by Anita Marie Moscoso
Inspired By The Soul Food Cafe Writing Prompt:
There’s this expression people use when they’re telling you about some life changing event they went through. Some of them will say, ” I can’t pinpoint the exact time when I really decided to kill my children,” or ” no, I can’t pinpoint the exact time I became addicted to…”
So that little moment in time that changed their Universe and how they existed in it from that day forward is gone.
Kanden Seacross, he’s this logger that lived in a town called Red Root, Washington…he can pinpoint the exact time the world started to end because he saw it start on the day before Halloween last year.
He was driving from one little town to another little town when his car died. There’s no other way to describe it; all at once the power was gone, the engine cut off and out there on that old logging road that connects one hidden off road town to another the night sounded very loud.
It was dark and cold and foggy that night and Kanden sat there for about 10 minutes trying to make himself move. Being that he had stopped breathing he thought it would be a good idea if he could take a breath before he passed out from a lack of oxygen.
He unclenched his hand from his steering wheel, but all the while he’s still hanging on to the wheel with his other hand. ” What’s up Kanden, ‘fraid someone’s gonna drag you away? ”
Kanden would have thrown himself down onto his car floor and dug his way to the other side of the world when he heard that voice, but he couldn’t move and he couldn’t scream and he was pretty sure he was having a heart attack.
He knew it, he was going to die and he started to plan his funeral and wondered if anyone would come. He figured Mother would, so would the guy he bought coffee from in the Morning…Clay was his name. Clay was one of those good guys that really meant it when he said ‘ have a good day’
Kanden guessed his kids would show up.
Of course they would probably be listening to their music on those little headphones but at least they’d be there.
His Wife? Yeah, well providing there wasn’t anything good on Oprah she might show up.
There, it was all settled, he was ready to jump on the Pale Horse and ride off into eternity when Kanden realized that was his voice he had just heard.
At that moment he decided at least it was familiar and safe and it reminded his of a world that didn’t resemble the one he was trapped in right now.
So he went ahead and answered back after it asked, ” Come on Kanden, don’t be a panty waist, why are you hanging on for dear life there? Are you afraid? ”
” As a matter of fact I am. This place is creeping me out ” Kanden said.
” Well that’s just crazy talk Kanden…you’ve lived up here in the Olympics for your entire life. I’ll bet you’ve been down this road millions…no billions of times. `
” That’s how much you know Mr. Smart guy. I’ve never been down this road. I’ve driven by it…thought about it and wondered about it but I’ve never actually been on it before.”
Kanden heard a little hiss and the Voice went on full steam ahead.
” We could sit here an let someone find us, but you know Kanden I’m feeling like a bug in a jar here. So reach under the seat and get the flash light and let’s go. Is it me Kanden, or can you feel it too? I mean outside…”
” Something’s out there.”
Kanden heard his Voice get impatient, ” No, go ahead and be more specific Kanden…that something is coming right towards us.”
Kanden let loose of the steering wheel and now he was hanging onto his flashlight and he knew he looked just like one of those guys in the Vampire movies when they held up the silver cross.
To bad most of those guys DIED with those things clutched in their hands.
He flipped the switch and…there was light.
Honest to God light.
He started to cry.
” We have two choices Kanden…we can go forward and up a road you’ve never been on before in your life. We don’t know where it goes or what is at the end of it. Being this is the Hills it could end in a drop off and we could stumble down into a Gully and get mashed into a pulp when we hit the bottom…if we hit the bottom.
Or we can suck it up, and head back from the direction we came and hope for the best.”
” That’s all you can come up with?” Kanden screamed and the Voice didn’t bother to answer back.
” Okay, okay, we go back.” Kanden grabbed his car keys and his baseball cap and managed to do all of this without having a nervous breakdown.
” Good job. Now comes the hard put. We have to leave the car Kanden”
” God. ” he whimpered and he reached over and lifted the handle and his car door swung open.
For the first five minutes of his walk, it wasn’t so bad. It was cold it was foggy and of course it was dark. After the first mile Kanden thought the batteries in his flashlight were dieing because the light was dimming but at that moment his Friendly Companion decided to speak up.
” That’s wishful thinking Guy, it’s getting darker. That’s the problem. It’s getting a lot darker.”
” Of course it is ” Kanden laughed ” of course it’s getting darker ”
Then he heard, from just ahead the sound of crunching gravel, he heard slow easy footsteps. They weren’t cautious or hesitant…just the sound of someone taking a walk with all the time in the world as their traveling companion.
” Don’t run Kanden, it’s always worse when you run ” his Voice whispered into his left ear, ” whatever you do don’t run.”
The Darkness lightened in the form of a small figure with a little skip to it’s stride and then it noticed Kanden because it seemed to slow down a little.
” Keep walking Kanden…just keep walking ”
Kanden did, he walked towards the figure and then the figure was captured in the beam of light from Kanden’s flashlight.
It was a woman, just a woman he told himself. He wanted to make some kind of joke about being afraid of girls because they have cooties…something lame. Something that would say, you don’t have to be afraid…she’s just a woman for Pete’s Sake.”
Then step- by- step Kanden felt a little taller, a little more present, a little more in control and then his Voice all but roared in his ear, ” Listen to me Kanden…before you get us both into trouble.
That Cootie Factory, as you insist on calling her, is walking up a dark road in the fog to a place you’ve never been too yourself…in fact you started to cry just thinking about going there. She doesn’t have a flashlight, she’s not even wearing a jacket and it’s starting to freeze out here. So before you drop your last means of any sort of self defense will you consider those things?”
Then she was coming directly towards him and in the light Kanden saw her dark hair and dark eyes and the way she seemed to be grinding her heels into the gravel with each step she took.
There was something wrong with her walk; there was something wrong with the way she held her head. Her chin was tilted down and as she moved it swayed a little from left to right…almost like it was a little to heavy for her neck.
When they were almost face- to- face she raised her hand and turned her palm upwards just a little. Then she began to turn as she passed him and her shirttails swept up and wrapped around her hips. He could hear her grinding her heels into the gravel as she spun around and he even felt her hair brush against his arm as she turned full circle just inches away from him.
Then she was walking up that road and she was gone.
Kanden was still standing there the next morning; he was clutching his now dead flashlight to his chest and staring down at the ground.
There were little black footsteps going all the way up Brum Road, they moved in a straight line except for one spot when they widened out into a circle and then they moved forward again and up into the hills.
All the trees lining Brum Road were dead or dieing and the air smelled awful. It smelled like rotten eggs and no one would go up there anymore because of it.
That’s the reason people give anyway.
Only a week after they found Kanden…both he and his Voice never spoke a word again, everyone forgot about Brum Road because things started changing for everyone.
You’d think it was a bunch of little things that started to go wrong with the world that’s made it the mess you see now but there’s this man named Kanden Seacross who could pinpoint exactly when it all went wrong.
It all started a day before Halloween on the night Kanden Seacross Waltzed With The Devil.