It was a night like any other. I was on the drive to my night shift at the hardware store. A job I loathed but someone needed to work to keep the lights on. With my mother sick and me being her primary provider no one else was around to help.
Typically, unlike most who work this late, I did not listen to music on the way to work. Instead I find pleasure in the silence. There’s something about the almost desolate streets and silence that comforted me on the worst of nights.
When I was about ten minutes away from work my car crept up to a stop light right before a railroad crossing. As it crawled to a stop the bell started dinging and the crossing guards slowly came down.
The blinking red light flooded my car leaving my face bathed in red light. As if warning me of some sort of danger up ahead other than the speeding train.
I take a deep breath in and rest my head against the window. I feel my eyes grow heavy as does my head that droops down as my eyes slowly shut.
I hear from behind me and jolt up. My eyes slowly look at the rearview mirror in the center of my car. I let out another deep breath after seeing no one is in the back. I slowly turn around to confirm this.
To my knowledge no one is back there but my hair stands on end and I feel a sudden chill. However as I turn back around and rub my eyes to see if I am dreaming, the chill leaves me like it was never there in the first place.
I look into the rear view mirror once more to see nothing is out to get me and look forward to see the crossing guards raise up.
Once they have fully retracted I continue on. I ponder over what the voice might have been.
I seemingly recognized it, but cannot put a name or face to it. It felt real, but for all I know may have been some sleep deprived delusion.
All I knew is that I was late for work and had to get that voice off my mind…
- Matt Gorrell (creator of mattgorrell.com)