Whenever I'm on the road, I get jumpy. I'm not a hundred percent sure why. Like, okay, I've had a history of car accidents and that's probably enough of a reason without overthinking it. I don't think I'm a dangerous driver or anything, but history proves me wrong. I don't know if it's because ADHD equals I don't focus on the road (I'm medicated now, so I'm safe?) or beginner's bad luck when I was at college. And I swear to god that the only accidents that were my fault were very tiny ones, like driving at regular speed on a highway with unmarked construction gravel and skidding into a road divider. (I got a lift from a nice stranger and no, I didn't get murdered, sorry.) I've gone through so many cars that it's embarrassing, but in my defense, they have all been cheaper to replace than to do a quick repair on.
Now I'm still not a great driver, but if anything it's because I'm too cautious. If you're in the lane next to me, I'll establish myself as a beta in our relationship and let you cut in front of me no-questions-asked. I'll go under the speed limit. If a car comes toward me but there's a stop sign, I'll still slow down just in case - stop signs don't actually do anything.
I don't know if you're allowed to cuss in creepypastas so I'm keeping it clean. Ish? Otherwise the dialogue in these things would probably be nothing but swearing. That would be a fun story, right? "I saw a dude and he got eaten by a monster and I still remember his last words…" and a string of f-bombs.
So yeah, my last car I only had for like seven months before it bit the dust and I replaced it with a car I hate, which by the immutable laws of "the universe has a sense of humor" means that I will have this car until I die. The old one was a little red hatchback with a sound system that got along with my phone's crappy Bluetooth and that's all it takes to make me happy.
So I was driving to my office job, normal highway, blah blah etc. This boxy old car that was in my blind spot for a good mile or so pulls up. I don't notice it. I'm about to change lanes and the guy swerves and Jiminy Cricket (I'm avoiding using anyone's name in vain, hint hint) I swear to god (whoops never mind) I almost slammed into the car and killed us both. I think the radio was playing Dead Man's Party, which is why I remember this. I thought that would be so freaking ironic. So I'm still in the left lane, my heart going about twice the speed that's medically advisable, and Mr. Oldsmobile leaves me in the dust to ponder my recent anxiety problems.
And there's a flash of color in my rear view and this awful ugly thump. I kind of want to barf as I'm remembering it. Like a completely smooth road, music that I've got my hand on the knob to turn down so I can focus on my driving, and then the absolute worst noise in the world.
I checked my rear view and I didn't see anything. Maybe it was a phantom thump. Like I scared myself so bad I thought I heard something that wasn't there.
When I got to work I checked the fender and tires for any sign of trouble but nothing was weird. On my breaks (and during work a little. Don't tell my employer) I was checking the news but obviously nothing was reported. And on the way home, I went really slow around where I think I felt the thump, but nothing was there.
To clarify because I know, this is a Spooky Story, so I probably ran over the ghost of a hitchhiker and now the ghost's ghost is gonna get me - that didn't happen. Sorry. I'm pretty sure I imagined the whole thing. I'm telling you all this for context, is all. I haven't gotten haunted by anything and the cute red car died when I skidded on ice into the parking lot at work and my coworker had to drive me to work for the next two weeks. Something on the undercarriage messed up, and when I got towed, the reported didn't mention any suspicious corpses tangled in the machinery or a human finger stuck in a gear or a car ghost. (Car ghosts are probably something they teach you to handle in Mechanics 101, based on what I see on this site.)
I'm joking because I'm nervous, I guess. Like this is going to be anonymous for good reason, but I'm still checking to make sure I didn't accidentally mention a city name or streets or my car make and model. I shouldn't post this at all but where else could I talk about this?
Because I still have a stupid amount of anxiety about driving. I was pulling out of my street a few weeks ago and saw this tiny lump and I was terrified that it was a kitten. I know how people work when there are public emergencies - a thousand people can drive past a lump and assume that if it really was an injured kitten, someone else would have stopped to help by now.
So on the one hand, I'm like, my brain is lying to me and I'm being paranoid. But on the other hand, "be the good you want to see in the world." Either way, the best thing to do is a U-turn (sorry other drivers) and check on the lump.
This kind of thing happens to me a lot. Most of the time, thank god, it's trash. (This time it was a black bag - as soon as I could tell it wasn't an animal in need of rescue, I stopped caring.) Sometimes it's stuff that falls out of cars. We also have deer around here, so any roadkill is usually deer and they're not alive enough to help. One time there was a genuine cat (rip) who I was almost positive was dead based on grossness and injury, but it moved. I've taken forensic anthro and I watch Ask A Mortician and I know about the stages of decay and involuntary muscle movements, so it was almost definitely a muscle twitch postmortem. But the "almost" is what gets me.
I called an emergency vet, made sure they were open, and bundled the poor thing up in a blanket and tried to say soothing things the whole time. The vet declared him dead out of my trunk, confirmed that he didn't have a chip (probably a stray/feral), and took him off my hands. I didn't even have to pay for cremation because I was a "good Samaritan." It's really upsetting to remember, but if there's any chance the guy was still around when I scooped him up, hopefully he didn't have to die alone, you know? And if he liked people, then maybe hearing my voice was soothing. And if he was already gone, at least he got a bare amount of respect. I feel really strongly about respecting the dead.
We were on that same street where I found the dead cat, when my coworker and I were riding together last weekend. Regulations are easing up around here. I'm still wearing a mask everywhere but there are events on the weekends. I don't want to say what we were going to because I'm not sure how much that might identify me. We don't usually hang out but it's not like I meet people outside of work nowadays. Traffic was busy because it was a touristy area on a weekend. Traffic makes me antsy.
When I heard a thump, I thought it was my anxiety again and I twisted around in my seat. This wasn't a flash of color this time. There was something, or someone, and we definitely hit them. I could have screamed but I didn't and I don't know why. I had to take a break to go calm down before I kept writing this but I need to get it out of my system, okay? Because I can't tell anyone. I'm scared to check the news this time.
I eventually was able to say that we had hit something and that, oh my god, it might have been a person. When I did, it didn't even matter. My coworker kept driving.