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Exit



Estimated reading time — 6 minutes

I know this road better than I know myself. I know each of Interstate 85’s 250 odd miles; I know that it takes me an average of 3 hours and 26 minutes to drive west, from Charlotte to Atlanta, and an average of 3 hours and 29 minutes to make the same trip going eastward. I know the price of gas at a dozen stands, and the closing hours of each fast food shack and greasy diner. I know the curves of each low hill and I know each stand of pine and oak trees. I know the stretching dark of the long winter nights and the wet heat of the summer breeze. I know these things well because they are the totality of my existence now.

I know the names of each exit, westward and east. Batesville, Poplar Springs, Spartanburg. They tick through my head as I pass, but the Silver Creek Road exit is never among them. In three years of this endless loop, it has never appeared again. If I ever begin to doubt that it will, then I have nothing left.

The Silver Creek Road exit doesn’t exist on any map, or at least, it no longer does. It may have once, but like the road itself, it has been razed from the earth and from all memory and record. At the beginning, I spent long anxious days poring over old surveying maps and neighborhood planning documents, searching in vain for any sign of the road, or the exit I know I had taken. When there was nothing left in the libraries and city halls to comb through, no meek county official left to interrogate, wide-eyed and frothing, then I began the drive.

I’ve been through two cars, and have burned through my savings and now survive off a stack of rapidly vanishing credit cards. I have no address to receive bills, and no intention of paying, and have been filling my trunk with small plastic gallon jugs of gas, while the cards are still accepted. When this filthy and battered Oldsmobile gives up the ghost at last, I suppose I will have to learn to hitchhike.

I first took the Silver Creek Road exit three summers ago, on that last night that I was with Bobbie. I have in my head just a few frozen frames of that ride left, her black curls bouncing like springs in the evening breeze, her gapped toothed and freckled smile, and the slow summer crossing into night.

We’d made that drive together a dozen times, between our apartment in Atlanta and her brother in Charlotte. There was nothing remarkable that night. We simply ran low on gas and took the first exit we came across. I remember vividly passing beneath the green and sparkling white letters of the exit sign, and onto the sharp curve of the road.

The street turned perpendicular from the light and noise of the highway into inky darkness of the pine trees. Nothing remarkable to separate it from a hundred other country roads, but as the lights of the car penetrated the darkness, a vague and trembling unease passed through me. The tall rustling pines seemed black even under the blue white of the headlamps, and the road began to rapidly degrade, becoming pocked and uneven just a few dozen yards in.

All the roar and glare from the highway seemed swallowed up behind us, and there were no lights ahead of us for as far as we could see. My insides felt tight and knotted, and I turned to Bobbie. She had her skinny legs tucked to her chest and looked at me, quizzically, one eyebrow raised, with a small crooked smile. Her small bravery seemed to dissipate the chill that had been steadily rising in me.

I looked forward to the road, I felt a sudden sharp pressure on my chest. Stretching out in front of the wan light of the headlamps, the road ended. There was a small field of shattered asphalt slabs, and then the forest swallowed up every trace under a blanket of rotting pine needles. Something twinkled brightly between the trees, and I strained to pick it out of the darkness. It was the smooth chrome of a bumper, attached to a pitted and rusting car, completely enclosed by the towering pines.

A wave of panic and disorientation crawled down my scalp and my knuckles went white on the wheel. Bobbie placed her hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed once.

“Cal,” she said, firm and evenly, “we need to turn around now, honey.”

There was a tremulous quality to the last word, as the surreal darkness seemed to further constrict around us. I heard her take a little gasp of air. I began to turn the wheel when I realized how narrow the road had become. It had been two lanes when we started, I was sure of this, but the forest seemed to be pressing against both sides of the car, far to narrow to turn around. Blood pounded in my temples, and I threw the car into reverse. The boughs of the trees scraped against both sides, soft whispering scratches from the needles and the soft thuds of thicker branches.

Bobbie held her hand on my knee, calming and reassuring even as panic threatened to overwhelm me. I could see the highway moments later, a thin cloud of hazy illumination over the rise behind us, and the forest seemed to part like curtain. Bobbie released her held breath and giggled softly, and I felt a wave of elation wash over me. I turned to her to share relieved smiles, and I locked with her dark eyes when the siren sounded, once and sharp in the silence, and bright blue and red strobes flashed through window.

The police cruiser was parked in the center of the road, crouched low and silent like a predator. The familiar red and blue flicker bathed the street in weird crooked shadows. As I turned off the engine, there was the slam of a car door and I could hear the heavy thud of boots on the road, pacing towards us.

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The comforting normalcy of the sight of a police officer began to drain away as he approached in the dark. He carried no flashlight, and I saw his gloved hands hanging straight at his sides in the side mirror as he walked towards me. He was dressed in thick winter wear, with his high collar turned up, and his hat pulled low. He approached the window, and as he leaned straight from the waist to fix his black and beady eyes on mine, I realized just how thin and tall he was.

“License and Registration.” His voice was muffled and thick with a strange and choked drawl, almost unintelligible, and his lips seemed to move in manner counter to the shape of his words. The summer night air around him seemed to grow even warmer. There were no sounds, no wind in the pines, no chirp of insects.

I was mesmerized by the strangeness of what seemed, for all the world, to be an absurd imitation of a man. For the second time in as many minutes, I wondered fleetingly if I was dreaming. I could see now that he had no badge, and was simply dressed in unremarkable black clothes.

The overwhelming fog of dread and panic seemed to condense all at once around me, and singular animal command to flee, at once, drove my hands forward towards the keys.

He was quicker. One black gloved fist slammed into my temple, and a shower of stars exploded over my left eye, and the world tipped sideways.

I remember him dragging me from the car, the shocking heat in his grasp seeming almost to burn. I remember hearing Bobbie’s screams and seeing in dizzy glimpses her brief flight, before being swept into those inhumanly long and slender arms. One glove came off in the struggle and I saw the pale white hand, like an immense knobby spider, each leg tipped with a black and curved talon. The world swam around me, wild and burning, and I struggled to move my limbs.

Bobbie was limp in his arms as he approached me again, and I struggled weakly to my feet. Our eyes met in the red and blue strobe; he looked nothing like a man now, his once pale mockery of humanity was stretching and distending away into some unthinkable shape. He did a very human thing then, and smiled, lips peeling back to reveal rows of thin white needles.

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I was running before I knew it, bolting dizzy and weaving down the road. I was vaulting across the shoulder of the highway when my rational mind clawed it’s way to the surface. Coward! it screeched at me. My legs shuddered to stop, and sudden painful guilt flooded my lungs like fluid and stole my breath. Bobbie’s face loomed in my vision and I felt a profound and clear shame pressing down on me.

That’s when the car struck me, sliding on locked and screeching tires. I was tossed into the concrete median, striking the back of my skull. I woke up three days later, wrapped in plaster and flooded with morphine.

Gaffney, Blacksburg, Kings Mountain. The exits pass by, each one decreasing the chance of seeing Silver Creek Road exit on this go around. It was impossible to accept in those first few days of maddening research that Silver Creek Road had simply vanished, and so I made the drive myself, carefully reading each sign. When it failed to manifest itself, I made the drive again, this time at night. And then again.

Sometimes there’s a zen-like quality to the repetition, the familiar patterns of predictability and order. The immutable order of the land, the locked procession of towns and trees is comforting as it continues to grind my hope away like a millstone. Most days, I can believe and accept that Bobbie is gone. There is always that shadow of doubt, that crystalline thread of hope, but it feels hollow in my hands now.

There is one thing I must believe: if it appeared to us once, it will to me again. And if I can find it, that pale horror in a man’s skin, I will kill it. If the bullets fail, I need only a few moments to ignite the trunk’s cargo, and to lure murdering thing to the me.

I swear to the stars, I will never stop looking.


CREDIT: Josef K. / Cameron Suey

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103 thoughts on “Exit”

  1. I really liked this one. The protagonists eternal quest to right his cowardice. I would love to read a part 2. 8/10

  2. The protagonist’s drive to search is what inspires and awes me in this pasta. Having failed to do what was "needed" of him during that moment and losing that one anchor of stability and safety in his life has driven him to abandon all else to do what he feels needs to be done, or what he should’ve done. It’s almost like Silent Hill, imo, where the death of a loved one and the protagonist’s inability to "act accordingly" has stopped life for them and puts them in this "search till I die" kind of mode. I really enjoyed this, especially the present status of the protagonist. To us, the readers, it is almost undoubted that she’s dead, but to the protagonist, it’s kind of like a "I will find her, and if she isn’t alive, then I’ll go where she is because we belong together" kinda thang. Really liked this. Delicious pasta

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, well written and kept me entertained until the last line, which is beautiful and really shows his determination and resolve, I might add. Anything by Josef K is tasty! Great job :)

  4. It was a good story. But the first part of the story i was under the impression that Bobbie was a girl but in the second part you said “he” alot

  5. Cool story bro! In all seriousness, though, I really enjoyed this one, although I think your monster “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Slender Man” was a little bit unoriginal, but hey there’s only so many base humans fears we can exploit, and the rest is just so much carob.

  6. I’m more interested in the rusted car at the end of the road than in Slender Man’s turn as a policeman. How many times has this happened to other hapless drivers? D:

    And I thought of LesMis too. :P

  7. Bwwaahh, stupid haters that don’t like it because it’s “not scary”. Ah well, what can I say, haters gonna hate. But anyways, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. Sure it wasn’t scary, but look at how magnificently it’s written. I love how you used such top notch vocabulary <3

    Anyways, excellent job, excellent description, magnificent, magnificent job with grammar and spelling.

    <3

  8. its not slender man you sillies, its obviously a spider wearing a mans skin i mean come on \"silver creek road\" silver as in silvery spider webs, creek as in creepy crawlies and road as in deadly road of doom, not to mention those teeth, reminds me of one of those spiders that when they smiled at you all you could see was a grin with a mouth full of pointy needle like teeth, always luring you to a secluded place offering safety or riches

  9. Liked this very much, especially the section about the credit cards, it lets you know just how desperate he is. Reminded me of Stephen King. Very good read.

  10. Sounds like a modified version of Slenderman lol. This was pretty good. It was certainly well written. The second to last sentence is weird as hell. \"to lure murdering thing to the me.\" Other than that, I like it.

  11. Wow. I really liked this.

    I’m kind of a romatic though.

    Bobbie can absolutely be a girl’s name, people. GIS for the name Bobbie, first 20 images are all women. The name you’re thinking of is Bobby.

  12. okay, 1.) WHO THE HECK WAS THE COP GUY?! was he a ghost or what?

    2.) yeah, bobbie would be going a little too far on the ‘guy names being substituted as girl names’ list (if there was one) but i think it’s actually a cute name.

    …and did bobbie die?! did we make that clear and i just didn’t read it or something?

  13. Not all that creepy, but I live halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta and use I-85 all the time. Now I’ll be looking for Silver Creek Road whenever I’m on it at night.

    Also, I agree with El Boot, just have them stop in Gaffney, that place is creepy as hell.

  14. I live in that area, and it’s definitely easy to believe something strange is going on on some of those roads at night. Would have been much more terrifying if you just had them go to Gaffney, though.

  15. Not really in-your-face scary, but creepy enough for me.
    I do a lot of late-night driving and get lost for the hell of it; this one’s gonna stick with me the next time I wind up on a creepy road I don’t know.

  16. Amazing writing, but the climax and ending… yeah, no. Freaky weird monster thing? It almost has no relation to the mysterious disappearing exit. Too cliche. Re-write please.

  17. Very well written, but the man monster… thing was a bit cliché. It would be better if the forest itself somehow attacked them. Or you know, something along those lines. Or is that overused too? I dunno, it’s hard to write an original horror story I guess.

  18. i have noticed that many creepypastas that are belove the average in quality tend to repeat the same words to express some concepts. here, the part where he describes the creature and when he enters into the road seem to be written using pieces from other low quality creepypastas.
    but still, it is decent until when he mentions the silver creek road.

  19. I don’t really like open ended pastas like this one. They never give me a real sense of closure. They rob the creepy factor.

  20. Did anyone else get an Other Mother-ish vibe from the Cop?
    Seriously, all I could picture was Her dressed in a winter coat.

  21. I doubt Josef K reads his comments on here, considering he has his own site where he posts his stories. Either way, excellent once again Josef. Your stories are always top quality, and this was no exception.

  22. THEN WHO WAS STARS?

    Yeah, that last line took me out of it, if only because of Les Mis parallels (I got your back, JCMichaels). But overall, written extremely well.

  23. This is what this story felt like:

    A big guy challenges you to a fight, and you expect to get punched so hard you’ll shit out your face, but when he punches you it’s got all the force of a mouse.

    Change the ending, or maybe even make a sequel if you can do it well, and i’ll go from 7.5/10 to 9/10.

  24. The last quote ruined the whole story for me. D:

    Seems like a pretty big mistake and it’s now obvious that you didn’t proof-read.

    T-T

  25. Wow, I really liked this pasta, until the quote “and to lure murdering thing to the me”

    That little mess-up ruined it for me, but other than that, I enjoyed quite well.

  26. first! also josef k has once again impressed me. its nice to finally read a good pasta after the shit streak we had going there. thank you josef k!

  27. I’ve noticed that many commenters have been saying that stories like these are not ‘true’ creepypasta, and that ‘true’ creepypasta is short and vague.

    I’m not going to turn this into a big argument about what ‘true’ creepypasta is. But I will say this:

    I liked this story. It really seemed to convey the narrorator’s desperation well.

  28. Pretty good and creepy. Finally, a pasta that I have to click “Continue Reading” for. The inhabitant of the Silver Creek Road – the ersatz human-shape – is especially frightening.

    1. too long?? are you freaking kidding?? you must not read that much.. cause if that’s too long you should see the other stories on this site

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