's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Fucking Traffic

Submitted by Jackson Gilbert

"Hey! Dipshit! You weren't supposed to go yet!" As the bright red corvette sped off, Jenna sighed. It's almost like no one paid attention to traffic directors. Even as she waved the signals around, cars zoomed past in all the wrong directions. They really should've installed a light here.

The, the weirdest thing happened. One car obeyed the laws of the road. It only went when she told it to. The car was a van, with its sides painted in bright floral patterns. Blues and greens swept across the sides, making the neon pink whorls stand out even more. As she saw past the glorious paint, she noticed that the van was in terrible condition. It had dings all over it, and the unpainted parts were rusty as all hell.

Everytime Jenna tried to look at the driver's seat, she inevitably gazed at the paint. Her eyes just slid off of the front of the car, and she ended up being entrenched in the side patterns again. It was just... wow. There was something about the pattern that made her want to see more. She slowly walked towards the van.

She was shook out of her stupor by a car swerving behind her. It honked, making her jump. She quickly memorized the van's license plate and its direction before going back to her job. Even as the hours passed, she could still vividly remember that car. She could still feel the desire to see more. And she was going to see it, tonight.

Jenna slowly drove through the back roads of the city, examining each and every car. None of them matched her mysterious machine. Then, she saw something move in one of the back parking lots. She couldn't make all of it out, but she was oddly attracted to it. Jenna walked towards the commotion, unaware of the smooth black slime beneath her feet.

She heard a raucous music coming from whatever was back there. It sounded like a guitar, distorted and altered to make it extraordinarily high. The noises... well, the best way she could describe it was sinuous. The pitch undulated from annoyingly high to mind-shatteringly high. Sometimes, it would go out altogether after flying particularly high.

Jenna hid around a corner, then peeked out from it. It was the van. The beautiful, wonderful, amazing van. She almost left her hiding place to go to it, but something happened. At first, she thought the van fell apart. Then, she realized what actually happened. The van wasn't actually a van. It had transformed. The hood of the van had something big and grey sticking out of it. The thing used the two front wheels as hind legs, to prop it about two feet off the cement. It used the engine of the van in a similar way to the wheels, but these legs were smaller and much more numerous. The back of the van, except for the side panels, was used as some kind of sparse plating around a grey-skinned thing. The decorated side panels were held by two massive limbs, which were positioned to make the panels into forelegs that held the creature's front a good eight feet off the ground. The back wheels were mounted on two limbs around what must have been the creature's head, and gestured wildly. Below the creature were two jagged exhaust pipes, leaking a black slime.

At this point, the music was louder. Jenna could barely think, and she doubled over onto the ground. Then, it stopped entirely. When Jenna looked up, she saw that something else had entered the parking lot. At first, Jenna thought it was some kind of stone snake with a couple tentacles. Then she noticed the lights.

It was a long, serpentine line of cement and grey shit. Five lengthy black limbs stretched out from its back. The tendrils were easily thirty feet long, with black segmented parts that allowed the limbs to bend in any direction. It looked more like the segments were just there to hold the grey flesh in place. At the end of each limb was a bright lamp. Each one constantly roved around, like it was looking for something. As Jenna looked harder at it, she realized that those tentacles were made from streetlights. All the grey parts of the thing looked remarkably like the other monster.

The former van raised its panel-limbs, moving them around in obviously practiced motions. It seemed to entrance the other horror, and after what seemed like five minutes, the two monsters rubbed together. A rasping noise, reminding Jenna of sandpaper, was produced. The two things each started making the guitar noises, and their rubbing became more frantic. As they rubbed faster and faster, the noises started undulating faster, and they began to grow open holes on the front of them.

Finally, the streetlight monster vomited out a chunky black mass onto the ground. The demonic van ejected a spray of slick black slime. The two creatures each descended upon their partner's emittance, and seemed to absorb it into themselves. Jenna, thinking that they were preoccupied, stepped forward for a closer look. The moment she shed her cover, a bright light struck her. One of the light-tendrils stared harshly at her. As the serpentine monster turned around, the tentacle slowly blinked, creating an audible creak.

Jenna turned around and ran. From what she had seen earlier, the light monster wasn't very fast. The van, on the other hand... Well, she could only hope that it didn't notice. Even though she was a little out of shape, it only took her two minutes to get to her car. As Jenna turned on the engine, she could see lights in the alleyway. Thankfully, the shitty old engine didn't stall. She zoomed away. Before Jenna knew it, she was at the police station, telling her boss what she saw. He seemed dismissive, before she mentioned the black slime and chunks. He told her that he would handle it.

Over the coming weeks, a number of destroyed car parts appeared all over the city. They almost seemed to be burned. The interesting part about them was that they all had the paint methodically removed. What's more, a series of blackouts struck the city. During this time, rumors surfaced of streetlights that didn't go out, even though everything around them was shut down. Similarly, a number of people reported an odd black sludge leaking from certain streetlights. No one could prove these, however. They all said the streetlights were gone the next day.