1963 – a year to remember. John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech and the Chevrolet Impala sitting behind me rolled off Chevy’s Baltimore assembly line. I was 25 and this is where my spirit story and attachment to this car begins.
I married my true love in 1963, my kindred spirit, my Lorna. She was beautiful. Her long dark hair and deep blue eyes turned heads wherever she went, but not always for the right reasons. Lorna practiced dark magic and witchcraft. I was a warlock. We scared people – a lot. We didn’t care though, we were young and in love.
I worked at the Baltimore car plant, but could never be described as a popular guy with the other workers. Hell, I was the warlock who married a witch, I expected to be treated like a turd in a punch bowl, it was only natural. It didn’t bother me. I went in, did my job and went home. The other losers did the same but I went home to Lorna.
My job comprised installing interior trim parts into Impalas as they rolled along the assembly line. After a few months, my senses were able to ignore the sound of factory machinery at work – motors whirring, hydraulics wheezing – the general hubbub that kind of environment creates. That’s why I was completely oblivious to my surroundings that fateful day.
“You’re a fuckin’ devil-worshipping freak, Morrison. You don’t belong in our world, you bastard!”
Someone walked by the Impala, I was aware of him but didn’t see him double back. The voice screamed with hate and contempt. I was engrossed in what I was doing and didn’t realize it was aimed at me. There was always some disagreement or other going on in the factory. He slammed shut the passenger door of the car I was working on before running away like a coward.
A blinding white light flashed in front of my eyes. Nausea crept over me. My left hand was resting in the passenger door frame…trapped within the confines of the sedan’s interior, the sound of screaming scared me. It scared the crap out of me when I grasped I was the one doing the screaming. They were deafening, blood curdling, almost haunting. I howled like a banshee as intense pain ravaged my hand. Never before had I experienced such extreme and agonizing distress.
A Good Samaritan helped me out of the blood-stained car. I had the feeling I’d been there for hours, but was probably no more than a couple of seconds. He proceeded to puke over his work boots in horror when several fingers fell to the floor after he opened the door.
I was taken to the hospital where it was determined I’d lost three fingers – the index finger and thumb were crushed beyond recognition – and my hand was broken.
Nighthawk whispered as I stopped to draw breath and recompose:
“Take your time Jacob. We see how difficult this is for you.”
The sun had sunk below the horizon and darkness had fallen around us.
After being sent home from the hospital I became ever more reliant on strong painkillers to get through another day. I wanted to be free from the dull, constant throbbing of what was once my left hand. I was useless. The more painkillers I took, the more I needed. I was addicted to the constant cycle of drugs and quickly sank into a deep, bottomless pit of depression. No matter what Lorna tried, nothing helped. She tried spells, potions, you name it, but they were all to no avail.
Just when I couldn’t sink any lower, I was fired from my job. Believe it or not. A rigged accident inquiry stated I hadn’t followed the proper safety protocols to let people know I was inside the car. Bullshit. They said it the accident was my fault. Bullshit. My so-called workmates dreamed up a story to get rid of me because I wasn’t “one of the boys.” I was an anomaly – a warlock, someone they didn’t understand.
The pit of despair grew deeper, opening its arms and welcoming me. I couldn’t see anything positive in my future. I didn’t have a future as far as I was concerned. My relationship with Lorna suffered to the point of her threatening to leave me. I’d hit rock bottom.
There was only one way to end my living hell – suicide. I knew it would be difficult for Lorna and the good people I left behind to comprehend, but it struck me as being the only way I could end my misery.
A couple of days later, after working out how I would do it, I wrote a scrawled note to Lorna saying I couldn’t sleep and was going for a walk…
It was around 2:00am when I slipped a length of rope over my left shoulder and quietly closed the garage door before walking away clutching a kitchen stool in my good hand. I never turned around. If I had I may have changed my mind. I headed toward an old oak tree that sat in front of the car factory.
Hanging myself with one good hand wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I could do it. Let the bastards who sent me down this path see me swinging in the wind when they came to work the next morning…I wanted to haunt them every time they closed their eyes.
The moment I began walking the weather changed dramatically. We’d had some very hot weather with extremely high humidity and those conditions triggered a huge storm. The rain was so hard it was bouncing four or five inches off the road and sidewalk. The heat trapped in the ground evaporated some of the rain causing steam to rise up around my feet and legs. Lightning illuminated the night sky as huge claps of thunder exploded around me. I could barely see where I was going. I had never seen weather like this before and never would again. Any other time watching nature at work would have been something to behold, but this would be my final earthly memory.
Eventually I reached the tree. I checked one last time before attaching the rope to a sturdy branch with my good hand and climbing unsteadily onto the wet stool. This was it. No turning back. I placed the noose around my neck, told Lorna I was sorry and stepped off the stool.
Flashes of light appeared before my eyes and hissing noises rang in my ears. This was followed by total mental confusion; my power of logical thought evaporated like the summer rain on the hot ground below. I was aware of my senses leaving me powerless. My death sentence beckoned. Even if it had been possible, there was nothing I could do to help myself. My cervical vertebrae fractured and I lost consciousness. Silence and stillness, a blanket of tranquil calm enveloped me. The nightmare had ended, no more pain, no more suffering.
The twin glow of headlights from Lorna’s car pierced the rain and steam at my feet, spotlighting my limp corpse swinging like a pendulum at the end of the rope. How could I see them through the darkness of death? I was no longer an earthly being. I had joined the spirit world.
Lorna must have realized I had gotten up. She went downstairs, read my note and started searching for me. Was this what she was expecting to see? I don’t know, but I wish she hadn’t been the one to find me.
Distraught, she ran to my body, crying uncontrollably, and tried to free me.
“Jake, what have you done? Oh no, Jake! Nooo!”
Watching the torrential rain wash away Lorna’s tears hurt me so much. Her eyes were like two pools of pain and tragedy. She tried desperately to put the stool back under my feet to ease the pressure of the noose, screaming for help as she did so, but my wife was too late. The husband she loved was gone.
I reached out to touch Lorna, but my fingers went through her. My human life was over. My spirit life was about to begin, painless and filled with anger toward the people who caused my suicide.
My darling wife, you had no idea that as much as I wanted to be with you for eternity, my vengeful spirit now had a score to settle. I was being drawn to where my angst-ridden blood had spilled – deep into the Impala’s metallic soul…
Click HERE to read the Introduction of “The Road to Hell.”
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