The legend of the phantom black pick-up truck, which is said to patrol Clinton Road during the darkest hours, has been an infamous presence in our town for at least thirty years. According to the story, a man named Jiles Jones once lived here, but in a farmhouse smack in the middle of an otherwise abandoned rural area. He had maintained a few crop fields—nothing expansive, but enough to keep a steady income. The few people who had actually engaged in conversation with Jiles described him as a cruel and hate-filled man—one whom also valued his privacy, and was infamous for wielding a shotgun and chasing off anyone who came too close to his property. He would often follow trespassing motorists in his black pick-up for as long as it took them to get back into town before he turned around and headed back home.
Clinton Road was a long, unpaved stretch that passed right by Jiles’ house and then into the woods, where the road didn’t end so much as eventually narrow into an impassable trail. It was because of this dead end that Jiles felt Clinton Road belonged to him, and openly warned that should he ever spot a vehicle on the road heading in the direction of his home, he would assume it contained a band of trespassers out to do harm to him or his property. True to his word, several townsfolk described being chased down by Jiles in their own cars—after either having driven down Clinton Road innocently, or to purposely rile the old man.
Jiles lived in his ramshackle farmhouse for close to thirty years before suffering a mortal heart attack one morning while working in his fields. Having no family, Jiles’ home, surrounding lands, and even his black pick-up sat abandoned for many years, growing moldy, barren, and rusty. Ownership of the property eventually reverted to the state, but they appeared to have no interest in doing anything with it.
And that’s when the legend began—after Jiles’ death. They say that if you drive down Clinton Road during the darkest hours of the night and honk your horn three times, Jiles will come chasing you down in his black pick-up truck and fire his shotgun out the window. A few people in town, mainly kids, claim to have experienced this phenomenon for themselves, but no one ever gave them any serious consideration. They were just kids, after all.
It was later reported, and verified by several witnesses, that a group of rowdy teens – led by local troublemaker Roger Cavits – entered the Dunes Cantina and loudly discussed amongst each other their intention not only to drive down Clinton Road and honk their horn, but to spray-paint their initials on Jiles’ abandoned black truck as well. The bartender at the Dunes Cantina verified this occurrence, even going so far as to warn Roger and his cohorts to “leave it alone.” Roger dismissed the bartender’s warning and the teens left the bar.
Jim Ford, a resident of Clinton Road (his house is situated in the more populated area of town, about two miles away from Jiles’ former homestead), described the night that Roger Cavits and his friends were found in their car, which, from the look of it, had been in a terrible crash. The sounds of distant gunfire had awoken Jim from his sleep. He had stepped out onto his front porch just in time to witness Roger Cavits’ bright red Firebird speed down the road, which was being pursued by a black-pick up truck. Jim admitted for the record that he had just awoken, and his eyes were hazy, but he remembered seeing white initials spray-painted onto the side of this black pick-up, and that the paint must’ve still been wet, as it was beginning to drip down in little rivers. The two vehicles vanished into the darkness, and Jim went to ring the sheriff about what he had witnessed, as something about the scene had not sat right with him.
Hours later, Roger Cavits and his friends were found dead in Roger’s bright red Firebird. Strangely, the car had not run off the road, nor into a tree—instead it was found right smack in the middle of Clinton Road, smashed in on every side. The boys’ bodies had been so chewed up and pulverized inside the car that bits of their flesh, bone, and blood had sprayed all over the other boys’ bodies.
At Jim’s insistence, the sheriff drove over to Jiles’ property to look around for anything suspicious. The sheriff spotted Jiles’ old black pick-up truck sitting in its usual spot. In fact, the truck had been sitting there for so long that tall grass and weeds had breached the rotten bottom of the truck’s floor and were nearly touching the roof.
The sheriff was nearly ready to discount Jim’s story, seeing as how the truck clearly hadn’t moved in years, when he saw fresh white spray-paint all over the truck’s rusted metal—the initials of the boys found dead in their car. More paint was found on the truck’s front bumper, but it wasn’t white spray-paint. And it wasn’t wet. It was bright red, and it had been caked into the bumper through heavy force. It was the same color as Roger Cavits’ Firebird.
The cause of the crash and subsequent deaths of the boys were never solved, and most townsfolk won’t even speak of the incident. But they will tell you one thing: When he was alive, Jiles Jones was a man not to be trifled with. It would seem, in death, this remained true—and Clinton Road was to remain his, and his alone.