Paranormal Story Archives
July 2002 Page 27
by Sonoran P.
It was late, the moon was full and it was just after midnight. I had gone to Flagstaff earlier that evening to drop off my cousin at the B.I.A. dormitory in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had made the trip hundreds of times before, but this was the latest I had been on the road at night. It was 12:30 a.m. and I was about 20 miles north of Cameron on highway 89. I had my window rolled down, my arm hanging out the window, and the radio blasting music from KAFF country on the radio. The cold winter air nipped at my forearm just enough to keep my heavy eyelids from closing completely.
And then it happened. I was doing about 60 mph along the lonely stretch of road with not one headlight in sight. The only visible sign of civilization was 20 miles behind me and I could still make out the lights in my rearview mirror. The moon hung high in the big western sky and it seemed I could see for miles as full as it was. I came upon the crest of a hill and I started to smell something. It started as a faint odor, but soon turned into an ungodly stench. It was so foul that I had to cover my nose and mouth with both hands. It stunk of death. Like years of decomposition had taken place in a matter of minutes. When I recovered from the initial exposure of the stench, I quickly rolled up the window and shut off the vents. Meanwhile, I kept my eyes open for the source of the odor either in the road or on the side and slowed down to about 45 mph. Was it a cow? Or a horse? Or maybe even a lamb? It could have been anything since this was all range land for the Navajo and often livestock tend to outsmart the makeshift cattleguards that have filled with dirt from years of neglect. What ever it may have been, I had to be alert so that I didn't drive over it again.
Ten minutes had passed from the time that I had first encountered the odor. Then suddenly it came back and it was a hundred times worst than before. It smelled like the source was in the truck with me - or beside me. In the corner of my right eye I detected movement from the passenger side of the truck. I froze with fear. It just couldn't be and I could not bring myself to look, but I had to. I turned my head ever so slowly to the right. My head was spinning. A chill crept up my spine and to the end of every hair on my head that I was sure were standing on end. My face was flush and my heart was ready to jump out of my chest. I sank deep into my seat and time seem to stand still as I came face to face with what looked like a corpse! It was propped up in the seat and it hunched over motionless against the passenger side door. I stared at it for what seemed like an eternity before I managed to come to and pull my truck over to the side of the road.
I poured out my seat onto the blacktop and proceeded to eject last night's dinner with all the trimmings onto the highway. The night air was extremely cold and my throat burned from the half-digested Kentucky Fried Chicken. My legs buckled and tried to give way, but I would not let them. After my little episode, I returned to my truck and peered in the driver side window to verify my encounter with the corpse, but it wasn't there anymore. It had simply vanished into the cold and silent night.
After I collected my nerves, I proceeded to start my truck, but there was no such luck. Apparently, the encounter had frightened my truck out of commission. It was 1:30 a.m. now and there was not a car in sight, and I was left with two choices. Either wait here until someone comes or try to make it back to the lights of Cameron, which was now about 30 miles away. But I would have to pass back through the stench. I would not take that chance again and that thing may still be lurking around here somewhere. So I decided to walk the rest of the way on the highway and try to make it to the next house about five miles away.
It was about 4:00 a.m. when I approached the modest block home on highway 89. The dogs barked ferociously as I approached the home and I knocked on the door. I waited a few minutes before an older lady answered the door. She asked me what I wanted and told her the situation with my truck but I left out the details of my encounter. It was still a couple hours away from sunrise, so she offered a ride at sunup. I could not bring myself to go to sleep so we stayed up and we talked. We first introduced ourselves the traditional Navajo way, first by clan, then by name and area from. She spoke of her husband who had passed sometime ago. He had help build highway 89, years ago, but was killed during construction. The construction company tried to hide the fact and buried him somewhere near Cameron. Back then, a lot of the Navajo labor were paid under the table and there were no official records taken of this cheap labor. Believing that he would not be missed by anyone in this desolate place, he was buried under the asphalt. Upon telling this story she said, "Before he left, he told me that he would be home by sunup the next morning." Then she handed me a photo of the two together during happier times at the Cameron trading post.
Once again my heart raced as I gazed upon the picture to find that the man in the picture was the corpse in my truck! The next morning, I awoke in a hospital room in Tuba City, Arizona. I had made it after all. The doctor walked in and said, "You're a very lucky man. That was a nasty accident you had on 89 last night. Were going to run a few more tests just to make sure you're all right, then you can go home. But I don't think I can say the same for your truck."
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