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The Twisted Black Scar

BY BRANDON HOOKS

Saturday, March 12, 2008, was supposed to be everything opposite of what officially went down that horrible night at approximately 8:23 p.m.  Residents would talk about the unfortunate and sinister circumstances for years, and speculations would rise like a soul ascending into the heavens to meet its maker. To the ordinary, honest, hard working God fearing person, there just didn’t seem to be any reason or logic to the brutal murders. It all took place on Highway 231 – a long, lonely road that cut through the south-southeast quadrant of the state, like a twisted black scar, connecting Montgomery to the towns of Troy, Enterprise, and Brundidge.
 
When one thinks of crime scenes, Highway 231 is not the location that comes to mind. The open expanse of land between Montgomery and Troy is sparsely populated, serene, and beautiful. The people that live there are people of virtue:
quick to help their neighbors, and basically serene. But on March 12th, 2008, my wife and I drove through that open stretch of country and she never came out again. The first unfortunate soul to receive word of Lori’s death was her best friend of 6 years, Melanie. The mystery of why we never made it to Enterprise to meet her for her engagement party was solved. The word of what happened was phoned into her by none other than the person telling you this story right now. I am writing this from the comfort of my own home; six months after I managed to find freedom from Tuscaloosa’s Bryce Mental Hospital: an institution where they wouldn’t allow pencil or paper.
 
I am sitting in the love seat that Lori gifted me with for my thirty-third birthday, almost a year before our busted passenger side window would progress into her violent passing of this world and into the next. I sit, void of the very
love that gave me this piece of furniture, and gathering my courage to write to anyone who will hear the story of my wife’s sad and cowardly slaughter. If anyone will hear, let me tell you what occurred the night one of the biggest news stories ever to pummel the state of Alabama was set into motion.

March 12 : Lori placed her soft, gentle hand on my right thigh as we approached 80 mph down the long, dark, stretch of Highway 231. Her eagerness to get there was painted all over her well-crafted facial features, and it didn’t seem to her as if I could go fast enough. She kept pressing me to apply the accelerator, but I had to remind her that the deer were feeding off on the shoulder, and there wasn’t a light of any kind ahead of us, besides our own headlights. There was darkness everywhere.
 
“Honey, are you sure you are going fast enough?” She pushed.

I sighed and answered, “Baby, I can’t go any faster. I have already just passed two deer on the right.”

“I know you have to go the speed limit. It is just that I am excited, and I want to get there, so that I can finally cut loose a bit, and show her all the support she has given me during the difficult times in our relationship.”
 
I nodded my head in agreement, but deep down I just wished and prayed that she would not open up that can again. I wasn’t overly confident that I could bear the brunt of anymore guilt and criticism. To turn the attention away from this potential inevitability, I pointed up ahead to what appeared to be a car driving down the highway in the oncoming lane without his
headlights on! “Baby, look at that idiot up there. He doesn’t have his headlights on.”
 
Lori shook her head slowly, and then said, “Flash ‘em. They’re being a jack butt, so flash ‘em.”

A battalion of butterflies raced throughout my gut as I placed one of my left fingers on the headlight trigger. In the midst of this feeling in my stomach; a voice, (that now I am sorry and condemned forever for disobeying) whispered from the bottom of this butterfly heap, “Keep on going.” Normally, my wife was wise beyond her years, and usually when she advised me on certain things, she was always right, as the old feminine phrase has put it for quite some time. Well, what she was telling me to do at this present time would prove to be her demise.
 
Like a complete idiot who seemed to have lost all ability to think for himself, I glared at the inbound shadow missing headlights, and I flickered my lights on and off, hoping he would notice, and ignite the lights to avoid a potential accident later on down the highway. The oncomer was gone into the night, racing past me at what had to be about 85-90 m.p.h.
 
“What did he do? Did he turn ‘em on?” Lori questioned.

I peeked into my rearview mirror. The driver finally came to his senses, and applied the headlights, revealing more transparently just how fast he really was traveling. It wasn’t too long after he lit his car up in the night like the glory of God lighting up the darkness and sin in a wicked soul that he managed to find a median and turn his car around towards the road we were traveling on.
 
Okay, let me stop right here for just a second and catch my breath that has been filtered out by a vivid recollection of the moments just after the oncomer turned his car around.

I remember looking into the mirror, and noticing him pull into the median, without slowing down! I stared in amazement through the mirror and watched as the blinding eyes of his headlights shone directly at our car. Lori saw the driver turn around and watched as the car approached at high speed.

“Honey, that car is coming up on you fast. What is he doing?” The words were like a whisper to me. I didn’t respond. Again---, “Baby, are you going to slow down, or are you going to change lanes so he can just go on ahead of you?”
 
“I think I will change lanes, and see what he does next.” I answered with defensiveness mingled in with the mounting concern in my voice. I steered the car into the left lane and gave him all the territory he needed to pass me, but the strangest thing next to happen was what sent the night downhill towards the terrible, like an enormous snowball barreling towards a small town with terrible consequences. I wasn’t even completely in the left lane and regaining full acceleration, when the car was already on top of me, as if he managed to analyze my thoughts from behind his wheel.
 
“Okay, I don’t know what this jackbutt is doing, but he better just go on and pass us and quit being an asshole!” Lori raved.

Fear was pounding the walls of my chest like a high school band student pounding on a bass drum. Before I could even contemplate my next move, the driver’s car hit us from behind, causing Lori to jump in her seat with eyes so wide open in horror, they looked as big as golf balls, and almost as white. My teeth chattered beyond the grip of control, as if the spirit of a person caught underdressed in below freezing temperatures had commandeered my body, and needed me to feel what they felt at freezing.
 
I slowly said to Lori, “Baby, I think you need to call the police. Stay calm and get somebody out here to help us. It doesn’t look pretty!”

By the time my excited mouth completed the sentences, the creep that hit us should have either driven away or killed us by now.
 
“The phone doesn’t have a signal, baby!”
 
My head jerked down to her cell phone that was being held in her lap by a quivering right hand.

“Baby that phone has got to work. Keep trying! This prick has got it out for us, and I don’t know why. Just make sure to get a signal!”
 
A lonely tear trickled down Lori’s cheek slowly as if searching for the others, and desperate for companionship. She looked at me, eyes still open as wide as they would go, and said, “Let me try your phone.” I handed the phone over to her, and to the horror of both of us, the phone suddenly perished under the weight of a dead battery.

Then it all seemed to happen in one second --- from the time of the hit, to the moment Lori breathed her last breath. Our car began to fall ill, and when I attempted to stand on the peddle to regain speed, it was as if I were standing on a large rock, and trying to get it to push downward. I guided the car to the shoulder, and went ahead and prepared my heart, soul, and mind for the unlawful murder of Lori and I. The next thing I can barely remember was a violent blow to my head, and then a deep sleep for what seemed like an eternity.

When I awoke, as if from the dead, a big, dark, man with a black ski mask stood hulking over me in a universe of mean, psychotic darkness that almost appeared as if it were swirling, like smoke being perturbed by the elements. The man
standing before me, who I knew without evidence of a doubt was the one that hit our car, kept a lantern to his side. Streams of light picked out patches of visibility, to the point where I could see an army of tree trunks everywhere.
 
I was strapped to a tree, and Lori was deceased on a tree to the right of me. I didn’t know what to feel at the moment. I was numb, and way too cautious and afraid to let the monster see me cry over her death. I was more than likely minutes away from seeing her again on the other side, so what was the point?

My God, just let me die quickly and with as little pain as possible, I thought to myself.

I prayed the killer would not permit the lantern lights to show her face. Only God knows the terror that punished Lori at the time of her murder. I can recall the whites in her eyes when we first got hit from the rear, and now her countenance was conspicuous within the darkness of the woods off Highway 231. There wasn’t a single trace of activity in the woods where I was held captive, and my wife lay dead. The atmosphere was as calm and silent as space.
 
The giant who had to be at least 6 7” in height, walked up to me with the lantern dangling from side to side, kicking dirt and leaves as he approached me. I shouted at him, “What do you want from me? Why are you doing this?” The giant chuckled. I shouted again, “Answer me damn you! What do you want from me? Look, you have already killed my wife. Why must you take another life? Why could you have not killed me instead of her. She did nothing wrong, but yet you savagely killed her! What have you to say for yourself?”

The giant chuckled again, but the sound of the laugh was down to the very bottom of his throat in the level of deepness, instantly giving confirmation that the killer was indeed a grown man, and not some homicidal kid. The silence was broken as the giant spoke in the stillness of the night. “The name’s Scar. Yours is? No --- wait a minute--- I know what your name is. Yeeeah, your name is Dead Man. That’s it!”

Scar withdrew his mask; there wasn’t anything sane, and humane behind it. He had a long, black, scar on his right cheek; a scar that was very much twisted like the details of his mind. The gruesome black streak ran zigzagged down his right cheek like a twisted interstate pushing through the state of hell. He held up the lantern to his right temple, revealing a pair of sockets that had two of the blackest eyes I had ever seen, mounted in them.

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