The '66 Demon stood in the driveway when he remembered that the brakes went out just an hour shy to this present moment right now. He looked over through the brake lines of the car, seeing nothing, not even a cut noir a break onto the line when Saddler itched his head and brought his attention up to the hood of the car that is boxed in shape with the circular headlights making the car look like an AMC Javelin but before the time of the AMC auto making corporation.
"I don't understand what happened?" Saddler thought, remembering the master cylinder that is under the hood when he thought that it failed some time before he pumped the brakes, speeding through the stop light intersection when he closed his eyes shut and fearing nothing but horror after the adrenalin ran through his system. When he opened them, he noticed that the car traveled three hundred feet with the light intersection in the green now; moving cars that he passed so recklessly that it made him feel more humiliated than ever before.
He tried the brakes again and they worked when the brake lights on the car came on, tilting the speedometer towards the point of bottom when he turned on the turn signal in thought before retrospect, turning into an abandoned truck stop that has been rusting away for the past forty years.
"Oh shit, oh god." Saddler said to himself when he stopped the car and got out, feeling the door weighing a thousand pounds when it hit the end of the hinge as the car door bounced back and closed after he jumped out and looked at the running car that is before him.
That is the weirdest shit I've ever seen in my life. Saddler ran through the many scenarios of past cars that he owned, never coming to this and never coming to the fact that a master cylinder could fail for one second then be fine the next. This prompt fault is all too much when it took him a long time to get back into that Dodge Demon, a '66 rebel machine from a period of time that is long forgotten in the minds of dead and old people. When he got home, he got out of his car with the keys still in the ignition and made halfway to his house, not knowing that the shoe laces on his left foot are undone when he almost tripped over himself at the sight of the car that gave him the heebie-jeebies from the get-go. The Demon sat there, cooling with the exhaust ticking on the cool air that is coming up through the bottom of the car. He waited for some train of thought to make sense of it all when the wind continued to blow around him, making him think of a true calling of what to do from this point out.
He couldn't think of anything else when he went inside and got on the phone with one of his grease monkey's that have worked on old machines most of his life, getting him on the third ring when a phone picked up on the other line.
"Burt. It's Saddler...listen, have you ever had a master cylinder go out on a car and then work like there is nothing wrong with it to begin with? Oh really...Impossible. Right...Okay...My car's master went out and then it started working again. It's the oddest thing. I'll think about it later but know I have to take 30 to check the brake lines running to it, okay...Later." Saddler thumbed the end call button on his phone and put it on the table, looking at the car through the dirty window when he waited for something that would make sense in his brain but would never come when the sun continue to shine upon this day when he did his thing. He looked at the brake lines running to the cylinder and concluded that there is nothing wrong when time passed to another tragic event to unfold.
Over the course of four months when the summer changed over to the fall, Saddler was working on his lawnmower in the front of his house. His birthday came and went and another grey hair sprout out of his beard when he re-routed a new belt to the PTO on the mower deck and checked the oil to make sure that there is still color in it, putting the dipstick back into the pan when he went to get the grease gun to grease up the bearings for the steering in the front. When he got back, laying down in the grass to find the greaserks, the Demon that sat in the driveway somehow came out of Park and started rolling over the driveway, popping rocks in the drive as the car gained speed as Saddler didn't know about it, working on his tractor with his viewing obscured from the car that is barreling down on him.
He didn't hear of the car until the distance is less than eighty feet, coming up from underneath the tractor when his attention turned from "work" mode to "scared" mode, dropping his mouth when he tried to get up from his spot when his leg locked. He strained a curse from his mouth when the car continued to gain speed, rolling towards the tractor when he felt the strength to hobble out of the way when the car impacted the tractor so hard that the mower deck underneath snapped from the rod that held it to the tractor, twisting the keys until they broke when the mower disappeared under the car that continued to move for another fifteen feet before stopping with the backend of the tractor bent up and the front of the car not having a scratch on it.
"Holy shit," Saddler cursed, spitting out the dirt from his mouth when somewhere in the car the open-door buzzer came on when he lifted his head upon the ground, getting up after he waited for his leg to let up as he hobbled to the car in wonder why the damn buzzer is going off in the first place. He went around it (afraid of touching it), opening the door and closing it. The buzzer didn't turn off when Saddler wondered if the button is broke inside the frame of the car when he opened the door and see that the button is fine, not even a bending stroke on it when he closed the door and the buzzer still blurred on inside the cab of the car. He moved his bum leg around the other side of the car, grimacing at the pain that is flowing there like firewater when he opened the passenger side and closed it, still getting the blaring buzzer on the inside of the cab when he thought of this being too crazy to be true, opening the passenger door to get underneath the steering column to see where the wire to that is coming from when the sound of it came close to giving him a migraine. He found the wire within three minutes and ceased it when he heard nothing else but the sound of his body shifting on the floorboard of the Demon when he sighed, hearing the sound of a tractor harvesting crops in the distance when he slowly crawled out of the car with a bad, painful look on his face.
When he closed the door he heard the sound of children inside the cab of the car rather faint like when he stopped and waited for the night sound that never came, making sure that he is not going crazy when he went inside to check to see if he has a wound on his head. When he finished, he decided to walk down to Kaye Wheeler's place that looks two inches shy of falling over on itself when Saddler looks at it, shaking his head when he realized that she wasn't home. He went back to where the Dodge Demon sat in his driveway, rousing to itch the back of his head that he can't soothe when he is too damn afraid to climb into the driver side window to fetch the keys out of the ignition. When he walked past the window something caught his eye, stopping in his tracks when he stepped back to look under the steering wheel when his eyes opened like curtain blinds tugging up to reveal the unbelief that is on the other side of it.
What he sees is the wire that he ripped in two back together again like it wasn't touched in the first place, dropping his mouth when he backed up before realizing that is back is touching the nearest tree that stopped him in his tracks when he looked at the box frame of the Demon and waited for the world to stop spinning in his mind. He waited and waited still before the darkness took fold and he left this world for darkness in a time that he realized when he woke up, feeling the cool of darkness on his skin. It is nighttime and his skin is burning with the touch. The mosquitos that came from the trees is feeding off of his blood when he felt that his back is screaming in pain when it took all of his energy to get up from the ground where he laid six hours or more. The Demon sat in silhouette when he felt his back scream like fire, going up to the house with a hitch in his step again when his knee felt stiff and his joints felt like they dried up in such little time when he passed out.
He was never a man to pass out when he went inside and got a drink of water from the kitchen faucet, drinking the cold water greedily when he heard the water go down the drain while placing the cup on the counter next to him in pretentious thought of doing it.
He remembered buying the car from a man named Bonnie Swartz that lives in Waco, Texas while passing through to deliver railroad ties that have been made in some plant in Pittsburg. He remembered the man's face when he talked about the car, buying it from a junkyard in Austin for just $3,000 and doing the labor of putting it back together again.
"I'll tell you that the engine block wasn't cracked when I bought the bitch three years ago. The block wasn't even cracked but I put her back together again like a butterfly that could fly again." The man whizzed his hands in the air to perfect that illustration when Saddler forgot the rest, standing in front of the kitchen basin with the faucet dripping off the last of the water that he poured just seconds ago. The wind through the open screen window continued to blow slightly when he left the kitchen to mosey over to the couch where he laid out, looking up at the ceiling while time seemed to march on in his head, minute by minute while he tried to remember pulling up to the man's house and remembering only pieces like a busted mirror that he is putting back together, piece by piece.
I remember his name. I remember the truck that I was hauling. Why the hell can't I remember the rest? It's like it was erased from my memory, piece by piece. Why? What kind of reason of forgetting is that?
He heard the sound of children's laughter outside his house when he jumped up from the couch, feeling the sweat come off of his forehead when he got up on his feet and ran outside to see where that sound is coming from when he looked every which way, feeling the mosquitos plunge into his flesh when he felt the small pain surface there, not slapping them away with the pretention of fear washing over him.
"What is that?" He spoke through the darkness when he heard the sound of children's laughter again.
Then the sounds ceased when he heard the sounds of crickets again, the sound of two cats fighting over scraps, and the sound of a water fountain going on the other side of the road in the middle of field country. The Demon still sat in shadows when nothing else yearned through the night in sound but the sound of thunder in the distance and the rain that followed it when the last thing that Saddler touched is the window cranks on each door of the Demon, closing it when he considered of walking to town tomorrow after work to look at some things in the library on the computer. He didn't have one at home, his computer that is in his bedroom is on the fritz. He went back inside in the middle of the rainstorm, hoping that the rain water doesn't drift inside and wet all the carpets when he crawled into bed with the alarm set on the clock and the rain soothing him to sleep, soothing him to sleep which sleep didn't come for a long time now.
The next day he worked 7 till 3 in the afternoon, getting out of the hotbox of a factory job with his sweat drenched shirt feeling cool in the hot sun that burned like an oven over the town that has seen this temperature every year. He talked to a couple of co-workers about the long week that is before them, drinking a couple cans of soda while the cicadas buzzed out from the woods and the mosquitoes suckled on the animals that are hidden in there as well when Saddler thought about the car that he didn't drive today.
He told most of them that the oil pump went out on the bastard and that was convincing enough.
So he started to walk after the conversations lifted up and ended (turning down the rides) when his foot caught on one of the large pebbles on the side of the road and winced at the jutted end pointing through the worn heel when he hobbled on his good foot and waited for the pain to subside. When it happened he got back on point and continued to walk into town, seeing the many banners for the Fourth of July Festival tacked up on kiosks, windows, and light posts in the downtown area where the library is. The post office looks deserted with not a single car in the parking lot, homing in on the dying breed of postal service that will be gone in more than twenty years when he continued to saunter down the side of the road that turned into a sidewalk that is more comforting.
When he got to the library, he felt the wave of dehydration washing over him when the door as he opened it felt like three hundred pounds as he tried to get his hand around it, barely succeeding when he crawled his way inside of it and felt the air conditioning that felt a little better on his skin that is no longer perspiring.
"Afternoon, Saddler. How was the dreg?" Alice, whom worked for the library for over fifteen years, asked when Saddler looked at her with those eyes that are feeling a little dizzy.
"Boring and hot,"
"Is there something that you're looking for today? "Browning...Barker...King...Matheson?" Alice ran through the list that is poised inside her mind.
"No, nothing like that," Saddler pointed at the nesting of computers that are in the center of the room.
"I have to use one of those."
"Sign up on the registrar on the desk." Alice pointed at the paper of names that are at the edge of it as Alice went back to her phone, burning out the desire of talking to Saddler when Saddler lifted the pen next to the paper and scrawled out his name on the open block with the computer number that he looked over the booths before putting it down and leaving the registrar to mosey over to the computer. He sat down and logged on, waiting for the timepiece to flash off the screen when the homepage opened to . He went to the address bar and typed in the search engine and pressed enter, going to the data site and typing in some other pieces of information that took over thirty minutes to hit and miss, hit and miss.
When he got what he needed he waited for the page to load on the local town news that came from Laredo, Texas. He humbled himself when he read the headline of the story that involved his senses that are coming to light upon the possibility of something foul underneath the chassis of the thing that is held in his possession. What he thought when he read the story is the thought of the voices that haunted him when he knew that there something wrong with the car after the first month of buying it, hearing the sounds of children laughing somewhere when the car is the thing that has been keeping him up at night, causing him to have nightmares of being behind the wheel of that beast that sits in his driveway at home.
He read it without pause when his mouth slowly dropped open of the image of it all:
Twelve people died in house fire. Verdict ruled arson.
Laredo - Sources believe that the fire that happened Thursday night on Jury Road is resulted in arson when fire chief investigator Jerry Neil ruled out the blaze to be caused by an insurance scam that resulted in three people dead and one in custody. 37 year old Wilber Tyler is charged with manslaughter of his family's death as he is awaiting trial at the Boxford County Jail with the arson charge still pending upon further investigation. Sources believe that Jerry Neil, a father of two children is a church going person who would never go to such lengths to ever hurt anyone before this horrible event has come to pass, rocking the small community that is tight knit out of the Laredo City Area.
"It's still unimaginable to even consider he did this." Delilah Rhodes, a neighbor of the Tyler Residence stated the day after the news broke about Tyler's charge of manslaughter.
"He would never hurt anyone and it is hard to believe that this would happen in his own power of goodness and pronounced will."
The trial of Wilber Tyler will begin next month on the 12th at the Boxford Country Courthouse where Judge Calhoun will preside over the hearing of this case.
The photos that are apparent to the story caught Saddler's eye when he zoomed in on the pictures and scrolled on them to get a closer view of the black and white of a house that is literally burned to the ground. The firefighters that responded to the scene of the fire were unspooling hoses from the fire engine that showed up too late to save the house when all they consider doing is putting out the flames before they ignite something else. They had their back to the photo as the responding police services sat in the background with the Sheriff County insignia on the door and the old fashioned gum drops lights that are above the car.
The picture is dated 1973 when something caught Saddler's eyes when he stopped and looked at the photo ever so carefully, seeing something that could be there and could not be there when he zoomed in on the far left corner of the picture when something flashed reason in the back of his mind:
Just stop, just exited it out and just stop it before you lose whatever mind that you have left. Don't become one of those people in the newsprint. Don't become one of those people!
What he saw is the uniqueness of brake lights that is only resembled a Dodge Demon's brake lights when he shut his eyes to make sure that it is still just the imaginings of his mind when he opened them and sees the lights of the car's back end again, making him feel like he is sick to his stomach from dehydration again. Then for a split second he sees shadows of little beings on the deck lid of the car when he sees that within their hands they held steak knives, holding them up over their hands like a sacrificial celebration that ensues when Saddler blinked his eyes and sees nothing anymore but the back end of the Demon that feels all too familiar.
He exited out of the website and back to the search engine hyperlinks, looking at the many blue font sentences that link to many happenings in the entire state of Texas that made it too coincidental to his problems. Maybe it is just a fluke, that's all. It's only just a fluke. But his eyes are still bright to the cause of finding out more of what have happened. For the many times of his life since he bought the car he had the brake lines fail, he had the brake lights fail that made someone else almost rear end him at a top speed of sixty, the car almost ran him over in his own lawn, The doors magically locked when he was stuck inside of it on a hot day for almost twenty minutes when the doors unlocked with the locking bars on each door did not move at all, and his lights failed at night while he was driving home, almost hitting a deer before he slowed down at a speed of twenty five miles an hour to get home.
What is weird about all of it is that the wires were not brittle or corroded to the connections or that the fuses are blown. Everything under the hood and in the fuse box is intact that made him feel odd about the car in the first place.
What the hell have I gotten myself into? Saddler clicked on another blue hyperlink and waited for it to load on a computer that is way past its technological rate.
Four hours have passed when Saddler checked himself out off of the computer, not saying one word to Alice when he stumbled out of there with a look of finding out that his mother and father died in a house fire the night before. He looked back at the doors of the library, considering of the possibility of what he should do from here on out when the coincidences of finding something near to him is too much for him to declare peaceful in a phase of finding out that the same car that is in his possession maybe responsible for the deaths of twenty three people in Texas.
Saddler started to hyperventilate when he placed his hands upon his knees, trying to get his breathing back in order when the custom made movie in his head played out the images on a cut together reel over and over again when the Dodge Demon is in every single picture that he found on the internet. It has to be the same car that they owned when he also figured out that he never went to the county courthouse to look at the past owners that have the car that all died in many circumstances of fire, tires, and believable influences that could be the lack of judgment at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The sun in the atmosphere went behind the clouds when Saddler got his fruition back and tried to walk down the sidewalk that felt like walking on feathers when he hit the asphalt of the parking lot and almost fell on his face. A car backed out of the parking stall from across the vast space when Saddler made reasoning with action on some demeanor that could only resemble "The Twilight Zone". It took all of his energy to walk from the library and it took him an hour and a half to get home.
When he got into the driveway, he noticed something is off with the car when he sees that the passenger side door is open and the screen door to his house is unhinged. He stopped when the wind picked up, brushing the fields that are waist high with fine weeds swaying to and fro. The sound of a lawnmower can be heard in the distance and the sound of children laughing could be heard as well. Saddler got the energy when he saw the shadow that is sitting in the passenger seat, sucking the air into his teeth when he started placing one foot in front of the other to the sound of the buzzer buzzing in the cab of the car that he didn't fix since he pulled that wire in half. He was halfway there to the car when he thought of the house fire, a quarter of the way there when he thought of the car accident, and almost there when he thought of the victim that is pinned to a tree by the same car that is in the photo when he heard the buzzer getting louder and louder still.
When he got to the door he knelt down, smelling the strong scent of congealed cream cheese mixed with the musty smell of wet blankets that have molded a long time ago with the sourness that made Saddler's eyes water when he caught a hitch in his breathing to the sight of someone in the passenger seat of the car.
He never met this person before with his eyes glazed over and the bottle of booze in the crotch of his lap, looking over his hood and no sound of his breathing coming from his open mouth and nostrils when Saddler poked his fingers in and felt the carotid artery.
What he felt is true. What he felt is death wash over him in his life that felt so weird at this present course right now.
It took ten minutes before the police car showed up, twenty minutes before the E.M.T. arrived with their lights and sirens on and thirty minutes before the coroner showed up to examine the body with the conclusion that is ruled out by the officer at the scene, the E.M.T at the scene and the coroner that will need all three signatures on dotted lines by the end of this proceeding. Saddler sat on the porch as the officer asked him the questions about the time that he arrived; did he know him before, etc. etc.?
Saddler asked without hesitation with the things that is running in his head like wildfire that is burning his life away of normalcy, one inch at a time.
"Can you say that the victim arrived before you showed up?" The officer that arrived at the scene says. The nameplate on the right side of his chest reads, OFC. Deenue.
"Yes. I don't even know him, if that is what you think. I even had the doors locked." Saddler remembered the locks on the door pushed down when everything else cluttered his derision of thought that is spiraling down the crapper.
"How long were you away from the home?"
"All day, I work from 7 'till 3 in the afternoon and I was at the library for a couple of hours. Alice Graves saw me there; you can get a statement from her while I'm being tagged as suspect no. 1."
The officer didn't say anything when he continued to jot stuff down on his Apple Tablet, wrapping up when he looked at the car that is still sitting in the driveway with surrounding people scoping out everything from head to toe on the car that is the ideal for a death that is probably going to rule out death by alcohol poisoning.
"My uncle used to own a car like that before he burned to death inside of it. It's a hell of a thing to own a Demon when they truly are ugly from the beginning. They found out that he dropped a cigarette in his car when he passed out drunk behind the wheel in front of a bar that is always went to on a long, cold night. The bastard was so drunk that he probably felt nothing." The officer spoke in tones of remembering something in retrospect as his eyes waivered to the past that Saddler couldn't follow when he felt the porch steps on the palms of his hands.
I'm being targeted for the death of some bastard that crept up on my yard. If I get rid of the car then it will look all too suspicious for the authorities that will think that I have something to hide. What am I going to do? I can't sell this Dodge Demon to another person? I know what power it holds.
Out in the distance around the groupings of police cruisers, Saddler could faintly hear the sounds of children's laughter, sounding like the laughter of two children when Saddler listened on to the way of the wind as the Demon had some control over the existence of all of it. The laughter haunted him in the night when he thought over and over again to the car that is in the drive and the two children that sat in each bucket seat with bald heads and Demon eyes looking at the foundation of a house that delighted to the interest of torturing the victim more now than ever.
They didn't speak when they played their games as the Demon sat in the drive long after the first murder and before the next murder that is in the grasp of two terrible children and the Demon that exists.