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During a snowy dusk in December 1986, Roger Tapps, a 36 year – old truck driver, was on his way to deliver barrels of wine for an English wedding in Louisiana. Apart from being a truck driver, he also worked as a street vendor, selling daily newspapers and youth magazines. Usually, he sold them in the morning and delivered goods later that day. Speaking of Roger, he is a rather tall guy with short, blonde hair and a well-trimmed beard. A very distinctive feature of Roger would be his eyes; they are bright green and sparkly.
On this one particular day, he was working the graveyard shift and was racing against the clock to reach his destination. Somehow, during this long, tedious journey, his eye lids seemed to be dragging themselves to a close, which was a weird occurrence given the fact that he had never experienced this before. Hence, he came to a halt and wiped his face off the drowsiness to remain alert as always.
Abruptly, he threw his glance out of the window. Upon gazing a large corn field in the middle of nowhere, all of a sudden, his past reminiscences came lurking back into his mind…
He remembered, years ago, what type of man he used to be. He remembered how happy he used to be with his beloved wife, Joyce, who would always be there for him. Both of them led a seemingly perfect lifestyle and adored each other deeply enough to trust themselves in everything. For a living, they had successfully maintained a vast acre of crops consisting mainly of wheat, corn and sugar beet plantation.
Thinking about their assets, Roger recalled how hard he and Joyce managed their large plantation with the help of a few farmhands. Even during the darkest of times, there’s always a ray of sunshine, a glimmer of hope… just like Joyce used to utter all the time. Oh, dear Joyce! How true you were! Her smooth, crimson hair and wide, blue eyes will be etched in Roger’s memory forever. In his point of view, Joyce is the perfect housewife.
A cold gust of wind brought Roger back into the front seat of his old vehicle once again. He soon realized that time was ticking away and he had to move now before it’s too late. After a moment of hesitation, he started his engine and drove away into the darkness of the night……
A long while later, Roger spotted a drive-in just a few miles away. He came to a stop over there and said “Double cheese hamburger with chilled Coke, please.” “Absolutely, sir. That would cost you $11.95 only,” came the reply. Handing over the required payment, Roger stole a quick look at the somewhat plump lady on the inside and read her name tag. It said ‘BETSY’.
Roger drove much slower now. He became totally disturbed by the name Betsy. And then, without further notice, his shoulders began to hurt. The pain was so excruciating that he almost felt like he was carrying a bag of bricks over his shoulders. This bothered him so much to a point where driving further would only bring trouble. He grabbed his brakes and brought the vehicle to a state of motionless. Without further ado, he closed his eyes.
Roger remembered his final day with Joyce. One dreaded Sunday afternoon, when he was inside the farmhouse, Bernie, his childhood mate, came rushing by in terror. “Roger! It’s Betsy….stop BETSY !!!” Perplexed by his remarks, Roger ran to him and demanded “What had happened?!” Bernie could only point his fingers out of the door. With absolute uncertainty, Roger stormed outside. He stopped in his tracks upon witnessing a gruesome act.
Joyce was there. In a split second, her entire form was chopped and slashed into chunks. Deep, red blood splattered everywhere. Human flesh turned into minced meat all together. There’s hardly anything left of her. Joyce was gone.
Roger stood speechless. His heart was beating out of his chest and sweat dripped all over his body. “What…? She went away just like that…? She won’t be coming back…? No more little talks over margarita? No more poker games? No more sweet potato stew over brunch?” All these questions flashed repeatedly in his mind. Later, it was Bernie’s turn to face the music. After all, it was entirely his fault. The cops arrived several minutes later and arrested Bernie hands on. With all the pieces of evidence stacked against him, Roger was powerless over the whole circumstances. He just stood still and answered as the cops took a statement.
Her death was ruled accidental. It was Betsy, Roger’s old combine harvester, who was the culprit. Apparently, that ancient machine of his went out of control when Bernie was using it. Bernie managed to fling out of the vehicle in time but poor Joyce couldn’t make it. At that horrible moment, she was bending over her flower beds without any prior knowledge of what was approaching her at high speed. The rest happened in the twinkling of an eye. Bernie was put in jail-time for two long years after that.
A heartbroken Roger sold the property and moved out of the town. He rented a room in a holiday motel for a couple of weeks to pull himself together. Then, he settled down somewhere up north where the birds chirped delightfully in the morning and the moon shone brightly at twilight. In a matter of months following the incident, Roger began experiencing a stabbing sensation on both of his shoulders. The pain became almost unbearable that he finally decided to consult every doctor in town for treatment. Alas, his calls for aid weren’t answered.
Apart from having shoulder pains, Roger was also baffled by his unexpected weight gain over the course of three months. His normal body weight used to be slightly above the 200 lbs. mark but now the scale showed a whopping 360 pounds. This number worried him as he doesn’t look anything like an average obese guy would look like. Strange but it was ultimately true.
To seek pertinent solutions to these everlasting problems, Roger made plans to meet an elderly shaman residing just outside the small town for his opinion over this matter. This shaman, known to the local populace by the name of Okapi, is well-versed in the subject of paranormal activities. Upon finding Roger standing at his doorstep, Okapi welcomed him immediately. Once explaining his situation, Okapi took a few moments of silence before uttering these words “Your dead wife wants to be with you. Her sudden death has brought a deep sorrow into you and the only way for her to fill your quest for love is to live alongside you for eternity. You’re bound to carry her soul on your shoulders for the rest of your life.”
That puts everything into perspective for Roger. Feeling content over the answers given, he thanked Okapi and paid him generously before ending his search for the truth.
Roger opened his eyes. It’s good to be back in the old truck once again. After massaging his shoulders, he hit the road. This time, however, he was in great spirits. Upon reaching the destination, he unloaded the barrels and had a quick breakfast with the wedding party. Now, Roger was back on the road, heading straight back home with a sense of belief that Joyce’s spirit would always be there with him until the end of his days.