For those of you who have read Nightmare Express you’ve seen the cover of the book. It features a black semi. I wondered what made me go with that idea and finally it hit me the other day while looking at that book cover. A black semi was the cause of one of the scariest nights of my life.
Years ago, while making a trip to Florida with my baby daughter and my mom we had made it to the panhandle of Florida and Interstate 10. We rain into a storm that was enough to make anyone nervous, but things got worse and I’m not talking about just the storm.
I made the mistake evidently of going around a black semi. It was creeping along, and I do mean creeping, so I went around it. I didn’t do anything aggressive, or at least I don’t think I did. Remember, I still had my baby, who at the time was about thirteen months old, and my mom in the car with me. I’m not stupid and I have always taken being a mom seriously. The thing is, the driver of that truck evidently didn’t like it when I went around him.
Next thing I know that ass was on my ass. He was so close that if I had stepped on my brakes for any reason you could have kissed mine, my mom’s, and most importantly my daughter’s asses goodbye. Yes, he was that close. I thought he was going to simply go around me but that wasn’t the case, he simply stayed on my butt. I put up with this for miles before I decided to speed up in spite of the storm which had gotten worse. He stayed with me. I finally moved over into the other lane, the one where you usually go around someone, and quickly slowed down so he had to pass me. Afterward I got back in the outside lane and stayed there. Now it was also night so that only made things worse as for as the conditions regarding driving. Anyway, I now thought I was OK as for as the situation was concerned. It wasn’t. I passed an exit and sure enough there was that truck sitting on the off ramp, yes it was the same one, and when I passed, he pulled out behind me again. He didn’t run right up on me again, but he stayed behind me. If I sped up any, so did he, if I slowed down, again he did the same. By this time the storm had gotten worse.
I finally decided to take a chance and the next overpass I came to I pulled in under it hoping the storm and the semi would pass us. Neither did unfortunately. The truck pulled over less than fifty feet behind me and sat there. True it could have been the storm that cause him to pull over, but it wasn’t. In spite of the storm I pulled out back into the downpour because my mom was beginning to panic over the truck. She was starting to get Gina upset, who had been angel through this whole trip. The truck pulled out and started following me again. This time he began to pull up closer on my rear as he had before. I was done.
I waited until he was close enough to me so that he couldn’t anticipate and do what I was about to do and once he was close enough, the first exit I came to I swerved at the last minute, no blinkers and no brakes, and took that exit. Yes, I took a chance but at the time I honestly felt it was the only one I had. The sound of that air horn followed me as I made it up to the road I had exited onto. I had no idea where I was, but I managed to figure it out. We managed to make it to our destinations without further incident. The one thing I didn’t do was get back on Interstate 10 that night. Yes, I was a little later getting to where I was going, and by the time I got there the family members we were going to visit were concerned but we got there.
I don’t know what was going through the mind of that truck driver that night, but I know he was up to no good. Don’t get me wrong. The vast majority of the people who drive those things, are good decent people, but like everything else, there are bad apples in every barrel and that bad apple contributed to the most terrifying night of my life. Not only did he put my life at risk that night but the lives of the two people I loved most in the world.