Here is a sample from the story I See You… from my book THIS BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS. If you like what you read, check the whole book out for ten bucks. You can find it here –

(PS – there’s cursing herein)

The car jerked squealed across the wet black top and came to a sudden stop under a flickering arc sodium light. The rental car was silent a moment as the engine was turned off and began cooling and then it was only the sound of the falling rain that could be heard. Suddenly the driver’s door burst open and a black blur erupted from the small economy car and ran through the rain towards the small, squat building. The black mass pushed through a set of glass double doors and came to a halt once inside. From within the black cowl erupted a small white face and then a whole head, looking as if the blackness had vomited it free. The woman let out a long relieved breath and stamped er feet up and down to shake the rain from her slicker. It had been raining for the entire day and this was her fourth stop to use the bathroom and she was more than a little over what was supposed to have been a short vacation. The woman shook her hair out and stamped once more before she turned to face her options – two doors, one bearing the rudimentary white form of what would seem to be a man, the other door bearing a similar visage that was supposed to be a woman. The woman shook her head back and forth quickly, water loosing itself from her long blonde hair and took a step towards the door bearing the figure of the female but stopped short when she saw the yellow pylon that stood guard in front of the closed door. An Out of Order sign hung cockeyed from the head of the pylon in explanation.

“You are shitting me. Fuck…”

She spun around and saw there was nothing standing in front of the door to the Men’s room. “Of course…” She shook her head slowly and headed for the glass doors again, her hope that there might be an exit with a restaurant or a gas station or something up ahead past Scottstown but she could see nothing through the veil of rain. As soon as her hands hit the door her bladder sounded an alarm and she knew she would never make it that far if there was an exit. This was but one of the many joys of diabetes, she was quickly finding out. She turned around and faced a torn map of Michigan with the usual You Are Here stuck smack in the middle. God she hated rural areas. She shook her head  slowly from side to side and looked from door to door then made her choice and moved towards the Ladies Room and pushed the door open. The whole damned thing couldn’t be out of order for god’s sake. As soon as she was past the pylon and had taken a step into the room she was immediately struck with a sickening, almost solid, wave of stench and had to take a step back after the initial assault. The woman pulled her shirt over her mouth and took a deep breath and held it then looked inside the room and saw that all but one of the lights in the room was out, the remaining one flickering off and on and off more than on. She took another step inside the room and saw dark stains all over the floor farther into the room and imagined a grossly obese woman not quite making it to the bathroom in time. She backed out of the room and began coughing hard and gasped for air as she looked back at her two remaining choices, the glass doors to the outside, and the closed blue door to the Men’s Room.


Her bladder chose for her and she headed as quickly into the Men’s Rest Room as she was able. The smell was better here but not by much, thankfully though there were no visible stains this time and most of the overhead fluorescent lights were on, though many were flickering and humming as she entered. She squatted down onto her haunches and twisted her head to the side to see under the stalls and saw nothing. Not a foot, not a leg, not a peg-leg, not a tentacle, nothing. She let her breath out, smiled to herself. Her cousin had been warning her about Rest Stops in every call, text message, and email and every one the woman entered now she expected to be filled with perverts and pedophiles. So far she had only met a kid looking to sell some pot and a teenage couple making out in the parking lot. She smiled, relieved and walked to the last stall and pushed it open with her foot but on seeing the shit-covered toilet seat and the likewise covered walls she decided to move to the next stall over, which was locked from the inside, an old gag kids loved to pull, and, down to two choices, she tried the next in line. To her surprise this stall looked immaculate. She let out a laugh that echoed around the room, it was true, there were such things as miracles. She stepped inside the stall and slid the bolt across to lock the door, grabbed a sanitary seat and placed it over the toilet seat, removed her pants and went about her business. She closed her eyes and felt her bladder empty and let out a long sigh of relief. She was far too old to piss her pants, and she hadn’t liked the idea of peeing in the rain of hovering over a nuked toilet so this really was akin to a miracle. After a moment she opened her eyes and looked at the walls, curious to see what the shithouse philosophers had to say for themselves in this part of the world. She smiled as she read the deep and thoughtful insights –

Suck my cock.

(I will, call me at…)

I love to give head.

So does your mother.

Fuck you.

Fuk nigers. Kil thems al

Fuck you racist motherfucker. Learn to spell…

Mary is a slut.

You should know!

And at the bottom of the stall, well below the other scrawls and beneath a small hole someone had carved into the dividing wall, was the last, and to her, a genuinely chilling message –

…I see you…

The woman read it and re-read it and each time she felt a chill run across her skin. It was the same sort of humor as the others, the same sort of gag, but this one got to her. She had seen a hundred such threats at other rest stops or in fast food restaurant bathrooms but none were as simple and disturbing as this. It was made all the worse because of the hastily carved hole, which was just big enough for someone to see through, if they had the notion. She looked up and saw the light overhead flickering on and off, on and off, on and off, and the part of her that would always be ten years old and afraid of the dark waited for it to turn off and stay off. I see you. She couldn’t stop looking at it and each time she thought of how isolated she was out here, and then thought of the Ladies’ Room and wondered who could be hiding in there, or what. She had to get up, she had to get out of there and back on the road. This was stupid and she knew it. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly then stood and pulled her jeans up quickly as she unbolted the door and pushed it open. She stood inside the stall and looked across from her and into the clouded mirror to see if she could see anyone standing in the bathroom with her and let her breath out again as she saw she was alone. The most immediate reaction she had was to laugh, embarrassed by her fear but did not want to laugh at herself and her paranoia just yet. She zipped her coat to the top and pulled her slicker tight around her but just as she was about to leave the stall but there came a deep sigh that echoed throughout the room.

“Oh fuck…”

She pulled back into the stall and closed it as quietly as she could, hands shaking to match the rest of her. She stood still, holding her breath, waiting, waiting and waiting… Nothing happened and she began to wonder if she had just heard a phantom from her own head, or if perhaps the storm had blown the outer doors open. She remembered a present her mother had given her a couple years earlier when she went on a cross country trip by herself to see a boyfriend at the time and she reached into the pocket of her jeans and pulled free her keys and the mace that dangled with them. She snapped the top off the mace, took a deep breath,  and pushed the door open again. She stood tense, eyes narrowed, heart thundering within her chest and all around her everything was quiet. Again she looked and saw nothing in the mirror, but god, in her heart she felt it, felt it in her chest, in her legs, there was someone…

“I see you…”

Want more? Read the whole story in the book.

this darkness cover final

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