As we drove back down the dirt road, the surroundings were different in the blackness. The headlights revealed old tires and debris overlooked in the daylight. The tall vegetation seemed to reach out and claw at the windows as we passed by. We drove back into the valley, by the split in the road, only to feel our breath escape in a rush of sadness and terror. Lying before us, blocking the road, sat an old station wagon, diseased with rust, with the words “Beware” spray-painted in red. We were all speechless, unable to process the situation as it unfolded. “Can we go around it? Who put it there…why would…who…what’s happening!” My wife cried in disbelief. “Tell the kids to hold on tight”, I said to my wife, “I’m going to go for it”. I jammed the car into drive ready to slam forward when mud sprayed and splattered from the spinning wheels.
The road was too wet and the camper too heavy to get moving again. Looking in the rearview mirror to assess the situation saw a haunting figure in the glow of the taillights. The large silhouette leaped off the road and out of sight but smashed through the woods alongside the blackened road. I locked the doors just in time when an explosion of pounding and shaking confirmed what I had seen. In a blur of anger and savagery, the enormous creature smashed at the windows spitting and howling. Suddenly everything was quite as if we had awoken from a nightmare. Unsure what had happened, we sat quietly still waiting for what was to come. The silence was shattered by an unearthly cry of animal desperation. The sound of the howl drove into our bones as if it was in the car with us. We screamed in terror, breathless and without sound. The giant mass leaded into sight as the headlight glistened off his pale white teeth and matted fur. In an instant, the mighty beast leaped into the shrub and out of our lives. We watched his evil shape in the moonlight as he ran off into the forest, never to be seen again. Happy Halloween.