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Hazards in Buying a Used Car



Estimated reading time — 3 minutes

A 1998 powder blue Ford Taurus isn’t anyone’s choice for a vehicle, but it was what I ended up choosing at the lot. It wasn’t a bad car; not too many miles, recently replaced tires, and it was cheap. My only real complaint is that the previous owner had seriously gone overboard with air fresheners; the whole interior reeked of vanilla and pine. The dealer, real nice guy, said he was cutting me a deal. Told me that they were having trouble moving this one off the lot, explained that no one seemed to be interested. I guess I’m less picky than average, because the car looked fine to me, so a check and a handshake later I was driving home. That’s when the strangeness started.

I hadn’t noticed it during the complimentary test drive I had been given, but there was a lump in the padding of the seat, right in the small of my back. It wasn’t enough to make driving uncomfortable, so I assumed the foam was coming loose under the fabric and let it go. The car was a decade old, after all. For about two weeks I drove the car like that, to and from work, picking up groceries and stuff like that. The lump was pushed to the back of my mind, and I had pretty much gotten used to it. Then it moved.

At first I thought I was imagining things; foam padding doesn’t squirm around, obviously, and it had just been the slightest feeling on my back that set me off. But no, as I kept driving it became clear that the seat had shifted, it definitely felt different against my spine. At this point I thought maybe this is what was wrong initially with the seat; that maybe the loose foam had shifted when I first got the car. Once I got home, I decided, I would examine it in more detail.

By the time I got into my driveway the lump was downright irritating, so I hopped out of my seat and began to probe the fabric with my fingers. Whatever was in there, I quickly noticed, it wasn’t foam padding. The consistency was thicker than foam, almost gelatinous, and there was hard pieces inside it that felt almost like stone. I couldn’t make it out at the time, but the shape of the thing was familiar, too. Confirming my suspicions, I also noted for the first time a long seam in the seat that someone had stitched up. The previous owner must have stuck something in there. I hopped back in to take the car to the dealer and complain. This is the sort of thing a salesman should tell you, you know? Maybe they just didn’t know about it; I hadn’t seen it at first, either.

I was about halfway to the dealership when the thing in the seat began writhing around. Not a shift like before, but actively crawling underneath the fabric. If you can imagine the feeling of something worming its way across your lower back, you can probably replicate my reaction. The number on the speedometer doubled.

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I nearly ruined those recently replaced tires swerving into the dealership parking lot. It didn’t take long to find the man who had sold me the car, and even less time to grab him by the shirt sleeve and stammer out what had happened. He was surprised by my story but strangely receptive (more than I would be if some punk teenager started rambling about squirming car seats), and came back with me to the car, pulling out a pocket utility knife as we walked. As we cut the fabric of the seat open, the stench that spewed out almost literally knocked us back out of the car, but what we smelled didn’t make either of our stomachs turn nearly as bad as what we saw.

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Inside the seat, under the fabric, we found a half-rotten human hand.


Credited to Tekkactus.

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97 thoughts on “Hazards in Buying a Used Car”

  1. So the hand was moving around inside the seat? Either that makes no sense or it should have caused more to the story explain why it moved. Was it cursed? Guess we will never know.

  2. ended too quickly. could have made the last part so that when the salesman cut the seat, there wasn’t anything. the thing was hiding. and making it a hand was just too “dafuq”. should have tell us how the hand moved. but overall good climb but climax sucked.

  3. Very nice story, intriguing plot, but kind of a disappointing ending. That being said, I know I would have goosebumps If I were driving and I felt squirming in the seat behind my back.

  4. Man, I thought there would be, like a Demon fetus inside the seat, or somethin’ like that. I have to say, the ending was a bit disappointing for me. But, it was also written very well. I’d give it a 6/10

  5. good pasta yummy :) so did the previous owner murder someone then stuck the hand in the seat? or did the owner get murdered and the murderer put the owners hand in the seat…hmmm

  6. if the comments hadn’t spoiled me, my guess would be that was was in the back was some rat or something, but that wouldn’t be scary now would it?

    kind of good, but dead body in mattress is better

  7. Sorry mate, I give it a 5/10

    Had potential but as soon as I read “lump in seat,” I could piece that with the excessive use of air fresheners.

  8. I was expecting like writhing maggots on a chunk of decomposing flesh, or something supernatural. The end was kind of a disappointment.

  9. had potential but then it derp’d. all i could think was “HOW DOES A DEAD HAND MOVE” because really…how does it.

  10. NOOO THIS ISN’T HOW YOU REWRITE CHRISTINE

    YOU HAVE TO LIKE MAKE THE CAR HAUNTED, AND MAKE IT BLARE CARPENTERS SHIT AT RANDOM TIMES AND MAKE THE GUY WHO BOUGHT IT A TOTAL DOUCHE.

    …Wait, this isn’t Christine? Oh, shit.

    3/10 cause I was expecting the Blob and not a hand

  11. I liked this one, it was clearly a homage to the old black and white film (The Crawling Hand), in which a couple are murdered by a loose hand in an old car. Would have been better if the car from the story was an old 1960s classic convertible.

  12. Meh, not bad. Not great either. Am I the only one surprised that the “narrator” was a teenager? Something ’bout the prose made me think…middle-aged man….

  13. hand shuldve been spiders, snake, basicaly anything other than a hand. and lolz who w4z phone, it sounds like tht after u mentioned it

  14. i ruined the story for me by mistaking “hand” with “head” and having to read this again. not bad. i couldn’t see the ending coming, and i’m glad there was no “CAR SELLER FROM HELL” unoriginal twist in the ending.

  15. besides being predictable it was fine ^_^ good work. and @ Shelleh maybe it was a rather ‘plump’ hand from a rather ‘plump’ person? XD

  16. o i c wut u did thar

    well, the air fresheners clearly gave it away. pretty disappointing, if you ask me.
    and lol OHGODCOCKROACHESTHEYREALLOVERGETEMOFF

  17. Good story, a lot of suspense, but the ending was very disappointing….it ruined the whole story D:…..pretty uncreative….

  18. Would’ve been a lot better if the car had only been on the lot for a couple days and the insides of the seat had been a person, still alive, trapped inside the seat.

  19. Noooo, it had so much potential to expand into a number of things. Why did it just have to end at a rotten hand? In fact, why did it even have to be a hand?

    It was a little predictable at the beginning but I was hoping that it would develop into something even tastier than what i was anticipating ]:

    The ending killed it though.

  20. …I for one, am wondering how a half-rotted hand could move. Or maybe I’m misunderstanding, and author meant it was just moving around in the foam like it was squirming.
    I agree this is pretty old school and predictable. Still, not badly written.

  21. It was pretty predictable, as it was said before, but it was still good. Sometimes stories don’t need to have a crazy twist to be creepy. I mean, seriously, buying a car and finding a rotting limb sewn into the seat? It’s the stuff of nightmares – because it could really happen.

  22. wat.

    wouldn’t the car dealer of noticed the lump?
    and wouldn’t he of noticed the seam as well?
    and why would you put the hand in a car?
    couldn’t you just track back to who had the car first and arrest his ass?
    and who was phone?

  23. i like this, it’s pretty old school. seems like something they would put it those “scary stories to tell in the dark” books in elementary school.

  24. It was an OK pasta but I knew right away that it had something to do with a disposed body right after the air fresheners were mentioned. May order again.

  25. As others have mentioned, it was far to predictable from the earlier detail of the air fresheners. “Theres allota air fresheners, i think they are trying to cover up a smell. OH, a lump in the seat, hmm, i bet its not a body part, in fact im SURE its not a body part.” I didnt like the ending, feels like the original ending was erased and a crappy one was tacked on. I really feel like a dead hand was on the bottom of the list of good things that it could have been. This would have been much better, “Inside the seat, under the fabric, we found a half-rotten human hand. It had clearly been in the car for quite some time, but in the few seconds I had stared at it, i could have sworn i saw it twitch.” Not very well written, but if you reference its moving, the creepy factor would have gone up 2 fold, at least.

  26. I prefer this type of story when it turns out it was full of bugs.

    Bed is advertised as having “magic fingers”!

    Oh hey, heres a seam. I wonder why it’s kinda ripped and let-OHGODCOCKROACHESTHEY’REALLOVERGETTHEMOFF

  27. Good short story, but the twist was given away with the mention of the over abundance of the air fresheners. Still a fun read though.

  28. Nice twist at the ending – it’s unexpected, even though it fits the possibilities of what the “lump” could be.

  29. This is weird, it’s like the urban legends about The Death Car and Mr. Evil Hook-Hand had a baby. It is kind of creepy, but I’d say it would work better as a setup to a larger story than as a straight pasta.

  30. It was an ok pasta. From the way they first described what was in the seat, i figured it was going to be a hand, so the ending wasn’t such a wow factor as i hoped. However, it was still decent.

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