'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".)


I think it might actually snow tonight. (short pause) It won't stay long, of course, but I think it might.


(5 second pause)


America is weird, man.


(4 second pause)


It's too big. I think that's why we've got so many ghost stories. Like… (short pause) We've got, what, three hundred million people now? More? But even that isn't enough to fill up all the land we've got. There's nobody to keep an eye on all the huge empty spaces. All those deserts we've got with no-one in them… (short pause) All the lonely highways. Sure as hell they're haunted. You don't have to be a trucker for very long to know that.


I'm on the road through Alabama right now, bound for Texas, the old Lone Star State. I like to pass through Alabama as quickly as I can, since, you know, Alabama. I make a game of it. Try to beat my high score.


But sometimes… (short pause) I black out, I guess. Sometimes it happens when I'm behind the wheel. I'll realize I've been driving for four hours, except it felt like a second. Or I come to and I'm parked by the roadside, and day has turned into night.


It didn't used to happen. I think it's the Angel doing it.


The Angel can do a lot of things, but it's not real good at communication.


(8 second pause. The broadcaster begins humming tunelessly, then sings under her breath: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.")


(5 second pause)


Oh, yeah, Alabama. Well, I was in Alabama once, just driving through, and I blacked out. When I came to, I was in this town. Well, it looked like a town, but it was real quiet, and I knew right away that there was no-one there but me. So I stepped out of the truck, to take a look around, you know?


The Angel was doing something weird. It was a bit away from me, maybe twenty feet – but it's impossible to gauge distances with the Angel, you know. It always looks like you could just reach out and touch it. Anyways, it was right in front of my eyes, always right in front of them, following along wherever I looked. You know? Like it was stuck to my eyes, not floating in the air in front of me.


(3 second pause)


It has a sort of symmetry, and it warps the room around it. Or, it doesn't. It doesn't need to. The world, what we call "reality," I reckon, is about as real as pro wrestling compared to the Angel.


But I got the feeling that whatever place I'd found myself in would have felt unreal even without the Angel's help. For one thing, there weren't any signs. There were no street signs anywhere, or stores, or anything. And like I said, no people, but there were cars parked here and ther. None of the cars had plates.


There was a factory a ways away, with smoke coming out of the smokestacks. At this point, I'm really just curious, so I hop in the truck and drive over there.


I didn't notice over the sound of the engine, but closer to the factory, there was this… thrumming. It wasn't even a noise, really. Or it was, but it was so low that I felt it through the soles of my shoes rather than heard it.


The factory was… it was weird. It didn't have any doors, but it was covered in these… (short pause) They made me think of portholes, because they were round, but they didn't have any glass in them. And they had flesh bulging out of them.


I know it was flesh, because I walked up to one of the portholes and touched it. It was warm and pink and yielding. Hairless, too. Way too smooth to be human flesh. (short pause) When I touched it, it quivered. It might have been my imagination, but I thought for a second the ground thrummed a little more, too.

I felt kind of dirty after I touched that thing. I was a little disgusted. I felt like I wanted to be back on the highway again.


So I got back in my truck and headed on out of there. My GPS was acting up, so I figured I'd just drive away, get some space between me and the town. So I kept the factory in my rearview mirror and just drove. (short pause) There were roads outside the town that didn't make much sense, but I wound up back on the highway somehow.


(4 second pause)


I did see one thing that was alive. It was right outside the town, crossing the road right when I came driving. It looked like a deer, but… (short pause) Well, it made me hope I hadn't breathed too much of the factory smoke.


(5 second pause)


I guess every trucker's got a story or two about something weird happening to them. That's one of mine.


All right, night owls, y'all take care now. This is Joanne, signing off.


(The broadcast ends.)