A CAR IN THE WOODS
An abandoned car is found in the woods, no road leading in, the dense gathering of trees surrounding it were thick, close together. Sunlight barely broke through the thick cover of leaves. The grass and bushes were stunted, starving for the light.
Nothing that size should have been in there.
Discovered by hunters, Todd Wilson and Barry Carter, who were where they should not have been. They were following an 8 point Buck which led them on a long, winding chase. The Buck kept his life that day, racing off onto Government land. They knew enough to let it go.
Todd and Barry needed to catch their breaths as their quarry bounded off. Beer from their kits took some of the edge off. Neither spoke; they just stared off in the direction of their lost prize. Todd was on his second beer while Barry was chugging his third. They nodded to each other, tossed the drained cans over their shoulders, and started their way back.
But something shiny caught them both in the eyes. The day had moved along just enough, as did the sunlight. Nothing should have reflected with the intensity that hit them square on. But, something did.
Following the intense gleam, they passed, and ignored, a rusted Keep Out sign that hung crookedly on one of the trees that barred their way. There were some tight fits, squeezes that were almost not manageable. Prickly bushes caught at their clothing, drawing enough droplets of blood and curses to go along with them. Finally, they reached the clearing in the middle of all the towering wood. They both stopped, stared, and while Barry’s jaw dropped, Todd whistled. They both loved cars.
They loved this car, had talked about it, dreamed about, visited the dealer ten times together; eleven for Todd, by himself. Their wish list car, there before them.
A Cherry Red Thunderbird two-door convertible! It was the model they drooled over: a 430ci Lincoln Interceptor J-code engine, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seat and a new power top. It had Kelsey Hayes wire rims, front to back chrome accents, and it was smear and dirt free. What made it not absolutely perfect was the convertible top: stuck, half up, half down. Barry began a low round of giggles. Todd gave him the look, but laughed himself when Barry told him that it looked like it didn’t know if it was coming or going.
Nothing was found to identify the owner. No VIN numbers, license plate, papers in the car. Without the VIN, they couldn’t even tell when it came off the assembly line. Todd knew that the last of these beauties were produced in August of that year. It was too pristine to be any older. He thought it might have even been the very last one made.
The inside was spotless until Todd and Barry ran their dusty, grease and dirt laden hands all over while they searched: doors, dashboard, the red vinyl seats, the white inserts, and even the hood and the finned back end. The trunk wouldn’t open, another less than perfect detail.
The realization that the forest had been dead quiet didn’t hit them until a series of clicking sounds came from behind them. Then to one side, then another. The clicking grew in volume and then stopped. They saw nothing, nothing moved as there wasn’t any wind. Total quiet surrounded the duo, and with the sun starting its descent, both made a hasty retreat.
They made it back to their truck, eventually, and sped home. Todd’s wife, Daphne, listened to them describe what they found, ice cold beers in front of them. Her arms were crossed and her right foot was tapping away. After hearing the story for the third time, she decided to put this into the hands of the sheriff.
He listened. Shrugged it off. Nothing came of it. Sheriff John Miner was too close to retirement. If he had acted on it, he might have lived long enough to hand in his badge. He didn’t.
Todd and Barry, meanwhile, made their find profitable, earning free drinks at the Barn House Bar from folks who wanted to know all the details. As the telling went on, the story…grew. And it spread to nearby towns, especially one where Todd and Barry went drinking.
The searching was intense. Many said they found the trees and the clearing, but no TBird. Reports were passed around: the car was glimpsed in Jeffery Hallow. No; it shone brightly at the opening of the large bear cave on Decry Hill. One group said it was by a stream, others in different parts of the forest. Never any proof; it started to slide out of their minds with each disappointment. People stopped looking for the car.
Until a group of four High School students went looking, and they did not come home.
There was a car in the woods.
Charred. Rusted. Busted.
Picked clean. Shell just a remainder.
No road. No reason. Just there.
Not always in the same place, but there.
No one knew anything, the how or the why.
Tales grew around it.
Some said haunted. Some said the Devil parked it there. Maybe a UFO, with all the disappearances. Or not, as there were enough of the dead draped around, murder, suicide, ritual. No one was really sure. Most didn’t want to know.
There was a car in the woods.
Welcome to the 2019 AtoZ Blog Challenge. This is my sixth year participating, going back to 2011, the year I started Tale Spinning.
My theme this year is A Car In The Woods. First installment is above. Not every post will be this long. Length will vary. I just needed the “prologue” to set the tone.
Each time I’ve participated has been very different, from Mystery to Horror, from an Apartment Building’s residents to Road Sign drabbles. I just let the creative juices flow.
A Car In The Woods, as stands right now, will be a serialized tale with some interludes. Kind of like last year’s The Abysmal Dollhouse, but, hopefully, a bit tighter. That’s my goal. We’ll see where it goes.
Comments/Feedback is always appreciated. Check out other blogs who are taking this April’s challenge by clicking on The Master List. You’ll find a variety of blogs that you might enjoy.