March 19, 2007

Booger Holler

An aforementioned funk has fogged my field of vision ahead and to the left and right. Hardly any help, my rear view mirror has become a miasma of mocking memories; things I should have done, or ways I could have bettered myself, or loved ones I could have better cherished. Yet seeing my failures again and again, narrated by a distorted smiling ghoul, like something you’d see in a broken funhouse mirror. I can’t seem to point my throttling engine in the right direction.

I was driving through the fog in our family car on a misty, winding road. It was Booger Holler Road to be precise, a country lane barely two vehicles wide and full of blind turns and stomach-tickling drops. Booger Holler was named after the legend of a malevolent spirit that haunted the hills of that old country road. He’d scream from deep among the twisted oak trees and strangely ashen grey flora, occasionally dragging road kill into the hills to feast upon. My car’s headlights barely cut through the fog. I didn’t need to see a thing. I heard it screaming. I was the one screaming.

I scream at people in my head on the subway. I scream at people as they are walking slowly in front of me. I scream at people when they stick their books, bags and arms into the elevator to hold it for them and their friends. I scream at people who ask me how I’m doing.

“Fine. You?”

“Just fine!”

I scream at her. I scream like that wretched monster, hunkered over the carcass of a white tailed deer. I scream into the broken red ribcage. I scream at the slowly beating heart. Through the fog a pair of headlights slowly idles along the road. I scream into the night, my steaming breath like a cloud of broken glass snowflakes coated in blood. I scream again into the night. I scream because I can and no one will hear my monstrous voice for miles and miles, except someone does hear it. I hear it on that night.

From where I sit amongst the bushes and red clay, I can see myself in the car. From the car I see myself in the wild. I’m not afraid of the beast squatting, covered in blood, with yellowed talons digging into the still warm deer flesh. I’m more ashamed. I pity the beast.

I scream into the night. I lay both hands on the horn. My monstrous wail matches the car’s horn. They soar into the night. I hit the gas pedal and fly down the road, blinded by the fog. I focus completely on the rear view mirror. I see the lumbering form of green skin and red, bloodshot eyes. I’m chasing myself, screaming at myself. I hold the horn firmly in place and suddenly the car is in the air.

The deer carcass is lying across my lap, black glassy eyes staring into mine. Broken, bloody glass surrounds me. My drenched, slippery feet barely keep the gas pedal floored. And still the heavy, steel car is flying over the hill as light as a snowflake. Through the fog the form of a white tailed deer appears. It starts to bolt, but doesn’t have enough time. The car comes crashing down into the delicate looking, yet surprisingly stout, animal. I’m thrown through the windshield.

I lay there, screaming in the winter’s night. Askew headlights are chopped into a pulsating strobe-like beam as the revenant stalks the fog infront of the wreckage. It continues to scream but refuses to follow me out of the mist and into the clearing.

I stand and slowly walk forward into the morning. I try not to slip in all the blood. I try to ignore the screaming behind me. I'm thankful I can see again. I have a long road ahead of me.


Anonymous said...

It's Booger Hollow.

Anonymous said...

I live on Booger Hollow Road. Seriously. I hear something that does indeed scream at night and it isn't anything I've heard before. It's not a cat, owl, coyote, etc. It is very loud and sounds somewhat human. It seems to begin in the late summer. I heard it last night at 1:30. Very scary. I've recorded it once. This one sounds a little different. I think I'll record it again. It is a real thing here.