I used to drive big rigs for a large company you may have heard of, Coca Cola. My job was to take the bottles from the bottling center and into the distribution center some fifty miles into the desert just north of the border in Arizona.
Now, I used to do this route by myself late at night, but would sometimes be forced to make the delivery as late as 3am, depending on the season and the product demand, since I had to make multiple trips during the evening and would have to work overtime.
There was a patch of trees along one of the highways that I dreaded driving through. There aren’t many trees in the area, since it’s mostly rock and sand, but this area had tree after tree for around two miles, next to rock formations. Driving there at night was definitely an experience, since my radio wouldn’t work in that patch and the rock walls would echo the loud sound of my engine, making it sound like a strong, annoying hissing sound.
The walls of the box of my truck would get as close a foot away from the rocks at certain points, and I would be forced to drive with my left set of wheels on or crossing the lane divider markings on the road.
This particular night, I was approaching the patch of trees and rocks, when I heard my name over the radio.
“Robert, where are you man? Robert, come in.”
I recognized the voice. Rick was on dispatch duty tonight. I picked up the handset and responded.
“Robert, you need to turn back now, there’s been a …” and the radio turned into static as I drove deeper into the winding roads.
He had said to turn back, right? I wondered, after the fact. I slowed the truck down just as I was coming into the second turn of the patch of trees. I came to a stop, and attempted to make the turn back to head the opposite direction, at least to get back to Rick over the radio.
Now, these trucks can’t make turns easily, I gotta tell you. Especially on two-way roads as narrow as this one. So I changed my mind and decided to keep on driving, since I would be out of the patch in a few minutes anyway.
I turned the wheel, changed gears, and was about to step on the gas pedal. But as my headlights turned back to the road ahead of me, I saw something standing in the middle of the road.
She had her black hair straight down. A dirty brown dress on. She was a woman, standing barefoot in the middle of the road, lit only by my headlights.
Just at that moment, static came into my radio once again.
I turned on my high beams, but they didn’t seem to bother her. She didn’t move.
I picked up the radio handset and called for Rick, but I had no luck. I turned my eyes toward the road again, ready to roll down my window and yell out if she needed help. But I held off. The woman was now next to my door, I could barely make out her figure from just the side yellow lights, but I knew she was there.
Her eyes were dark, her skin was pale, and she was smiling. She started leaning her head to the side, staring dead into my eyes. Then I thought of something. There was no way she could’ve moved this fast to the side of my truck.
I felt my body turn cold with a type of fear I had never felt before. This woman couldn’t be real. Then, right in front of me, she vanished.
I sat in my truck for a few minutes, trying to process the situation, but I couldn’t get her image out of my mind. By pure instinct, I turned my head to the right.
There she was. Looking at me directly through the passenger side window. It was an abnormally tall height for her to just be standing there. I hit the gas pedal a little too hard, and since I was already in gear, my truck rumbled and shook to both sides. I got control of it, fixed my steering wheel, and started to move down the road once again.
I left that woman behind me.
My hands were shaking, but I kept my head calm somehow. I drove past the curves, between the rocks, until I drove out of the patch of trees. That’s when I picked up the radio and called for Rick.
“Hey, we gave you the wrong trailer box,” he said, “we need you to come back. Sorry about that.”
After the first clearing, I made a U-turn. I had no choice.
I scanned the road ahead of me the whole way for the floating woman with the brown dress, but didn’t spot her this time around. Actually, I haven’t seen her since.
I wasn’t the only driver with this route, and I asked around. With some nervous laughs, one of the other drivers told me about his experience. He had stopped after hitting one of the rough corners on the third turn. I knew the one he was talking about, I’ve nearly hit that rock myself, since it blends in with the tree branches.
He said he had gotten out of the truck to check for damage with his flashlight, when a woman in a brown dress came up to him. She didn’t say a word. Then just like that, she vanished.