I often sit here and wonder what horror is all about. Its actual meaning when referred to by the masses in their huddled conversations on a cold winter morning while out on a smoke break, or the lone, long distance delivery driver, with plenty to consume an empty mind, along a deserted and empty road.
Horror to a child attending school for the first time, could be a bully who makes their life a living hell.
As an adult there are many who live with the unfortunate circumstance of being tied to a job which is taking them down a dead-end road, where asking for a small increase in pay, or the most simplistic of things: a day off, could be seen as something terrifying, deciding instead to carry on, as asking would put their low paid job in a more fragile position. Because after all: the job may not pay a lot, but it pays all the same, (and it’s regular).
The lone driver, has horror, and let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it’s a man. He has a young family to support, and his boss has told him that if he can drive through the night and pick-up an important load, there could be a little extra on top of what he’s already getting.
The man, who thinks of his family, has been on the road since mid-afternoon, and it’s now dark. He thinks of pulling over to rest his tired eyes, but the little extra, and the ingrained image of his newborn daughter keep him on a road he doesn’t know that well.
Usually he does the day shift (but he has a terrible boss), so driving out of his normal sleeping pattern is something of a challenge.
His eyes are starting to feel heavy.
Patricia has not long ago given birth to a beautiful girl, and she couldn’t be happier. The child is a handful, but for some reason doesn’t take to her breast, making Patricia temporarily lose her normal cool and shout at the girl named after her delivery driver husband’s mother: Mary-Anne.
She shakes the child, who has now started to scream, and Patricia, having no knowledge of an alternate food, and a shyness which stops her from calling someone for help, paces the house, bouncing the wailing child, calling her husband names that (thank god) her new daughter is unable to understand. She looks to the dark outside. It’s started to rain. She hopes her husband makes his boss happy. Mary-Anne needs a new cradle.
John, (the man) and husband of a new daughter, begins to see things in front of his eyes. It has started to rain, and on top of the worsening weather, he has to stop and take a leak. His truck is fitted with a tracking device, something that John thought of as an invasion of privacy, but his boss (not too kindly) told him that he had a business to run, and liked to keep an eye on his (money on wheels). With that thought, and the fact that his boss could be sitting at home watching a flashing blip on a computer screen, John decides to piss where he’s sitting. He’ll find a way to explain it, but hopefully he won’t have to. If he can clean up baby shit, then he can sure as hell get rid of adult piss—and besides: he needs his little extra, and Mary-Anne needs a new cradle.
At about the time John starts to empty his bursting bladder, his daughter’s screaming has reached a point that would drive the most placid, insane. Patricia, before she rested her chin on the shotgun, was at odds to understand what it was that made her take her baby from the house and place her in the middle of the road. She needed some quite, and as she went back inside, shutting the door, her mind went back to one of calm. She could still see Mary Anne, moving, and most importantly she was wrapped up tight, and the rain was forgotten.
The terrible boss had been watching his screen and overwhelmed to see that his stupid employee, John was nearing home.
The boss wanted to be there, and unload while it was still dark.
He saw the house but his foot, that had a tendency to push his speed faster than it should, missed the house. Cursing, he dropped the chewed Cuban from his tobacco stained mouth. His F-250, with its custom tyres rolled over the still screaming child without a hint that anything was wrong.
The boss to his surprise, had seen something, if only for a second. It could have been someone’s pet, and that alone was a situation he didn’t want hanging over him. His delivery, which was illegal, could cause him unwanted trouble, so putting his foot back down, headed out of the area.
John tried to shake his leg as the warm piss made its way out the bottom of his jeans. It was uncomfortable, but if he was going to get paid then this is what he had to do.
Eric couldn’t wait to start school. It was something he’d been looking forward to since his parents had told him how good it was, and once settled in he wouldn’t want to leave.
They couldn’t have been more wrong. Eric hated everything about school, and to top off the fact that he had no friends, he was getting bullied by some bigger kids.
His first day had been the start of a whole list of things that were done to him every time he showed his face. They shoved his head down the toilet. Rubbed shit over his face that had been scooped on the end of a stick. Trodden on his jam sandwiches, so he went hungry. But most of all they called him gay.
He didn’t think he was any different to those around him. His voice was a little higher and he swung his body slightly when he walked, but that was how it had been for as long as he could remember.
His parents never said anything when he asked for a doll at Christmas, and he loved to dance in front of the mirror wearing his mom’s clothes.
The nasty people at school had told him that they were going to hurt his family if he didn’t kill himself. They hated gay people and even though Eric had just started his school life, and didn’t want to die, he was also scared for his parents.
That’s why he had crept out of the house, and now stood at the side of a quiet road wondering what he was going to do. It was raining and he certainly wasn’t dressed for wet weather, so before doing anything silly, he was going to go home, and tell his daddy about the nasty people.
Thinking about it now, if anyone could help him it was his daddy. For the first time in a month a smile formed on his small face, only registering long enough before a delivery truck, with what looked like, a man whose head was between his legs, ploughed into him, smashing every bone in his body, killing him instantly, along with the driver who exited the truck by its window screen slamming hard on the wet road, his last though being that he now wished he’d stopped to use a real toilet.
The following day, news reports were in a frenzy about the previous night and the tragedies that had unfolded. Those on their break spoke at length of what a horror filled world they lived in. The rain had started again, and the huddled circle was getting cold. Stubbing out their cancer sticks, and shaking heads as one, they hurried back inside before their fucking boss fired them on the spot for taking a minute too long while smoking.