The rain came down hard on my window screen with the constant sloshing of the wipers mixed with the hum on the engine. I had regretted even getting out of bed this morning and now I was driving home in the pouring rain on a horrible night. The roads I travel to and from work pass by a few industrial parks before veering off into a small residential area. A common path I travel after recently getting a breezy desk job in one of the nearby small businesses. Lost in thought about the chores waiting for me at home, I suddenly slammed on the breaks as the noise of the slushing wipers was replaced with the screech of my tires on the asphalt. A figure had appeared in my headlights which caused me to veer to the left. As I came to a halt my heart was pounding with the shock of the potential collision. Had I actually hit something?
Terrified to look, I glanced in my rear view mirror to see the rain pouring down on a static – and somewhat … shiny – figure in the distance. I cursed myself as I thought what I swerved to avoid was just a strange-looking bollard. Sighing in relief that nobody was injured, I began to reverse my car back on track when suddenly the figure in the mirror began to move. He seemed to twist as if he was watching me. The image was something from some kind of horror movie. He was illuminated with the colour red from my break lights as I gawked at him through my rear-view mirror. ‘Why on earth would someone walk around on a dark stormy night in such dark clothing? Was this guy trying to get killed?’ I thought.
A few beats passed, as I stared at the figure motionless while rain pelted against his polished skin. I ran through various scenarios in my head of what I should do next. Someone who stands in the middle of the road in the pouring rain can’t be good news – especially wearing a weird skintight outfit like that. I knew I had bad luck but the chances of running into an axe murderer on the way home has to be one in a million, right? The figure appeared to look on, without flinching a muscle, staring directly in my direction. It was hard to make out if he was purposefully hiding his face as I couldn’t make out any distinguishing features. I mulled over what to do next as my over-cautious mind battled with my feeling of guilt over having almost killed this man.
My sense of guilt – and curiosity – got the better of me as heavily gulped and decided to investigate. Besides it would be extremely awkward to just drive past this guy without acknowledging what had happened moments before. I opened my car door while draping the jacket which rested on my passenger seat over my head. Stepping out of the car I turned to face the anonymous figure. The street itself served as a link between a nearby industrial zone and a residential area about two kilometres away. Therefore it was pretty much deserted with very little street lights to let me get a better look at the figure. I cautiously began making my way closer to the figure. At this rate I was about thirty feet away from him so I had a head start if I needed to flee if things went south. The shower continued to pour down around me as I got a little bit closer to him. The figure didn’t even seem to register that I was approaching him as he stood there motionless giving me chills down my spine.
I felt a cold fear wash over me as I realised that whoever (or whatever this was) wasn’t hiding his face from view instead it looked to be completely featureless in a black sheen. I stopped in my tracks, unsure if I had ever seen this thing move in the first place. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me and it was never a person to begin with. I stood there, my jacket now spilling rain water onto my clothes. I was a short distance away from him, about fifteen feet or so, and on a closer inspection I could see the entire figure was cast in a shimmering, black sheen. This only confirmed my suspicion that what stood before me couldn’t be a real person. It looked like a man had been cast in solid black rubber as it showed no sign of any flesh.
Suddenly the figure stepped forward as I registered that it was obviously moving. Whatever this thing was it was starting to slowly stride towards me. My fight or flight response took over as I felt that my rational mind wasn’t to decide what I did next. Before I knew it, I was frantically running back to my car in a flurried panic as rain crashed all around me. Leaping back inside I desperately fumbled with the locks before glancing in the rear-view mirror to see the anonymous figure continuing to walk in my direction. He had accelerated his advance on me and was now about a foot from my rear window. I had ended up turning my car off the road and toward the pavement meaning that I was now facing a brick wall. In order to get out of here I’d need to reverse and mow down this… thing? Even though things were clearly taking a strange and scary turn for the worst I definitely wasn’t prepared to add attempted murder to the list.
Without warning, the figure seemed to vanish from thin air as I glanced back to find only rain crashing against my rear window. I glanced around frantically trying to find where he disappeared to. Everything fell silent apart from the tremble of rain on my roof and my agitated breathing. After a thorough search I couldn’t see anything in my line of vision and guessed that whatever that thing was just vanished. Maybe I was over working myself too much and this was all stress induced? But it all felt too real. The image of the rubberised man standing in the rain was definitely engrained into my memory. I slowly reached over to grab hold of my seatbelt gentling clicking it in place before nervously placing both hands on the wheel again. ‘Whatever it was can’t get me now,’ I thought. How wrong I was… Abruptly, there was a loud thud on my side window as I yelled out in shock. Another loud thud and the window crashed inward covering me in fragments of safety glass. Before I could react I felt something at my neck and it was lights out!
I was plunged into a world of darkness, falling deeper and deeper into this unknown environment. I felt the memories of what had just happened fading with every second. My breathing turned from panic to calm as I felt as though I was dreaming despite being very aware of what was happening. I remained calm and collected, unaware of the foreboding doom that awaits. It’s as if there was something in the air that made my body and mind relax and just accept my fate.
Surprisingly, the darkness seems to have a weight to it. It relentlessly pressed and pushed every muscle, joint and limb as I felt something tight over my entire body. I tried to wiggle my toes but they felt fixed in place like I was wrapped up as a mummy. I felt like I was being consumed from all angles by this nothingness – when suddenly it hit me like a train. A pungent aroma of stifling heat mixed with industrial rubber all around me. Together with the darkness, this scent sealed me up even tighter. It seems to all happen at the flick of a switch. At first I was floating calmly in nothingness and next thing I knew I was rapidly overcome by an array of sensation and panic.
Thrashing around in my confined prison – the feeling of being consumed by my surroundings only heightened. Whatever this was became something of a nightmare. The powerful industrial scent only got stronger while I grunted with my best efforts to move any part of my body. Other than a faint wiggle, I seemed to be rigid in a laying down position. My panic was broken as I could hear a faint whisper in my ear. Something was calling out to me I just couldn’t make it out.