Everyone knew the legend that came with Riney Rd in Missouri. They heard the stories of how a family had broken down on that long bridge over the creek. How after several minutes of being stranded the car suddenly started bouncing up and down as if someone was jumping up and down in the bumper.
Someone very large.
Then there were the kids who wanted to see for them selves if there was truly a large man like creature that was out there chasing away the poor people who for strange reasons always seemed to break down in the middle of that bridge.
I was one of them. Myself and a bunch of high school buddies had always thought of going out there late one night and seeing for ourselves if there was such a creature or if someone was just passing on another urban legend.
One night late November of last year we decided to check it. Course this was after we all had downed a few beers. So we piled in my friends Taurus and headed over to Riney Rd.
The road was like any normal street. Paved unmarked two lane. Houses were scattered about on each side. Then you hit the woods. The trees were tall with their branches stretching out over the street making it seem like you were driving through a dark tunnel.Your bright lights barely made enough light to see. The road was winding and you had to watch your speed.
An early snow fall had the ground covered in white powder, muffling any noise.We drove on at a snails pass creeping along the road, so as to not wreck out on the wet pavement. After a couple of miles, the road made a sharp curve to the right.
My friend driving brought the car to a stop. The headlights shown straight out illuminating the bridge before us.
"We all ready for this?" His knuckles were turning white from him griping the steering wheel so hard.
"You're not scared are ya." Another one piped up, mocking the driver.
"Hell no." I could see the fear in his eyes though. He slowly pressed the gas and the car lurched forward.
Despite the cold we rolled down the windows. The crunch of the tires on the unmarked snow echoed off the cast darkness. In the middle of the bridge he once more stopped. Turning the ignition off, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and shivered. I wasn't so sure it was from the cold.
"Hey man you think we should turn off the lights?" My tough guy friend received a thump on the head for that one.
But still we turned off the lights.
An hour later we all were shivering now more from the cold than anything.
"We should go." I wasn't really wanting to stay any longer. It was obvious there was nothing here. The stories had just been legends.
"Man I gotta take a leak." The guy next to me opened the car door and flat fell out onto the ground, drunk. We all howled with laughter. My driver buddy over his scaredness threw an empty beer can out at him. The one on ground pulled himself up using the car for support.
"Forget you, man!" He flipped us the finger and proceeded to stumble his way over to the side of the bridge. With the head lights off and no moon out, he disappeared within a few feet. His voice rang out in a drunken beer song, throwing all us into fits of hysterics again. Without warning his voice stopped. Like a CD that had been suddenly turned off. No slowly winding down. Just flat stopped. We heard a thump and had assumed he had passed out.
Mr tough guy in shot gun decided to go get him. He had just opened the car door and placed one foot on the ground when a strange animal howl filled the night air. It sent chills running up my spine like someone with ice cold hands was tracing it with their finger. The guy in front froze were he was. When he looked back at me his face had gone white.
"Let's get out of here ya'll" The driver's voice was barely audible.
"No we can't leave him out there." With neither of the two guys in the front moving, I took it upon myself to be the rescuer.
I slid across the seat and climbed out the same door my friend had left open a few moments before. Straightening up, I tried to let my eyes adjust to the darkness but with very little light it was next to impossible to see.
Carefully, one foot in front of the other, I made my way in the direction he had disappeared. I glanced back over my shoulder and saw my two buddies with their faces pressed against the glass. They had shut the back door behind me. I heard a strange noise then. It sounded like someone breathing but more like they had been punched in the stomach and all their air had been forced out of their lungs. I sensed something close, something big. The hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up. Almost in slow motion I turned my head around, facing front. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of movement. A blur, a flash of something big and gray. I heard a gasp from in front of me or maybe it was from me. A shape started moving towards me and fast. It was directly in front and coming on a course for a head on. Frozen in my tracks, all I could think to do was raise my arms.
The shape collided with me knocking us both to the ground. I rolled over onto my stomach and leaped to my feet, ready to strike out. My drunk friend lay crumpled on the ground. His eyes were wide, his face had been drained of any color. I heard that strange breathing noise again and that was all it took. I grabbed him up, half dragging half caring, we ran to the car. Slamming into the closed door my two friends inside nearly wet in their pants. Together working more against each other, we tried to get the door open from the outside. Finally the driver came out of his shock and opened it from the inside a second before we came through the window. Rolling up the windows we sat there huddled together. Our breath came out in white puffs, quickly fogging up the windows.
Daring against my better judgment, I wiped the glass clear and peered through it in the direction my now silent friend had gone before. Suddenly a movement came flying straight at the door, colliding with it in a clatter of hooves. A deer, a young buck, staggered back to his feet and stared back at as. Then in a flurry of brown fur he was off once more.
I can never forget that deer. For in his eyes, was a look of pure terror.
"Start the car! Start the car!" I started screaming repeating over and over as my friends desperately tried to get the old engine cranked over. The engine cranked over and over. Cold from being shut off for so long in the weather it wouldn't catch.
"Man your gonna flood it," My tough guy friend reached over and stopped his hand from turning the key. "Just wait..."
He barely got the words out. We felt it hit the back of the car. A loud thump. Like some one had kicked the back bumper. Then the car started bouncing. We all were screaming at the driver to start the engine. Panicked by the car being bounced up and down, he dropped the keys. Shaking so bad he could barely hold them he got them back in his hands and started the engine.
All it took was one try.
He pressed on the gas, not caring that we weren't getting any traction. The heat from the tires quickly burned through the thin layer of snow. The second the tire hit pavement, the car shot forward sending it into fish tails. He quickly gained control of it and sped off towards the end of the bridge.
The drive home was quiet. None of us could talk. More likely were all were still frightened over what we had just experienced.
Parking the car in the driveway, we all slowly climbed out. Scared sober by this time.Rounding around the back of the car, my fellow back seat passenger stopped and just stared at the trunk. Curious as to what was up, the 3 of us joined him.
What was there I think frightened us even more.
Perfectly imprinted in the snow on the trunk lid, were two very large hand prints.
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