The Dark Passenger

I’d been a delivery man for years the first time it happened. It was a cold rainy day in mid-December. I’d had a delivery over in Village City. And just like every single week I went there, The local gas station Gas N’ Ride was busy. Cars swarmed from pump to pump; people waited in lines to get gas and goodies. I unloaded my truck with everything they ordered, gently tossing the boxes onto my cart, and I strolled in. One of the employees came out and held the door open for me, which, mind you, was one of the reasons I loved delivering to Gas N’ Ride. The employees there were just so much more thoughtful and nice than your average retail employee.

                It seemed immediate, but the moment I passed through the threshold of the gas station, it seemed like the rain became harder. More violent, even. The thunder boomed and I could hear the customers remarking about how strange this was for a December storm. Indeed, it was. I glanced out of the pristine floor to ceiling windows that were the hallmarks of every single Gas N’ Ride in the country to look at my truck and that’s when I noticed it. It looked as if someone was sitting in the passenger side, staring out of the front window.

                I panicked. I wondered if I forgot to lock the doors, or if for some reason someone broke the lock to my door to hop inside the cab and steal something. Mind you, I don’t keep any valuables inside the truck when I leave it to deliver product. I left my cart and speed walked towards my truck

                “Hey!” I screamed. Hoping that they would hear my voice and run away. I’d always been told my voice was ‘scary’ and deep, and now I truly hoped it was. ‘Get out of my truck!’ I continued, but they didn’t move. They didn’t even turn. They had no reaction. The people around me, though, did. They stared at me with confusion, as if somehow, I was the person doing something wrong. I got to my truck and then realized, that there was no one there. The doors were locked, no locks were broken. I waved it off as a trick of the mind, and then headed back into the gas station to finish the delivery. I got a quick signature from the receiver, printed out their invoice, and then left, embarrassed at the scene that took place.  

                The rest of that day went smoothly. I saw no strange people. I was 100 percent sure the doors were locked every time I went into a store to deliver product.

                Then, a month later, it happened again. This time, in Wilsonville. They have this local Grocery store called “Bags”. I know, it’s the dumbest name, but I once talked to the owner and he told me that the reason he wanted to call it that was because when you’re leaving is that you leave with….well…bags. He’s not wrong, but in my opinion, he could have used a little more creativity. Anyway, I backed up to the dock and began unloading product for the store, and out of the corner of my eye, I swore I saw my truck’s doors open and shut. I didn’t hear a sound, though, so, naturally, I assumed that my mind was playing tricks on me. I strolled into Bags; delivered, and stocked product and came back out. I still saw someone sitting in the passenger side of my truck.

                This time, I was careful not to make a scene. I strolled up quietly and peeked in the passenger side door, and there sat this figure. I couldn’t tell you what their face looked like, because, well…they didn’t have a face. It was black. But they were facing the front windshield, unmoving, and seemingly uncaring that I was staring at them. I knocked on the window and blinked. Just like that, they were gone.

                Despite my better intuition, I decided to chalk it up to exhaustion. After all, I had been working for nearly 12 hours at that point. I got into my truck and drove off. The rest of my day went off without a hitch, though at every red light I glanced out of the corner of my eye, wincing at the thought of the dark passenger sitting next to me…unblinking and unmoving.

                I finally made it back to the warehouse and prepared to unload my remaining product. As I grabbed the door handle and prepared to slide out of my seat onto the steps below, I saw it. Simply sitting in the passenger seat as it had always done. I turned to stare at it…and for the first time…it stared back.


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