Jason had heard the stories about the Man with the White Face ever since he was eight years old. All the kids in the neighborhood warned him about the guy. Jason was twelve now, old enough to know what an Urban Legend was and old enough to know that kids make up things. Even still, every time he pedaled his bike down Burt Drive he’d ride just a little faster. Burt Drive was a suburban plan, housing development two streets over from where Jason lived…. It was also the stalking grounds of the Man With the White Face.
Jason who had been known as Jay to his friends was exceedingly bright, he got all A’s and B’s on his report card even though he hardly ever opened a book. He loved Math, which had been a subject that had always come naturally. Part of the reason that he didn’t believe in the urban legend was his above average intelligence. Jay was smart enough to understand that if a killer had been on the loose in his neighborhood the police would patrol the area more often. He also occasionally watched the news and had never heard of a murder or a body showing up in his neighborhood. Come to think of it, would his parents even allow him to ride his bike around if there really had been a sicko snatching up children.
The story was the same one that is probably told in every neighborhood. Heck, the parents most likely spread the rumor so that their kids wouldn’t be out causing havoc after dark. As far as Jay knew the rumor had been around since his dad was a kid way back in the seventies. Infact, Jay’s dad used to tell the story around the campfire when his family would go camping at Cape Cod every summer. He’d always start saying, you might not be able to sleep after you hear this. Jay knew it was his Dad’s job to frighten them and he’d pop out shining the flashlight in his own face and laugh like an evil psychopath “MWAHHAHAHAHA.” Jay and his sister would scream and then they would all laugh for what seemed like hours, it was fun.
The real story, or at least what Jay had heard the real story was started in the summer of nineteen seventy six. Supposedly some guy had been thrown in Long Lane Asylum for the Criminally Insane for murdering two kids who trespassed on his lawn. During a huge thunderstorm a tornado or some really strong winds hit the town. The power went out at the Asylum and somehow all the cells opened, the guards spent the night rounding up the inmates and re-locking the electric doors. The next morning though, one patient was missing, he had jumped the fence when the electricity was out. The fence had always been a zapper, but because of the storm it wasn’t. Rumor has it that the man cut his face off on the razor wire on the top of the fence. Supposedly the guards found his nose and portions of his skin attached to the teeth of the razor wire. They followed the blood trail, but it led into a river and they wrote him off as dead.
Later that year two children went missing, one early in the summer, one just before school started. It’s usually only two and they are never heard from again. The cops must think that the children are simply runaways, but it seems that every year two children from the same neighborhood go missing or that’s what Jay’s friends told him. The most common theory amongst kids is that the guy had to put some kind of balm on his face to treat the painful scar tissue, or that he paints his face white to hide the scars. They also have supposedly heard stories that the wacko takes the two children and eats their hearts, it keeps him young, but he needs two hearts per year and they have to be from children. It’s some kind of witchcraft or sorcery. Another theory is that the man actually died in the River that night and that it’s his ghost that comes back every summer to take kids as revenge. Jay never believed that one, he didn’t believe in ghosts.
So as he rode his bike along his eyes moved up and down the rows of houses, checking between them, behind them and in the vacant lots that bordered them. Then he saw it. At the end of the block was a station wagon, it was a 1970’s style family cruiser with imitation wood paneling and lime colored, high gloss, painted corner rockers. Rust had eaten it’s way through the wheel wells and the tires looked bald. He stopped and put his feet on the ground. Jay felt like his heart was in the back of his throat. Sitting behind the wheel of the station wagon was a man wearing a black wool hat. His eyes were also black, not just the irises but his entire eyes. His face was stark white, like a blank piece of printer paper. Jay couldn’t see a mouth, but he imagined that if it was there it would be smiling. He turned the handle bars on his bike and started pedaling as fast as he could in the opposite direction. He heard the car engine start and the screech of tires. He knew the man was behind him, gaining with every second, but he didn’t dare look back. Jay could feel the car, he could feel the air being parted as it drew closer. He could feel the heat of the engine. Jay pedaled his BMX till the veins in his legs felt like they were full of lava. He was spent, but he had to keep going, the engine was revving and it sounded so close like Jay had been sitting on the hood.
Jay didn’t know what to do, if he stopped and confronted the man he’d be taken for sure, but if he kept riding the man would run him down. He could feel the bumper nudge his back tire, so he swerved to the bike lane and slowed. The man in the car slowed too, Jay could smell the fumes from the engine. He pulled to the side of the road and just let the bike glide slowly. The man stopped the car and sat idling in the street with the engine revving. He didn’t know if he should make a run for the woods. Jay was fast, but perhaps the idiot would be faster.
Jay heard the car door open, the stranger got out and stood holding the door.
“What do you want from me?” Jay asked terrified and afraid to look at the man’s face
“I want your heart.” The man growled.
“Oh god” Jay said fighting back the tears. “I need to call my mom”
“That won’t be necessary” The man said in a gravelly voice. “Your mom will know soon enough” Jay thought he recognised the voice, but he couldn’t be sure.
“Are you going to hurt me?” Jay asked timidly.
“Not yet, first we’re gonna go on a little ride.”
“I’m not supposed to take rides from strangers.” Jay said emphatically.
“You don’t have a choice.” The man said calmly, pulling the largest hunting knife Jay had ever saw, from his black coat. The blade reflected brightly in the sunlight.
Jay started to cry, he had been choking back the tears the whole time. “Okay, Okay.” Jay wept. “Just don’t hurt me.”
“Get in the back seat!” The man said harshly, as he threw Jay’s bike in the way back of the station wagon.
The brown pleather interior was worn and Jay could see what looked like scratch marks along the seat. The interior door handles had been removed, making escape nearly impossible. Fast food bags were crumpled on the dingy floor. They drove down Burt Drive and continued on to Maiden Lane, Jay lived on Maiden Lane and for a second he thought that maybe his mother would be out front trimming her Begonias. If she was he could try and signal her.
“Where are you taking me?” Jay asked hoping to distract the man with conversation.
“You’ll see soon enough” He replied.
“I have to use the bathroom.” Jay said.
“I feel for you” The man with the white face responded looking in the rear view mirror with his pitch black eyes.
The jackoff didn’t do anything, he just kept driving at a leisurely pace as if he had nothing to fear. Jay could see his house coming up on the left. He slid over on the seat pressing his face to the window. No one was outside and as the car passed Jay could see his mothers Volvo parked in the driveway. His heart sank as his chance slipped away. They kept driving and soon they were past the center of town heading south. Just past the townline the station wagon slowed and turned down a long dirt road. The road was rutted with dried mud and each time the tires skipped out of the rut the car bounced almost high enough for Jay to hit his head on the roof. The dirt road seemed to go on forever, winding it’s way through the woods up a small mountain. Jay tried to think about where he was, his boy scout troop used to hike in this vicinity. Soon the answer came to him, he was on the backside of Mt. Pisgah.
The station wagon soon stopped at a swinging chain link gate that had been tethered together with a chain and padlock. The man with the white face got out of the car and walked over to the fence. Jay was able to get a good look at the man for the first time. He was dressed entirely in black from head to toe. Jay wondered why no one had found the fact that the man was wearing a black wool hat in early June suspicious. Then again how many people had actually noticed the man waiting in his car on Burt Drive. The man unlocked the padlock and hobbled back to the car, Jay noticed the dickhead had a hitch in his stride, not quite a limp, more like a stutter in his step. He returned to the car and continued on without saying a word.
The car sped, bumping along the dirt road for what felt like another mile or so. Jay looked over the seat out the front windshield when they came to their destination. There sat a square gray concrete building with an antenna that reminded Jay of pictures he had seen of the Eiffel tower. Attached to the steel tower were radar dishes, they looked old and tarnished, but they were definitely radar dishes. The rectangular concrete windows of the building were barred with thick rusted rebar. It looked like a cross between a military prison and a cell phone tower. The entrance was a big square opening like a single car garage without the overhead door.
The man with the white face walked around to Jay’s side, opened it and tried to grab him, but Jay slid away on the seat to the opposite side of the car.
“Don’t make this anymore painful for you than it has to be.” He said in the gruff voice.
“Are you going to torture me?” Jay asked. He was terrified.
“You don’t know what torture is” The man snapped.
“Yeah, I do” Jay said hoping for a moment to slip the man’s grasp. “In my Call of Duty game the bad guys tie my character to a chair and punch me till I tell them where my unit is hiding.”
“You don’t know what it’s like to have four White Coats hold you down and cut and cut until the knife is so dull it couldn’t slice butter. You don’t know what it’s like to have the nerves severed so you can’t see or smell or feel.” he grabbed Jay by the throat and dragged him out of the backseat of the Station wagon. Jay struggled he could feel the man’s grubby fingernails dig into his neck. The sun was shining, but he could feel the world getting dark , so dark. Then within an instant the world snapped back into focus. Jay was dizzy he swung out with his hand, but the punch went right by the man’s face grazing the tip of his white nose. Jay looked down at his knuckles they were stained white. He had slipped away and wanted to run, but run where. The whole radar station or whatever it turned out to be was encompassed by a fence.
Jay couldn’t think of anything else to do so he just sat down on the ground crying. He felt like a chump, he wanted to be the hero, but there was no way around the man. The white faced asshole bent down and picked up Jay like he was made of paper. He carried jay under one arm towards the concrete mausoleum; it looked like an evil face with a toothless gaping square mouth. In his free hand he had the gigantic hunting knife, it appeared to be sharp, like even the slightest touch would draw blood. Jay screamed as loud as his vocal cords would allow, it felt so loud it hurt his own ears. He hoped that there would be someone out there a hiker, or somebody walking their dog. The man only pulled harder, he tore Jay through the opening of the building kicking and screaming. Jay stuck his hand out and grabbed for the side, but only scraped his nails achingly on the concrete.
The man pulled him into the structure and tossed him viciously to the corner like a rag doll, Jay hit the dirt floor and whimpered. The room was mostly dark and it stunk like when the farmers fertilize the fields with cow shit in May. In the center of the room was a stack of old televisions. The bottom of the pile was filled with huge square paneled models and they got smaller from their all the way up to the ceiling, where a handheld sat completing the pyramid. Jay thought there had to be a hundred old TV’s neatly stacked there like an art exhibit. The man started turning on plasting lamps on hooks, the kind you’d see mechanics use under the hood while fixing a car.
The tall white faced douchebag picked up a chain that looked like it was made by weaving plastic zip ties. He synched jays hands behind his back and attached the other end to an eyebolt in the concrete wall. With the lights on Jay could see that there were things written on the wall in Black spray paint. Most of the words and phrases didn’t make a whole lot of sense. From where Jay was sitting he could read “Brain-fry” and “The Third Gender.” On the wall behind the man the spray paint was in huge lettering it read “Communication Station.” Jay was petrified, there were scuff marks all over the dirt, he knew he wasn’t the only kid that had been in this position.
“What are you going to do, don’t hurt me please.” Jay yelled
“You’ll find out soon, I’m going to get one of your little friends.” The man smiled; his yellow teeth stood out like lemon flavored chiclets against his pasty face. Then He chuckled “At least you won’t be alone when the time comes.” The white faced stranger trudged to the entrance and slid a massive piece of particle board in front of the opening. Then he slipped out between the side, only looking back with that same sadistic smile. Jay was alone in the worst place he could imagine. His thoughts raced, he had never been so scared of anything before. He pulled at the thick plastic chain, but it wouldn’t budge, he was trapped and wouldn’t be able to get out on his own.