To celebrate Halloween, I thought I'd throw out a few of the urban legends I remember hearing through the years. I'm betting these will be familiar to a lot of people. I'm also betting there are a lot of different versions out there, so I can't wait for the discussion!
Let's start with the one that made makeout point not such an alluring idea:
Jennifer glanced shyly over at Sam as he pulled off the road into the gravel parking lot. Her heart pounded when he parked between two other cars, their windows fogged up. He turned the radio up and rubbed his hands down his pant legs as if to wipe his palms off.
Turning slightly in his chair, his eyes came up to meet Jennifer's. She smiled back at him, hand going to the jeweled cross hanging at her throat. She twiddled with it a moment before tucking it under her shirt. Jennifer adjusted her position in her seat, sliding closer to Sam, who cleared his throat and reached a hand toward her. His hand shakily clasped the back of her neck, pulling her face to his. Their lips met, hers soft and pliable, his firm and eager.
Her first kiss!
He pulled back, but she leaned further into him, kissing him back this time. His other hand slid onto her leg where hers met it, stopping it just above her knee.
"We interrupt this transmission with an important announcement. Police have asked us to alert the public to an escaped convict. He is mentally ill, armed and dangerous. You will recognize him by the orange prison uniform, a tattoo on the left side of his throat, and a hook on his right hand. Do not approach. Get somewhere safe and call the police immediately if you see him."
Jennifer pulled away, head turning as she looked through all the windows. She slapped the lock down on her door and asked Sam to do the same.
"Maybe we should go home," she said. "We're not that far from the penitentiary."
"Ah, he's long gone by now. We'll be fine. Come on."
He took her hand and pulled her toward him again. She hesitated, but he was so confident and calm that it calmed her, too. Finally, she let him bring her closer and returned his kiss.
She had just relaxed into it when she heard something scratching at her door. She broke away from him, turning toward the door and backpedaling toward him.
"What was that?"
"Didn't you hear that? It was a scratching sound."
"I didn't hear anything!"
"Well, I did. I wanna' go home."
With this, Sam threw the car into reverse, skidding on the gravel. They heard the sounds of tiny rocks pinging off the other cars, but that was overshadowed by a terrible screech, as of a rending of metal. Jennifer screamed and moved closer to Sam, straining against the seatbelt she had slid into place as he'd taken off.
As he steered the car around to get back on the road, Sam thought he saw a silhouette in the rearview mirror. He shook his head and sped toward Jennifer's house, holding himself firm, resisting her grip.
When they got to the house, Sam couldn't meet Jennifer's eyes. He put the car in park and waited for her to get out.
"I...I'm sorry, Sam. It was scary out there. I..."
Out of the corner of his eye, Sam watched as Jennifer slumped a bit and turned to get out. He sighed.
"Jennifer, it really is okay. I had a good time. I just wish we didn't have to leave so soon."
"I know. I'll see you later, Sam."
"Yeah," he said.
Jennifer got out and closed the door, turning to say one last thing. As she did, though, she looked down and saw something sticking out of her door. Leaning closer, she saw that it was metal, but with something dark and wet attached to it. She reached toward it, eyes widening. It was then she realized it was a hook. A remnant of flesh hung from it, dripping thick, red blood.
Oh, sorry, that was me.
How about the one that inspired me always to check the back of my vehicle before getting in, especially late at night when my car was the only one in the theater parking lot?
Look Behind You!
Mary fiddled with the radio, trying to find a good song. Heck, a song that didn't grate on her last nerve would be an improvement. It had been a long day and this drivel was just too much.
She settled on a rock station and leaned back into her seat, nodding her head in time to the beat.
"Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage!" she sang. Ah, Smashing Pumpkins.
The night enveloped her car, the headlights barely keeping it at bay. She flicked her brights on since she was alone on the road and continued singing along with the song until she saw headlights approaching around a bend ahead. She turned the lights back to normal long enough to pass then clicked them back to bright.
A few minutes later she winced as a pair of lights flooded her car from behind. She adjusted her rearview mirror to save her eyeballs from the glare and switched stations again, this time stopping on a R&B station.
Before she could start singing, though, she realized the car behind her was flashing its lights at her. She squinted and moved the mirror back where she could see behind her. Sure enough, the car was gaining on her, flashing its lights. When the driver started honking she threw her right hand up in the air.
"What the hell?!"
The crazed driver pulled up so close behind her she thought they were going to collide any minute. She pushed the gas pedal to the floor and shot forward, trying to trace the road before her far enough ahead to see the curves coming.
The horn blared, the driver holding it down, and the lights continued to flash.
"Pass me, why don't you?"
She slowed down when she hit a straightaway, hoping the driver would take the hint. "Come on, pass me!"
The driver simply slowed, continuing to ride her tail. The lights had stopped flashing, now permanently on bright.
As Mary approached her street, she grabbed her cell phone and hit speed dial.
"Dad? I need you to call the police and meet me in the driveway. There's some crazy person following me. I don't know what they want. I'm almost there!"
She jerked the wheel, not stopping at the stop sign, and sped toward her driveway. The front door burst open, warm light spilling out of her home onto the porch as her dad ran toward her. Her tires bumped over the end of the driveway and she threw the car into park and jumped out the door, not even bothering to turn off the car. She ran into her dad's arms, comforted by his embrace as he called out to the man who'd stepped out of the car behind her.
"The police are on their way. You need to leave. Now."
"Listen to me. There's someone in the back of your daughter's car."
"Bullshit. Too late, the cop's are here."
When the police pulled in, they took down the stranger. At his insistence, they checked the back of her car. Sure enough, there was a man in the back of her car, an axe hidden under a blanket beside him. The stranger had saved her life.
Yep, always check the back of your car. You just never know.
I had so many urban legends pop into my head, but I figure this is long enough. I'd only intended to describe the stories and list them, but this was more fun, and a good start to the beginning of NaNoWriMo. I'll talk about my version, ShaNoEdWriMo tomorrow.
What tales spring to mind when you think of urban legends? Have you heard different versions of the ones above?
May you find your Muse.