's 2015 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Miranda Johansson

(Note: The following is a transcript of a broadcast made by an anonymous broadcaster on CB radio, somewhere in the American south or along the East Coast. It is one of a number of similar broadcasts made on a particular frequency during the late summer and fall of 2015. The broadcaster never reveals anything about herself, except for a few details: she consistently makes references to her job as a truck driver; she appears to identify as female and sometimes refers to herself as "Joanne" or "Jo"; and she claims to be haunted by a bizarre being which she refers to as "the Angel".)


Some of y'all have been asking for more stories. (Note: there is no record of the broadcaster ever interacting with any other users of the frequency, so it remains unclear who, if anyone, is supposed to have asked for more stories.) Well, I'm not one to hold out. Let's see if I can think of one…


(7 second pause)


Well, a lot of my stories don't really have a point to them.


Like the night when all the roadkill got up to hitchhike, dead glassy eyes all glowing in the headlights. There's not much more to it than that happening, honestly. I couldn't stop to pick any of them up, because I already have the Angel riding shotgun.


Or the thing that happened with the cheese.


(3 second pause)


This is another one that doesn't really have a point. I was at a McDonald's once… (short pause) Let me say, it can be tough to stay healthy when you're a trucker. Not only because you tend to run on no sleep a lot of the time, there's also the question of your diet. I mean, when you've got a deadline coming up and you're on the highway, it's in the middle of the night, you're starving - obviously you're gonna grab a burger.


(3 second pause)


So, this was when I was on one of my rare runs down Florida way. I wasn't really in a hurry, but I was feeling lazy, so when I saw those golden arches I figured what the hell, right?


Now, most drive-throughs are too small to take a truck, so I parked outside and headed in. It must've been about seven. I remember the sun was just above the horizon, reflecting off the windows when I walked in.


There weren't really many guests. Just about the right amount for a roadside McDonald's at this time of day, I guess. I headed up to the counter.


There were two people working. They both looked pretty much the same. Greasy hair, greasy skin. Empty smiles. I had that sensation of wanting to shower that I always get in that kinda place.


So the guy took my order. I headed into the bathroom while I was waiting. (short pause) The bathroom was clean, at least, but the music kind of bothered me. They had these tinny loudspeakers. You ever get that feeling that music is just there to mask the silence sometimes?


And the Angel was in there, looking like a bag of guts had a baby with a fractal, if the baby was bathed in holy light. And it was doing this thing. Do y'all hear that? Listen to that.


(There is a 5 second pause, during which nothing can be heard except the noise of the airwaves.)


It always does that. I mean non-stop! (short pause) I used to love listening to music, too. Especially when I was driving. But there just ain't any kind of music that doesn't sound flat compared to that sound the Angel makes. It just sounds one-dimensional.


(4 second pause)


Well, anyway. I can't have been in that bathroom for more than a couple of minutes, but when I came out, everyone had cleared out. The customers were gone, and so were the workers. My food was there, though, in a bag on the counter.


(short pause)


I get curious, though. I'm a curious girl. And I was used enough to this kinda thing by then that I was pretty sure, if I poked around, I'd at least get a good story out of it.


So I headed around the counter and checked out the kitchen. Nobody there, but all the machines were still on.


I found their tiny, cramped little changing room and their even tinier toilet. It was kind of exciting, actually. Like going backstage at a concert. (short pause) There was no-one back there either.


They were in the storage room. It was this refrigerated room, surprisingly big, all metal shelves. (short pause) You know, junk food chains ship out these big transparent plastic bags of prefab stuff to their franchises. That way, you just have to open the bags, and you've got all the pieces you need to puzzle together a cheap burger.


They'd dragged all the bags out into the middle of the floor and stacked them. Just stacked them, into a big, messy pile.


I'd expected to find the two workers I'd already seen back here, but there were more. Around ten of them, all in uniform, all looking pretty much the same. Greasy hair, greasy skin. Empty smiles. Empty eyes.


They looked like they were waiting for something. (short pause) I wonder what.


(6 second pause)


I parked down the road a ways to eat.


I know, I know. But honestly, if I ain't been turned off their crap by now, something like that isn't going to make me give up burgers. (short pause) They messed up my order, of course. I got the fries and the milkshake, sure, but instead of a burger they'd given me a human skull wrapped in grease paper.


(There is a 19 second silence. 10 seconds in, the broadcaster inhales as if she's about to speak, but she stops herself. There is a faint, unidentifiable rustling sound before the broadcast ends.)