Morning, or what passes for such by my standards. 4:45 am, the long drive to work ahead. I walk through the first gate like I do every morning. Two gates to buffer, keeping my dogs safe from these insane drivers. Into the car, me and my stuff. I’ve started turning on my headlights as I drive up to the road and the outside gate so I can see all. Not a long drive, but on foggy mornings with no moon I can barely see the gate ahead. And the neighbors across the street have moved so I no longer have anyone to annoy.
I start up to the last gate, keys in hand, reaching for the lock, when off to the right….
The neighbors catty-corner from me had a country street lamp installed, city folk afraid of their own shadows. But the ring of light gave a view of…..what the heck?
Someone, thin and thinly dressed for this cool morning. A vest, leather leggings that only come mid calf.
What is that person doing in the middle of the road? Yoga? At 4:45 am? They are bent over from the waist, legs spread wide, hands flat on the road on each side of their right leg. Did I say hands….?
But wait….what are those? Nails? Whoa! Those are some long-ass nails, bejesus.
Then time stretches to a stuttering halt. A head lifts, turns. We are frozen in our mutual discovery, my companion and I. This does not look good….inner warning systems go on high alert. No, not good at all….Oh fucking god RUN! I dash back to the truck, slamming the door and locking it in one motion. Make sure the other door is locked! hurry! Hurry!
The image leaps across the road. Stops at the gate, confused as to this obstruction. It looks full at me, into the blazing headlights.
What is that on its face? It seems to be a mask? This visage that seems in perpetual stance of surprise. Then scant eyebrows lower in determination….and it leaps! Over the flimsy barrier. Jumping onto the hood of the truck in one bound, to squat and reconnoiter.
Then off the hood to the driver’s side, to me….to get at me….
And the screeching starts. A high pitched, burst-your-eardrum-if-it-were-to-go-on kinda noise, infinite and irrational. But there are pauses and fumbling between those notes. It does not understand the concept of doors. It becomes even more agitated, beating on the window, pressing its face to the glass, an eye searing me with intensity….
Enraged, it starts to shake the truck, shrieking madly. I finally stumble out of the stupor that is a prey’s first reaction. The phone! Call someone! I dig around and find the phone, grasping this tremulous lifeline to humanity. 911 !! answer! ANSWER!!
Then a voice – “911 What is your emergency?”
Help me! There is something…fuck what is this? The truck…claws…beak.
The shrieking reaches almost sub-sonic tones. Snarling and snorts, roars that denote engorged irritation ensue. The dispatcher, startled, asks what kind of animal is attacking me. I say it’s a MAN! Arms and legs. No wait….but those are not hands….and I did not mention feet.
CRACK! The truck starts to rock, the window threatening to break. I start the horn blaring. I yell out my address – PLEASE SEND SOMEONE! HURRY!
I throw the phone down without disconnecting. Oh why? Why don’t I own a gun?? I search through my bags. WAIT! I have a high beam flashlight I can plug into the lighter socket. As I fumble and drop the light, the chaos outside my window is becoming deafening. The dogs have become frenzied. Oh fuck! My dogs! I forgot about my babies! Be safe boys.…please be safe. But the thing is focused on me, it‘s elusive prey, not those that are more easily attainable. Thank you god whoever you are!
The light is finally plugged in and I aim that blinding ray towards the window – oh shit, I did not need to see that! Like a snapshot of a nightmare….
Then silence….I see it dart around to the back. Oh please leave the dogs alone! Then the truck dips and a THUD. It begins throwing itself on the back window. Scratching the glass in its narrow minded pursuit of me.
This goes on for I don’t know how long, me aiming the light blindly at any movement, it leaping and howling, scratching and trying to gouge the very fabric of my life. I’m surprised I haven’t woken the entire neighborhood by now. But as most houses around me have been vacated recently due to the economy, there aren’t many souls around to bear witness. And we are all set so far back off the road.
After an indeterminate amount of time the noise begins to dwindle. I hear heavy breathing, a rustling to settle, then an ominous silence falls.
Ok, we shall wait this one out Bubba. I have a full tank of gas, dawn is only 2 hours away. I can outlast you fucker.
Then headlights. I just realized that I hadn’t seen anyone drive by on their way to work. Holiday…everyone off to cook I suppose. I don’t know whether to be relieved that no one else will be the target of this maniac or upset that there is no one present to witness my demise.
Anyway, headlights slowly approach. Stop in front of my driveway. A man, tall and thin, opens door and steps out. Walking up to the gate, hand on holster. I crack the window, oh so small this crack. Don’t want those talons to gain purchase now. “I think it’s in the bed of the truck!” I yell. “Please be careful!”
As usual, humans, silly, puny, god-complexed because-I-have-a-gun humans, who just don’t grasp the horrors that co-exist in our world…this silly man, he does not believe. He tries the gate, a rattling that awakens my nemesis. A squawk. Screech of anger. Then it launches itself high over the cab of my truck towards fresh game. Shots are fired but even if they are hitting him/her/it my hunter is not slowed. No, not one bit. Screaming by all present, blood spraying the car. Whining and a tail thumping on the door frame….huh?
My eyes open to the worried look of 4 pairs of eyes, peering through the mesh on the screen door that separates my room from the rest of the house (hey! it’s the only place in the house I don’t have to share with hair!). I was asleep?? That was a dream?? Oh fuck…..thank you again whoever!
Even though it’s a few hours before my alarm is set to go off I know I won’t be sleeping anymore this night. I sit up, swing the legs over the side of the day and begin this morning.
All through-out the chores and coffee I have these images burnt into my mind. The creature frozen in some type of strange tableau in the middle of the road. Was it inspecting a bug, or some type of road debris? Then the talons, like those of a bird of prey. But the form was most definitely human, what wasn’t taken up by talon and beak. And the hair, if that was indeed what it was. It was swept up to the top of the head, all going against the grain, like some super hair gel gone concrete. But what most chilled my veins was the attack to my truck. The frantic beating and rocking…the screech. What the fuck was that thing? A mutant? A mad person set loose in the country like an unwanted dog? Or some type of elemental figure…a god perhaps? Come to explore and destroy? Conquer by carnage?
As I’m walking out the door I impulsively grab a high powered flash light, the kind used by emergency personnel. This light can be seen a quarter mile away. Yea baby! I so rarely use lights to make it out the house/gates anymore. My night vision is excellent, especially if there is a moon out and the sky is clear. And with the dogs prowling the property as soon as they hit the door I feel somewhat safe. But all I could remember was the fumbling for the light in the truck. How it seemed to drain the creature’s strength.
Ok, I’m through the first gate. So far so good. Headlights on I drive up to the main gate. I get out slowly, looking everywhere at once. Where are the dogs? Do they spot or smell anything out of the ordinary? No, no, everyone is calm and roaming. A sigh of relief and I open the second gate. Back into the truck to drive out. Now comes the tricky part – I have to get out of the truck again, out on the road, and walk up to the gate to shut and lock it. I have the light in hand trying to look everywhere at once. Done!
As I say goodbye to the dogs something moves swiftly out of the corner of my eye, off in the shadows between the side of the road and my fence. What was that?! I aim the light and….nothing. Gawd I’m on pins and needles hehe.
I walk back to the truck…what was that!!? On the other side of the road, in the ditch, I swear I saw…..oh fuck this I’m getting in the truck!
I dive in and lock the door in record time.
Aesop Rock - Impossible Kid Tour 7-18-16
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