The Road | Teen Ink

The Road

January 12, 2011
By InnocentEyes, Glenville, Minnesota
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InnocentEyes, Glenville, Minnesota
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Favorite Quote:
I became insane, with long intervals of sanity - Edgar Allen Poe

The author's comments:
Sorry the chapters will be all weird because I wrote this as a short story with no chapters

In the small, quiet village, there are practices that are going on there, things that should only exist in nightmares, things that would make any sane man fall to his knees in fright. If anyone had a clue how to get to that small village or had any wish to go there, the best time would in the fall, when the cold air rises out of the warmth seeping into the bones of both the living and the dead. If you were in Tennessee, taking the interstate, once you got five miles past Hope there is a mostly hidden dirt road. Leaves that had fallen over the years hiding parts of it, trees that had fallen blocking the road but if you are determined to visit the abandoned village you would have to move around them.

If you make it through the old road, you will come to a rusted gate with a barbed, old-fashioned padlock. Six miles down a trail overlaid with weeds and wildflowers that bloom up like fireworks in different vivid colors that bob their heads to the rolling grass, you will notice a dot that grows gradually as you get closer. Eighteen miles from the forbidding gate and the village is looming before you. Old-fashioned huts that have straw roofs with rocks for walls and oak for the doors, mice infested homes that gave little protection against the elements. All the houses are in a circle with the doors facing the middle and in the center of it looms the town house, black marble walls, spikes circling the building as if a fence, the entire building reeks of evil and despair. The silence surrounding the village spun out like a web, waiting patiently for its next victim.

“Jeb, I don’t think this is a good idea,” stammered Jamie “you’re going to get in a lot of trouble.”

Jeb was leaning against the counter juggling butcher knives. He had the devil may care smile and his light blue eyes had a small gleam to them, only his foot gave away his nervousness. He was tapping away but stilled after Issia walked in. Issia caught two of the knives and placed them on the counter then turned back to Jeb speaking slowly.

“What the heck do you think you’re doing?”

Jeb’s smile faltered a little then gained his confidence again.

“What I am going is none of your business.”

Issia’s face went red and his eyes narrowed down to slits

“Jeb, one more word out of you and you’re fired!”

Jamie grabbed Jeb’s arm trying to pulling but he yanked his arm free and faced Issia grinning.

“Issia I am sick of your crap. You prance around here like you’re God’s gift to the world when the actually truth is, we all hate you.” He smiled and started to turn away when Issia stopped him.

“You’re fired.”


Issia slapped the hat off Jeb’s head, “I said you’re fired.”

After a lot of swearing and Jamie pushing him out the door so there wouldn’t be a fight, Jeb was speeding down a mostly deserted highway. He kept replaying what happened in work repeatedly in his mind. He sped into his driveway throwing gravel as he went; he killed the motor and bounded up into his apartment. He threw his leather jacket onto the old chair and paced around his small living room trying to calm down.

“I have to calm down,” Jeb said not realizing he was talking aloud, “I just need to get away from the hole and make a new start for myself.” He looked over his shoulder at the picture of his parents that was hanging from the wall and felt the anger drain out of him. He gently took the picture off the wall and eased himself onto the couch looking at the picture. He started thinking about his life, thinking about his past and how much he missed them when he got an idea, when was the last time he had seen his aunt Rebecca.

With a new goal he sprinted to the spare room where he kept boxes, he never had time to unpack. After searching three boxes, he started to get worried when he moved an old comic and there it was his dad’s old address book. He flipped through it until he found Rebecca’s address wrote it down, then went to his room and started to pack. He threw four changes of clothes, lighter, flashlight, and his wallet into a bag and was ready to go. He went round the house turning things off and grabbed his jacket on the way out the door. Jeb threw everything into the passenger side, started the truck up, tuned into the local metal station CIMTL. Smiling wide he backed out of his driveway and started to find his aunt.

After an hour or so, the sign for Hope came and went so he slowed down so he wouldn’t miss the road. Hmm… past Hope no help out here then, Jeb thought to himself chuckling to himself for his wit.
Finally, he spotted the road almost missing it; he didn’t realize how old it was. For a moment he considered turning back just keep on driving, but he shook his head and eased his car forward. His truck bounced so much that Jeb was starting to worry that his GMC wasn’t going to make it but it held. He picked up speed hoping that the road would even out a little, but then he saw an abandoned tree laying across the road and had to slam on his breaks almost knocking his head on the car windshield. He swerved to the side putting a huge scratch on the passenger side. He looked up more and slowed the truck to a stop.

The sun kissed the ground in front of him in interlocking colors casting strange shadows through the forest. Fifteen feet in front of him was an odd-looking gate. He walked up to it examining it then walked back to the truck investigating the scratch.

“My freaking luck,” muttered Jeb as he leaned into his truck to grab his stuff “she had better be alive after all this I have to go through.”

He climbed the fence careful to avoid being cut on the barbed wire and started following the road. Jeb started humming a lyric from one of his favorite songs when he looked around and was stunned by the beauty of the land. He felt relaxed and a peace with the world for the first time since his parents’ death. Soon after he had that thought he noticed something different about the landscape. He could just see a dot in the distance. “That has to be the town,” thought Jeb excited. He walked faster heart beating faster getting a tighter grip on his bag. His hopes were lifting with each mile as he moved closer to the village with no idea that a piece of hell was waiting for him.
Jospeh was an old man that had control over the village; he was sitting in his rocking chair chewing on a blade of grass when one of the village girls ran up in front of his porch. She was out of breath and gasping a little and that was when Jospeh had a small feeling of dread worm around in the pit of his stomach. Slowly the old man rose to his feet and looked down at her his brown eyes filled with concern.

“What’s wrong child?” he asked gently.

“Samuel noticed something moving in the distance and after watching it for an hour, the thing moving was a man!”

Jospeh went silent thinking as the girl silently caught her breath ”Well,” Jospeh started slowly his southern accent drawling his words out a little, “ we will all just wait to see what happens.”

The girl nodded and bowed her head respectfully then ran off to tell the other villagers about the new visitor. Jospeh slowly sat down in his rocker and lit up a smoke thinking the events and possibilities of what a new person could mean. As he blew a smoke ring, he began to chuckle a little smiling into the growing shadows.

Jeb made it to the first house somewhat out of breath, weird little town Jeb thought to himself as he scanned the houses. It was an old rock hut that looked like it was held together with mud and was topped with a straw roof. He walked forward hesitantly wondering why he even thought of this. As he stepped forward into the clearing, he saw a middle-aged woman that was short and a tad on the plumb side. Her back was to Jeb so he cleared his throat to announce his presence. She whirled around her eyes wide like a caught animal’s.

“Who are you?” she asked peering out at him.

“I’m Jeb, um Rebecca’s nephew, does she ah… Still live here?”

The woman blinked in surprise reminding Jeb of a mole who just emerged in daylight.

“Yes, stay right here young man don’t move I will go get here.” and with that the woman stomped off in the direction of one of the cottages. While she was away Jeb decided to look around at his surroundings and the first thing he noticed was that all of the houses looked the same expect for the doors. The doors each had their own color and the colors seemed to be in groups like a coding system. He turned around and saw the tallest building by far in the middle of the circle that the houses made. The roof looked modern, the building was made of solid black rocks, and as he stepped closer, he realized that it was made of marble. Jeb quickly turned around just watching the building sent chills down his arms.

Something moved in the shadows that caught his attention and his heart kicked up to overtime. When the movement he has a wild urge to try to sneak over there to see what it was when a voice drifted out to him.

“Jeb? Little Jebby is that you?”

He moved closer and called out “Aunt Rebecca?”

She walked over to him and scanned him up and down

“Boy, last time I saw you, you were a chub now you’re a stick make up your mind.”

He busted out laughing and hugged her. She was teller then him by at least three inches but she hadn’t lost that hawk look he remembered best when he was a child. She hugged back smiling then pulled back holding him at arms length.

“What are you doing all the way out here?”

“I came to see you.”

She shook her head “Still have weird ideas up in your mind I see now follow me its cold out.”

He followed her to her hut that he noticed had a green door and wasn’t too close to that tower in the middle of the village. She led him to her small but cozy kitchen and made them some tea. They spent most the night talking, trading stories and Jeb was noticing he felt tired he tried to tell her that maybe it was time to hit the hay but he couldn’t even move his tongue. He started to panic on the inside but was unable to move fast was just like wading through glue. There was a knock on the door and Rebecca quickly stood to answer it. She talked quietly with someone then led them to where Jeb was. He rolled his head back and looked up seeing deep dark eyes then past out oblivious to what happened around him.

He regained consciousness slowly blinking around not understanding where he was. The room had a damp smell to it one that you can taste on your tongue; there was a small rectangular window in a far corner that gave little light showing him that the walls were covered in chains and handcuffs. Handcuffs, his eyes flew open and he threw himself forward but was slammed backwards. He uttered a grunt of pain as he collided with the wall Jeb looked up saw his own hands chained up and let out a crazed howl.

Jospeh looked up, smiled, and went back to eating his breakfast. When at last Jeb’s howl died Jospeh gathered some food together, walked down the hallway, and knocked on the door.

“Everything ok down there?” called Jospeh.

“I’m going to kill you do you hear me!” screamed Jeb fighting the restraints.

Jospeh chuckled, opened the door, and walked down the stairs to Jeb. He held out a piece of toast out but Jeb just glared at him silently cursing him but not saying a word.

“Fine but when I come back with your dinner I know you will eat you need to be fat to feed the village son.”

“What are you talking about?”

Jospeh looked at Jeb for a long moment, “You haven’t figured it out yet?”

Jeb shook his head, Jospeh smiles reveling sharpened teeth “You have stumbled upon a cannibal village.”

Jeb’s mouth hung open eyes widened, he felt like he was about to piss his pants controlling it by only the distant thought in the back of his mind that said he didn’t have a change of pants. Jospeh laughed and made his way up the stairs slowly. Jeb lost his head the only thing on his mind was escape. He fought the chains crying terrified that someone would come down and discover what he was doing. He stopped to try to gain control of himself so that he could think clearly. He looked up and saw both of his wrists had been cut on the cuffs. He tested one hand just pulling it down seeing if it could be moved, it did but with enormous amount of pain. Jeb squeezed his eyes shut, bit his lip and began to work on freeing himself.

Jospeh stood back and admired his latest piece of work. It was a chair made out of simple wood but the cushion was made of human flesh, and so was the back. He sat down on it testing to make sure it would not collapse and was extremely pleased when it didn’t. There was a creak behind him but he ignored it categorizing it with one of the noises old houses make. He bent over to pick up his screwdriver when he felt a sharp, steel blade press against the back of his throat.

“Don’t move or I will cut you slowly and make you watch your blood pool out before you.” Jeb growled in his ear.

Jospeh stayed perfectly still as Jeb turned him so they were face to face. They looked at each other for a while then Jospeh said, “Son,” and was cut off there. Jeb sliced his throat in one quick movement.

“I am not your son you sick pig.”

He looked around for a better weapon the decided not to press his luck. He cut an old washcloth up to try to bandage his wrists when the door to his left opened and a man about Jeb’s age walked in.

“Jospeh, are you…” he stopped looking at Jeb.

The other man looked over at the room where Jospeh’s body lay. Jeb stepped forward to kill him too but the man swung and punched Jeb under the temple. He fell rolling so he wouldn’t stab himself and stabbed upward as the other man pounced at him covering Jeb with the other man’s lifeblood. Jeb pushed him to the side and limped to the door, looked both ways, then made a break for the trees.

The sun was nearing sunset when Jeb reached his truck. He was so grateful he kissed the hood repeatedly until a thought froze him cold. Where were the truck keys? He raced as fast as he could to the driver’s side and there they were hanging where he had left them. He broke down in thankful tears while climbing into the cab. He raced down the road skidding into the highway going back to Hope. He was pulled over for speeding halfway there and was brought in for the blood on his clothing. Jeb told his story to the police repeating that he acted in self-defense and they were trying to eat him. The chief of police nodded then stepped out of the room to talk to his secretary.

“Call the nearest nuthouse Cassie this one is long gone.”

The chief sent out two squad cars to investigate what Jeb was saying but after two hours of searching, they couldn’t find any trace of the road.

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