Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Creature

It was a dark and dusty night. I had been up since approximately 4 a.m. and was feeling exceedingly jet lagged. Not only was it normally dark outside, but the ground was dry from previous fires. All of the dirt was being disturbed by the wind, kicking up dust and creating a general haze for miles around. I was going the speed limit, which was 75 mph. I was on cruise control.

I was also drowsy, and I was afraid that I'd fall asleep at the wheel. I have a history of falling asleep mid-sentence. I didn't want to expand my repertoire of strange situations in which I am able to sleep. I had been conditioned to sleeping in vehicles while I was on my vacation. My eyes didn't want to stay open. To combat the drowsy feeling, I turned up the air conditioner to high and blasted music through the radio. I was trying to sing along at the top of my lungs. It was really more of a blurb because I was hardly singing coherently.

All of a sudden in my headlights, I saw a small creature coming at me. It had a strange bony and white frame. It had fangs protruding from its slim head and slim, frail body. I had never seen a creature quite so scary and bony-critter-like. It could have been an alien that escaped from Area 51. Maybe it was a baby chupacabra. Whatever it was, I was sure that it was menacing. It would attack my car and eat me. Or I would become its host body, and it would pose as me until it could figure out a way to take over other people.

I swerved to try and miss the horrible creature, and a terrifying scream escaped out of my throat. It was a scream worthy of an old Hitchcock film or perhaps from a victim on "Perry Mason." My heart was beating faster than the beat of the CanCan song from my Pump It Up game on expert. But I realized before it disappeared beneath my car that it was merely a small piece of tumbleweed. I mused at my own tired irrationality, and resumed my drowsy state of trying to get home safely without falling asleep.


julie said...

What a great story!I chuckled.

One thing I've learned while driving long distances is how to stay awake when really I want to sleep. The best thing that works for me??? "Buzzing" my lips. It tickles my nose and keeps me awake. If I'm especially sleepy, I try to buzz the melodies of church songs. That really tickles!


You really should write a novel. I would read it!

Cardine said...

Julie - That does totally tickle! Whenever they'd try to have us hmmmm in choir, it KILLED me! I couldn't do it without laughing. I'll have to try this technique for staying awake next time. Thanks for the idea!

Angela - Thanks, that's really nice of you! I have a few ideas kicking around in my brain, but alas, no time to write. And, I would need a really, really good editor (content AND grammar).

Sean said...

I tell you what, it is the desert. It plays tricks on the mind, and it is worse when you are tired. I can't tell you how many giraffes I have seen walking across the road in southern utah when it was late, and I was a touch tired.

tearese said...

A tumbleweed. Ha!
Loved the Pump it Up reference, that was funny.

Indy said...

I am glad you are back!! I hope the trip was fun.

I loved the story. I can believe a tumbleweed would look that way in head lights.

banana said...

I love that you posted a story about lack of sleep on the day that Winston was born. It fits now that he has his days and nights mixed up.

I did worry that you would make it home safely, I glad to see that you are still alive.

compulsive writer said...

Cardine, I think you may have spawned a new expression:

He got that "tumbleweed in the headlights" look on his face whenever he thought about getting a real job.

Great story. For some weird reason (maybe because it's been a long day and I'm really tired) it reminded me of this.