Nelson sat back, relaxed. He was enjoying this solitary vacation. He didn’t have to answer to anyone or see to someone else’s needs. This was the way to see the world. He could go where he wanted and see what he wanted to see. As his car continued down the gray ribbon of road Nelson had one more thought. He wished desperately that he could share his experiences with someone else. His solitary vacation.
It had been the brainstorm a co-worker. The idea that one could see the world all alone was appealing. Nelson had jumped at the idea simply because no one wanted to travel with him. Maybe it was the time or maybe it was the thought of driving in a car for 10 or 12 hours a day. Not everybody was interested. Nelson had been on the road for almost 2 weeks and had seen so much. But now there was just one more spot he wanted to hit and then he was headed home. He had heard rumours about a section of road that was haunted. Nelson didn’t believe in spooky tales but he thought he would give this one a try.
Supposedly soldiers from the confederacy were seen on the side of the road. There were tales of Indians in clothes from two hundred years ago racing cars on their horses. So far Nelson had been on this road almost an hour and had seen nothing even slightly spooky. Of course the road was a little out of the way so it wasn’t very busy. Actually he hadn’t seen a car the entire time he been on it. There was a little mist in the air. Perhaps people hallucinated the specters. Nelson felt it was time for some music. He given the road a shot but no ghostly apparitions had appeared.
“A bolt went through him as they thundered through the sky For he saw the Riders comin’ hard and heard their mournful cry…..”
Nelson immediately flipped the radio off and started to laugh a little hysterically.
“Now that will make a great story!” He said out loud. “I’m on a road, it’s supposed to be haunted, and I turn on the radio only to hear Johnny Cash singing Ghost Riders in the Sky. That is ridiculous!”
Nelson chuckled to himself a little longer but he didn’t turn the radio back on. He might be smiling but he was a little shaken by the coincidence.
Now there is one thing about driving in a car long distance: no bathrooms. It had been quite a while since he had last filled up and made use of the facilities. Nelson looked around hoping to see another gas station. Not a building in sight. Well, Nelson thought, there’s one good thing about being far from the maddening crowd, no one needs to see me pee!
Without another thought he pulled the car to the side of the road and stepped out to take care of urgent business. The sun was just starting to dip below the mountains in the distance and it really was a breathtaking site. Necessities taken care of Nelson stopped to admire the incredible view.
Nelson was sure he had jumped 3 feet. He turned around in a panic. All the horror stories he had heard came racing back to his memory. He was about to let loose one blood curdling cry when he actually turned and saw the owner of the voice.
“Please, can you help me?”
The owner of the voice took a few steps towards Nelson. She didn’t look specter-ish. She actually looked pretty real.
“My name is Maria. My husband and I had car trouble. He walked one way on the road and I walked another looking for help. Do you have any water?”
Nelson shook his head. He was all worked up over nothing.
“Yes, yes of course! I have water.” Nelson quickly reached into his car and grabbed a fresh water bottle. “How long you’ve been walking?”
The woman in question couldn’t answer him as she was draining the water bottle. She saved a little to wet her face and arms. She tried to hand the bottle back but she became disoriented and set down where she stood.
Nelson was raised a gentlemen, he raced it to her side and helped her into the car.
”I’ll turn the air conditioning on and we’ll go and find your husband.” Nelson jumped in the car and started the engine. He glanced quickly at his passenger, her eyes were closed but she seemed to be breathing just fine. “Which way?”
They drove in silence for what seemed like an eternity. Just up ahead he could see a car off the side of the road. It didn’t look badly damaged. He glanced at his passenger. She showed no recognition. Nelson slowed down but they continued on. As he drew up beside the solitary car Nelson saw something he was not expecting. There was another car. It was an incredibly familiar car. It looked just like his car. And next to the familiar car was a body.
Nelson been raised in a good Christian family. He went to church, he paid his taxes and he did his best not to harm anyone else. And then he took a vacation.
He quickly stopped his car and race to the prone body. He felt for a pulse. There was none. With a shaking hand he turned the body over and stared into his own face. He was the spector! He was the ghost!
” I am hallucinating! This isn’t real! Dear God, it isn’t real!”
Nelson backed away from the cars and the impossible body. He started to shake. He looked around and saw the woman he had rescued staring calmly at him.
“We are all in this together. We met in a bar. We got drunk. And you and my husband were racing on this road. We died here together. That was seven years ago. Sometimes you relive this mess and sometimes my husband does. I was in the passenger seat. And I died. Welcome to hell.
” Nelson raced to his car. There had to be away out of this, it wasn’t real!
Nelson sat back, relaxed. He was enjoying this solitary vacation. As his car continued down the gray ribbon of road he had one more thought. He wished desperately that he could share his experiences with someone else. His solitary vacation.