My Terrifying Encounter With A Man Who Called Himself “Poker Face”

Producer’s note: This creepy story is excerpted from Reddit user awriternamedwilliams‘s account of what happened.

This happened in Antioch, California. It was around 2AM. I was at a friend’s house, safe in warm sheltered suburbia. We were having a lot to drink, chit chatting, enjoying ourselves. Of course, when you’re having fun, time hits the fast forward button, and those few minutes turn into an hour. I had too much to drink.

My friend has a bit of an abrupt bed time, so I had to dodge out early, still intoxicated. I felt too shameful thinking I’d be asking too much to stay in his house to sleep off the drunkenness. I suppose he was either too rude or too drunk to consider it himself.

Whatever. Sometimes a little inconvenience makes you appreciate everything else. I needed about another hour or so to sober up and drive back.

As fast as time passed during my stay, it decided to drastically slow down as soon as I stepped out of his house. It was a cul-de-sac area, a concrete jungle with the stem of the street breaking into a fork. Alongside the road, my car was parked; the only street light that worked was in the middle of the cul-de-sac’s circle, about 80 yards away. I stumbled towards my car, produced my keys, felt the metal line up, opened my door and shifted to the back seat. Because this was a dark, strange and unfamiliar neighborhood, I took the left over newspapers and a sweater in my backseat to cover myself up.

I was a little scared, I wanted to camouflage myself and not just be some guy awkwardly sitting in his car waiting for time to pass in order to drive home.

I couldn’t fall asleep. The uncomfortable feeling of a cheap backseat bed enshrouded in darkness didn’t make the chance of slumber easier, it felt too ominous. And of course, my mind began to wonder. I thought of worst case scenarios, like how the police would shine their lights on me through the window, or a drunk driver hitting my car, and….
…in the distance, about 100 yards away, I could hear footsteps approaching. The gravel scuffed with each step forward, growing in proximity, but periodically taking stops.

I wondered why until it made sense in my mind: whoever it was was probably looking through cars carefully, with the intent to steal one. I couldn’t recall how many cars were on the block, but I counted three full stops until he was at my window, breathing.

I froze.

There was no more than one foot between us. The car encapsulated me as I lay hidden beneath backseat clutter, forming myself into an object, trying my hardest to be unnoticeable, unmoving and simply not there.

“I seeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuu”

Said a 40+ year old man in perverse baby talk.

Imagine when you were playing hide and seek, and one of your friends tricks you in coming out. He said it in that tone of voice, as if baiting me, like he was questioning whether the clutter in backseat was just clutter…. or a person.

I didn’t want to move or check the window. I remained clutter. Give me an academy award.

My body reacted by minimizing my breathing so much that I felt paralyzed. I dare not look. My eyes fixated on the back of the passenger seat. I didn’t blink, I didn’t move, I didn’t breathe; my heart was pounding so hard it shook my body with each throb.

He circled around the car, my ears didn’t fail me. I heard the steps. I felt like I was part of the car, I could feel him touching the trunk as he carefully pressed down on it, as if to test the alarm, as if to test me.

I was in the middle of fight or flight. I couldn’t do either without elevating danger. I was frozen and hoping to God he was bluffing.

He circled the car again. The door handle to my right jiggled. He was pulling it multiple times.

“I seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee youuuuuuuu”

Same tone, but more agitated and stressed, more convinced that he was trying to make that clutter move, revealing itself to be of his expectations that it was me.

My muscles tensed like a cow before slaughter.

Tap tap tap

That had to be metal against glass. Take a penny right now and tap your window.

A crow bar? A knife? A rock? A gun? My eyes fixated on the seat in front of me, never averting my gaze – like he was. I was covered enough to where I couldn’t see beyond the seat in front of me. I know I couldn’t see him, but I could feel his eyes resting on top of me.

“My name is poker face. What’s your name?”

The voice changed, in a lower demented and serious tone. My mind forced a visual, it wasn’t anything human.

I already accepted my death. I was ready to be shot in the head, ready to take a life changing bullet, multiple knife wounds. Just make this sleep bearable, not excruciating, as you drain me of life.

I wouldn’t know how to react, my thoughts grew dimmer. I imagined my friend waking up the next morning after a calm night of safe and sound sleep only to discover my mutilated, defiled and bloodied body hanging outside my car door.

It was then I heard nothing but my own heart. What was this person doing now? Just staring at me in the middle of the night? Talking to me, or a messy pile in the back seat?
Time froze. The footsteps were being swallowed in the distance. Thank God he left. I waited another hour until the sun showed hints of itself.

I jumped in my front seat and bolted out of there, wide eyed and sober. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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