A/N: This story was put up about a year ago; following my tradition to put up a horror story every Halloween.
However this got accidently erased when I was going through the stories that I was no longer intrested in continuing. I found the rough drafts on my computer and finally got the two chapters edited and reposted. I will continue to write this one and I'm sorry for any inconvience to the folks that were following it before :( I'm sorry!
HIGHWAY TO HELL
"The Devil's Rejects"
The wheels of the yellow 2000 Volkswagen beetle pounded the untamed road, subtly bouncing the vehicle every which direction as if the very road was trying to send the driver into the trees. However the young priest that drove the buggy remained completely content and screamed at the top of his lungs to the demonic baritones of Rammstein's Feuer frei!
He thrashed his head from side to side, flinging his imaginary rock 'n' roll hair as his cheap metallic crucifix swayed across his slim chest at the same time.
Most drivers would have been concerned about Clinton Road— especially the locals that believed in the folklore about the haunted road and it's permanent travelers— but Jackson Miller wasn't a local and he wasn't most drivers.
He liked the dark; he was a nerdy horror junkie who was enjoying the absence of streetlights in the isolated and dense wooded area, his headlights the only source of light to find the curves of the supposedly haunted road. Jackson's eyes continually stabbed the dark, looking anxiously for the rumored nightly travelers forever forced to walk the road.
His hand went to the volume, his Ipod changing to Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Bad Moon Rising', and raised the volume to match the damage that German metal could deliver to his eardrums. Right now, he was having the time of his life— it was the best time he had by himself since he could remember.
Halloween night always passed uneventful for him and his aging hormones didn't like the repetitive loneliness. He spent them on the couch watching his traditional Halloween movies (Halloween, The Thing, Prince of Darkness— John Carpenter galore, baby!) and passed candy to eager little people whenever they showed up in their costumes. He would love to be a kid again, just so he would have something to do. Being an adult was so boring.
However this year would be different.
He was a new resident to the New Jersey area, he moved in about two years ago to West Milford—expecting to make a new life, live on his own, and get some friends, maybe even one that was a girl he could invite to his place for a nightly romp. Instead all he got was a lousy mobile home, a pile of bills, and an aggravating job at a convenience store accompanied by lonely nights and weekends watching his Outer Limits DVDs.
He didn't want to repeat the first year and wanted to do something different for Halloween— his favorite holiday of the year, even more than Christmas. He smiled; he loved Halloween; the day of the year when the barrier between the living and the dead would be thinnest— and what better way to spend it than legend tripping. He loved ghosts but had never seen one— one of his coworkers had which got him naturally curious about them when they started discussing Clinton.
He smiled, his green eyes gleaming from behind his 50's replica nerd glasses (he was a sucker for nostalgia). He began to sing along with Creedence—feeling exhilarated. He was finally going to find a ghost! Something he had been searching for most of his life. He was going to get a scare— a real scare. Sorry Carpenter, you're good but I need something with a little less cheesy 80's theme music.
Jackson glanced up in his rear-view mirror. Annoying headlights stabbed his pupils, making him squint in reaction. The bumpy and narrow road was definitely not designed for comfortable passing. The road reminded him of the Himalayas' Freefall Highway; a dangerous ten foot wide mountain road with a 1000 foot drop. The only deadly drop was Dead Man's Curve but the road was still as treacherous nonetheless.
The driver behind swerved behind him, trying to get around him. Jackson smiled and moved to block him, enjoying being the asshole for once in his life. His confidence was up on this night and for once it was nice to be the bully.
A horn blared behind him.
Jackson rolled his eyes and moved over in his lane, his tires grinding the dirt and allowing the driver behind him to pass by comfortably in the opposite lane.
Jackson glanced over at the white Ford Bronco that passed by him, his smile dropping into a frown when he saw the unlady-like finger Cleopatra was giving him and the irate glare the Tarzan flashed him with, dressed for Halloween and probably going to a super-duper party. He was dressed up but for a more technical reason; he was using it to provoke the ghosts, a little idea he got from Ghost Adventures.
The Bronco switched gears, revved it's engine and gunned off, going faster than what was recommended for Clinton Road's unexpected turns. A sudden thought occurred to Jackson, immediately making him forget about the jerks.
Dead Man's Curve! That's where Weird NJ said that the awesome Phantom Truck appeared and knocked drivers off the road—trying to kill them.
As interesting as it was he hoped he didn't see it. It was a little too scary for his taste— he wanted to be scared yes, but he didn't want to be in the way of a murderous ghost. He liked being alive, thank you.
Nope, but he was looking forward to any ghosts that came his way. Tonight, he was an enthusiastic Bill Murray, searching for a ghost to slime him.
No ghost, but he did eventually find something that puzzled and terrified him even more.
After a mile of pitch blackness and claustrophobic wilderness, he came across something he wasn't too enthusiastic about finding.
The Bronco that passed him had been smashed to bits. The rusty undercarriage and clean, white exterior of the Bronco was reduced to mere shrapnel that scattered all over the road, looking as if a locomotive had plowed it into oblivion.
He ran a shaky palm over his greasy blonde hair and down the back of his neck, his skin collecting a few drops of sweat, chilled from night. His green eyes looked to the trees, trying to locate the two passengers that were missing from the scene.
His sleuthing efforts turned up short of evidence.
There was nothing; as if the two had vanished into thin air. Were they ghosts?
No, if they were there wouldn't be any parts scattered everywhere.
Jackson, a twinge of fear coursing through his veins, began clearing a path, removing scraps of metal out of the way so his yellow bug could pass.
Confusion ran through his mind as he moved back and forth between the beams of his headlights, the noise of chirping bugs drowning out his car's engine. He wasn't sure if he should call the cops or not; be a good Samaritan and all that.
He decided he should at least look for the folks; see if they took off down the road looking for help.
He finished by moving the mangled door out of the way, the metal door scratching loudly against the worn asphalt. Jackson grunted and put it in the ditch, a rip catching his attention.
He looked down at his priest robes, a fresh cut by the ankles making him roll his eyes bitterly. However it was unimportant...
Another noise caught his immediate attention.
Loud crunching cut through the night and right through him. It was a tremendous and abnormal snapping of limbs for it to be a simple person taking an excursion through the woods.
He ran a hand through his hair, his dull nails scratching his scalp. He took a step back, the crunching growing louder with each second. Jackson finally reached the obvious conclusion.
Something was coming towards him— something big.
Jackson, feeling disastrously uncomfortable, rounded the hood of his car and opened the driver's seat. He sat in the seat and put the shifter in first gear. He pressed the clutch, his suffocating nervousness dooming him.
He released the clutch too soon and killed the engine— lurching the Volkswagen violently.
Jackson immediately slammed on the clutch again and turned on the engine, it started and a small shred of relief flooded him… until he glanced over to his right.
Within the trees, punching through the darkness were twin sets of giant purple eyes glaring at him.
Violent images of Santanic rituals ran through his mind; he knew the road was infamous for witch craft, KKK and followers of the Anti-Christ groups to gather in the woods and that was the only thing his brain could associate with. Now he was really regretting dressing up like a priest.
His car stalled again much to his dismay. Goddamn it Bumblebee now's not the best time!
He sat there in shock, his body numb and his jaw dropping open. Only when they began to approach closer did he panic, start his car and push the clutch.
He slammed on the gas and shifted as fast as he could, the engine groaning in pain from his bad synchronization. He drove off and didn't get more than a couple of meters or so when something came running out of the woods.
Cleopatra covered in blood.
He slammed on the breaks, the car missing her by inches. Her face was distraught with absolute panic; she gripped the car and maneuvered around the passenger side. Bloody hand prints painted the outside of his window before she grabbed the handle and climbed in.
"Go fuckin' go!" she cried, her panic stricken eyes whipping around to look behind her.
He couldn't resist taking a glance back himself.
He wish he didn't…
Demons emerged from the trees, demons he recognized.
Decepticons… Jackson immediately would have preferred the Satanists instead.
They smirked devilishly in his direction… an expression of pure evil making their optics flash brightly.
Jackson remembered something that immediately sent horror through his body. He had a bumper sticker that read 'My other ('other' X-out with a sharpie) car is an Autobot' and right next to the text was the red symbol that was nowhere near to helping his situation.
Great. The Autobots will be the death of me!
The yellow and the red Decepticon turned and gave each other a grin.
Oh, my God…
"What the hell is wrong with you? Go!" she shrieked, her scream killing his eardrums like a concert speaker.
Suddenly the cars transformed, one into a red and black Ferrari and the other into a yellow dragster. The stereo system in the Ferrari came alive with the strumming of an acoustic guitar and an elderly voice echoing through the windows saying: "Hey we all know how we're gonna die! We're gonna crash and burn..."
Fear and realization went through him. Rob Zombie's Sick Bubblegum. Awesome song— just not right now.
Just as he gunned it, they gave chase after the inferior Volkswagen. Jackson knew before he gunned his own car and there that they were absolutely fucked.
In mere seconds they caught up to him and immediately began nudging his bumper, jerking the woman and driver forward.
They taunted him, slowing the bug down so they could play with him as if he was a Hot Wheel.
The Ferrari came around to Jackson's side, Sick Bubblegum pounding heavily in his ears.
"Hey fleshie! You wanna play yo-yo?" he cackled with a harsh Texan voice. "And guess what you get to be the yo-yo! Ha Ha Ha!"
Suddenly the yellow drag racer maneuvered around the passenger side and hit him. Cleopatra shrieked again when he did it a second time and shattered the passenger side window.
The Volkswagen swerved the left and was caught by the Ferrari who sped up to meet the drag racer's pass. Jackson's eyes couldn't help but fall upon the driver's seat of the Ferrari… and that the wheel was steering itself.
The Ferrari cackled loudly and rammed itself into Jackson's bug, giving the vehicle another dent to match the passenger's mangled side.
"BRAKE!" she screamed.
He obeyed but it did them little good.
The Ferrari cleverly flipped itself around and placed itself vertically across Jackson's front bumper.
They flung forward from the impact and just as they were beginning to recover they found themselves bolted backwards when the drag racer positioned itself in front of him—hood to hood. Trapping them.
The dragster's voice boomed to life and called out to his friend in their chirpy computerized language. The Ferrari cackled and relayed back. An uncomfortable feeling went up Jackson's spine... shit, this is going to be bad...
The drag racer roared to life and began moving forward— crushing the car like a beer can.
They did the most rational thing they could do after a few panicked screams; they opened the car doors and bailed out, taking off into the woods on their sides of the road.
As soon as his feet crunched the grass and snapped twigs, he heard the mechanical grinding and electronic scratching. They were in humanoid mode.
Jackson's legs pumped with adrenaline as he glanced back, his car destroyed and the two giant robots giving chase, the Ferrari going after Cleopatra and the drag racer coming after him.
He swiped at the sharp camouflaged branches that came after him from the dark. Cutting his clothes and face like angry knives.
A huge snap sounded behind him, signaling that the Con had entered the woods.
Echoes came to his ears in every direction, all the nocturnal sounds conglomerating together and confusing him. He had no idea which direction he was going in but as long as he could hear the gigantic crunching behind him, he was away from death which is all what mattered.
Like a horror cliché he tripped and collapsed to the ground, his body hitting sharp branches, wet leaves and hard rocks, making him groan in pain. Immediately he sat up and untangled himself, his ankle throbbing.
Limping in desperation he sped up when he heard a scream— a female scream which started off strong and then abruptly cut off. Jackson registered it as only one thing.
Cleopatra was caught. He would not be next.
He limped faster, his lungs threatening to explode but ignored them when he heard the Decepticon's chilling voice close by.
"Ah come on fleshie I don't bite… but I do have a killer hand shake!" He laughed with amusement.
Finally, he couldn't go on any longer.
He coughed and gasped as he fell and pathetically hid himself behind a tree; the cold air hitting his lungs like needles and began to ache. He waited, silence eerily setting in.
He wish he could still hear him, it would at least give him reassurance that he was away from it. His bottom lip quivered in fear.
He heard the mechanical being talk in a flustered pattern behind him, sounding as if he was in a heated argument.
Jackson pressed his back into the spinney tree; letting some of the small branches prod his skin… he couldn't believe how close to him he was.
Then something unexpected happened.
The Decepticon left.
He didn't know if it truly was divine intervention or if he was just a lucky son of a bitch, but nevertheless he thanked God.
His costume was probably the feeblest source of warmth he ever owned; he was starting to feel the consequences of not bringing a jacket as his body shivered. It took him nearly a half an hour to find the road again—but no way in hell would he step foot on it.
He stumbled in the woods next to the road, the trees concealing him and providing him cover from the Cons that were still probably still lurking somewhere on Clinton Road.
He wiped his nose, the liquids drying on his sleeve. He stopped crying a half an hour ago and was finally feeling his nerves settle despite feeling the overpowering after-effects.
He could already feel the weight of the world collapsing on him, making his legs grow more tired with each awkward and unstable step over the forest foliage.
He knew that as long as he was on Clinton Road, his ordeal would not be over.
And he was right and stopped dead in his tracks. An invisible pressure traveled over his body, numbing to the core.
Where the hell did he come from?
About fifty feet in front of him, through the trees shone purple eyes, seemingly oblivious to him—and Jackson would keep it that way.
He stayed still, thinking that any sudden movement would draw the Con's attention to him; besides fear wouldn't let him move even if he wanted to. His chest heaved, short and panicked breaths escaping.
The purple eyes suddenly fell in his direction. Jackson collapsed to the ground, horror pinning him there like an invisible antagonist. His eyes began to wet, his lips quivering as he eyes closed—knowing the inevitable was coming.
God please no…
He waited for eternal seconds before a noise sealed his fate.
The Decepticon screamed in fear.
Jackson opened his eyes—his jaw instantly dropped.
The Decepticon fled through the trees, transformed and hit the road—kicking up dirt, burning rubber and leaving it's stench behind for Jackson.
Jackson stood in utter shock—confused out of his mind; not a single, solid explanation coming to him.
Was that Decepticon… afraid of him? What the hell? Was he the only weird Decepticon that was scared of humans or something? A Decepticon that ran from humans instead of squishing them like bugs?
Jackson shivered and wrapped his arms around himself. He felt his eyes start to leak again and quickly wiped them, feeling like the victim of a terrible prank.
A sudden pang of anger started to run through his veins, making him scoff slightly. Maybe it was a different Decepticon, one that thought he wasn't worth the time. Maybe he just wanted to mess with him.
So instead of killing him the Decepticon just fucked with me? Great. Maybe that was what the other two were doing before—some sort of sick twisted freakin' mind game.
Jackson caught himself. If it was a game, what happened to Cleopatra? Was she walking in the woods too? Trying to stay hidden until she got to the end of the ten mile road?
He allowed a boyish smirk to cross his face. Hey maybe if they both got out alive, they could go out. After all they both shared something—they both were attacked by giant freakin' robots.
A scowl set in as he walked, remembering the other human on the road that was missing-in-action. Tarzan. What happened to him?
An uncomfortable wave of guilt and nervousness washed through him. Cleopatra was covered in blood… Tarzan's blood.
He sighed, feeling somewhat disgusted with himself. Poor gal, she probably watched him get blown to bits or something and here he was thinking about picking her up.
Nice Jackson. And I'm dressed as a priest—that's good. Good thinking, you stupid ass. 'Hey sorry about your boyfriend—you wanna go out?' Smooth man, very smooth…
Jackson let his eyes travel across the road and to the other side, a small, sad smile tugging at the side of his mouth. Hope she's okay...
He knew by reading about Clinton Road that Dead Man's Curve was the deadliest spot on the entire stretch, but more importantly (since he didn't have a car anymore) that it was also the third mile marker.
Goddamn it, I've been going in the wrong direction!
He approached the concrete slabs that bordered on the edges of the bridge, graffiti covering it. This spot was infamous because for cars crashing to their doom; unlucky drivers who couldn't register quickly enough to turn and avoid driving off the bridge—hence the concrete barriers.
His eyes narrowed in confusion…
Huh… he didn't recall seeing any picture of a gigantic destroyed section of the barriers from Google Images. He looked from left to right, not liking the vibe that the bridge was giving off. disinterested in sticking around to see if there was a ghost kid by the bridge.
Hastily, he turned around and headed back the direction he came, disinterested in sticking around to see if there was a ghost kid by the bridge.
Well at least I know which way I'm going.
Jackson decided he would keep on the road until he found unsafe for him again— or until the Cons returned.
After what he guessed was another mile of walking he had to stop. His legs burned and ached, his ankle was also getting worse and worse with every limp.
He knew that there had to be a considerable amount of cuts on his calves and thighs by now from bushwhacking in the pitch dark, an outdoor activity he would not recommend. However he knew he, couldn't stop until he was off of the road.
He rolled forward and placed his hands on his knees, stretching his back. He was starting to get used to the cold but it didn't make things any better. He was tired, emotionally exhausted and above all petrified. Ghosts were the farthest thing from his mind—all he cared about were the robots still lurking and trying to find him.
His breath caught in his throat and stopped dead in his tracks.
Panic started to set in again.
Behind him he could make out the sound of loud, grinding and powerful engine distorted by the distance but growing clearer and clearer by the second.
Jackson registered it as only one thing.
Suddenly the road illuminated in front of him and he could see his shadow painted on the grey asphalt in front of him.
He breathed heavily, the noise now deafening and recognizable.
He whirled around and met the grill of large semi-truck.
He wished that whatever truck that had supposedly run him over did the job. He woke up, groggily and in pain, a goose egg on the back of his head and looked up…
Light burned his retinas and he instantly shut them. He groaned and rolled his head to the side.
A voice called out to him, "Oh you're up. Good! I found you in the road and I'm taking you to the nearest medical clinic. Your safe, just lay back and let me do the driving…"
Jackson couldn't argue and leaned his head back, letting drowsiness consume him. As he was beginning to pass out, he leaned his head back to see his savior.
However sleep smothered him and he fell into it. Although he could have sworn he didn't see anyone driving…