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Lonely Road

Susan, WA, USA
June 1999

About six years ago, the summer before my sophomore year in college, a friend and I drove out to a party given by one of my summer-job co-workers, Joe.

His folks had some property with a trailer on it about thirty miles north of Spokane, WA. Another friend, Ilene, drove separately and was going to follow me home later. Well, after the party ended some hours later, I walked towards the car and began to feel a vague sense of unease. I checked the trunk, the back seat and even the undercarriage to make sure that there was no one was "tagging along". It was very late and I was tired, so I dismissed the feelings as just fatigue. My passenger promptly fell asleep as soon as we turned on to the main highway. Ilene followed about a half a mile behind, but I rapidly lost sight of her. I began to feel the unease again, but as I didn't want to wake up my friend, I turned on the radio softly for company.

The feeling grew and deepened until I felt the overwhelming desire to weep. I began to feel terror and was fiercely convinced that if I looked into the rear view mirror, I would see something, most likely whatever it was I checked the trunk and back seat for. I found myself wishing for my father like I never before had. I somehow felt that he could protect me. As I kept driving, I noticed on the side of the road a mailbox with deer antlers (very hick) and even in my state of near hysteria noted that the worst of the fear faded as I passed it. I dropped my passenger off and gratefully returned to my parents house where I wouldn't go to sleep until I told my father good night.

The next day at work, Ilene and I were talking and she gave me a queer look and said, "Did anything strange happen to you last night on your way home?" I must have looked fairly stricken, as she took my hand and said, "I was so terrified on the drive home that I wanted to cry. I kept thinking about my father." I was absolutely frozen in terror by this point and I asked her if she had seen anything on her way home that she remembered. "Well, yes," she said, but it's kind of silly. I remember, as I started to feel better, that there was this really tacky mailbox with antlers on it." I gripped her hand tightly, but before I could tell her what happened to me, another co-worker walked into the room where we were talking and said, "Did you hear that Joe's Dad was killed last night on the highway going out to the cabin after we all left?" I still feel a sense of panic when recounting this story.
Very strange.

Susan, WA, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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