistler?!”
“But the Whistler nothing! It’s just a stupid bogeyman story created to scare the kids into saying nothing during road trips! There’s nothing dangerous about stepping outside!”
Having had enough, I shot back a reply into the walkie-talkie. “You know what, Brian? I’m going to listen to Becky, and I’m going to stay inside the car! You can go outside and get your annoying ass eaten by the Whistler or whatever he is called!” Next to me, Gabby opened her mouth seemingly to protest, but she didn’t say anything.
“Alright, fine! But don’t blame me if nothing happens, and we end up wasting our time!” Brian replied angrily.
A few minutes of silence passed.
“Alright, guys, to pass the time, let’s play some car games!”
“Alright, fine! What do you want to play first?”
“Let’s play, I Spy! I spy something with my little eye beginning with the letter ‘D’!”
Groaning, I replied, “Desert. You’re… spying a desert.”
“Correct! Now Jordan, it’s your turn!”
Sighing, I looked out the window, hoping to find something I could ‘spy’.
That was when I saw it.
Far off in the distance, something was standing in the desert. I couldn’t quite make out its features, but I knew for a fact that it was WAY taller than an actual human. It had a black top hat on, and it was wearing some kind of red suit. I couldn’t see its eyes, but I knew that it was looking in our direction. I could vaguely hear some kind of… whistling noise coming from that thing.
That whistling creature.
“What… do y-you think i-it wants?” Becky’s frightened voice came out of the receiver.
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s an illusion?” Brian’s voice came out, also trembling.
I couldn’t say anything. I was just staring at the thing, transfixed.
“Ok, now we definitely should NOT get out of the car!” Becky said.
“Okay,” Gabby, Brian, and I said in unison. As if that was not obvious. We all sat in our cars, staring at the Whistler. It was whistling a tune. I couldn’t quite make out much of the tune, but I knew I had heard it before, either on the street or in a movie. But the whistling sounded… unnatural. Hearing it sent chills down my spine, and made me even more scared.
The Whistler didn’t seem to move. It just stood in the same spot, whistling.
It was waiting for us to get out of the car.
Anxious, I began repeatedly checking the car lock, confirming that it was indeed locked before I looked at Gabby.
She looked paler than usual, and she didn’t say anything.
Well, anything to me at least.
As I leaned in close, hoping to comfort her, I heard her mutter something under her breath.
“I need to get out. Need to get out. Need to get out. Need to get out. Of the car. Of the car.”
I was genuinely freaked out then, and I shook her violently, hoping to snap her out of her chanting. She screamed and freaked out as soon as I shook her before she looked at me.
“Did I… did I say anything?” she said in a small voice.
The four of us seemed to be even more on edge after I told Brian and Becky about Gabby’s ‘episode’. We were scared to go to sleep, as we knew that if we did, we could risk ending up like Gabby. Gabby became incredibly frightened after I told her what she said, and she clutched my hand tightly. I clutched hers back equally tightly, and all of us just sat in silence for a few minutes.
Eventually, I heard Gabby whisper, “I’m hungry.” I nodded to acknowledge this, and reached behind to grab the bag of supplies in the back seat.
But they weren’t in the back seat.
I looked around frantically for the bag, until I eventually saw it.
For some unknown reason, it was on the road.
Outside the car.
I rolled down the windows, and tried to reach for it, but it was too far away. The only way to get it was to… get out of the car.
This was its plan. It wanted to get us out of the car, so that it could do… something to us. I rolled up the windows, and glared at it.
It seemed to notice that I wasn’t going to get out of the car, because the whistling seemed to get louder. It was now very audible, and my ears began to ring from it. Despite this, I refused to get out of the car.
After a few minutes, the whistling grew quieter again, and we sat in silence again. Gabby’s stomach was growling now, but judging from her face, I knew that she also didn’t want to leave to get the bag. We sat in the car, while the walkie-talkie fell silent as well.
It was playing a game with us, and we didn’t know when it would end.
Eventually, my eyelids began to droop again. ‘Shit, not now! Must stay awake!’ I thought, but it was no use. I eventually drifted off to sleep again.
“Jordan! Jordan! It’s over! The thing’s gone!” Brian’s excited voice forced my eyelids to open. I looked around. Indeed, the Whistler was gone. We had arrived at the campsite. The bright rays from the Sun shone into the car, forcing me to cover my eyes. I breathed a sigh of relief. That thing was finally gone!
“Come on Jordan, get your lazy ass out of the car!” Brian was standing outside the car, and was next to a pitched-up tent. “You need to help us set up the camp!” Next to him, Gabby and Becky were standing with sticks in their hands. “Come on, Jordan!” they remarked, smiling.
“All right, all right, I’m coming!” I replied, as my hand gripped the car door handle, as I prepared to open the car door and step outside the car.
Suddenly, a sharp pain erupted in the back of my head. As I reeled from the pain, I turned around to see who had hit me.
“Please, don’t scare me like that,” Gabby’s frightened face whispered next to me.
I was confused. Gabby was outside! Unless…
I looked outside again. The campsite was gone. We were back in the desert again. The sky still had the strange purple hue to it.
And that thing was still there.
The whistling grew louder again. The Whistler was clearly getting more frustrated now.
I was even more scared now. I checked to make sure the door was locked again.
“Thank you,” I turned to Gabby and whispered. She didn’t reply, but she nodded in acknowledgement. We sat in silence again, as the whistling grew softer again.
After a few minutes of silence, the car suddenly echoed with Becky’s screams.
“GET THEM OFF ME! GET THEM OFF ME! HELP ME!”
I hurriedly picked up the walkie-talkie, and said, “Hello? Brian? Becky? Can you hear me? It’s all a dream! Don’t panic!”
No response. The screams continued. This time, I could also faintly hear crying coming from the receiver. It sounded as though Becky was in a lot of pain, and desperately needed our help.
But we couldn’t do anything. We could only helplessly hear whatever pain Becky was going through.
After a few minutes of screaming, it finally stopped. To our relief, the car doors on the car in front hadn’t opened during the entire ordeal, so we heaved a sigh of relief. We knew that Becky had managed to overcome the nightmare she had, and didn’t think of getting out of the car.
The whistling grew way louder now, as the Whistler began to walk closer to us. It looked… taller now, and its arms and legs grew more elongated. It was clearly mad now.
I looked around the car, and looked at the car in front. All of us knew its tricks now. We weren’t going to get tricked by…
I paused, as I remembered Brian. He hadn’t been tricked by it yet. And he was the easiest person to trick, since he didn’t trust anyone other than himself.
Almost on cue, Brian’s voice came through the walkie-talkie.
“Guys, the monster’s gone! The coast is clear! Whoo-hoo!”
Looking at the Whistler, who was coming closer, I frantically shouted, “No! It’s a trick! Don’t believe it!”
“What are you talking about? What trick?”
“The monster, it’s still out there!”
“Jordan, you must be imagining things! I don’t see anything!”
“No, it’s still there!”
“Listen, when I say it’s not there, it’s not there! To prove it, I’m going to step outside and show you!”
But it was too late. The car door on the car in front opened, and we watched as Brian’s face emerged from the car.
It was over in an instant.
As soon as Brian’s foot stepped on the concrete road, the Whistler stopped whistling, and lunged towards him at shockingly fast speed.
As it reached him, I saw his expression change from one that was joyful and happy to one of pure terror.
And then he was gone, along with it.
The sky lightened, and the bright rays of the sun shone down upon us once more.
We didn’t say anything, even as the cars started to move down the highway again.
We looked at each other, and we knew one thing.
The Whistler was real, and it had gotten Brian.
A few weeks has passed since Brian’s disappearance. As of today, the police are still unable to find his body anywhere, even after interviewing us, since we were the last ones seen with him. All we said was that he disappeared during our camping trip, and we haven’t seen him since. We didn’t say anything about the Whistler, because we knew that they didn’t think the Whistler was real, and we didn’t want to seem crazy.
Sometimes, I’d like to think we all went crazy during the trip, and that there was no such thing as a ‘Whistler’, and that we just imagined the whole thing.
But, I don’t think that that’s the case.
Because when I go down to the Whistler Highway entrance sign to place my flowers as a way to remember Brian, I can still see his signature on the sign.
Written by TheRoboti