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Black Eyes at the Station

Story originally from "Stranger West" book 3 in Stranger Bridgerland Book Series

From Andrew

My encounter happened in the early 2000s. I had never had any encounters with the unknown in my life until this strange night. This meeting left me questioning my belief in the paranormal.

At the time, I was a consultant living in Boise, Idaho. The company I worked for had me doing IT work in many small branches across the west. I would drive in (I never flew because my company was cheap that way), spend a day or so setting up software and training the employees, then head home. It wasn't too bad because I only had to pay my own living expenses when I was back. All my food and sleeping arrangements were paid for when I traveled for the company. I usually traveled away from home for 3 - 4 days, then I would have 3 - 4 days off. It was the perfect job because I like to travel, and I loved seeing the west.

It was May, and I had just finished up an implementation in Bozeman, Montana. It was Thursday afternoon, and my usual routine for that day would have been to go have dinner and a drink. Then generally, on Fridays, I slept in and headed home midmorning, getting home around 5 pm. However, this time, my friends were going to visit me at home for the weekend from Seattle, and I wanted a day to prep the house and shop for the weekend. So, I packed my bags up Thursday morning and checked out of the hotel before going to work. After finishing the day and saying my goodbyes, I hit the road.

It's roughly an 8-hour drive from Bozeman, Montana, to Boise, Idaho, and I knew the road reasonably well. I planned to be back in Boise by midnight or 1 am. I hit a snag in my plan as I passed a town called St. Anthony, Idaho. Just as I passed the town, I got a flat tire. I got everything out to change it myself but found my spare tire was flat. Aggravated, I called for a tow truck, and they brought me back to St Anthony. After 3 hours, I was fixed up and headed on my way. My next stop was Idaho Falls. I thought about stopping there for the night, but I wasn't exhausted. So I gassed up, grabbed a coffee, and returned to the road. Looking back, I regret not stopping for the night.

I would have generally stayed on the freeway headed south. Still, the gentleman who fixed my tire told me he had heard on his radio that there was an accident just past Blackfoot. So, I decided to take Highway 20 West. I had driven it before and knew the way without needing a map. The speed was slower, and I knew I needed to watch my gas gauge because there were fewer gas stations along that route, but I knew I didn't want further delays. Highway 20 travels through some very rural areas and passes just north of Craters of the Moon National Park.

It was getting close to midnight, and I was starting to get low on fuel. I couldn't remember when the next gas station was coming up. I was beginning to get a little nervous when I finally saw a sign for gas coming up. I pulled in and saw the store was closed. Luckily the pumps were on, so I pulled in. I started the pump and walked around a bit to stretch my legs. I was starting to get really tired and knew I wanted to push through to home, so I walked over to the pop machine in front of the store to look over my options.

It was a peaceful and cool night. As I looked over my drink choices, I got a strange feeling I was being watched. I looked up, and just to the other side of the road to my left, I could see two small figures standing just off the road. They were just out of the range of the street lights, so I couldn't see their faces or what they were doing. They just seemed to be standing there watching me. I quickly bought my pop and walked back to my car. I looked, but I couldn't see the figures from where I was pumping my gas.

I had just started to relax when I felt a chill behind me. I jumped as I heard a voice. A small girl about 8 or 9 years old stood behind me. She was about 15 feet away, and I couldn't determine what she said. I turned and asked her, "I'm sorry; what did you say?".

She didn't look up; she was looking towards the ground at my feet and said, "Have you seen my mother?" I looked at her in surprise. She was wearing an old-style dress and had long dirty blond hair that covered her face. I should have felt some compassion, but I had a feeling of complete dread come over me.

I told her, "No. I don't know your mother." I looked at the pump. I knew at a glance that I hadn't pumped enough gas to fill my tank, but I also knew I wanted to get out of there fast. I shut off the pump and quickly closed up my gas tank. As I put the cap back on my tank, I looked up, and she was only about 6 feet from me now. This shook me because she had to have moved quickly and without me noticing.

"Can you help us find our mom?" she asked in a soft sweet voice.

"US?!" I questioned?

Just then, a boy around 11 – years old spoke up from the passenger side of my car. "Could you drive us up the road?" He asked.

As I looked at him, I saw he also had dirty blond hair and older-style overalls. They seemed genuine and, at the same time, really creepy and eerily calm. I was scared to death. I opened my door and jumped in.

I started my car, then, suddenly, the girl was at my window, tapping lightly on it with her fingernail. I was too freighted to even look at her.

She said, "It's not far; please let us in."

I looked over at her; she was so close to me now that I finally got a better look at her. Under her dirty hair, I could see her eyes were jet black. I was too scared even to look back. I shook myself out of a frightened trance and sped out of the station. I

The rest of the drive was a blur. I made it home around 4 am. I'm not a big believer in dark beings, but whatever I experienced that night at the gas station was as close to evil as I ever want to come. As I've reflected on the experience, I wondered what would have happened to me if I had taken the children.

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