Sunday, October 30, 2011

Essay ~ "Night Fears"

Night Fears
(by Marta Weller, December 4, 2009)

Part 1

Once again I am driving home alone,
alone except for the moon traveling ahead of me.
Alone with my thoughts in the dark, dark night
and the moon shining among the clouds.
The moonlight on the trees along the country road,
gleams and glows in the almost surreal landscape.
The headlights of my car illuminate the double yellow lines
as they slide along before me.
The black macadam ribbon bends and twirls along with my thoughts
and the yellow lines become a magnet for my eyes.
Like a hypnotist's or an analyst's watch -
mesmerizing me.
That's when the fear begins to rise.

I really don't mind driving at night so much. But I know several people who really and truly fear it. I know others who don't drive at night due to a physical problem with seeing in the darkness. My own fear stems from being alone in the car with a rampant imagination and a mind full of horrible images.

Driving home alone in the dark on a country road always brings to mind stories told by my father-in-law, an over-the-road truck driver. Horror stories that left unpleasant, indelible images in my mind. Images that run through my mind like a ribbon of film. 
A horror film.

I have never liked horror movies. I have always too easily put myself in the place of the victim. His stories have done the same. They are still there, ready to surface during these nighttime drives.

One story especially always replays in my mind...

My father-in-law drove truck -solo- over routes through the eastern mountain ranges. He did a lot of nighttime driving over lonely mountain roads. His nightmare tale begins on a black night on one of those mountain roads. 

He told of how his truck slowly came up behind a family in a station wagon - easily seen by his headlight beams. As the two vehicles traveled the dark mountain road, one after the other - suddenly the incredible happened.  A buck leapt from the hillside beside the road.

The buck crashed through the passenger window of the car, 
killing the young mother in the seat beside her husband.

Unbelievably true.
A horror story burned into my mind forever.
An image that resurfaces on my drives along dark country roads.

To be continued...

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