“Car Tomb” By Chad Robert Parker

My parents grew up rarely using seat-belts if you had them at all. We kids grew up unbuckling are seat-belts to lay down and sleep, especially during long road trips. Today’s kids are buckled into a car-seat for more than half of their childhood. Each scenario has the possibility for some interesting stories.

We used to lay the middle mini-van seat back as a bed connecting to the back bench. One of us would sleep on the floor underneath the back rest. There was very little light and with the chair on your chest you felt there wasn’t much air either. But if you controlled your breathing you could fall asleep. Usually my brothers were playing a car board game or talking above me so I knew I could reach up and get someone’s attention if I wanted out. There were a few times I woke up in a panic, however. You could yell pretty good and with the road noise and the other commotion they didn’t always here you. I remember yelling, slapping my hand up the side hole where there wasn’t enough room to squeeze your body out of, and finally pinching a brother’s leg before getting out once.

One of our friend’s wanted to give it a try. He was probably 10 years old. We checked on him a couple times and he said he was good. After a while we even covered the seating with blankets so we all could get some sleep. He woke up in the dark. His hot breath was coming back to him in close proximity to his coffin-like surroundings. He slapped the cushions above him but that didn’t make any noise. He started screaming. It took a while before he was able to rouse any of us. He came out sweaty and looking sick from fear. He told us how he forgot where he was and it freaked him out more than he had ever felt before. From then on we made sure someone stayed awake when anyone was down there, but we also didn’t go down there as much.

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