A few days ago, my partner in crime and I decided we needed an adventure. Being a balmy Saturday, it was clear that going to some claustrophobic bar was out of the question, we needed a road trip. We needed Midgetville, or so we thought.
Getting directions wasn’t difficult, I
know somebody who knows somebody who pointed us in the right direction. Easy as the ride may have been, as soon as we pulled up, I knew there would be trouble. We had heard rumors of psychotic circus freaks squatting in the houses, and cannibalistic mutants, and several times been warned not to stop for fear of angry locals shooting at us or throwing rocks.
The sun was setting as we drove the windy country road and by the time we got there it was getting to be dark in that weird hazy summer way. I dropped my purse on the floorboards and locked the door. Who knows what terrible things would get into the car while we canvassed this strange and foreign territory? It could have been like Chuckie, where he hops up from behind the guy’s seat and chokes him with a wire. That scene is why I checked the back seat of my car every time I got into it for years. Sometimes I still do.
This is about when things got weird. I was entertaining the idea of looking in the window of this little domicile when I heard it- scampering, and possibly laughter. Not children’s laughter, either, this was low and menacing and too diffuse to pin down directionally. My partner and I looked at each other doubtfully, as if to say, “You didn’t just hear that too, did you?” But he did, we both heard it and we both knew that whatever was out there could see us, but we couldn’t see it. Or Them, and we we separated from the car by about a midget-sized block of houses, all blind curves and chest-high windows. This was Not Good.
We backed up slowly, each trying to pretend we hadn’t heard the pitter patter of deranged little feet and inconspicuously circle back to our car. On the way back, the little houses, which had previously been darkly whimsical, took on a more ominous appearance. Small hand prints marred the paint on a few houses, about waist high, brick red and smeared lightly. We hadn’t noticed them before, and I didn’t point them out now. The prints weren’t raised from the paint, but indelibly etched the way fire layers creosote on the top of a cave. Someone or something has obviously been there; and they had dirty hands!
The scampering followed us until we made it to our car where I managed to take this one last photo. This one was clearly inhabited and it looks like people have brought offerings of flowers and swinging benches to the door. I suspect the leaders of the tribe dwell here.
As he started the car, a large black truck rolled into view from behind one of the houses, crunching the gravel as gravity pulled it into the center of the road behind us. It must have been in neutral, because the engine went from silent to roaring as it tailed us off the property. When we hit the main road I turned back to look, but the driver, his head barely over the steering wheel, stopped at the gate and turned the lights off.