The Phantom Car by Laura
One Sunday night not too many months ago….I was out with my carbon copy, my four year old daughter Shaunnessy. She’d had a late nap and I decided to tire her out with a shopping jaunt for life’s necessities and a drive through some of our secluded suburban woods near the park and an historic cemetery (which I captured some ectoplasm on film from, but that’s another story!)
It was about 11:00 PM and we had seen a few possums, a little raccoon family, a handful of deer, and an armadillo. We do this often, looking for animals and then pulling over to watch them and quietly talk about them and how they live, what they eat, factoids, really, enjoying quiet conversation and being together sometimes over a snack.
We had just finished watching the raccoon family cross the road and play in the ditch. I pulled up to the intersection, turned past the cemetery, and then onto another secluded wood-covered road. This road had given us, particularly the kids, the “creeps” on occasion. This is odd, because my mother lives in the middle of the National Forest and we live out in the ‘burbs, so a lot of our time is spent in the boonies. It was very nice outside and as usual, we had the windows open and the radio off. It was very dark and this road is fairly straight. At the end of the road, it is cleared out some and you can see cars traveling on the next busy street and if they turn you can watch them pull onto this road. We had been driving slowly up and down this road, pulling over when we would see the reflection of eyes to see whatever creature we had found and watch it for a while.
We had just crossed the first bridge when suddenly, “headlights” appeared at the end of the road. I had seen no car turn onto the road, no silhouette showing brake lights or signals, no glare of headlights arcing through a turn.
As it approached, it was silent. I had pulled over just after crossing the bridge. Something just wasn’t right. These lights weren’t the usual white glow, so i thought they must be the new halogen blue brights, but no, something still was off.
They had no shape consistent with the major car manufacturers. Almost perfectly round. And they showed no signs of bumping up and down on the potholes of this oft-washed-out road.
As it got closer, I judged its speed to be about 35-40 MPH. I noticed I could see none of the amber parking/fog lights framing these headlights. I heard NO engine. I could see no outline of a car body, but the outline of treetops BETWEEN the lights. No license plate, nothing. No grill. No shiny reflective painted metal.
Shaunnessy and I watched silently in awe as it passed. As it went by, we heard or felt no passing wind; again, we heard no engine, no wind, nothing. As a matter of fact, we could still hear the water gurgling in the creek. I watched in my panoramic rear view as it passed and Shaunne turned around to watched. We were almost trance-like….and as it came even with my Jeep…….the lights disappeared…..no noise….no wind……no taillights…..no glare of headlights in the treetops behind us. just……gone.
I didn’t say anything as I didn’t want to scare my daughter. I just took off slowly and said, “I think we should get back home now.”
“OK Mommy, but let’s come back soon and look for that spooky car again.”