When I was an older teen, my friend and I thought it would be fun to drive through an old cemetery in our town in the middle of the night. We both loved history, and we told ourselves that was our reason for turning down the one-lane road and driving through the rusty gates. The gates were never closed, so now they leaned jauntily from decades of unuse, and the single lane running between the stone pillars that held them reminded visitors of the inevitable end of life’s journey.
It had been raining earlier, and I’d just turned off my front windshield wipers. Puddles had formed in the rutted road that ran straight through the middle of the cemetery. We slowly creeped along, my headlights reflecting off white headstones and the occasional family monument. The canopy of oak trees created huge pockets of utter blackness, and our minds imagined a myriad of supernatural activities hidden in the dark.
We had driven about halfway through the old graveyard when we began to hear a strange noise, somewhere between a creak and a groan. It seemed to happen at regular intervals, and our eyes widened as we stared back and forth from each other to the tombstones, searching for the source of the eerie sound. Was it an animal? Was it human? Or something else entirely? My own mind imagined a coven of witches sacrificing a cat under the protection of the huge, old oak trees. I paused my car as we listened intently, our hearts beating louder than the rumble of the car engine.
Movement in my rearview mirror caught my eye. I gasped, then turned my head slowly to see what was creeping up on us in the dark, squeaking and groaning, only to see the rhythmic movement of the back windshield wipers I’d forgotten to turn off after the rain! The now-dry window caused the wiperblades to squeak and groan as they made their way across the back of my hatchback.
We immediately fell into fits of laughter, partly in relief that we weren’t being overtaken by ghosts and goblins, and partly in recognition of our very active imaginations!