It was after 2 a.m, and Neil was already behind schedule. He was suppose to drop off a load at Walmart in an hour. At this rate, he didn’t think he was going to make it until at least 6 a.m. As he stepped out of his semi, the cold hit him like a brick wall. In just an instant his throat began to close as the cold air constricted his airway like a snake with its prey. He just wanted to get back in the truck where he knew the warmth awaited him. He cussed and thought about kicking the piece of s**t, but rethought his impulsive decision when he remembered the truck wasn’t paid off and belonged to the company. Neil began walking towards the focal point of his anger: the semi’s flat tire. Amongst his frustration, Neil noticed how bright the moon was. There was already a few inches of snow on the ground causing the light to illuminate as if the ground was glowing. It was so quiet that he had no trouble concentrating on the sounds his footsteps made as the snow gave way to his pressure and cracked underneath. Neil wasn’t spooked very easily, but these kinds of nights put him on edge. It was too f*****g quiet. He was so tired and had already drove past his allotted driving time. He was overworked and had had problems with seeing seeing s**t that wasn’t there in the past.
One time he had seen what looked like some kind of cloth discarded on the side of the highway. He had sworn that there was a tiny lifeless arm sticking out of it. He had actually thought about acting like he didn’t see anything and continue driving, but he couldn’t. After he had turned around he discovered it was nothing more than an old shirt. No tiny lifeless body was wrapped up like he had originally thought. From then on he assumed he was crazy and tried to ignore the other strange things he encountered while driving late at night.
Technically Neil wasn’t suppose to change his own tire. He was told he had to call someone to come out and do it for him. He almost considered doing it himself but thought better of it. He wasn’t even sure if he had everything he needed. Upon closer inspection it didn’t look like the tire had just blew out or he had ran over something. It looked…shredded. That was strange seeing as how he was going at least 45 miles an hour when it happened. “Dammit! What could have possibly done this? Hitting something surely wouldn’t make the tire look like it was sliced with three perfectly identical parallel lines,” Neil exclaimed out loud. He got a chill that had absolutely nothing to do with the cold. He turned away from the tire and was about to go back in the truck where he felt safe and could lock the doors and await help, but something stopped him. He saw it out of the corner of his eye. He saw it standing on the side of the road. The it was a child. A small helpless child. At first, Neil thought he was just seeing things but when he looked directly at the boy he didn’t disappear like the other illusions he had become accustomed to. He must have really been there. Neil thought, “What was a boy doing on the side of the road in the middle of the night with what actually looked like a short sleeve shirt? He must be freezing.” Before Neil had time to react the little boy turned and fled into the woods. “What do i do”? His instincts told him to run after him and help but something else, some other kind of instinct was telling him to get back in his truck and lock the doors like he had planned to begin with, but it was like the shirt all over again. He couldn’t just let it go and wonder the rest of his life if he let a little boy who needed help freeze to death. He ran to where he first saw the little boy and observed the enticing perfect sheet of snow that appeared undisturbed by any creature and headed into the woods.
Luckily the light of the full moon was able to penetrate the woods enough to where he could see where he was going. The trees were bare of any foliage and gave way to the night sky “Hello?” He called, “little boy, are you out here?” He listened close, but the deep silence played tricks on his ears. He thought he could make out something coming from far off to his left, so he decided that’s where he should look. As he made his way deeper and deeper into the woods the sound started to become clearer. It sounded like singing. The hairs on the back of his neck rose involuntarily. Although every instinct and horror movie he had ever seen told him to turn around, he continued on. Neil finally came upon a clearing. He stopped as the singing was really loud now. He looked in the center. What he saw next almost made him get sick right then and there. There were at least twenty children standing in a circle hands entwined. They were slowly circling a dark figure which stood tall in the middle of the circle singing “Ring around the Rosie pocket full of posies, ashes ashes we all fall down.” He stood there not knowing what to think or do. The tall figure had no face. It was smooth like stretched skin it was devoid of eyes and a mouth. What was even scarier was it’s abnormally long arms and the strange suit that covered them. When the third verse of the song was reached something unexpected happened. The children actually fell down, and the whole scene transformed before his eyes. The children were lying on the ground mutilated. Their eyes were ripped from their sockets, and their arms and legs looked to be broken from the horrible angles they were in. Neil finally lost his supper. He turned and ran as fast as he could. He saw small shapes running beside him and farther off like children playing in the woods, but he dared not stop. He thought that at any second something might grab him and drag him back to that clearing, but nothing ever did. He made it back to his truck. Out of breath and terrified he climbed in and locked the doors. F**k the flat he thought to himself as he cranked up and started driving away. He looked in his rear view as he drove away and saw another terrifying sight. The children were standing in the road. Gray and black pits where their eyes should be. Their mouths open and so long their jaws went down to their chests. He seen the tall figure head standing in front of them. Although it was lacking a mouth, he felt it were smiling.