Ghost story

A group of middle aged men sat around a camp fire and told each other ghost stories. This is one of the tales. This is Cordoba Mendoza’s story.

I was an only child and had a room all to myself. This was great during the day when I could pretend to be anything I wanted as I played with my toys. At night it was lonely.

We lived in a street that ran parallel to a new motorway. There weren’t as many vehicles back then compared to today’s unrelenting traffic. From my window I could count the cars and Lorries as they passed. When I was out with my mum I came across a man wearing a yellow jacket who was counting cars on a calculator device. I wanted to be him when I grew up.

To help me get to sleep I would watch the lights of cars as their illumination passed through the window blinds and blazed a trail over the ceiling before finally disappearing. From my bed I could track the various speeds using the simple time and distance formula.

With expectation I would wait for the next car to pass my house. Sometimes it was a long vigil, as I said, traffic was quiet, more so in the dead of night. This was how I got through my lonely nights.

One night it was exceptionally quiet until I sensed an approaching car. I felt great joy towards this night time traveller as his dazzling light gave me some comfort.

The beam from the head lamp traversed the side wall and snaked across the roof of my room.

Then it stopped.

Halfway across.

This had never happened before.

The sparkling fire work beam of the stationary vehicle remained on the ceiling. Its brightness was brighter than a thousand and one suns. It hung there like an alien space craft.

Scarily other late night drivers continued on their journey. Their lights whizzed right through the frozen light as if it were invisible.

But it wasn’t.

This one big eyeball light stared at me from on high.

Another car and another light invaded my room. This one was travelling very slowly, almost at a snail’s pace. Eventually it stopped at the precise same place as the original intruder.

For many tense minutes I knew something unknown and unbelievably strange was going to happen. Gradually, one of the lights extricated itself from the other and ambled along the flight path on the ceiling until it got to the end and vanished.

Still one orb remained.

The light flashed on and off a few times.

Then it slowly moved off leaving the room in darkness.

That night I vowed never to count cars again.

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5 Comments on “Ghost story”

  1. And That Man was my grandpappy…!

    Unbelievably Strange indeed, JW!
    When eyeball number Two approached, hovered and flew off, I thought of that well-known woman in car broken down mid-nowhere, waiting for return of boyfriend… Second car approaches, slows down then hurtles off – we later find a mad axeman was atop the car, waving her boyfriend's head. A lesson to us all.

    (And Did you become a real car-counter)?

  2. The first light that stopped was a car breakdown, and the second light was a very slow rescue car…

    Has the Royal Automobile Club confirmed that this blog is an advertisement on behalf of the Automobile Association?


  3. Expat Says:

    It was a new motorway. The Service Areas had not yet been opened. A driver, who had indulged a bit too much in the last Cantina before he ventured on to the motorway, was taken short. With no “pit stop” for the next 100 miles, he was becoming desperate. He pulled over, leaving his headlights on so he could find his way back to his car, and hurried off into a field to relieve himself, which took some time since there was much to relieve himself of. The next car along, seeing the stationary vehicle with lights on and the driver's door open, slowed to a crawl and then stopped next to the first car to make sure everything was alright. Just then, the first driver appeared in the headlights. Having reassured the second driver that he was OK, he got back into his vehicle and the good samaritan drove off. The first driver, in a time-honored gesture of appreciation that someone should care enough to stop (particularly in Argentina), flashed his headlights a couple of times before getting back on the road himself.

  4. JW10 Says:

    In the name of the wee man, Dolores, you don’t have watch some frightening movies. Your synopsis gave me horripilation. No, I never did become a car counter. Though it’s clear that this ambition shows how boring my bucket list will be. (Hopefully next week, I’ll keep you posted)

    First class analysis, CI- absolutely spot on. (The RAC should sponsor this blog) I was tempted to have the broken down motorist clamber from his car and knock on the window but that would have been too scary and I would have had trouble sleeping at night thinking about that scenario.

    Wondrous interpretation, Expat, your imagination went into overdrive. I thought you would like a little campfire ghost story to take your mind off your troubles. Didn’t want to make it too scary so there was an absence of ghosts.
    Delighted to hear that the hurricane passed your way without causing too much damage. It still must have been a nervy experience.
    As ever, best wishes to you and your family.

  5. Oh… It wasn't a ghost, then?

    Well, the mad axe-man is a celebrated urban myth and therefore Completely True.

    Exceeding pleased you made it through the potentially dire hurricane, Expat – good luck with the scraping-up.

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