Dark arts after dark: wrong turn
Stories around campfires that may or may not be true, tall tales of the tragic and weird. We've heard them all before, but not like this. In the lead up to Halloween, we have handpicked the most unsettling short works culled from the depths of Reddit's "Let's Not Meet" section – where Reddit users post their true stories of creepy encounters – stories of being stalked, creeped, or encountering a creepy individual. We will be publishing one daily as part of our #darkarts after dark series, which will celebrate the dark and disturbed after 8pm GMT. This very true story has been published with the permssion of the author. The original post can be found here.
A little background: I was about 8 when my mother, little sister and I were taking a road trip across Wyoming. This wasn't unusual as we had family living all across the state, and my mom loved piling us in the car and driving. My memory of this event is patchy, and I remember it more for the way my mom reacted than for the event itself.
I don't remember exactly where this was, or where we were headed, but anyone who has ever driven through Wyoming knows that the roads are mostly deserted. We had been driving several hours behind an older green and white truck. We were approaching a gas station, and I remember my little sister being so excited because she wanted to get those little bottles made of wax that had juice in them.
The green and white truck pulls into the gas station, and we follow. We use the restroom, get some snacks, my mom fills up with gas, and we get back into the car and back on the road. A little time passes, and my mom asks, “Is that truck behind us the same one that we followed into the gas station?” I turn in my seat and confirm that it is the same truck. I sit back down and continue gorging myself on snacks, but I sense that my mom is uneasy. She keeps looking in her rear-view mirror and watching the truck. It was a long drive to the next gas station, and along the way, the truck behind us would speed up and get dangerously close to us and then back away a little.
My mom slams her door, and peels out of the gas station. I turn in my seat to watch the man. He turns around like he was startled, looks right at us, quickly closes his hood
After a stretch of several miles, we were nearing another gas station. My mom adjusts her mirror so she can see us in the backseat. She says, “I'm going to pull into this gas station and open my door like I am getting out. I don't want you two to open your doors. Don't get out, just sit tight, and hang on.” My little sister and I look at each other like, “Okaaaaayyyyyy.” I thought it was strange, but the look in her eye scared me a little. My mom is calm person, but she has this presence about her that makes you aware that she isn't to be messed with. All my friends throughout the years have been a little scared of her, which is odd considering she is just over 5 feet tall and about 100 pounds.
Anyway, we pull into the station and up to a pump. My mom adjusts her mirror to see behind us, and opens her door with the car still running. The green and white truck pulls in and parks just to the side of the turn in. The driver pops his hood, gets out, comes around to the front of his truck and props his hood up. He starts messing around under the hood with his back to us. From what I remember of him, he was a really big guy, but who isn't to an 8-year-old girl.
My mom slams her door, and peels out of the gas station. I turn in my seat to watch the man. He turns around like he was startled, looks right at us, quickly closes his hood (even though he has only been looking in there for a few seconds). At this point, my mom is driving so fast, that I lose sight of him. I was terrified, and I knew it must be serious for my mom to drive like this. Up ahead, the road bent sharply to the left, and there was a small road to the right a few buildings. Just before the bend, my mom slams on the brakes, pulls the steering wheel all the way to the right, and, as if it were straight out of an action movie, slides around the corner. She speeds through the small parking lot of one of the buildings and parks behind it. From our vantage point, we were hidden from traffic behind us, but could see anyone passing. A short time later, we watch the green and white truck speed right passed us and around the bend in the road.
Obviously, my sister and I were very shaken up. My mom asks if we needed to use the restroom, and I said yes. She said she did too, but we would wait here for a bit, then make our way to the next station. I'll never forget what she said next, because it was so out of character for her. She said, “I'd rather piss my pants in this car than be murdered on the side of this road!” A little time passes and we got back on the road and we continued on our trip. We never saw that truck again.