The Hitchhiker Going to Hell
I was doing a long haul, I don’t do them very often anymore with my back being the way it is, but I owed my boss a favour and anyway, I wanted to see my daughter one last time in LA before she moved north to Toronto for her final year of studies. Normally, I just drive now in the Dallas area in smaller lorries and avoid the big 18-wheelers, but yea, I wanted to see Kylie so it was a good excuse and I got to make some money too.
I was going from Dallas to Phoenix for the first delivery, up to Flagstaff for another drop and then onto LA. I wasn’t in a huge rush, but I was keen to get there before the weekend so Kylie and I could catch up. After a few hours sleep in Phoenix I got myself together for the short two hour trip up route 17 to Flagstaff.
If you don’t know the area, it’s where the Co-co-nino national forest is. It’s incredibly beautiful, full of red rock stacks and wild forest and rivers. It’s one of the old stops that people used to make crossing America on the old Route 66. Unfortunately though, I wasn’t going to get to see much this time as I was driving at night.
Just as I entered the area the heavens opened. The sky had been overcast for a while and mother nature let rip with one hell of a downpour. Soon I was driving no faster than 30 miles an hours, visibility was pretty bad and those roads are dark at night. As I came around a corner I saw a lady hitching. Usually I’d never stop, but in this weather, I dunno, I must’ve felt sorry for her and y’know, something felt off.
I slowed to a stop on the side of the road. I rolled down the passenger side window and could see her a bit more closely. She was soaked to the skin and shivering…well I thought she was shivering, she could have been shimmering looking back on it now. Her shoulders were slu
mped and her face looked at the ground, it looked like she hadn’t even noticed that I’d stopped. It was raining so heavy now, maybe she hadn’t heard me.
“Are you Looking for a ride?” I asked trying to shout over the rain.
She had heard me. She raised her head and lowered it again in a slow nod. I unbuckled my seatbelt, leaned over to the passenger-side door and opened it for her. She stepped into the cabin and it grew colder. My temp gauge said it was about 55, not bad for this time of year, but to me it felt like it had dropped to about 30. Her hair and clothes were wringing wet, but as she brushed her drenched hair away from her face I could see that she was incredibly beautiful.
“Where you going to ?” I asked my new guest
“Oh,” she said quietly, “I guess I’m going to hell.”
I laughed at her little joke, it wasn’t funny, but I wanted to make her feel welcome. She looked like she’d been through some god-awful event and I wanted to be helpful. My little laughter died when I saw her stern expression.
‘I going to Flagstaff and then on to Los Angeles if that’s any good to you. LA is as close to hell as you can get without dying in my opinion, I hate the place, I’m only going there because my daughter lives there at the moment.”
The hitchhiker ever so slightly smiled..
“Okay,” she said. “Let’s go to LA.”
I smiled at her and put my foot to the floor. It wasn’t long until a gloomy silence descended on us in the cab. I wasn’t freaked out or worried, I just thought, ok, this lady’s been through something, best not to ask about it unless she brings it up and anyway, this rain is so heavy I really had to concentrate on the driving and not killing us. Somehow it seemed like the weather was getting worse, there was the odd flash of lightning and the roll of thunder from far away. Unusual weather for the time of the year, but I suppose we can blame global warming, I guess. If you’re into that kind of thing. My windscreen wipers were going full tilt and I’d pretty much slowed down to 20 miles an hour now.
Eventually the silence was getting to me soon and I was starting to feel uncomfortable….
“Can I ask” I finally said. “What are you doing out in weather like this?”
She looked surprised that I wanted to speak to her as she continually stared out the truck’s window.
“Oh,” she said, “I hate the rain, I didn’t plan on being out.”
Strange answer I thought
“Yeah, you’ve lucky I stopped for you I guess,” I said. “I’ve heard this area can be prone to flash flooding. Although, not at this time of year. I’m from the Dallas area so don’t drive up here much, but in this old lady she’ll be able to take pretty much anything nature can throw at her.”
She seemed to shudder once I shut my mouth. Oh, course, I thought, she’s soaking wet and cold. I turned up the heat on her side and her underchair heating.
“Look, this might sound weird and I ain’t no pervert…but you must be freezing, there’s some spare clothes on the back seat there, feel free to take a tshirt or sweater if you want to get out of those wet clothes. I ain’t gonna look…I realise that might sound weird, but trust me I’ve been married for 25 years now and I’m very happy.’
Scary Hitchhiker Story
To my surprise she said “Okay,” he took off her coat and tshirt and reached into the back and grabbed one of my spare ones and a towel too. She put on the tshirt and then started to dry her hair.
I know I said I wouldn’t look, but out of the corner of my eye I could, of course, see. What I saw floored me…
“Jesus Chris,” I said.
With her coat and tshirt off I could see her neck. She had a huge, thick, purple and yellow bruise. I looked like she’d survived a lynching.
“Lady, are you alright?” I asked. “What the hell happened your neck, do you need medical attention?”
“Ambulances don’t often come out here,” she said. “Same for the police. It’s too remote and especially when the weather is this bad.”
“Ehhh….ok,” I said. I was now feeling incredibly uncomfortable and again silence descended and we sat in silence for what felt like hours, in reality it was probably only 5-10 minutes until she next spoke again as we were about to crest a long turn on a high hill.
“Please, stop the truck,” she asked.
I slowed down, but I didn’t stop. There was nowhere to pull over and I wanted to get to Flagstaff and make my last drop before LA. Honestly I wanted rid of this lady too, I was getting a little freaked out
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“You need to stop the truck” she was becoming agitated
“I can’t, I’m sorry,” I said, “I’ve got to get to Flagstaff, make a drop and then head onto LA, I want to be there before noon. And anyway lady, sorry, you never did give me your name, I can’t leave you off in this weather, you’ll die of the cold.’
She turned towards me. Her face held no expression as she stared into my eyes. Man, she was beautiful, but that bruise at the base of her neck was disgusting. She grabbed the wheel and the trucked jerked to the right, I tried to wrestle the wheel back off her but she was a strong as an ox. I stomped on the brakes and the tires skidded. I tried my best to keep the truck on the road, but she was too strong, we hit the rail and the side mirror was smashed off the truck when it hit a tall tree on the side. We came to a quick stop on the verge in the mud, thankfully we were travelling still at a slow speed, it was still bucketing down rain.
“God damn it woman!” I shouted. “What in the name of Lord…., — why the hell did you do that….?”
She was gone.
Had she somehow fallen out of the truck as we were stopping? It’s impossible, the doors lock automatically and anyway we were going too slow. Where the hell is she? I was thinking.
Her seatbelt was still buckled. This was very strange and I was freaking out a bit. I hit the gas, but I was stuck, the 18 wheeler just spinned and I stopped because I didn’t want to get more embedded in the mud on the side of the road. I took out my phone and called the police to let them know a truck was stuck on the road, but they said they couldn’t reach me until weather conditions improved. My insurance company told me the same. They told me to put down a warning triangle a 100 yards back from where I was stuck and wait it out until morning or for the weather to pass.
There was nothing I could do, I was stuck where I was. So I made sure the doors were locked and decided I’d try and get some sleep.
In the morning I was awoken by someone knocking on the cab door. ‘Open up, it’s the police, you called last night, we’re here to get you out mister.’
Creepy Hitchhiker Stories
“ Well sir, you can believe it or don’t, but you might just be the luckiest SOB on the planet. I’d buy a lottery ticket today if I was you….”
“Sorry officer, I don’t follow you, what do you mean?”
“Come on son and get out of the truck, let me show you how lucky you are.”
So I got out of the truck and we walked up around the bend. Right there in the middle of the road just below where the road began to descend was a rock, stuck in a small mudslide, roughly the size of a 1970s Voltswagon Beetle.
“If you’d have come over that hill sir,” said the policeman, “you’d have never seen that rock in the rain and you’d be about as dead as disco now. You’re lucky you lost control of the 18 wheeler when you did….
“But I didn’t lose control Officer,” I said. “I picked up a hitchhiker last night, not too long after the downpour started and, well, she wrestled the wheel offa me and forced the truck off the road .”
“Is that so?” he said. “Where’s this hitchhiker now then?”
“Officer, I don’t know, she must’ve run off when we stopped, although I didn’t hear her or see her get out of the truck….”
He looked at me strangely, but not like he didn’t believe me.
“Sir, do you remember what she looked like?”
“I do,” I said. “She was very pretty, green eyes and long black hair and….errr…”
“Err….she had this large bruise around her neck. It was real nasty looking.”
The cop nodded.
“I would appear my good man that you met Lucille last night. She’s a bit of a local legend around here.”
“Lucille, what, what, do you mean?”
Lucille was a lady who lived in the area in the 60s and 70s, having moved here with her daughter after her husband died in Vietnam. She was very protective of her daughter who wasn’t exactly lucky when it came to her lovelife. One day Lucille went off to work and left her teenage daughter locked in at home. She was suspicious that she was going to run off with her latest, abusive boyfriend so Lucille shut up shop and went off to work. As I already mentioned this area is liable to flash floods and unfortunately Lucille’’s house flooded and the daughter drowned
Lucille was inconsolable—she walked into the forest with a strong rope and hung herself the day after her daughter’s funeral. She had left a suicide note that siad “I’m gong to hell to make amends for my sins and for killing my daughter.”
According to the legend, she didn’t go to hell though, she was forced to stay in the area and save people from the same accidental deaths as her daughter.
I know some people will think I’m crazy and that this old geezer banged his head during the crash after falling asleep at the wheel, there’s just one thing. The coat and tshirt that she was wearing, they were still on the back seat when I got to LA and mine were gone.