And now to tell you the story of how I got a scar on my shoulder.
(Not my shoulder – though my scar is remarkably the same)
As a final end to an illustrious six and a half year jaunt through university, extended by at least a year via some mind-altering digression at the end of a joint, I was neck deep in the bar scene of Washington DC and seeking something new.
Consequently, in the effort of inflating my own ego, I managed to arrange things so that my last ever university class was a 2 week “experiential learning” course (vacation) in the Bahamas.
We stayed on Andros Island, the largest of the islands in the Bahamas. There was minimal development, as evidenced by the kids who seemingly spent all their time learning how to do back-flips and playing on the beach. Dolphins played just offshore and would swim up to you when you were wading. We rode around in 60 year old pastel-painted Land-Rovers. The town we were staying in would switch off their power at midnight and then the island was dark enough to see the purple in the Milky Way and Nassau lighting up the horizon, 30 miles away. It was a nice place.
And why did we all come here? To do science. Being as I was an English major at the time, this seemed trivial to me. However, at least I was getting the aforementioned vacation out of the whole deal and enough credits to finally graduate.
On the island, in our little nook, there were three main groups – guys, girls, and a mixed group; one for each of the pastel-colored Land-Rovers. Sometimes we would spend the day together and sometimes we would split up to do our own things.
The two people I remember from the trip are my professor, Dr. Fury, and Frankie, a pretty 20 year old female field hockey player. There was also the dude who had a “Prince Albert,” but that’s all I remember about him, and no I didn’t see it.
Dr. Fury had a striking red beard and was the type of scientist that shunned any sort of mystery for want of a better explanation. He also had a penchant for telling good stories; one of which was about a baby gorilla, whom he had just rescued from people who were trying to sell it, biting his (Dr. Fury’s) penis while he slept. Apparently, the hungry baby monkey thought Dr. Fury’s willy was a nipple.
Good times. And Frankie, well she was remarkable enough to prompt me to get out of bed hungover, on 4 hours sleep, to go jogging at 6am before starting off our days. Hot girls be the death of any good man.
Anyways, on the day of my unfortunate scarring, the three groups in the three Land-Rovers set out for the other side of the island, the girls bringing the class’s garbage in tow on the top of their Rover. We drove to the nearest dump, a section of the forest that had been cleared just off the highway, and filled it with more trash. Naturally, the girl I’m interested in sees something of intrigue in the larger trash-pile as she’s tossing the groups garbage bags away. And so she picks it up and puts it on the rear portion of the roof of her Land-Rover.
Trash dump done, Frankie’s Land-Rover backs into the street and heads off, leaving the item she had found to roll off of their roof and onto the ground. So naturally, I hop out and pick up the item to see what it is.
And yeah… it’s a doll’s head. But not like a Barbie head with a nice face and flowing hair. This was a Kewpie-like doll with its eyes cut out and it’s hair cut off. Further more, it had black dirt stuffed into it’s head, making it’s eye sockets a grue-sly black.
When I got back into our Land Rover, remarking about how creepy the doll’s head was, we drove on, but not before our group immediately fell into a conversation about ghost stories and haunted places. Even Dr. Fury was quick to chime in, saying that “there’s no such thing” and we should just “get rid of the head.”
I remember at this point referencing an Oprah episode that talked about how sometimes severe emotions, and the high energy associated with them, can be projected onto inanimate objects, but that was short-lived because, somewhere in the middle of our discussion, the hood of the Land-Rover flew up smashing into the windshield. Of course this took us all by surprise, but thankfully Dr. Fury had the sense to slow down safely, despite the fact that he couldn’t see and that the brakes on our Land-Rover were obviously not doing too well.
When we stopped, everyone got out, inspected the situation, simply re-latched our hood and all seemed good to go. Except, now, the old Land-Rover wouldn’t start. Consequently, we climbed back outside again and did the whole “pop the clutch” push-start with her until she got going again.
(That’s me in the middle)
Needless to say, this incident didn’t do anything to kill the discussion about the doll’s head once we were back in the Land-Rover. Matter of fact, about an hour later, the doll’s head, newly painted with a 666 on it’s forehead, was found staked on the spare tire screw that extended from the hood of the Land-Rover, for all to see.
I should mention, at this point in the story, on that side of the island, we were literally catching butterflies. So yeah, I don’t know if I could ever set a more contrasting “harbinger of things to come” than that.
But, butterfly catching done, we had to separate from the main group and head back from whence we came.
As we drove, black clouds appeared on the horizon.
Did I mention that now we were headed off to look at spiders in a darker nastier part of the forest?
Yeah, again… good stuff. However, I’ve gotten your hopes up for nothing… because despite our best efforts, the spider gazing did not result in any incidents.
We did soon found ourselves in the midst of a huge thunderstorm though, which produced enough rain to shoot 4 foot rooster tails off the back of our Land-Rover’s tires while driving.
This was about the time that our hood flew up again, but this time the latches hadn’t come undone, they had broken off.
No matter, the important thing was that our creepy dolls head was still staked on the hood. And anyways, we had rope, so we could tie the hood down. No harm no foul.
We did however, finally succeed in pushing Dr. Fury’s buttons, because of yet another reference to the “evil doll’s head” and it’s obvious affect on our peaceful afternoon.
I remember him saying “just throw it away” more than once after the second hood popping episode. But really, when you’re 24 and holding something seemingly supernatural, you’re not ever gonna do that… until something bad happens.
Something bad happened as we crested the top of a small hill doing 45mph; the road ended in a T intersection and a metal and cement bus stop was directly ahead.
I remember seeing Dr. Fury’s legs pushing down on the brakes repeatedly, with no result. The brakes were weak to begin with but, now they were wet and completely gone.
Next, I saw Dr. Fury grab the steering wheel on its left side with both hands and steer us right, hoping to make the 90 degree turn without crashing into the bus stop.
And we sort-of made it…
But then the back end of the Land-Rover spun around, caught an edge somewhere, and we started rolling .
I was sitting in the second row of seats in the Land Rover, on the left side, next to the window. Consequently, when we rolled I was the first to make impact with the ground. The people sitting in the “face to face” back seats were pin-balls, crashing from side to side with nothing to stop their movement.
When we came to rest, the left side of our Land-Rover was facing the sky. I climbed out ASAP and started helping the others climb out. I took my shirt off to administer some first aid to a classmate whose ear had just about been ripped off and then I flagged down a car to take him to the hospital.
It was at this point when I heard the cries of Dr. Fury, who was still inside the Land-Rover. Consequently, I climbed back inside the car, expecting to see him all sorts of sliced up, but instead he was trapped under the steering wheel; thankfully by only a cushion.
When I pulled him out, collectively our class went to huddle under the bus stop we just avoided hitting, while the rain continued and our Land-Rover smoldered.
That is, everyone but me…
…because upon seeing the doll’s head still staked to the Land-Rover’s hood, I decided that it would be a good idea to run back out into the rain and remove it.
So yeah in the midst of the thunderstorm, I made my way out to the Land-Rover, grabbed the head, and threw it into the forest as far as I could.
… right about the same time as lightning contacted the ground about 50 meters away.
… leaving us to ride out the rest of the now lightning producing storm under a steel roofed bus stop.
Moral of the story: throw out the creepy possibly-possessed doll’s head BEFORE you crash.
Also, efforts to experience life outside the bounds of the norm will sometimes reap scary situations, but they’re always worthwhile, despite your fear.
Also, flipping over in a Land-Rover because an evil doll’s head put a voodoo curse on it, will get you an A in your course; especially when you work out a quid-pro-quo thing with your professor that alleviates him of all responsibility for the accident, in exchange for retro-actively changing a grade in another class of his that you participated in.