old truck was displayed in the lot at the corner of Wilton and
Main, the one where Ham Boyer ran his wrecker service out of.
Its front end was bent and twisted. The truck`s windshield was
smashed and its roof caved inward.
had towed it in earlier in the evening. Townspeople had been coming
to look at it all night. What was strange was that Saul himself
was unaccounted for.
wreck was reported by passersby out on old Hinson road near the
old fallen down house where the Hinsons used to live, and the
Sheriff had called for the wrecker. Ham had not wanted to go out
there in the dark to tow it, as that was an eerie stretch of road
and there used to be unusual stories circulated about the Hinsons.
sheriff had waited while Ham had hooked up and pulled the old
truck out of the brush to the highway. On the way back to town,
Ham was comforted by the patrol car's headlight beams behind him.
Hinsons were long gone, but the talk about them lingered on .
was said that the Hinsons were never seen out and about in the
daylight and that they were night owls who liked to wander after
dark. One day, the mailman noticed their mail piling up, and when
he went to investigate, he found their living room full of closed
coffins. Yeah, full of coffins, Ham had heard. The postman had
said that through the Hinsons' front window, it looked more like
a funeral parlor than a living room.
the time that the sheriff had arrived there, there was no one
to be found about the old place. They had never returned and the
house had slowly fallen down about itself in disrepair. The gardens
and lawn became overgrown and tangled with kudzu vines and blackberry
briars. On the stretch of highway near the old house, people often
reported seeing walkers who mysteriously seemed to disappear as
the vehicles approached. It was always at night.
had been several accidents on the hillside there. Strange thing,
though, the drivers and their passengers were always missing,
abandoning the wrecks and leaving the scene.
Benjamin wasn't one to play games. Where was he at?
Ham wondered. Sure, Saul liked a brew, but he wasn't taken to
wandering off. He wasn't home and had not reported his truck stolen.
The shape his truck was in, if Saul had been in it when it crashed,
he would still be in it. The fire department had had to pry the
doors open. Saul had been nowhere to be found.
was not far away, and it came early to the Hinton farm, it being
on a hilltop. In the waning darkness, Saul Benjamin's screams,
which were coming from the old Hinton fruit cellar, were just
beginning to die away, as the last of his blood was being eagerly
drained from his body.