My IM buddy MonsterMavin sent me this story about Dave from South Carolina:
Jason, check this out:
One night I had just finished working the late shift at a local restaurant. Driving the familiar winding road through the swampland that surrounded my home town of Bishopville, South Carolina, I fought to keep my eyes open, battling the sleepiness I always faced after an eight-hour shift. I didn’t know that in a few minutes I would be more awake than I had ever been in my life.
After six months on the job, I felt as if my car could drive the route back home itself. Then, suddenly—BLAM!— my right front tire blew. My car skidded out of control on the damp road beside Scape Ore Swamp. My eyes opened wide as I tapped the brakes and eventually got the car under control. Bouncing to the side of the road, I was thankful there were no other cars out there or I surely would have caused an accident.
Still riding the adrenaline rush, I pulled out my flashlight, jack and spare tire, and began to change the flat. When the car was jacked up and I was struggling to loosen the lug nuts, I heard a low squishing sound from the swamp just off the road.
thwish thwish thwish
It sounded like large flippers slapping though the soupy mud. But who would be out here in the middle of the night, tromping around this mosquito-infested marsh? I cast my flashlight in the direction of the sound but saw nothing. Turning back to the tire, I managed to loosen a nut when I heard the sound again—louder this time.
THWISH THWISH THWISH
Peering into the darkness, I caught a glimpse of two glowing red dots. I’ve got to be imagining this, I reassured myself. I was just remembering all the scary swamp stories my older brother told me when I was a little kid.
I pulled the flat tire off the car, and slipped the spare on, relieved that I had remembered to fill it with air the last time I checked all my tires. As I spun the final lug nut back into place I heard the squishing sound again, accompanied by a thin hiss.
Again, I swept the beam toward the swamp, and that’s when I saw it. At first it appeared to be a tall man in a long green coat. But as my eyes adjusted, I saw a seven and half foot tall lizard, walking upright on two powerful legs. Its skin was green and brown. Every inch of its body was covered by thick scales. I looked down at the creature’s three-toed, webbed feet, twitching in the mud.
The monster hissed again, and stared directly at me. The lizard man’s head was huge, and its bulging froglike red eyes glowed like coals in the flashlight beam. But this was no frog. Its broad mouth opened to reveal two rows of razor-sharp teeth. The three thick fingers of its hand were also webbed, and ended in long sharp black claws. Brown, brackish liquid oozed from the side of its mouth, as if the creature had been formed from the very muck of the swamp itself.
Okay, focus. Get the car down and get the heck out of here…NOW!
I fumbled with the lug wrench. The monster continued toward me, hissing as it increased its pace.
Yanking hard on the wrench, tightening the last nut, I chucked the wrench into my trunk, then frantically pumped the jack to lower the car.
Come on! Hit the ground! Hit the ground!
I turned and found myself staring at the lizard man’s legs!
I yanked the jack from beneath my car, holding it front of me, trying to figure out some way to use the tool to defend myself.
An overpowering stench of rotten swamp poured forth from the creature, stinging my nostrils and bringing tears to my eyes. The beast hissed and lunged toward me, swiping at me with its scaly clawed hand.
I instinctively raised the jack, smacking the lizard’s hand away. The creature howled in pain, then stepped back. It’s like somebody crossed a frog with a huge bear, I thought. Now that sounds funny, but it wasn’t then. I realized that my defensive maneuver with the jack had bought me only a few precious seconds.
I jerked open the car door, threw the jack in the backseat, and jumped inside. Reaching out to close the door, I felt a sharp sting in my wrist. I looked down and saw the lizard man’s slimy but powerful hand wrapped around my left wrist, its claws digging into my skin. The creature stood outside my door, hissing and drooling. Its disgusting stench made me nauseous and I felt my stomach tighten.
I gripped the steering wheel tightly with my right hand as the beast began pulling me from the car. I didn’t want to die on a lonely road, dragged to a watery grave in the stinking quagmire of Scape Ore Swamp.
My eyes scanned the dashboard frantically for any kind of weapon. I spotted a pen in the change holder between the seats. With no time to think I released the steering wheel and grabbed for the pen.
Got it! I felt myself being pulled from the car. Whipping my right hand across my body, I drove the point of the pen into the creature’s arm. The beast snarled in pain, then let go! Tugging my door shut, I turned the key and the engine roared to life—just as the lizard man grabbed my door handle.
Punching the button to lock all the doors, I stepped hard on the gas and pulled away. In my side view mirror, I was shocked to see the lizard man running after me.
I knew it could never catch me. I took a deep breath, looking down at my throbbing, bleeding left wrist.
But I was wrong about the Lizard Man.
I glanced at my mirror. The monster was catching up. Even as I accelerated, the creature gained on me. Moving closer and closer, its face now filled the mirror. The creature’s arms and legs blended into a green blur, lit by the moonlight. And then, the lizard man vanished from the mirror.
It was on the roof! Black claws edged over the windshield, digging into the roof, trying to peel it open like a can of sardines. I swerved hard to the left, then back to the right, trying to shake the creature off. Its foot slipped from the roof at one point and slammed down on the side view mirror, snapping it from the car.
I spotted a diner just ahead.
People! I thought. Maybe someone here can help me!
It was early morning but about a dozen cars filled the parking lot. I wasn’t sure what anyone else could do against this beast, but I at least I wouldn’t die alone!
Slamming on my brakes I turned into the lot, scattering a large group of people who had just gotten off a bus. As I skidded to a stop, the Lizard man tumbled off my car, hitting the blacktop hard, then rolling back onto its feet. It released the sickening hiss I had heard back at the swamp and charged toward the crowd.
Panicked screeches filled the parking lot as people scattered in all directions.
A man dropped his cell phone, which began ringing as it bounced across the blacktop. He started chasing after it, then thought better and turned and dashed toward the diner.
A woman shrieked in fear, threw her backpack to the ground, and started running.
Several people bolted into the woods behind the parking lot. A few turned back to the bus.
The Lizard Man grabbed the back end of and the bus and began shaking it violently. The people who were heading for it stopped and turned in the opposite direction.
The beast hissed again, then headed full speed for the front door of the diner! The customers inside stared in terror at the huge creature racing toward them. They began scrambling toward the back of the building.
There must be a back exit, I thought, thankful the creature seemed to have forgotten about me, but now desperately hoping everyone else would escape its wrath. After all, I was the one who had brought it here. I had put so many others in danger. What was I thinking?
By the time the Lizard Man crashed through the locked front door, the diner had emptied completely. In a rage, it ripped up tables that were bolted to the floor and flung dishes in every direction. As I grabbed my cell phone to dial 911 I watched as the creature smashed a full carafe of coffee with its fist.
The Lizard Man howled in anguish as the scalding liquid seared the scaly skin of its arm, which bubbled and oozed. The monster exploded through a window on the side of the building, and vanished into the darkness. Its horrible hissing faded from the morning air and people crept out from their hiding places.
They surveyed the damage and tended to those in shock, but I was too exhausted to even talk to anyone. I headed for home.
When I finally arrived, I was shaken up and bleeding, but at least I was alive. After cleaning my cuts and scrapes, I went back outside to check my car. The side view mirror was gone and the roof was carved with long deep grooves. To think it all started with a simple flat tire.
My wrist would heal in a few days, but one thing was for certain. As long as that thing was still out there, I was going to find a new route home!