Scary Story Part #2

In the spirit of Halloween, here is part two in my effort to create a scary short story. Check back for further installments.

Part 1 Here

When I first learned to drive, traveling through these fog patches was always a thrill. Especially when it was dark. These roads are usually less used, so when I was the only car on the road, I’d turn on my brights to make the fog more visible. My eyes would eagerly search for figures in the fog–the ghosts of Indians, colonists, revolutionary soldiers, slaves, confederate soldiers–any of the legendary spirits of South Carolina.

In my college years, I moved away from the south and forgot all about those early morning/early evening fog patches. Driving through Philadelphia, I never felt as close to the land as driving through the coastal plain of South Carolina. The buildings, signs, and people all kept you clearly attached to the current place and time. There were some parts of the city that had the same ethereal atmosphere, but it was never as spooky as those foggy areas on those long highway drives. Drives where you don’t encounter cars, houses, or any evidence of human occupation for miles at a time, and you can imagine yourself drifting backward through time and the seemingly immortal Carolina landscape.

I moved back down South 10 years later. Some say for family, some say for better career opportunities; I say for both, and I’m still not sure why I came home. Who knows. But I had almost forgotten those vaporous patches of fog you encounter while driving on a lonely morning or evening–until I drove through one and saw the faces…

Scary Story Part #1

In the spirit of Halloween, here is part one in my effort to create a scary short story. Check back for further installments.

Whenever daylight savings time comes around, the drive to work always changes. Normally, I leave for work at 7:40 am. I have a 20 minute drive on the brand new freeway, and that puts me at work at 8 am precisely. The freeway enables me to postpone my encounter with the neon of Myrtle Beach for just a little while. By the time I get to my exit, I’m ready for the florescent orange & green, the fake palm trees, and the massive papier mache sharks that line the facades of the bargain beachwear stores.

Anyway, when daylight savings time starts, it’s darker at 7:40 am. The nights are still cold then, too. So when I’m driving to work on the elevated freeway, I can look out at the landscape around me. The day is beginning; the earth is warming up. All I see are the Carolina Pines growing up through a layer of mist that covers everything else in the flat land around me.

The same thing happens in the morning (or evening) when you drive through a lower-lying area. You’ll be on the road, everything will be clear, and then you’ll be driving through drifts of fog. The mist rolls across the highway, turning, contorting, creating shapes almost recognizable, but still too indistinct for your mind to clearly connect to a real object…