Trucker Story

Truckers tend to have some interesting stories. This is understandable given how much time they spend on the road. They’re bound to come across something noteworthy eventually. I am not a trucker but I have heard a story from one that I think is worth mentioning. Just to give some background info, this happened a little over five years ago.

I was coming from out of state in order to attend a family get-together for Thanksgiving. Things were going pretty well until my goddamn rental car broke down. The only upside was that I happened to be near a gas station when it did. Cursing, I coasted into one of the parking spots. Then it was like two fucking hours of the tow truck guy not showing up yet somehow being only ten minutes away.

At this rate, I was going to end up missing the gathering altogether. I originally wanted to get there early to help set things up. However, with my cousin’s house still three hours away, it didn’t look like that’d be happening. Frustrated, I decided to head into the gas station for some coffee and a quick snack.

The only other person in there besides the cashier was a trucker. While standing in line, he made some light conversation with him. My ears perked up when he mentioned the route he was driving on. Coincidentally, it was also the one I needed to take. After leaving the store, I approached the trucker who was filling up his tank. Then introduced myself and explained my situation to him.

“So you’re saying you want me to give you a ride?”

“Yeah, if you don’t mind. I could pay you for it if you like.”

He thought it over for a moment.

“Eh, what the hell? They don’t like us picking people up but I could use some company. Name’s Jimmy. My friends call me Jimbo.”

We firmly shook hands and when he was done fueling his truck, we climbed inside it. He looked almost exactly like what you picture in your head when you hear the word trucker. He was friendly, though and I was grateful for the favor he was doing for me. We spent the first hour or so making casual conversation. By hour three, it had gotten dark and I was out of things to talk about.

“So, you’ve probably got some stories, right? Being on the road so long and all.”

“Buddy, you would not believe the shit I have seen on this job. I once saw another truck jackknife and flip right in front of me. Nearly ran me off the road. Thank God nobody got hurt but that set me back almost two hours.”

“Sounds rough. How did you come to be in this job anyway?”

“It’s a bit of a family thing. My dad and his were also in this profession.”

“I see. Did they ever share any interesting stories with you?”

“Well, I never met my grandad but my dad…”

His voice trailed off and I noticed he seemed sad.

“Your dad what? Is there something wrong?”

“It’s just that he died about four years ago.”

“Oh, uh, sorry to hear that.”

“Thanks. Lung cancer but I’ve made peace with it. Anyway, he had a bit of a drinking problem. He never beat us or nothing but he did tend to hit the bottle pretty hard, especially around this time of year.”

“Did you ever find out why?”

“Yep. Every time he got a little too drunk he’d always tell us about this story that he says happened to him and his dad, my grandpa.”

“What was it? Did something bad happen to them?”

“I guess you could call it a bit of a ghost story. Do you mind that kind of stuff?”

“Not at all.”

Jimbo wrinkled his brow.

“Let’s see here. My dad said this happened when he was eight. His dad decided to take him on a trip to give him an idea of what it’d be like. Now, it happened to be during November and the plan was for them to make it back in time for Thanksgiving. Things didn’t pan out that way.”

“What went wrong?”

“My dad said it started to happen about forty miles from where they were headed. He was looking out the window and that’s when he saw it.”

“What?”

“He told us it was this shadow thing. It was really tall and stick-like. It had clawed hands attached to arms that were so long they reached to its ankles. He told us the most disturbing thing about it was its face. The first time he saw the thing it was only for a second but he remembers it having these yellow eyes almost like headlights and a what he described as a too-wide smile.”

“Did your granddad see it too?”

“Not right away. My dad tried to tell him about it but he thought that he was just seeing things. My dad thought the same thing until he saw it again after five miles. Now, he was starting to get scared. He tried telling his dad again and was told that he was getting on his nerves. He tried to ignore it but it kept popping up.”

“How come your grandad wasn’t noticing it?”

“He was too focused on the road. My dad said he was the kind of a guy who tended to block out things other than what he needed to get done.”

I’d gotten a chocolate Payday bar from the convenience store. As he continued speaking, I unwrapped it and then took a bite.

“Here’s the thing, though he told us that it seemed to be closer each time he saw it and the closer it was, the more scared he got. We felt bad for him because whenever he’d tell us this part his hands would start shaking. He’d hate it if we told him that. He wasn’t someone who liked showing weakness.”

I swallowed the piece of Payday I was chewing.

“When did your granddad notice it?”

“By the time it was too late. My dad thinks that thing was drawn to fear. That meant the more afraid he became, the more it wanted him. He wished that he realized that at the time because that might’ve saved his dad. He finally saw that thing too when it was standing right in the middle of the road.”

I sat up, wanting to make sure I paid close attention to what Jimbo was about to say.

“The first thing he realized was that my dad had been telling the truth. The second was that they needed to get as far away from that thing as possible. Ask almost anyone who knew my granddad and they’d say that he was a hard man but my dad said at that moment he became pale as a ghost.”

For some reason. I felt my heartbeat start to quicken. Maybe it was the excitement of hearing the story or perhaps, my body was trying to warn me. I took another bite of my Payday bar.

“They tried to get out of there but that thing didn’t let them. It grew and covered the front of his dad’s trunk. The last thing he remembered right before passing out was seeing that thing’s smile right in front of them and my granddad screaming.”

“Jesus.”

“Yep. The highway patrol found my dad the next day. The truck had gone into a ditch. It took a couple days for him to answer their questions since the incident had put him into shock. He told them what he’d seen. They chalked it up to him falling asleep and having a nightmare.”

“And your granddad?”

“They thought he just got confused somehow and wandered off. They were never able to find him. My dad has said he was never quite the same after that. Even years later, he’d still have nightmares about what happened.”

There was a heavy silence between us. Then I spoke.

“Do you believe the story?”

Jimbo sighed.

“My dad tended to be a brutally honest man. That got him into shit sometimes so I don’t think he was lying about it. He’d always look dead serious while telling us it but I’ve never been able to bring myself to believe it entirely. I mean, I’m sure they did see something just not what he thought they did.”

“Did you ever tell him that?”

“Once and I never made that mistake again. One of the few times he ever got seriously pissed at me. He said that he knew what he saw. I made the smart decision of not questioning the truthfulness of the story from then on.”

The headlights of Jimbo’s truck illuminated the sign with the name of my cousin’s neighborhood on it.

“Hey, this is where I need to be.”

He stopped the truck and I hopped out. I needed to cross in front of the truck since the subdivision entrance was on the other side of the street. It was after we did that I noticed it standing among the trees. The grinning tall shadow stared out at us. My heart skipped a beat.

I glanced back at Jimbo and from his expression, knew that he’d seen it too.

“Welp, thanks for the ride,” I told him, keeping my voice leveled.

“No problem,” he replied in a similar tone while tipping his hat to me.

As he drove off, I began calmly walking to my cousin’s house which thankfully was at the start of the neighborhood. All the while, I could see that thing staring at me from the corner of my eye. The guests stayed overnight. When it was time for everyone to leave, I made sure to do so during the day. The rental company lent me another car free of charge to make up for their little hiccup.

A week later after I got back home, I found out something that still bothers me even now. I was talking with my cousin over the phone. I don’t remember how exactly but somehow the subject came up that a family of four went missing near his neighborhood. The police found their car empty and overturned on the side of the road. This happened only a day after I left.

Sometimes I wonder if Jimbo is as bothered by what we saw as I am. I hope not. More than that, I wish to never see that thing again. If you do, remember this story. It might just save your life.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rosé Black

Rosé Black

Hello, I mainly write horror but also blend it with comedy, sci-fi, or fantasy. If you’re a fan of these genres, I hope you’ll like my work.