By: Sarah Adams
I am writing this just off exit 378 on highway I5 somewhere in the middle of California. It is 4:00 am, and my sister and I are alone surrounded by complete darkness. AAA is still 45 minutes away, which would be fine if we weren’t alone with the strange green light in the field next to us and the mysterious car pulled over behind us.
Fall break has not gone as planned. After some bad luck with flights earlier this evening, my sister and I started the drive from Los Angeles to Oakland, CA in an effort to get her back to school Monday morning. We embarked from LAX around 11:00 pm tired and unprepared for our projected six hour road trip. By 1:00 am I was so tired that I was afraid I would fall asleep at the wheel. We had to pull over for a nap in a gas station parking lot and re-embarked at 3:00 am. As we pulled away from the gas station, I noticed our fuel was low but assumed we had enough to make it to the next gas station. I was wrong. An hour later, we had five miles of gas left and ten miles until the next gas station.
I write am writing this out of gas, just off of exit 378, at 4:00 am. The only light is from the two street lamps that illuminate the off ramp, and we are pulled over quite out of range from them. Far off on the horizon, there are various amber lights from homes. However, in the dark my sister and I can see a green light that is somewhere in the field much closer than the other amber lights. It goes off. A sickly orange light illuminates some shapes that are indistinguishable. They are large and abstract. My sister is convinced it is the light from a fire, but it does not flicker and goes out as quickly as it came on. The lonely green light stares at us again. We try pulling closer to the street lights and get comfortable while we wait for the AAA agent to arrive.
We’ve been here for approximately 20 minutes. A truck pulling a trailer of wooden pallets pulled off the highway and parked across the street behind us about 30 yards in the exact spot we moved away from. They have turned off their lights and are just sitting there. We are both sitting here is silence. I feel completely exposed in this darkness with this green light and strange car watching us.
Our jolly AAA rescuer arrived and give us enough gas to get to the next gas station. I was glad to have the extra light from his headlights. The green light was still on and had seemed to get closer. As we started the car to pull away, so did the car that was parked behind us. We peeled out of our little slice of purgatory after an hour of darkness, uncertainty, and one too many green lights.