An Unnamed Terror

It was my job to feed the horses every night. Generally I would go down to the barn before or just as it was turning dark. I would go into the tack room and get some cracked corn for the horses in the stalls.

I would go in and clean the stall add some hay to their feeder and give them a bait of corn. I would make sure they had plenty of water, generally sit around the barn for a bit smoking a cigarette and just kicking back.

Some nights however, it would be later and well after dark before I hopped in the truck and drove down the lane to the barn. It was on one of these nights when the dread first hit me.

It was a moonless night, and I had fallen asleep after supper on the couch, I woke up late and remembered I needed to take care of the horses before going to bed, so I slipped my boots on grabbed my cap and stepped out to the pickup.

There really is no dark like a moonless night 50 miles away from any major town, and I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face as I fumbled for the key to turn on the truck. That was when the fear began. I was faced with an unnamed dread so strong that I was afraid to even look beside me in the truck even knowing there was no one there. I slowly backed out and turned down the lane and towards the barn.

The dread grew stronger every second as I slowly drove the quarter mile to the barn. I could feel my chest get tighter as I approached the barn and I felt a presence I had never felt before as I pulled up in front of the tack room.

The bravest thing I have ever done in my life was to turn off my headlights and get out of that truck walking over to the post where the light switch was located. Flicking the lights on didn't make the dread immediately leave, but it did start to slowly evaporate as I cautiously went about my chores. While I never have had an explanation for that terror, it is certainly a feeling I'll never forget.
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Dec 5, 2012