Horror Mystery Funny

Riding back home to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Got out of the city tonight as I took this long road surrounded by tall pine trees, on my way to Mama's house to join the fiesta with my familia

"Next song is brought to you by DJ Kartel. Celebrating the birthday of American singer-songwriter, John Denver." I turned up my car's radio volume and shouted with full spirit as I heard the guitar playing from this iconic song. "Almost heaven... West Virginia..." I sang along and my fingers started tapping on the steering wheel, following the slow beats of the song. "Yeah! Life is old there... older than the -- Oh! For John's sake, what now, buddy?" I complained when the car made a rumbling, popping noise and began to slow down. Groaning like a lazy lion, I slammed the steering wheel but accidentally pressed the car horn. "That was loud!" I said, covering my ears, "I need to go home, buddy, come on!" 

I turned the radio off and the song faded away. "In the middle of this dark road where people are busy celebrating the end of the year... You made a stroke of bad luck for me, buddy." I picked up my phone from the seat next to me and dialed my big brother's number. "Jose?" I called.

"Oh? Silyo? Where are you? Mama's getting impatient, couldn't start eating 'cause of your late ass, brother," he said. I scratched the back of my head and replied, "Bad luck got me, Jose, my car is dead."

"Dead? Oh! Mama... it's Silyo."  

"Jose, no, no! Don't give the phone to Mama. Brother? Jose?"

"Silyo! Did the diablo killed you?" Mama yelled that shocked my heart near to death.

Rubbing my eyes, I sighed and looked at the back of the road then to the front, not a single savior can be seen in this place. "Mama... the diablo is my car. I need Jose to come and get me. Mama, please, give the phone back to Jose --"

"Estúpido. Get out of your car and walk back home!" My Mama doesn't like her sons to be late at every family gathering. To be whipped or to be early is her deadly rule. "Mama, Mama... give me the phone." The voice was vague but I know it's Paolo's thick voice, I'm saved! "Silyo? It's Paolo, where are you? Jose told me to get you 'cause he's busy with his kids."

"Great timing, Paolo. I am stuck somewhere on this long road leading towards the old church. I think I am 30 to 35 kilometers away from it, Paolo."

"Aye, going now. See you, brother, keep those lights on." That was his last response before he ended the call. The works I did this morning and the long drive plus this damage, jusmio, I haven't taken a proper rest. I turned the radio back on and waited for a good song but it's nothing but the DJ's new snooze album. I kept my car lights on for Paolo to easily see me and pick me up. Mama will smack me in the head for sure once I arrive. I leaned my head to my seat and waited for Paolo but then I noticed a white light, slowly approaching my car. 

I opened the car door and went outside while waving my hands at him. "Paolo!" I whistled and his motorcycle's speed increased. "What the -- Demonio!" I screamed and tried to open the car door but this wicked-looking deer stomped on my car hood before I got inside. I backed away and trembled in fear. The deer looked at me, standing on its two feet, and furiously exhaled while shaking its head. Oh, Mama! Those are long, sharp antlers and it's freaking covered with dry blood.

The deer slowly put its two feet down to the ground and looked at me with its bright eyes. "You're a good deer, I know..." I whispered, trying to tame it down. Every time the deer comes close, I took one step backward. "Calm down, amig --" The deer dashed into me but before those antlers pierced to my chest, I didn't notice that my feet were on the edge of the road. I rolled and rolled and landed on a surface where rocks and roots are bulkier than I thought. I could've died if my head smashed into one of these.

I couldn't stand up and all I can do is lay down and endure the pain for a while. It's hard to catch my breath but I must recover sooner before the deer find me. I tried to lift my body and used the tree close to me as support. I looked around but I can't see the road, my car, or the deer! There should be a slope where I rolled but the land was flat and all trees. I tried to stand up and hugged the tree for a moment until I was able to walk. This place looks like limbo. Thick trees, huge rocks, foggy atmosphere... just like Mama's make-believe horror stories.

"All of this is just a coincidence, I know that Mama loves joking when telling tales. I am not dead, not yet... ugh..." I groaned and walked slowly towards the direction where I believed I fell and rolled over. I kept walking and walking but it seems like an endless path. I have a feeling that I landed in this spot, what the heck is going on. But I can't give up so quickly so I continued walking while using each tree I walk past as my support.

"Hold on... I can't take this anymore," I whispered and look around. "It's the same spot I fell and landed upon. Curse this night. I thought Mama is the scariest thing I have encountered for 26 years but this --" I paused when I remembered Mama talking about a curse and being lost in the woods.

Lost somewhere far and you keep coming back to the same spot, turn your clothes inside out for you to get out of that loop and break the enchantment.

I didn't hesitate to take off my clothes and wore them inside out. "Oh, Mama... I hope you're correct on this --" My body froze as I heard something. It's the deer. It's the freaking deer. I can't even close my eyes when I try to turn my head around. My face squinted when I saw a bright light surrounding the figure of the deer. The deer was standing on its two feet again, or so I thought. My hands blocked the light but as I heard heavy steps, I pulled my hands down and saw the deer rushing into me.

I ran and ran and stopped breathing. I looked down and saw the antler bathing in my own viscous, fresh blood. The deer jumped and jumped while I am hanging unto its antlers. I only felt the pain when the deer threw me to the ground and my face smashed into a huge rock. 

"Silyo! Silyo!" someone called while feeling the pain of its palm, slapping onto my cheek. I grumbled indistinctly and quickly opened my eyes. Holding my chest, breathless, and straighten my back. I looked to my left and saw Paolo smirking. "How can you sleep when you're car window is open and stuck in the middle of the road? Come on, hermanito, the family is waiting for you, and turn that boring radio off."

My eyes are wide open while checking my whole body. No blood. I rubbed my face and felt that my cheek is very warm. "Did you..." I looked at the mirror and checked my face. "Did you do this to me, Paolo? Did you slap me a couple of times? Look at my red cheek, it's almost bleeding!" I looked around me, still catching my breath. Jusmio, that deer and all was just a freaking dream.

"Stop crying, Silyo, hop in now! Leave the car, we'll fix that tomorrow." Paolo called that forced me to turn off the radio and unbuckled my seatbelt. I got out and picked Paolo's extra helmet, I stared at it for a while. "Did you saw a deer, brother?"

"A deer? No, why?" Paolo asked while starting his engine.

"Dreams nowadays seem so real," I mumbled.

You'll know that you're close to Mama's place when you can smell the lechon. The loud engine of Paolo's motorcycle attracted the attention of my tiyos and tiyas. I got off the motor first then walked up to the porch where Tiyo Celo is standing. "Mamang Fe! Paolo and Silyo are here!" Ayayay, Tiyo Celo called my Mama right away when they saw me. I went inside together with Paolo and Tiyo Celo then walked to the dining area.

Jose and Maria, his wife, saw and approached me to hug me. "And finally, we can eat everybody!" Jose shouted that made everyone laugh and gather around the long rectangular, curved corners dining table. They were really waiting for me.

"Where is Mama, Jose?" I asked while greeting my other relatives.

"Silyo!" I looked up the stairs and smiled wryly to Mama. "Happy New Year, Mama," I greeted and everyone went silent as Mama walked down towards me. Mama held both of my cheeks and pull my head down to kiss my forehead. "Happy New Year..." Mama smiled then flicked my forehead, "Bastardo, take a sit so everyone can eat now!"

"Sorry..." I whispered to all of them and took a seat beside a woman. A new face, a beautiful one, a distant cousin, perhaps? "Hey, my name is Silyo, I haven't met you. What's your name?"

"Reda..." she answered and her voice is very shy that I almost didn't hear it. 

"Ah..." I nodded and was about to turn away from her charming face but I noticed something behind her earlobe. "Is that? Is that blood?" I asked while pointing at it. She instantly covered it with her long, brown hair and chuckled nervously. "It's a stain," she said.

I was silent and waited for another response. I mean... that's it? A stain from what? I didn't ask more questions and listened to Mama's greetings then prayer. We began eating this homey feast but Reda seems to be on a diet. "You don't like it?" I asked while pointing at the soup, "It's very healthy, Mama's best soup."

"No, I'm fine," she refused.

Some finished eating rice and started digging in for the desserts. Some took a rest while I sat beside my niece and nephew. "Mamang, tell us another story," Chiquita requested which awakened some of my napping tiyas and tiyos.

"Mama! Mama..." Paolo called and smirked at me. What did I do now? "Silyo had a nightmare while he was sleeping in his car then he woke up, pale and frightened, and asked me if I saw a deer!" Everybody giggled, laughed, smirked in disbelief. I looked away and picked up a mango from the fruit basket.

"Ay, Silyo... Have you all heard the tale of the Woman Deer?" Mama began but I don't want to listen. "The deer looks for a man to lure them to his death. Woman body or deer body, you never know. My great-great-grandmother was very angry at that Woman Deer because she killed her husband. My Mama said that Woman Deer brings justice for the innocent, ha, brings death in the old times instead."

"Ayayay, Silyo... you should be careful," Paolo teased. "Silyo here is the bad boy, charming but a wussy." My tiyas and tiyos laughed but went silent after I stood up. "Shut up, Paolo. I was only dreaming, Mama... Don't listen to, Paolo." I said and walked to the kitchen to avoid Mama's weird and boring tales.

After we lit the fireworks and jumped at twelve o'clock for the new year. Everybody rested until the clock ticked at two and started leaving and going back home. My brothers went inside their old rooms while Mama took Papa to their room for his daily medications.

I was about to close the door but there is one guest left. It's Reda. "Reda? Are you okay?" I whispered and waited for her to wake up. She was sleeping, looking like she has a fever but when I touched her forehead, it's cold. Her eyes slowly opened and her body trying to stand up. I held her hand and back. "I'll walk you home," I offered and she simply nodded.

She kept pointing in the direction of where she lives but she doesn't seem to remember. "Trust me, my house is past this forest... can you see that sign and small path?"

I looked at it and whispered, "Yeah... We just need to follow that?" She just gave me a nod then I continued walking while carrying her arm around my shoulder. Minutes and minutes of exhausting walking, I gave up and told her to rest here for a while. "Just lean your head to that tree for a moment while I..." I huffed and wiped my cold sweats, "...while I figure your way back home and my way back home... jusmio."

If she wasn't beautiful and pitiful, I would've let her go home by herself. "Are you... ah... sure that this is the path to your house, Reda?" I asked while looking around the place but she didn't respond, "Reda? Are you really certain... that... this..." As I turned my head back to her, half of her body turned into hooves and the body of a deer. My sense of dread grew as she slowly walked towards me, standing tall with her dark, diabolic figure. So it's true. A bright light surrounded her as she raised both of her front hooves above me then...

"Oh, deer..."

Those were my last, breathless words before being bloody trampled by the Woman Deer.

July 22, 2021 04:44

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