October 31, 2006

You Wanna Run

When I was around 12, I did what every 12 year old did - had friends over and snuck out of the house. I'd show them my fool-proof way to escape from my second story bedroom - a maneuver which required dropping seven or eight feet from a window onto a lattice patio cover, crossing a section of roof and dropping down to a six foot fence. Not an easy trick but one I pulled over and over again. Until one particular evening.

One night, a friend of mine, Brian, stayed over. We'd managed to collect enough toilet paper from various sources to wrap three or four good sized houses but we'd planned to use it all in one shot. And we did. We successfully escaped from my parents' house, picked up the toilet paper we'd stashed in a neighbor's garden and wrapped the house up tight. The house was in a neighborhood easily a couple of miles away - and we'd walked. We found ourselves making the return trip in the early hours of the morning. The time in which no one stirs. Those hanging on to the night have given up while those clinging to the early hours of morning have yet to face the day. It was creepy.

At one point, halfway home, we heard music. Odd considering the hour and the dearth of traffic on the road. Brian and I both subconsciously moved off the sidewalk, favoring a path closer to the houses of the neighborhood. The music grew louder with each step finally taking shape and forming something familiar to both of us.

"Oh my god, we're in trouble," Brian said. He was always a little on the dramatic side so I didn't quite see how we were in any trouble or the danger a song written by J.J. Cale about coke would pose. Yet, the familiar strains of Eric Clapton's guitar playing evoked something that felt menacing. I was instantly afraid.

If you wanna hang out you've got to take her out; cocaine
If you wanna get down, down on the ground; cocaine

"Let's just move a little closer to the houses. If it comes any closer, we can just hide behind someone's bushes," I responded. And it did get closer. The music was so loud and so close it became almost impossible to differentiate between the pounding of my heart and the throbbing of Carl Radle's bass. Behind us, in time with the music, we heard an engine rev behind us. We dove into the closest group of bushes, shaking, breathing hard. I figured, at worst, we were dealing with a group of drunk high school kids looking to freak someone out. It was working.

She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine

Hiding, nearly impaled by a branch doing its best to thread itself between my ribs, I heard brakes squeal and found myself directly in the path of two bright headlights belonging to what looked like a jacked up conversion van. The music continued to issue from the van. The song was the same but it had long since exceeded the 3:41 minute run time. The fact that the song was on an endless loop scared me more than anything, for some reason.

A door opened and shut, shadows fell upon the lawn and bushes in which we were hiding, as the driver stood in front of the van.

"You don't think I can see you," the voice said with a creaky, southern drawl. "But I can. I can see everything. Like that house you were just at."

When your day is done and you wanna run; cocaine

I felt instantly relieved. I knew then that this van and this person didn't belong to the house we'd TPed. But what if we'd accidentally gotten the wrong house? Or a neighbor had seen us and wanted to scare us. It was working. This surely had to be something like that. Rarely did anyone ever hear of some suburban dad hunting down and killing some kids who pulled a prank like we had.

"He must be from the neighborhood, or we got his house by mistake," I whispered to Brian. This is the extent to which I explained my theory but he seemed to buy it. He nodded but neither of us moved. "We should just get out of here. He's not going to do anything," I suggested.

But before we could move a muscle, the stranger spoke again, his shadow still cast over the lawn. "Yeah, you think you can run and you think you can hide but you can't. I'm watching. And I'll always be watching." And with that, he turned on his heel and got back in the van. The headlights unfocused as the van moved backwards, suddenly. Then they turned. The van veered left and headed down the street, out of sight, leaving only the faint traces of Cocaine behind.

If your thing is gone and you wanna ride on; cocaine.

We must have waited fifteen minutes in those bushes, afraid that this psycho would return. Eventually, we gave up our positions and headed home. We ran. We ran faster over greater distances than we ever had before, even though both of us were on the junior high cross country team. When we were within a few blocks of my house, we figured we were home free. Yet we weren't.

If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues; cocaine

Instinct kicked in and we again found ourselves in a dense group of bushes that surrounded a green electrical maintenance box. Unfortunately, while the last hiding spot was far removed from the road, this one was right beside it. Again we heard the van before we saw it but we only had to wait a short amount of time before it drifted into our limited field of vision. It was hurtling out of the dark like a comet but seemed to brake instantly, right in front of us, within arm's length of where we hid. Brian had an up-close view of the gas cap while I could see the rusted chrome bumper, a piece of red cloth hanging from one of the back door hinges. Clapton got louder for a minute while the driver's side door was opened, then closed again. Heavy footsteps walked around behind the van and stood by the back doors. The driver's face was never clear; he was only a black shape, menacing, terrifying.

"You guys are pitiful hiders. I told you I'd be watching. And I will be. Too bad. I'd give you a ride myself but the van's full." And with that, the driver returned to the driver's side. The music's volume rose then fell as he opened the door and got inside the truck, then very faintly there were noises from within the back of the van. Thud thud...thud like someone meekly seeking attention...or help.

The driver put the van in gear and the van lurched forward. And for some reason I reached out as far as I could and snagged the cloth trapped in the back doors' hinges. I ran home, clutching the cloth the rest of the way. Brian and I went though the reentry routine as quietly as our exhausted bodies and brains could. Collapsed, panting on the floor of my room, I finally examined the cloth. And it wasn't a cloth. Instead it was a piece of a football jersey. The number 21 to be exact. With the name J.A. Adams in white block letters across the top. It meant nothing and I soon threw it away. We never saw or heard the man in the van again.

She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine

Last week, I was browsing through the metro section of the newspaper. I ran across the following:

After nearly 20 years, the long-standing mystery surrounding the disappearance of a local Robert E. Lee high school student appears to have been solved. The missing man identified as Jacob Aaron Adams was arrested Tuesday night after being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. He later revealed to police that he had been held captive by unknown individuals and had only escaped in the chaos of a fire which burned the house to the ground. Police spokesmen have refused to comment further however they have assured the community that the matter is under investigation.

Note: Some parts of this story are true. Some aren't. You decide which. Happy Halloween!

Posted by Chris at October 31, 2006 7:32 AM

True or not, its creepy. Well written!

Posted by: Alissa at October 31, 2006 8:01 AM

Thanks for the earliest morning Halloween chill I have ever had... JEEZ I haven't even finished my first cup of Warlocks Brew (coffee) yet....

Posted by: Stephanie at October 31, 2006 8:03 AM

Great scary story! Happy Halloween to you, Beth, and Mia.

Posted by: Jessie at October 31, 2006 8:18 AM

Good one!

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 31, 2006 8:29 AM

I am glad I waited up for this one! Ooooh, creepy. And, if I had to guess, the song that was playing wasn't Clapton, it was Staying Alive (Bee Gees)--which didn't fit so well with the rest of the story because it's far too catchy to be spooky--the rest, I will ASSume is entirely true. Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Nanette at October 31, 2006 8:30 AM

What a great story. I had forgotten it was Halloween!

Posted by: Heather at October 31, 2006 8:41 AM

That was so well done! What a neat idea for an entry. I feel like I just got to have a little Halloween fun even though I'm far too old to trick or treat.

Posted by: Bridget at October 31, 2006 8:42 AM

Ooo, I enjoy scary stories on Halloween - good one!

Posted by: Beth in StL at October 31, 2006 8:48 AM

Haha, you really had me going right up until the note at the end.

Good story!

Posted by: Adam at October 31, 2006 9:10 AM

Excellent story! My heart was pounding a little for you guys!

Posted by: autumn at October 31, 2006 9:14 AM


Posted by: Carrster at October 31, 2006 9:16 AM

ooooh! Very creepy! Excellant Halloween story!

Posted by: Lisa at October 31, 2006 9:17 AM

Very creepy... I might have to head back over to Beth's picture of Mia in her kitty costume. All the cuteness will definitely dispel all the spookiness. Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Jenn at October 31, 2006 9:18 AM

Very well Done. I am picturing the driver like on of the Others from the show Lost.

Posted by: William at October 31, 2006 9:23 AM

happy halloween.

thanks for all the creepiness this early in the morning...

Posted by: ali at October 31, 2006 9:31 AM

I hope the conversion van had something awesome airbrushed on the side.

Posted by: Nicole at October 31, 2006 9:32 AM

I'm not even gonna try and guess. ROFLMAO. That is a great story. Happy Halloween Chris.

Posted by: Tommy at October 31, 2006 9:53 AM

That was great! The adrenanline is running now!

Posted by: Steff at October 31, 2006 9:54 AM

Wow that was creepy. Well done!

Posted by: Heather at October 31, 2006 10:30 AM

It's plenty creepy, regardless of how much of it may be true. Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at October 31, 2006 10:34 AM

"When I was around 12, I did what every 12 year old did"

That so didn't go where I thought it was going.

Posted by: statia at October 31, 2006 10:42 AM

WOW! So when does the rest of the book come out? lol!

Posted by: CJ at October 31, 2006 11:19 AM

Well played... er, written. The coffeemaker beeped that it was done but I couldn't tear myself away to go get some. Between that story and RockstarMommy's pictures today- it's gonna be a creepy Halloween.

Posted by: Judy at October 31, 2006 12:18 PM

The jersey hanging out of the van...maybe not true. Still, it's pretty creepy.

Posted by: wordgirl at October 31, 2006 12:32 PM

That was really good... I might have to tell that one to my kids... Of course they won't have any clue about the song though... that was a nice touch.

and it doesn't matter if it was all true/partly true/completely false. It was still good.

Posted by: Karen at October 31, 2006 1:10 PM

Bad, bad, out-of-house-sneaking, toilet-papering Cactus!

A well written tale...I look forward to hearing which are the "true" parts. :)

Posted by: Zandria at October 31, 2006 1:23 PM

I think the part that isn't true is the snagging part of the jersey.

Great story!

Posted by: Jen, South Florida at October 31, 2006 2:05 PM

I pretty much used soap to write in windows and egg throwing was always a favorite of mine but we didn't wait for halloween to cause mayhem...

I would like to apoligize to all the parent in my home town... I was always in the group...exept when that barn went down in flames.

Posted by: DavidR at October 31, 2006 2:07 PM

I tagged you.

I had to. It was a reading thing.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at October 31, 2006 3:13 PM

Holy crap. You had me going up until the jersey part. I was literally leaned in as far as I could staring at the screen trying to get to the end of your story.

Posted by: Tink at October 31, 2006 5:09 PM

Dude, you're killing me. Great story. Cheepy as fuck, but highly entertaining.

Have a great Halloween.

Posted by: Melissa at October 31, 2006 6:22 PM

Creepy! That was awesome...

Posted by: Noelle at October 31, 2006 6:57 PM

well, that was frightening. Of course, that is the point I think... ;)

Happy Halloween..

Posted by: suze at October 31, 2006 7:30 PM

Gah, so creepy! I'm never gonna be able to hear that song again!

Posted by: Heather at October 31, 2006 8:09 PM

Wow, what a great, well written story!
Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Colleen at October 31, 2006 9:08 PM


Posted by: SMIT at October 31, 2006 9:42 PM

Enough about creepy story. Surrender the Halloween pictures of Mia!!!!

Posted by: Oakley at October 31, 2006 10:19 PM

Wow! That was excellent writing. If you wrote a novel on such lines and with such suspense I'd never stop turning the pages til I was done. I dont really know what parts were true, but Excellent story dude!
I feel a new-found respect for your writing.

Posted by: Dee at October 31, 2006 11:34 PM

Awww...you just made my Halloween. Brillian story -- true or not. I was hooked right in! but, now I can't get that damn song out of my head!

Posted by: haley-o at November 1, 2006 12:33 AM

Wow. Makes me feel relieved that I never participated in any TP fun!

Posted by: Liz at November 1, 2006 2:00 AM

Ok, I know I'm late on this one, but I have to know what was true and what wasn't!

Pretty please with a piece of ragged football jersey on top?

Posted by: Contrary at November 1, 2006 7:23 AM

OMG that was such a great story! I was just about to google the news article, then you said some parts are true, some aren't. Still, good stuff!! Happy Belated Halloween! =^_^=

Posted by: Michelle at November 1, 2006 8:31 AM

Well written, excellent spelling and grammar, held my attention to the very end...


Perfect for Halloween.

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at November 1, 2006 3:13 PM

I'd like to believe it's all real. It's more fun that way. Good story. You had be sitting at the edge of my seat. So was this a trick or treat? I'd say a treat.

Posted by: nila at November 2, 2006 1:47 AM

My guess is the truth is your friend spraind his ankle dropping from your window and you were both grounded and never even got to TP the house. Either way I think you should ignore those who ask you to reveal what's true and untrue and just leave us all guessing. More fun that way

Posted by: Bianca at November 3, 2006 6:39 PM

Oooooooh spoooooooky! Makes me miss the days of staying up late with friends during a sleepover and terrifying each other with scary stories!

Posted by: Izzy at November 5, 2006 3:09 AM