A few months ago, I helped my mom’s friend Martha move to a new house around exit 78. She said she was happy to finally be moving out of town and joining the life in rural America. Our town wasn’t too big to begin with, but whatever.
We made two trips back and forth, moving boxes and small furniture. When it started getting dark, she pointed out some lights that appeared to be yellow headlights off into the distance. She told me that the strange lights would sometimes blink, turning on and off, on and off, many times as she passed by. Then they would turn off and not light up again. They were not blinking when we passed by.
We unloaded my truck and put the boxes in her living room, but then we agreed to make our next trip the following day instead. It was getting late and she was tired. On my way back, looking off into the distance, I noticed the lights. On and off, on and off. They were the high beams blinking. That crazy lady was right, I thought. And kept driving.
I told her about it the next morning after we finally finished moving her in. She suggested we go check it out, saying that it was part of the fun of being out in the country. I was curious so we both hopped into my truck and headed down the road. The dirt trails were rough, but we could both see a large metal structure off into the distance, like where cattle is kept. There is no way this place was operational, but we kept driving.
As we got closer, we saw what seemed like a junk yard, with old cars and broken down fencing. See, this belonged to the McCabe people. They’re long gone now, Martha said. I remember the McCabes story on the news, they were involved in gangs and illegal activities a long time ago. Kind of famous in our small town. I still remember the story.
There was a piece on the news released in the 80s about a missing man by the name of James who was thought to have been murdered. He was a family man and it turns out that he was a close friend of my parents. They even wanted him to be my godfather back when I was born.
They looked for his body in the hills and in the forest, but after many years, the searches stopped and the family was forced to live with all of those questions. He used to unload trucks for grocery stores, and he was actually supposed to be working the day he was last seen.
He was instructed to empty out one of the older trucks, a trailer with empty boxes and old cement blocks. The owner had been trying to get rid of it for quite some time, and was happy to finally have a buyer. James had actually introduced them two, saying that they knew each other from some past businesses they had worked on together.
The trailer was driven off the lot, but on the way to the buyer’s yard about ten miles down the road, it shut down. Feeling tricked, the buyer, a close friend to the McCabe’s got two of his buddies to take him back to the seller’s business and demand his money back.
There was an altercation there and the buyer took out a gun and shot the seller along with James, dragging their bodies onto a car and throwing them off on the side of a road. The seller’s body was found a couple of days later, but the body James was never found. Or so the story used to go.
We were ready to leave the junkyard after making a couple of circles around the property when suddenly, clear as day, we heard some short, sporadic deep honking.
I was scared, since nobody should be there and there was zero chance that any of the cars there would be in working order, but the honking became longer and harder to ignore. We both looked at each other, waiting for the other to say something.
I was going to find out what that was. I got out of the truck, and Martha followed behind me. We went around the structure, coming closer to the honking, when we spotted a small truck with a trailer off a few yards away. Then the noise stopped.
We looked at each other again. Honestly, I was glad someone was there with me.
As I inched closer to the truck and into the driver side’s door, I heard the honking begin again and then fade and then stop. When I turned my back on the truck, it made clicking sounds. Some type of animal must be hiding under the hood.
Suddenly, I heard the back door of the truck swing open. It was Martha, being the crazy woman that she’s always been, poking her nose in everywhere.
After the second door swung open, she screamed. Inside the truck, by the door, was a dried up corpse. All curled up.
Reports later found that it was the body of James. A block had struck him in the head. He had regained consciousness after the matter but was unable to open the gate from the inside. All that was left of him after thirty years, was a shriveled up body… that, and the will to someday be found again.