24 Jun The People in the Old Yellow Car
“The People in the Old Yellow Car”Written by Dillon Corey Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available
⏰ ESTIMATED READING TIME — 12 minutes
My mother and I live in a relatively small Midwest town of approximately 10,000 people. In a town this small, it’s common to run into many of the same people during your daily routine, as people tend to take the same roads and have the same destinations.
Knowing this, it might not sound odd that, for the past month or so, every time my mother goes out driving, she sees the same car. My mother couldn’t tell me the exact year and model, but she knows it’s a small, shabby-looking car with a fading yellow paint job. She has never gotten close enough to get a good look at the people in the vehicle, but she says it is always two people.
But these details are unimportant if I don’t explain what it is about this car that’s strange. As I said, it’s normal to see the same people during your daily routine. But whenever my mother spots these people, they’re always coming from a different direction, and she always spots them at a slightly different time, so it doesn’t seem like they’re following a schedule.
Stranger still, whenever my mother has had to make any unplanned trips, she always spots this vehicle. A quick drive to the grocery store for some milk at 9:00 at night? They’re waiting at the light as she pulls out of the parking lot. A rush to the hospital at 3:00 in the morning after my sister broke her ankle? My mother spots a single vehicle on the way there, which happened to be them.
Now, this could all still be explained by coincidence. The human mind likes to find patterns in random events. A week ago, I would have said there’s a good chance that we could spot the same pattern with any other vehicle if we decided to focus on one. We do live in a small town, after all.
But now I can’t say that, after what happened last night.
While at home last night, at around 9, I got a call. My mother was in the hospital after being involved a fairly minor accident on her way home from one of her late-night grocery runs. I was reassured that her injuries were minor cuts and bruises and that she would be fine, but they wanted to keep her hospitalized for a bit to make sure she didn’t have any head injuries.
I went to the hospital to see her. When I walked into the room, she was awake and watching television, but I could tell she wasn’t focused on the show.
“What happened?” I asked. She jumped a bit in her bed, startled, and I apologized.
I was shocked to hear that the accident was her fault. My mother is one of the best drivers I know. Apparently she rear-ended someone pretty badly and ended up totaling the front end of her vehicle.
After she told me this, she began sobbing quietly. This was another thing that was extremely out of character for my normally tough, upbeat mom. I comforted her and told her it would be fine, but she said it wouldn’t. I wanted to ask how she had been distracted enough to rear-end someone, but I thought now wouldn’t be the best time.
I could tell my mother really wanted to get something off her chest, though, and she began speaking again. “That yellow car, those people,” she mumbled. “They passed me, and I turned to see if I could get a glance at who was in there, as I’ve never really been able to tell.”
My mother paused. Her hands were shaking violently. “I turned to look, and they both looked right back at me. But something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t right…” The tears came back again as she finished. “And then I slammed into the car in front of me.”
I was about to ask what she meant when a nurse came in and asked me to leave. She gave me a dirty look and I assumed she blamed me for upsetting my mother.
Fast forward about 8 hours and now I’m home, making a lonely pancake breakfast, waiting for my mother to be released. They want her to stay for a few more hours to be sure she didn’t get a concussion, or whatever.
Just now, I just looked out my window and I swear I saw an old yellow car matching the description my mother has always given me. I think I’m being paranoid at this point.
I don’t want to ask my mother what she meant about the people for fear of upsetting her. I’d at least like to wait till she’s released. I wonder if anyone else has heard of something like this before, or if it’s all just a huge coincidence. I’m probably just overreacting.
* * * * * *
It’s 2:38 in the afternoon.
I just returned from picking my mother up from the hospital. My mother asked me why I was shaking when I arrived, and I told her I had a cold to keep her peace of mind. I don’t have a cold.
About an hour ago I was sitting at home when there was a knock at the door. As you can imagine, I’d been paranoid after reading scary stories online and considering what my mother said about the people in the car. So before answering the door, I looked out one of my windows.
Parked outside of my house was an old car with faded yellow paint.
Now, any normal person would probably stay away from the door at this point. I had no idea who these people were and I still don’t, and I had reason to believe they could only mean danger.
However, I live on the busiest street in town, and with multiple cars passing by every few seconds, I had a boost in confidence. That, mixed with my curiosity about these people, led me to my front door. I put on the chain lock and opened the door a crack.
Standing on my front porch were two middle-aged women. Already the details of their appearances are fading. They were wearing cheap, generic-looking clothing and both wore a pair of sunglasses despite the fact that it’s relatively cloudy today. Both women had frizzy black hair that was graying in multiple spots.
I barely had time to take this all in before the one on the right said, “Is your mother alright?”
“How do you know where my mother lives?” I asked.
“We’re friends of hers,” the woman said, and she began to smile an abnormally large smile for a few seconds before her face suddenly straightened out again.
“You don’t know my mother!” I was surprised at how much I raised my voice as I slammed the door shut. My heart was racing, despite these women putting me in no obvious danger.
I heard another knock. I spun around and began yelling to tell them to leave my property when I noticed the women were both standing by the window, eyes glued on me. “Please let us see your mommy,” the one on the left spoke this time. Something about her voice scared the shit out of me, and I have no idea how to explain it to you.
I quickly closed all my curtains and yelled once again for them to leave my property. They knocked on windows and called out to me for a few more minutes, when suddenly, all the sound ceased. A moment later I heard what sounded like an old engine start.
I waited for a few minutes before I gathered up the courage to open the curtains of my front windows. The car was gone.
The phone rang shortly after, and it was my mother. She was released from the hospital and I needed to pick her up. Due to some medicine she took, my mom was out of it on the way home.
I was thankful for this, because as we passed a local gas station, I noticed the same yellow car pulling up to a pump.
So here we are, at home. My mother is currently sound asleep on the couch. I’m not going to mention anything about what happened to her.
I don’t know what it was about those women other than their bad sense of style which scared my mom so much when she saw them, and now I’m not sure I want to know. All I know is that I need to keep them away from her until I can figure out who they are and what they want.
I just heard my mom talking in her sleep, which she rarely does. I can’t really make out what she’s saying, except she seems to be repeating the word “dark.”
* * * * * *
It’s 9:58 am. I never slept last night.
Believe me, I tried. I curled up next to my mother on the couch to be sure I’d wake up if anything happened. I assured myself that getting sleep was important, yet my eyelids snapped open every time an image of that car popped up in my head.
I suppose I should consider this a good thing, or it might not have been me who answered the phone when it rang at around 6 in the morning.
I shouldn’t have answered it. I saw the Unknown number on the caller ID. Or maybe it was better that I answered it so they didn’t decide to show up at my house again. Either way, I picked up the phone.
“How is your mommy?” The woman’s voice who gave me chills yesterday greeted me.
My heart sank to the bottom of my stomach. I began shouting into the phone before I remembered my sleeping mother, and lowered my voice to an angry whisper.
“What do you want?”
My sentence had barely concluded before an incredibly loud, high-pitched noise blasted out of the phone. I quickly hung up and dropped the phone, my ears ringing and my heart pounding.
Immediately after I called the police and told them the entire story. They asked for the license plate of the car. I had nothing to give them. They asked what number they called from. Nothing to give them. They were just as confused as I was.
They promised they would have a patrol car pass my house regularly. But honestly, even if the entire police force of this town was patrolling my house, I wouldn’t feel safe at this point.
My mother thankfully slept through all of this. I thought about waking her up and telling her what happened, and maybe getting her to talk with the police, but I’m still not sure it’s a good idea to let her know this is all happening.
At the same time, another part of me keeps nagging that it will be safer for her if she knows.
There was just a knock at the door. I hear my mother waking up on the couch.
* * * * * *
I opened the door and was assaulted by the light of the sun. As my eyes adjusted after hours of darkness, I was greeted by a man around my age in a T-shirt, jeans and sunglasses.
“Hey, is your mom home?” he said casually.
A warning flag went off immediately in my head, and I was about to tell him to leave, when I heard my mother call from behind me. “Yes, one moment.”
She knew this guy?
My mother sleepily rose from the couch and strolled over to us, smiling warmly at the guy at the door. “Hello,” she said. It looked like she wanted to say something else after that but forgot what she was going to say.
“Hello, Miranda, it’s been a while,” he smiled dryly. “Mind if I come in?”
She looked at him. For a moment her face changed as if she was suddenly confused, but it quickly snapped back into a welcoming one. She opened her mouth to speak, but I knew something wasn’t right.
“Are you sure you know this guy?” I said loudly, not caring that he could obviously hear me. Both their expressions dropped, and my mom looked at me in disbelief.
“How could you be so rude?” she scoffed.
The man smirked and slowly swiveled his head towards me, sizing me up, before he turned back to my mother. “It’s fine. Now, may I come in?”
I slammed the door, and as I did, my mother made a little gasp.
“I don’t know him,” she realized. “I have never seen that man in my life.”
There was a loud knock at the door, followed by a young child’s voice that still has me shaking as I write this. “May I please see your mommy?”
My mother began crying and I didn’t stop yelling. “Get off my property! Get off my property! You are not welcome!”
I stood there holding my mother, my back against the door, until all the sound stopped. I heard a familiar engine sound and looked outside just in time to see a yellow car driving away. The patrol certainly did an excellent job.
I have no idea what’s going on. I’ve started spreading salt around all the entrances, although I don’t know if that will even help anything. I don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve given up all hope that this might just be some people messing with us.
My mother is in a terrible state. She hasn’t stopped crying and she has her face stuffed into a pillow. I’m going to go comfort her.
I think I might get us out of town.
* * * * * *
My mom eventually calmed down after the incident. I was considering ways I could approach her with my questions, but she actually ended up coming to me.
I was on my phone doing research when she approached me. “I need to tell you what’s happening,” she said slowly. I could still see the trace of tears in the corners of her eyes, but I could tell she was trying to put on her old, tough personality.
I asked her what she saw in the yellow car that night on the way home from the store.
She said that as they drove by her, she turned to look, and both people in the car – the women that I encountered, apparently – were staring at her. The streetlights were casting a glow bright enough to see their faces.
“These women…” she trailed off. “Their eyes were just… pure blackness.”
I thought back to the two women, and the man. They were all wearing sunglasses. I shuddered violently.
None of this shed much light on the situation still, so I asked my mother another question I’ve needed a good answer to. I asked her if she knew why she was being followed by whatever these things were.
She was quiet for a long time, before finally mumbling at a barely audible level, “Do you remember your father?”
I guess some of you might have been curious why it’s just my mom and I. Well, that’s because my number one dad decided to leave my mom and I when I was just a little kid, maybe four or five years old.
I was very young, so I told her no, I didn’t really remember him, nor did I want to. I had a slight edge in my voice because I had a great dislike for my dad, and I didn’t see how any of this was relevant.
“Do you remember what your father drove?”
I was riding in a yellow, ‘88 Cadillac with my dad to get ice cream from the local Dairy Queen.
I was running after that car as it pulled away without emotion, only to be swept up into my mother’s arms telling me everything would be fine.
“Why do they have Dad’s car?” was my reaction. I can’t believe I called him “Dad” after this long, after trying to forget him and everything associated with him.
“They don’t. I think they’re using your negative memories and energy to manifest,” my mother explained, and her knowledge of these words surprised me. “Or something like that,” she added, to clarify she wasn’t totally sure what she was talking about.
“I kicked your father out because of some of things he was dabbling in. Dark things,” she continued. “I’d always known he was interested in paranormal research, which was actually one of the reasons I liked him. I was intrigued by that stuff as well. But not long after you were born, he began taking things too far. He wasn’t just intrigued. He was obsessed.
“He spent hours at the computer researching demons and witchcraft. He’d often leave the house without warning to ‘do research.’ Sometimes he would just disappear for an entire night and come back in a strange state of mind. Not drunk, but dazed-seeming. I started finding strange notes around the house, and evidence of him doing some types of…” She paused, choosing the next word carefully. “Rituals.”
At this point I realized I’d been pressing my hand to my temple and staring out the window, trying to process everything as it was thrown at me.
“I told him it was too much. He was different. His personality changed completely. One night, he took you out for one of his ‘research trips’ without telling me. When he returned, you were both in that strange, dazed state. I demanded him to tell me what he did, but he refused. That was the last straw.
“I kicked him out. Packed up all his stuff and threw it out with him. He told me he expected this, which is why he took you out that night. He said that what he had done would reveal itself when you became a man.
“I had no idea what this meant, and I mostly forgot about it. Until shortly after you graduated, I began seeing this familiar car around town. I mentioned it to you and pretended it was just some sort of weird coincidence, when I really wanted you to be aware of it in case something happened to me.
“I was at the grocery store that night to pick up last-minute supplies. I’ve been stocking up for us to get out of here for the last few weeks. And that’s when I finally saw just what those things driving the car were.”
The last few minutes of the conversation were going slowly, as my mom had to compose herself after every few sentences.
“I don’t know what they are. I have no idea what your dad did, and what your or my connections are to these things, but we need to get out of here somehow.”
I finally interjected at this point and told her that as long as we were in this house, we should be safe, as the things couldn’t seem to get in without our permission.
So now we both have no idea what to do. Part of us wants to run, because we don’t know if it’s more than just these black-eyed things after us. And if it is just them, how long can we wait them out?
We need a way to get out of this.
Black-eyed people apparently need something from you and ask to be invited in. But why do they all keep coming to us?
I need help. I don’t even know where I should begin researching.
I’m very scared now. I’ve never been this afraid.
* * * * * *
I let one in.
It tricked me. It looked like my friend who I haven’t talked to since I graduated, and when he came to the door, I just completely forgot about everything that’s been happening.
As soon as I let it in, I realized what I did. I grabbed my mother and we ran to the bathroom and locked the door, and now we’re trapped in here.
I can hear it on the other side of the wall.
It won’t stop asking to be let in.
“May I please see your mommy?”
I don’t know what to do right now. There is no way out of the bathroom except by a window, and though we live on a busy street I’m fearful we won’t be safe outside. It’s still early in the morning and I don’t know what these things can do.
My mom’s laptop was in here, but I couldn’t grab my phone before we ran in.
My throat is sore from shouting. I let it in the house. It won’t leave now. I CAN’T GET IT TO LEAVE.
One is looking through the bathroom window now.
It’s staring straight at us. The window is 7 feet up, how is it at head level?
They’re both repeating in sync now.
“Can’t I see your mother, please?”
My mom and I are curled up repeating prayers and asking them to leave, but nothing is working.
🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available