Last night the spirits of living children walked the neighborhoods of the modern United States. They rang doorbells and received gifts of candy and other non-candy items. Some parents hoped their cavity-prone children would come home with lots of non-candy items, but others (me) hoped for lots of chocolate. Some parents (me) love to raid the Halloween haul, looking for choice tidbits. Mmmmm.
Today, as Christendom celebrates a couple of days of the souls of sinners and saints walking the earth, I journeyed from Georgia through Alabama. I looked forward to a peaceful country drive with changing foliage, babbling creeks and trees dripping with moss.
My destination was Fort Rucker, Alabama where my eldest, James, finished Army Air Traffic Controller School and graduates in the morning. If you are a regular reader you may recall that he is my co-olive-oil taster and helped me taste the different olive oils I bought from the California Olive Ranch about a year ago. James is an huge fan of extra virgin olive oil and uses it on everything. We conducted our taste test just before he was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia for basic training. It was a fun Mom and son thing to do.
I took I-85 south out of Atlanta in the early afternoon then turned off the highway somewhere near Auburn, Alabama. South of Tuskegee, which many recall is where a squadron of African-American pilots were based during World War II, I was on a long stretch of empty road with plenty of road clearly behind and ahead of me when …
My cell phone gps informed me of the number of miles before my next turn. From the time I looked down at the display and up again it was less than a second. In that brief time there appeared in my rearview mirror a weathered-gray car that looked like an old Duster. I looked at it rather intently since I was surprised at its sudden appearance on my rear bumper. I searched the front windshield for a driver and was further surprised to see that it was blacked-out. I’d never seen that before. Alabama must have some weird driving laws, I thought.
The vehicle then floored it and raced around me. I slowed a bit even though there was no traffic in sight. I looked at the car as it passed. All the windows were blacked out. Then I noticed something else unusual. It didn’t make any sound. I had not heard a motor rev or hear the car engine as it passed.
I watched the car as it flew ahead of me. At about ten car lengths from me it disappeared, and I don’t mean around a corner or down a dirt road. It just vanished. I was dumbfounded. It couldn’t have vanished. I must have imagined it, but it was broad daylight and I was wide awake. I looked everywhere. There were no side roads. There were no vehicles in the ditches on either side of the road and the Duster sure as heck wasn’t on the road in front of me and I had a very clear view off into the distance.
First thing I did was call my youngest, who loves ghost stories and zombies and all that stuff. He was so excited. I lost cell signal just after I told him the story and he was wowing and oh-my-goshing. I decided not to call him back since I knew his 14 year old brain would go into overdrive and assume that the ghost car got me. Yes, I am enjoying myself at the expense of his imagination. Then I called Mr. Olive Crazy and he figured he better call the youngest or he wouldn’t sleep tonight. What a kill joy.
Now I’m alone in my hotel room waiting for morning and James’ graduation. I’m alone —– it’s dark outside —- hell, I hope I packed the Advil PM.
May the sun shine through your branches.