When I was around 8 years old, my mother told me of a spooky story from her country called La Carreta Loca (The crazy wagon). My siblings and I crowded around her, our ears ready to listen and our blankets pulled to the tip of our nose like a shield.
The story tells of a crazy wagon that haunted a road near my father’s house. Every night at midnight a wagon perpetually rounds the same road. People in my mother’s small village said that any person who walked the same road as the wagon at midnight, would go mad. One glance, one sound, and your being will transport into a never ending, painful delusion followed by physical illness. My father claimed to be a victim of such horror.
As we cuddled next to my mother, my mother smiled as if enjoying our fear. She continued with her story:
My father came back from and eventful, drunken night at his friends house. It was close to midnight and he decided to walk back to his house, even after his friends insisted on a sleep over. He walked the road, stumbling here and there. When the arrows hit 12, the wagon began its journey. My father came to a stanstill when he heard the crunch of wheels on gravel. He looked back, but the mysterious fog did not allow any image intake. He quickened his pace. The graveling sound became louder. The fog begun to disappear. He dare not look back. He continued his usual pace. The rumbling sound synced with his footsteps. Step. Step. Step Step. He glanced to the side and saw the wagon. He stumbled down with fear and the wagon came to a halt. There was nothing pulling it; no animal or human. He described the wagon to be antique, rusted, and covered in debris and webs. After seconds of silence, the wagon continued the path. My father did not remember anything after that. His mother claimed that when he arrived home: his body fell into a deep fever, he mumbled his words, sweat drenched his clothes, and his eyes bulged and red. His mother layed him down on the bed and tried to calm him, but it was futile. My father dwelled in an unreachable dimension. His mother said he was on the verge of death. After a long night of ritualistic cleansing, his fever subsided and his cognitive responses reached a normal state. The next morning he awoke, bewildered and with no memory of his bewitchment.
My mother said that my father never walked that same road at night again. He was a changed man; he was never the same.
As my mother concluded the story, the sound of the wheels crunching the gravel haunted my head
- What if the wagon is a weird alien?
- Why didn’t the wagon choose a different road?
- Is the wagon trapped?
- Does it like being there? Alone?
During that time in my childhood I didn’t think much of the story, but I have to admit that it did scare the shit out of me. Out of all the spooky stories my mother told us, this one stood out the most. Now, as I think back, I think the reason it stood out was because I found similiarities between the wagon and the men who abused me.
Like the wagon…
- They harmed others with reasons unknown.
- They chose a path and never steered away from it.
- A predators’ mind is puzzling.
- Solitude was their advantage.
Throughout the story, my mother kept repeating
The wagon without a rider
Is the reason behind the wagon’s insanity void? If it had its rider, would it still have chosen the same path?
Did my abusers choose a path because they lacked something in their life?
The feeling of void is powerful. It drives humans to a depth of desperation, but does that justify a predator’s actions?
NO, IT DOES NOT.