Growing up in the country you didn’t have a lot of options to entertain yourself. It was being a farm boy, meth, or sometimes worse. Rotting your brain on the dumb sides of the interenet. My friends definitely did what we could to rot our brains with various theories and pseudo science possibilities of the future so much that we came up with plans of what to do if zombies were real. What our plans were. Skills we would need. It was always in the back of our minds and we would talk about it at least once a week during lunch.
The real story starts one day after school a buddy of mine and I went to get a game during the midnight release. Back when those were a big deal. Hang out with other nerds that liked the same kinds of games. Showing off the fact that I worked and had no expenses so I could buy whatever ludacris expensive edition they would come out with for the game I wanted. Being poor most of my life it was one of the few times I could pretend I had money.
This one particular week there were two big releases pretty much back to back. They were three days apart if I remember. I was with my buddy Michael. Coming back from a nerd fest we would be driving fifteen minutes through some towns since there was next to no traffic this early in the morning in the little pocket of the country we were from. Before getting to a mile stretch to my house there was a bridge that you would cross and parked just before that bridge was a van.
It wasn’t close to a house. Not even a driveway. Just parked on the side of the road just before you got onto the bridge. In fact the side of the road it was parked on was on a small little cliff of a ditch that was an easy ten foot drop down the steep hillside. The one thing that stood out about this van was that one of the back doors was open with two by fours sticking out the back left practically unattended. Which as trusting as people were in this area they weren’t stupid about it. So this would be considered unusual.
“Do you know what that’s about?” I asked Michael. He was usually more in the know than I was as far as the goings on about what other people did. I tried to just stay inside and not talk to anyone if I could help it.
He immediately jumped to the first paranoid idiot thing he could think of. So did I but I didn’t say it. “Do you think zombies got him. It is October. And there was that guy that ate that person’s face in Florida.”
“Probably. I’ll keep an eye on it.” I said as I leered at its shadow in the mirror to see if I could see anything else standing out about the car. We were not going to go out and investigate. Because we had school in the morning. Not like we cared about being late. Our parents cared more than we did.
The next few days on the bus the van was not there. Almost like it was a figment of our imagination. The next release came around and we were talking with other nerds about this creepy van we saw in the last release and connecting with people but not making friends. I don’t know why I thought exchanging gamertags in real life was weird but I guess I also didn’t want to play with people I knew but didn’t know well.
Leaving with my enhanced edition later in the morning we were driving home and Michael said, “Wouldn’t it be weird if that van was there.”
“Well yeah. Because it has been gone the last few days.” I knew because I checked for it litigiously on the school bus each time the bus passed that location. I know I didn’t miss it since it was a landmark bridge before the mile stretch. I would speed down that stretch just to see how fast the car could go.
Almost as if it was queued to show its mysterious and horrific face the van came into view. As if it was there unmoved since the first day we saw it. Both of us were in shock when we passed it. The fog from the river encapsulated it almost perfectly enough to be in a Sam Rami film. Speeding out of there we wanted nothing to do with the van.
We didn’t talk about it for a while but now we just talk about it like ti was just one of those stupid funny things kids do. It was silly fun and more or less had to be there to get the real feeling of being scared by a van on the side of the road in October where the scariest parts about it were in your imagination. And even to this day I probably wouldn’t stop by to explore it since it wasn’t mine. I would if it had a tow tag. It was still a funny moment we bring up every once in a while though.
I am always trying to expand my range and hone my craft. I also do light animation, game development, script work, and hopefully soon to be business owner of an animation studio. Follow me at unabated.newgrounds.com for everything else I do