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The Red Truck

Usually when you think of camping you’d think of pitching a tent, building a campfire, and eating s’mores while telling ghost stories with your friends. Maybe you simply remember enjoying the fresh air and the endless myriad of stars in the outlying sky. But when I think of camping, pitching a tent, building a fire, and eating s’mores comes to my mind second compared to one, specific, unusual event.

During the early summer of 2005, my family thought it would be a good idea to take me on my first camping trip with our friends; the Spechs. The campsite wasn’t far away- just a few miles out of the city. I always thought a vacation couldn’t be considered a real vacation unless we traveled to an unfamiliar area out of the state. As we drove along the thicket of trees, I was completely and utterly bored out of my mind, so I concentrated on the constant rhythm of our car bouncing along the dirt road. It reminded me of my heartbeat, thumping against my chest, lulling my fatigued brain to sleep.

The moment the car stopped rolling across the dust, my friend, Hannah, jolted me awake, and I was glad she did. I’ve never felt closer to nature before, but I guess it was because I’ve never actually been inside of nature. Everything was green and untouched by mankind. The trees looked as though they went on for miles and reached up for hundreds of feet in the sky. There was a slight opening of the dense trunks leading into the campsite. The sky was pale blue. Stray clouds of white floated above me every so often. Through the glass window, I could hear the faint chirp of newborn birds, a soft murmur of crickets preparing for night, and I even took time to imagine a low hum of mosquitoes ready to attack. I let a small smile slip onto my face.

With a sense of puzzlement the petite smile turned into a disappointed frown. The actual campsite was nothing I imagined it would be. All the beauty of nature seemed to be sucked out of the place. The entire site was congested with trailers, screaming kids, and tense parents. Cars were everywhere: connected to trailers, outside of tents, some people were even tailgating from their trunks. To take away more of the experience of camping, there was a playground assembled directly in the center of all the chaos. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought.

Throughout the course of the day, I gradually adjusted to this weird environment. Everything around the campsite was boring, so I was given permission to roam around a little. I grabbed my new ‘razor’ scooter, and rode away in search of some excitement. As I circled around the campsite, a mysterious red truck drove up just behind me. I veered my scooter closer to the edge of the grass, thinking the truck didn’t have enough space to cut ahead of me. Then, the truck proceeded to drive up next to me. It slowed down to match my speed and we rode together, side- by- side, until I felt something was very wrong. About five seconds later I turned my head to try to see the face of this strange man. He very built and muscular, and was covering his eyes with tinted sunglasses. The window was rolled down and he hung his elbow out the opening. We were so close I could visibly see his arm, subtly, curving with the wind. Our gazes held for what felt like minutes. I couldn’t see his eyes through his thick shades, but he seemed to hold me in slow motion as he stared me down.

Suddenly, I became afraid, broke his daunting gaze, and rode away as quickly as the tiny wheels on my scooter could take me. I only looked back once before I turned a corner. The man seemed to be moving at the same pace as before, but something told me to attain more distance between him and myself. Two turns later and I decided to rest on a swing at the playground. I set my scooter in a nearby pole, and replayed the incident in my head. I couldn’t get my mind off of that guy. The strange thing was, the more I thought about it, the clearer the image became.

A few minutes later, I was about to head back to my camp, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the red metal and bulky tires drive up. It was heading in my direction. “Towards me,” I said to myself. I may have just been paranoid, but still, I instinctively hoisted my scooter from its pole and leaped onto it.

I turned into a long stretch of road and waited for the final turn. As expected, the tuck turned down my path. The guy seemed as if he was gradually picking up speed, getting closer with every second. When the truck was on my tail I began to weave through cars, cut across grass; anything I to lose that truck. I finally reached my campsite, and waited a few moments to see if the man in the red truck was still following me. There was no trace of it, so I entered my camp.

Nobody thought anything happened and nobody asked, so I didn’t say a word.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

avidreader said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm:
I love the ending.
 
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puffins said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm:

I really wish there was another chapter to this story. It is written so well it makes you feel like you're riding beside her. I'm sure this isn't the last article Lindsey will publish. She has a real gift for writing.

 

 
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BBHART said...
Apr. 12, 2011 at 10:08 pm:
This was a very interestng story and a very tense one.  This will probbly be the first of many to come and I wish her the best of luck with her writing skills.  Keep up the good work.
 
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Akoch said...
Apr. 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm:
You're story was really good! I don't know you but I know one day I'll see your name on the Best Sellers List in the New York Times. Best of luck!
 
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