“Hey, can we change the subject?” I blurted.
“Hey, what’s the matter Mike?” Joey asked.
“Nothing. I’m just really tired and not really in the mood to hear about that kind of stuff right now.”
“Don’t be such a pussy Mike! You’re just scared of whatever Joey is bluffing about could be true!” Sandra retorted.
“Sandra!” Joey yelled out.
“What? You know its true! Come on Mike, you’re making it a bigger deal than what it needs to be.” Sandra snapped.
Jen put her hand on Sandra’s left shoulder and said, “Please don’t Sand-“
“Please don’t what?” Sandra snapped away from Jen.
“You’ve been picking on Mike all night Sandra. Now I don’t know what your problem is with Mike or with everyone else for that matter-“
Jeff looks up from his ipad to see what all the commotion is about and says,”Look, I don’t know what’s going on here, but I have a big exam coming up tomorrow and I’m trying to cram in as much studying as I can before going to bed. Can we all just chill?”
Nick, Jen, Sandra, and Jeff bicker back and forth with one another for a moment or two before Joey abruptly pulls over and stops the car. As we stop, the whole car goes silent. “Now, I don’t know what the fuck has gotten into your goddamn heads, but this is Mike’s car which he so kindly used to pick all of us up in to go out tonight. Your car, your rules Mike. That’s how I grew up. You own a car, you have your own rules whether its just you in it or we have others.” I nodded and thanked Joey for standing up for me, which only happened when I was in deep shit for whatever reason. I never got into any trouble, but I used to get bullied all the time, and so did Joey. We both stood up for one another when times got rough.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not going to share this tonight if you’re all going to make a fuss over it. There’s going to be a bonfire event for Penn State students coming up next week. I’ll share it with you then. Got it?” Everyone in the car silently nodded.
“I’m sorry.” Sandra whispered.
Joey pulled back up onto the road and started driving for a bit when suddenly something black darted under the wheels causing the car to swerve. The girls in the back of the car squealed as the car swerved to the left and came to a sudden stop. “What the hell was that all about Joey?” I said.
“I don’t know. It looked like some kind of furry animal of some sort.” Joey said out of breath.
“It kind of looked like a skunk or a racoon.” Jen murmured.
“You weren’t kidding about there being accidents involving roadkill Joey.” Nick said. Everyone except for Jen and Sandra slowly stepped out of the car, using their phones as flashlights to see. There were skid marks on the grey colored asphalt, then a few yards away there was what appeared to be what I can only describe as a small ball of black fur within a large pool of blood. I thought it was very odd for there to be such a large amount of blood for such a small animal. I was going to school to be a Vet and I have had experience with all kinds of animals in all sorts of shapes, colors, kinds, etc. Whatever could happen, did happen when I volunteered at the local shelters and vet offices for six plus years, there were plenty of roadkill and injury situations… but I have never seen anything like this before.
“What animal do you think it is?” Joey looked at me as he examined the ball of fur.
“Well, it kind of looks like a baby skunk or maybe a cat, I can’t tell at all and I don’t want to touch it or examine it. I think it’s dead. It’s side is caved in and I just can’t tell wh-” I replied.
“Is it alive?” Jen yelled from the car.
“I don’t think so Jen!” I replied.
“Come on guys! Let’s just get back in the car and go home!” Nick shouted.
“Ok hang on a second!” Joey replied. He and I got up and started to walk at the same time when a massive gurgling noise came up from right behind us. We both booked it to the car and didn’t look back. As we got in the car and locked our doors, the ball of fur puffed up into the size of a large dog and faced towards us. Three pairs of dog-like legs popped out from the ball and my god…. it grew into the most horrific thing I have ever seen. I couldn’t tell if it was a human, dog, cat, or what, but I knew it wasn’t from this earth. I told Joey to floor is and he rammed straight through the creature and sped off.
We finally made it back to the apartment complex in one piece and parked my car in the carport right next to my apartment. I myself, Joey, Nick, Jen, Sandra, and Jeff all hopped out of the car to see that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the car. There was no blood, no dirt, no dents, nothing. A chill ran down my spine at a moment I know I should have felt relief.
“Mike, I’m so, so sorry about what happened.” Joey said profusely.
I looked at him and said,”Please don’t worry about it man. I’m just glad we all got home safe.” Sandra and Jen both looked so shaken up like they could burst into tears at any moment.
“I think I’ve had more than enough for tonight. Joey, I don’t understand what the hell you were thinking going down that goddamn road last night, and I sure as hell know you know something we don’t. However, I’m going to go with Mike on this one and call it a night” Sandra said gritting her teeth in anger with tears rolling down her face.
“Come on, Let’s go home. We can deal with this shit later.” Jen told her. Nick and Jeff followed right behind them as they walked up the stairs to their units.
I looked at Joey empathetically, seeing as he had the most guilty look on his face. “I’m heading to bed Joey. Again, thank you so much for giving us a ride home. I’m pretty damn tired and am ready to go to bed. I’m sure you are too.” I turned around and walked a few yards, thinking that Joey would follow me back upstairs. “Joey are you com-” My blood ran cold as I turned around and saw that Joey was nowhere to be found. Its like as if he vanished in thin air. “Joey?” I called out again, nothing. I really began to worry at this point, especially after everything that has happened.