I needed a large poster frame, and Kingsville couldn’t adequately provide me one. Those at the local Walmart were plastic, and looked rather cheap, yet those at Hall of Frames, though certainly impressive, were far out of my price range.
A quick search online revealed that other Wal-Marts sold better looking poster frames, just not in Kingsville. The next closest was in Alice, Texas, and I had an evening to make the drive.
Alice. Does it seem a name that would inspire terror?
I’d heard the stories, of course, of grey skies and dead eyes; a town and its denizens existing, somehow, without hope. Yet these tumultuous tidings concerned me little, fool that I am, but how could I have truly known?
The way out of town was opposite that I usually travelled. It should have given me pause; madness is the mirror of normalcy, and I tread its reflective depths with the carelessness of infantile ignorance.
The starless sky and endless road seemed to stretch on infinitely, and as I drove I felt a sourceless and cold disquiet sink into my being. The infrequent street lights, how they shone with a sickly light, and the rolling hapless hills off in the distance seemed to close in all around.
I was the only one on the road, yet I could feel hungry eyes upon me.
When I arrived, I realized that the simple discomfort I’d felt during the ride over was tantamount to the comforting embrace of a welcoming mother, compared to the disturbing destitution of Alice’s darkened streets.
They were as empty as the city’s soul.
My GPS lead me down one bedimmed avenue after another, left, right, left, then suddenly notified me that I’d arrived. The nighttide had somehow become more still, and the utter murk of the surrounding expanse lead me to infer that this wasn’t Walmart.
How did I escape? I remember not. What had lead me to this tenebrous territory? A combination of madness and dark power. Am I making too big deal out of a late night road trip and wrong turn? Perhaps.
I eventually made it to the the Walmart, bought my frame, and journeyed home. Yet since that day I have not lived without the terror of my experience in the silent serpentarium that is Alice.
And I am constantly watched. The eyes, the terrible hollow eyes!
The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!