1. I saw a faceless figure in a straightjacket
“That would be The Bridge…
I was driving home late one night. Somewhere between 1 and 3 am. The stretch of road I was driving goes through the back end of a couple of counties in the Deep South. Nothing around but forests, fields, and the occasional group of shacks huddling under a light that only barely keeps away the night. I’d driven this stretch of road many times before, even at this time of night, so it wasn’t really a big deal. Just a long trip. Since there was rarely any traffic that time of night (during the day you could always count on at least a handful of cars somewhere around), I was able to turn the stereo up and push the pedal down.
And then I came to this bridge. Nothing really noteworthy about it – it’s not ancient or a covered bridge or all that spooky. Just a concrete span over swampland, trees growing right up near the edge and turning the road into a dim trail at the bottom of a dark canyon. I’d been over this bridge many times before and aside from being fairly long, it wasn’t really noteworthy. Until that night.
It was humid out and as the temperature dropped there was a little bit of fog. Not enough to really slow me down, but I had to turn off the high-beams. So I’m shooting across the bridge and it hits me that it seems to be taking longer than normal to get across it. Maybe I was just tired? Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me?
And then I thought I was finally getting to the end of it, I saw a figure walking on the opposite side of the road. At first, no big deal, right? Guy walking in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Probably lives nearby, probably drunk. Watch them to make sure they don’t fall in front of the car.
But my mind is already racing. I mean, this is the middle of nowhere. There are no houses around. There are no lights but the stars and my headlights stabbing out at the darkness.
And as I whiz by going way too fast for my own good, I notice two things: First. The figure is wearing what appears to be a straightjacket, the sleeves undone, and the straps trailing to the ground. Glaring white against the background of the night. No mistaking it. A straightjacket, hands covered, straps dangling and waving as he walked. Second. It has no face. Not like, there’s no head there. There’s a head shape. And the place where a face should be, but no face. Just an expanse of darkness that I took to be his skin.
I chalked it up to going really fast, contrast between white jacket and dark skin at night, and thinking creepy thoughts. I mean, surely I couldn’t have just seen that. I tried to spot him in my rear view mirror, but it was so dark there was nothing to be seen. I slowed down a little, and was suddenly off the end of the bridge and on normal two-lane blacktop again.
I briefly considered turning around, seeing what it was. Surely it was just a trick of the light or my mind playing tricks on me. Right?
But I still remember being my heart pounding and fear as I sped on through the darkness, driving home.” — writermonk