Countdown to Halloween – Six Days! – Desolate Highways

We’re at the “less than a week” mark, but the really scary thing is that Christmas is two months away, and with it, 2016. This week also marked the 90th birthday of my grandmother. Time flies.

While her birthday was earlier this week, we visited my grandmother this evening. It takes about an hour to get from our house to my parents’ house, which is where my grandmother is staying these days, though she still has a house of her own that she visits daily to care for her menagerie of cats.

No, not like this:

My grandparents lived across from a church, and people frequently dumped stray cats that would find their way to my grandmother, who kept and cared for them in her garage, but she had each and every one of them spayed or neutered, and keeps them clean, fed them a little too much, and takes them to the veterinarian at the first sign of problems. I’m not sure how many she has at the moment, but at one point she had 12. She would have given them away, but didn’t have the heart to separate families, and some of them were shy. Most of them are older now.

Our drive out there started a bit later than usual, because not only did I have to take an exam for my online class, but I had some problems taking said exam, which is a different story entirely.

The drive there reminded me of my high school years, when I was in the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, which rehearsed on Sundays every week. I often feel as though I could drive from Gainesville to Dunnellon (or vice versa) in my sleep. There have been times, though, when the road seems to stretch, almost as though someone performed a reverse tesseract, unfolding it and making it longer. It’s the part of the road that connects Gainesville to Williston that feels like it varies in length.

The drive itself is usually pretty mundane. It’s a two lane highway for the most part, and on Sundays the traffic tends to be light, unless you get stuck behind someone who insists on driving 45 MPH in the 60 zone. Then cars always seem to be coming the other way every time you reach a passing zone. Sometimes it’s tempting to ride right up on them, but I resist that urge.

But tonight, on the way back, on the first stretch, when I saw a rather beaten-up looking car driving WELL below the speed limit in front of us, I had a different morbid sort of thought: What if the car was traveling slowly because they had a very special reason not to want to be pulled over?

I was thinking, in particular, about that Deltona woman who murdered someone, then drove his body back to her house to try to cut him into pieces before attempting to cremate him in her kitchen. Think about it. Bad things happen all the time. Maybe not to this extent:

But people do some sick and twisted things in real life. Like the Vampire-fanged Trucker who kept women captive in his trailer. Really, you just never know whom you may be following.

More likely the driver was slow because his or her run-down vehicle couldn’t attain a higher speed, or perhaps he or she was afraid of hitting deer.

I have to admit, I’m a little creeped out by deer on the side of the road. Adam calls them “Meat missiles.” They stand there, just waiting to dart out in front of oncoming cars, sometimes bouncing off windshields and running off, leaving your car utterly destroyed.

And then, there were the deer in the second Ring movie. I should have included both of those movies in my list of super-creepy movies.

The truth is, human beings like to be around other people. We tend to freak out and imagine all sorts of bad possibilities when we find a place that is sparsely populated. That’s why films like these are so effective.

I leave you with one parting scene:


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