Its the first Sunday of October and the first tale. This story was inspired by a tale that my father told me about what his uncle and father saw while driving a truck.
The Night Runner
A lone truck drove down a highway, two men were inside listening to the radio. One of the men was staring at the scenery, it was late fall, and the trees were bare. There were a few spots of ice on the ground, and it smelled wet. He looked up at the sky to see dark clouds over them.
“Looks like rain.” The man said.
“We’ll be out of here before it hits us.”
The man continued to stare at the woods, and a thought came to him.
“Hey, did you ever hear of the night runner?”
“No, what’s that about? Someone running around at night?” The driver began to laugh at his own joke.
“It’s about a ghost that chasing after you. There is a certain part of the country that it comes out and follows you. If you outrun it, you live, but if it catches you…well, you can kiss your ass goodbye.”
The driver chuckled. “Who told this crazy story?”
“It's not crazy. My uncle told me that he went through it.”
“Sure, with that bottle of whiskey on his hand. Bet it was the cops and to not make himself looks stupid, he came up with that story.”
“My uncle never drank.” The man looked lean on the chair. “Anyway, looking at the forest there remained me of it.”
Slowly the truck pulled to the right, and the man asked what the driver was doing.
“Okay, let's go out there and race this night runner.”
“Are you crazy? You never want to tease the spirits like that. Nothing comes right from it.”
“What! You believe in ghost and ghouls?”
“Spirits not ghost and ghouls. There are a lot of things in this world that we don’t know about.”
The driver stopped the truck and turned it off. Then he climbed down and walked to the passenger side.
“Well, what you waiting for let’s go find the runner.”
“I’m not going in there.” He pointed to the woods.
“Look, we’ve been on the road for past twelve hours. Need a break to stretch my legs and see something to wake me up.” The driver moved away and headed to the forest.
“You’re going to regret it.” The driver just waved his hand. “That fool.”
After a few minutes, the man climbed out of the truck and went after his companion. It was eerie inside the forest. There were no sounds except for the man’s only footsteps as he walked deeper into the woods. After a few minutes, he called out the driver’s name. There was no response.
“Hey, if you’re going to come out scaring me, you’re going to get hit.”
He scanned the area and thought it was crazy to be there, so he slowly turned around, and the driver jumped in front of him that he fell backward. The driver laughed hard as the man laid on the ground.
“Asshole!” He yelled.
“You should’ve seen your face.” The driver continued to laugh. “Oh man, you made my day.”
The man got up and punch the driver on the arm then walked away.
“Oh, come on now. I was only playing with you.” He looked at the man and followed him. “You were jumpy like a catfish. I knew that you scared yourself with that story.”
“Just stop it.” He looked at him. “I told you that playing with the spirits is something that you shouldn’t take lightly. They were alive once and taunting them is like being disrespectful.”
“Okay, okay.” The driver lifted his hands up to his chest. “I’ll be humbler and apology to them.”
“Just drop it.”
They both headed back to the truck, and it was becoming dark. With the light fading, the forest changed, and the branches appeared as if their arms reached out for them. The driver began to whistle and stopped when he heard what sounded like someone walking from behind them. He turned around and saw nothing just shadows. He was about to move when the footsteps became quicker.
“Hey, there’s someone here.” He told the man.
“What are you talking about?”
Listening to the steps, it sounded weightless but as if it were being dragged. The man became freighted and told the driver they should run. They quicken their pace as the footsteps followed closer. It caused both the man and the driver to begin running, but the steps ran as well. They were terrified and dare not look back. Once out of the forest, they both jumped onto the truck, and the driver started it. The man looked at the forest seeing who it was, but nothing came out. The man took a deep breath and hit the driver on the shoulder.
“See that was it.”
“Oh man,” The driver laughed. “I bet it was just hick scaring us.”
“It was no—” The man stopped speaking and noticed to small yellow lights from the side mirror. He poked his head out the window and saw that it was coming fast. “Hey, there’s something following us.”
“Just a car.”
“No, it’s something else.”
The driver looked at his mirror, and the lights were moving faster. Just then they heard the sound of bones and the beam moved to the side of the passenger. The man looked out, and there was the night runner. It was a glowing skeleton and had it bony arms extended to him. It moaned as if it were trying to speak. The man shouted in fear and told the driver to go faster. As the truck picked up speed the night runner by the window and it looked at them both. It opened its mouth and gave an ear shrieking laughter. The driver pressed his foot on the gas pedal, but it stalled. The man screamed as the night runner leaped inside the truck’s cabin. As the semi slowly came to a stop, sounds of heavy breathing were heard. Inside was dark, and a leg appeared to be moving. A hand popped out of the window followed by the arm. It was the man with his missing face. He dragged himself out of the window and collapsed on the ground. The night runner had vanished, and both men were skinned alive.
A few hours later, two patrol cars had arrived, and four officers were examining the incident. They wondered what happened and who had done it. One of the officers was behind the truck and found a bloody footprint. She called to the others, and they came towards her. They followed the prints and ended at a cliff. They lighted the bottom but were not able to see anything. They returned to the truck and found the bodies were missing and on the side of the trailer were words written in blood. ‘The Night Runner.’