The road across the mountain at Hyders Gap is a narrow, one lane affair, with many switch-back curves, sharp drop offs, and blind spots. It is plagued, even on the clearest nights, with drifting blankets of mist and fog. Needless to say, it can be a perilous journey, even without the added distraction of any supernatural phenomena.
Years ago, a man and his wife were traveling homeward toward the community of Belfast on just such a foggy night, on this particular road. The fog was thick in places, and visibility extended only a few feet in front of the pickup truck's headlights. The fog banks caught the light beams, and tossed them back toward the truck, illuminating the hood clearly in the reflected light, seemingly endless, only to vanish as the truck broke through each bank into the clear mountain air.
As they slowly ascended the narrow mountain road, the damp quiet of the night seemed to filter into the cab of the truck, leaving an odd chill on its occupants, even on such a warm summer night.
Entering yet another blanket of fog, in a steep curve halfway up the mountain grade, the occupants became aware of a strange formation of fog clinging to the hood of the truck. Though the fog around them swirled and tossed as the truck nosed through it, this particular formation clung to the hood of the truck, taking on an oddly solid form.
“What is that?”, the woman asked, peering intently forward.
“I don't know.”, the man replied, slowing the truck's ascent even further as he tried to distinguish the form.
“That's not fog, is it some animal on the hood?, the woman asked, her voice rising nervously.
“No”, the man said. “It can't be. We would have heard or felt something landing on the hood.”
The truck slowed even more, as the man cautiously took a steep curve there in the fog.
Just then, the truck broke through the wall of mist into the clear night.
“My God!” The woman gasped.
“What in the hell?!”, the man shouted, his mind hardly taking in what his eyes were seeing.
“It's a baby! A baby sitting on our hood!
The truck came to a halt on the roadway. As the man and woman sat there in shocked, frightened disbelief, the small child, perched on the hood of the truck slowly turned around.
The couple gasped in unison. Slamming the truck in gear, the man plunged the truck forward into the awaiting curve, the fog there swallowing the truck and it's riders. This section of fog was very dense, and in it's thickness, the child perched happily on the truck hood vanished from view. It's smiling face and gently flowing gown swallowed in the thickness of the fog.
The truck once more broke through the final fog bank and found itself atop the mountain. The sky was clear,with stars twinkling merrily in the night air. The baby was gone. Only then did the man bring the car to a stop along the roadside. Shaking, he exited the truck and examined the hood of the car. Moisture clung to the hood, a gift of the passing fog. Its beaded trail was unbroken, and no physical evidence could be found of the little hitchhiker.
The man returned to the driver's seat. “Nothing there,” he said. “How could it have sat there and not left a trace?”
“Maybe we should go back and look for it. It was a baby, after all,” the woman said.
“No!”, cried the man, adamant.”Didn't you see,..it just wasn't right. The eyes…”
“You're right”, the woman shuddered in remembrance. “The eyes…let's go home.”
And so, the couple continued homeward, shaken and perhaps a bit guilty. But they could not, would not forget the child. The child with the glowing yellow eyes.
(This story was told to me by my aunt. The couple involved were her mother-in-law and father-in-law, who have pledged the story to be true.)
© Paulette Boyd
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