11 Miles Ritual Performance
I’m a married man with four daughters. I’ve never been one of those weirdos who try to summon demons or ghosts or anything.
Even in my teen years, I was never into that sort of stuff. I was more of a sports guy. I wish more of my kids were. I only heard about this…thing through one of my daughters. I’ll be honest; they’re all kind of freaks.
I spend a lot of time with my youngest, who’s on a soccer team in school. It gives me a way to connect with her. My two older girls used to be in soccer too, but they moved on to softball and the like after middle school. My middle daughter is the only one we never got into sports, which could be why she’s the most overweight out of all my children.
I guess she’s the odd one out of the family, which is how I heard about this “11 Miles” thing.
See, my two oldest are just a year apart. They’re older than my next daughter by six years and seven years. My middle daughter is older than my youngest by three years. So, my daughters have kind of split in half. They all get along, but they have chosen their favorites. Everyone loves my youngest the most, my wife and I included, but I think she’s chosen my middle daughter as her favorite — the one I found out about this from.
My relationship with my wife went through a particularly rough patch when she was young. Maybe that’s when she became so quiet and isolated. When my youngest was born, we hit another rough patch. I guess we kind of neglected the both of them. I think that’s why they become so close.
So, I found about this because my middle daughter is really into the occult. Something I’m ashamed to say it took me almost years to realize. I thought the black clothing and dyed hair was just a phase, and that she would grow out of it if I just let her. She straightened her hair more often, with I did like. Anyway, she apparently visited this weird creepy-something website all the time, because it was in her search history every day. I didn’t mean to go through her personal stuff, I found it on accident. My computer died, and I really needed to do some work.
So, I logged onto her laptop (after three failed attempts at guessing her password, which was her favorite anime character’s name), and she had apparently forgotten to close the tab. I didn’t want to snoop into her personal searches, but I also didn’t want to let her know I’d been on her laptop without her knowing. So, I opened a new tab and got my work done.
After that, I looked at the time and saw I had a few minutes before either of my younger daughters got home from school. My oldest two have graduated high school. My middle is now a senior, figure out where my youngest fits. My oldest is at college out of state, and the second oldest spends most of her time at work and out with friends. My middle spends most of her time at home in her room, which is why she’s visited so many pages on his site, I guess. She usually got home first, since my youngest spent a lot of time with friends.
I closed my work tab and ended up reading a little of what was on the page. It was, you guessed it, about the 11 Miles ritual. I only got through the first few paragraphs before I heard my daughter open the front door. I immediately closed her laptop and put it back in its place. I didn’t read anymore about it until that night.
My wife and I got into another heated argument that night. It was one of our worst that month. I ended up slamming the door in our bedroom in the middle of it and spending the night in my office. I think my youngest left her tablet in there, as it was unlocked, and she’s pretty scatterbrained. I sometimes think she may have ADHD or something, but raising four daughters hasn’t exactly left money left over for psychiatric visits.
I was angry and trying not to do anything violent. For whatever reason, I found myself thinking about that “11 Miles” thing I’d started reading. I figured it’d get my mind off thing, so I looked it up on my youngest daughter’s tablet and read it completely.
Why was my quiet, soft-spoken daughter reading about a ritual like this? A ritual about driving through a road that didn’t exist unless looked for, and an increasing drop in temperature, passing the souls of people who’d failed to complete the ritual, listening to their whispers and screams, and ending with getting something she “relentlessly desires”?
Was she thinking about trying it? What could she want badly enough to look up some occult ritual that claimed to grant it?
Or maybe she was just surfing the site and happened to click on it because it sounded interesting.
Was there something she could want that badly? I really don’t know much about her interests. I know she likes Japanese stuff and art. Maybe she wanted a scholarship to an art school, or a trip to Japan, or some piece of merchandise.
No, she wouldn’t go this far for something like that.
But, as my thoughts went back to my wife, I started thinking about it more and more.
I thought about it for three days.
I made up my mind on the third day, laying next to my wife in bed after another one of our fights. We’d made up this time, though, and were actually sharing the bed again. I can’t remember what we were always fighting about. It could’ve been money, or just some dumb thing neither of us could let go of. But, lying in bed next to her, I’d made my mind up.
I was trying the ritual.
The only thing in my way was the matter of when. What excuse could I use to go out alone at night for an unknown amount of time? Could I say I was going on a late-night grocery run? Going out to rent a movie? Maybe I could make up something about meeting up with my friends for a guy’s night out? I wanted to follow the ritual as close as I could, so I was wondering if it would be affected by my having other objects in the car.
I saw an opportunity the next Saturday. My youngest wanted to stay the weekend at a friend’s house for a sleepover. I could rely on my second oldest to be out until about three in the morning. My middle girl would be content alone in her room, so I could probably make up anything to leave, and she’d believe it as long as she could stay home.
The only problem would be my wife. I wanted most of my children to be preoccupied, so I could search for the road as long as needed without neglecting them any more than I already had. My wife, however, would want an airtight alibi. As if she thought I was going to meet some woman behind her back.
It was as if she thought I was stupid. Like I didn’t know about the man she saw at least once a week. The foolish woman thought that I wouldn’t realize what was going on.
She was pregnant. We hadn’t had sex in weeks. With all our other children, she’d shown signs within two weeks. It made me sick. It made me sicker to think that she was going to pretend it was mine. It was just the kind of idiotic thing she’d try.
It took another argument just for me to be able to leave the house. All it took from my daughter was a six sentence long conversation.
“Hey, I’m going to pick up something from the supermarket, do you want to come?”
“No thanks, Dad.”
“Well, do you want me to bring you back anything?”
“Uhh, some gum, please.”
“Okay. I’ll be back. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
And that was it. But no, my wife needed specifics. What am I going to get? Which supermarket was I going to? How long would I be gone? Was that all I was planning to get? Because we needed bread, apparently. And herbal tea, which only she drank. And probably a dozen other things I didn’t bother to remember.
Thankfully, I did eventually get out of my house. I felt like my head was going to explode, just from dealing with my wife. I got in my truck and drove off. The first thing I did was go to the closest gas station and filled up completely. The ritual said it would be best to go on a full tank. I had studied it over the days leading up to this, and I felt I had nearly memorized it.
The only detour I took was to the supermarket. I got my daughter’s gum, and I think some bottles of soda.
At almost nine-thirty, I drove out to the most wooded area I knew. It took nearly twenty minutes to get there, and by that time, I expected everyone to be either gone or too deep to interfere.
I drove around the wooded paths for what felt like an eternity. Since what I wanted was, in a way, revenge, I figured that as it said, I would become more hot or angry the closer it got. Well, I was getting irritated, that was for sure. Just what was I doing, driving around, alone at night? What for? What exactly was it that I was doing this for?
It would never work, not with me like this. My mind started to drift.
I thought about my oldest daughter. I wanted her to succeed. She was like a shining beacon in my life all throughout her school years. Getting terrific grades, doing fantastic in sports, making lifelong friends. She was exactly the kind of life I wanted for all my daughters.
I thought about my second oldest daughter. She did well in both school and sports, but nothing like her older sister. She’d graduated with honors, but my oldest had graduated with a 4.0 average. She was going to a community college and working part-time at an ice cream shop. Like I said before, most of her time was spent with friends. Or that skinny loser she calls her boyfriend. Ugh, what did she seem in him? My wife approved of him, of course. She is keeping her daughter close to home instead of out in the world.
I began to feel hot.
My thoughts turned to my middle daughter, who’d turned down my offer to come to the store with me. I had wanted to do this, but she just spent all her time in her room on her computer. I didn’t think I’d met or even heard about any of her friends. Her grades were…unstable, to put it lightly. Sometimes she would get A’s, sometimes C’s or lower. She usually had one class every year that she almost failed utterly, narrowly pulling out a decent enough grade by finals week. What were her plans after she graduated? Had she and I talked about it at all? Had she talked about it with her mother? What had they decided without me? Did she know about the man? She hardly left the house. She might have had overheard something. Would she tell me if she did?
I swear I felt my forehead veins pop out from under my skin. That ball of rage in the pit of my stomach was forming quickly. I didn’t see any road on either side of me, though. But I must be getting closer to it.
I thought about my youngest daughter. God, what a trainwreck she was. I was failing most of her classes, bad at soccer, not even any sort of talent or hobby to make up for her lack of brainpower.
My middle child, at least, had real, performable skills. She could paint. She used to do it all hours of the day when she was younger, but now that’s she’s in her teens, she’s hardly touched her old brushes and paints.
My youngest, however, had nothing. I had tried everything. Martial arts, music lessons, creative writing, even make up tutorials to try and find something she could occupy her time with. My wife seemed to want her to quit soccer, as well. What was she thinking?! We had to keep her in something, and that sport, as bad as she was at it, was something where she at least had made enough friends keep her tied in.
I’d gotten both of our oldest daughters involved in something, and they’d both at least found something productive. My wife convinces me to leave our middle daughter out of any sort of organized club, and she’s barely amounted to anything. She at least has a skill and potential for when she graduates. I wouldn’t make that same mistake with our youngest.
My wife, dear God, my wife! I really hated her. The more I pictured her face, the more I wanted to destroy it. Just punch it and kick it, and I don’t know stab it? Just make it, so I’d never been able to look at it and recognize her.
And the baby she was carrying? I didn’t much care what happened to it. It wasn’t mine, that was for damn sure. And this…I don’t even remember his name, but this asshole who was its father, I wanted the same for him.
I found the road, right before it felt like my head would explode.
Before I officially started down it, I stopped my car like the instructions said and made sure I checked everything I needed to. For those of you unfamiliar with the ritual, here’s a shortlist of things to make sure of before driving down:
1. The radio is off. And it cannot be turned back on at any time during the drive.
2. You must not use a phone at all; reception will be cut off anyway. In an attempt to be a good dad, I wanted to send my daughter a text. Something like “Traffic is bad; don’t know when I’ll make it home.” But I didn’t, in case it messed with the ritual. Sorry, precious, daddy’s busy at the moment. I ended up turning my phone off completely, just in case she or my wife tried calling.
3. Make sure the windows are closed and do not open them at any time during the trip. But, if it’s terrible as it says, why would anyone?
4. Decide right now if you’re going through with this. If not, you can’t get out of your car at anytime after. Not sure what would happen, but it can’t be good.
5. Make a mental note to never go past thirty miles per hour. Unless you are desperate to make it to the next mile.
6. Lastly, of course, buckle up. I have a bad habit of not doing this. Rest assured, though. I fastened my seatbelt before proceeding.
According to the instructions, time will stop entirely once I begin the ritual. But guess what? It didn’t stop in the time I searched for it. I was still going to be pretty late getting home. Can’t blame traffic for everything.
Never mind any of that now. I had begun driving down the first mile.
Like it said, there was no change aside from suddenly being able to see stars in the night sky. I live in southern California, and even on clear nights, it’s hard to tell if stars are also what you’re seeing. The woods were nice to look at. I did feel slightly cold, but not enough to warrant putting my heater on just yet. The instructions recommend turning it on around this time, so I did, but on it’s the lowest setting.
I was going about twenty miles an hour when I felt it get colder. Alright, a first mile down, ten to go. The road got kind of curvy and twisty, but there were no other changes.
The third mile, the silhouettes appeared between the trees on both sides of the road. It was hard not to look at them. They reminded me of some creepy monster; I think I overheard my middle daughter telling my youngest about. I didn’t like that she did that, but what could I do to stop her? Something about some tall, skinny man who hid in the forest and stalked children? You all probably know, and could tell me all about the Whatever-Man, but I don’t care to see, I was and am more concerned with what I was experiencing that night.
Since the story mentioned this around this time, I will too. If you decide to try this and try to turn back after starting, the road will never end. You will (supposably) drive on endlessly until you run out of gas and freeze to death. I never turned back, so I cannot confirm this.
The fourth mile, I guess, since I started to hear the whisperings in the back of my head. They came a little farther out of the tree line, and I could see more of them. I tried not to, as much as I tried not to focus on their inane mumblings.
That’s something that bothers me about my middle daughter. She mumbles all the time. Not under her breath, but in the middle of conversations. It drives me crazy. Not as crazy as the thought of my wife giving birth to another child and trying to pass it off as mine. Would probably be another mumbler, with my luck.
Thankfully, it seems that thinking of my daughter’s annoying habit being passed on to my wife’s child with another man blocked out their noises. Lucky me.
I reached a clearing, so I assumed I had reached the fifth mile. The voices left, along with the tree line to my left. The moon on the lake was even more spectacular than it had been described. It was tough not to gaze at it. It seemed like something my daughter would like. The rest of the mile was pretty uneventful. I just tried to keep my rage within arms reach, if that makes sense.
I left the clearing, and the stars left me, too, like the love in my marriage. I mildly cheered myself up by thinking I was more than halfway finished with the ritual. And soon enough, my wife would be suffering, I would hope.
I had to tun my heater up here. I just couldn’t take the cold anymore. This is also where my headlights started to flicker. My truck wasn’t in the best condition. It was a couple of years old. It was supposed to do this regardless of condition, but I was still unnerved.
This was also where my radio turned itself on. And, much like the ritual itself says, it started talking about my worst fears. I don’t want to go into detail, and I tried not to listen to much, but I heard my wife’s name, all of my daughter’s names, the baby, and even a few of my dead family members and old girlfriends.
I sped up to twenty-eight miles per hour, and after a few minutes, I heard the voice fading out. But not before it made a snarky comment on my current state on life. I was glad to feel the temperature drop again.
I vaguely remember beginning the drive on a gravel road. Sometimes, when I didn’t notice, it turned into a dirt road.
The seventh mile, the silhouettes returned. Their whispering turned to screams, which grew closer every second. The scariest thing was when I heard one in my car. I desperately resisted the urge to turn around or look it the rearview mirror. I remembered that these were supposed to be people who had failed at completing the ritual, and now exist to try and stop others. And that they couldn’t physically harm me. That wasn’t comforting to me when it started to scream in my ear, though. Eventually, it did leave my car shortly before I reached the eighth-mile.
Eighth mile, Eminem reference! I turned my heater up all the way, not that it did anything. I had to slow down here, as the road leading to some very sharp turns here. My headlights flickered more. Whenever they did, I braked but did not completely stop, as instructed. They followed my car at this point. I was banging on my windows and doors. But I didn’t look. I didn’t even want to watch, with the sounds they were making. But it was hard.
Ninth mile reached, satisfaction not felt. My car stalled. It stalled while they were following me. While they were banging and clawing at my truck. Everything shut off, and the small amount of heat I had left me in the cold.
As the ritual said, I closed my eyes and tried to start up my truck again. It took a few tries, but as soon as I did, they backed off. Good thing, it sounded like they’d cracked a window or two. So, I also did the ritual said and floored it for all I was worth. I didn’t even look at the speedometer until I noticed that the beings were less noticeable, and the voices were gone. Gone.
I thanked God for allowing me to continue with my dark arts dealings.
The tenth mile, almost there! The beings were following me, I presumed. I still felt that they were there, and I’d be able to see them if I looked. Things were smooth, I slowed down to thirty, and I began to see the figures standing back in the tree line again.
I tried preparing myself for the eleventh mile, but how could I have made myself for what awaited?
Like the ritual said it would, my truck completely shut off as it did at the ninth. But it didn’t stop. It was still moving, but much slower. I say the red light I read about in the distance as it grew steadily closer. I was freezing near to death and almost looked forward to the promised heat that awaited. How stupid of me!
I covered my eyes, and I did not uncover them for anything I heard or felt.
The noise was disturbing. Thousand times louder and more unhinged than the silhouettes. It felt searing hot. I felt like my clothes were melting and mixing with my flesh. Like the car was slowly melting, and soon, the rubber tires would be too devastated to move the vehicle. Like my hands were melting off my wrists, and that I would be unable to cover my eyes. I fearfully thought about what if my eyelids melted? Then what? How would I survive?
It was only supposed to last thirty-one seconds, but I will never believe it was that short. Half a minute? No way, it was at least three full minutes, maybe more. No one will be able to convince me of anything else.
Thankfully, I was able to keep my eyes closed the entire time.
Power returned, and I fumbled to turn the heater off while keeping my eyes closed. I wasn’t ready to see my surroundings just yet, but it was like an oven in there. I opened my eyes after a few seconds and got my surrounds. The screams faded, and I turned the key again and drove forward.
I reached the dead-end quickly. I was relieved and glad to be nearly over.
Like I was supposed to, I closed my eyes again and thought about what it was I’d done this for.
To be honest, it had never been entirely clear even to me. Not until I had reached the end of my journey and was forced to think about what’d reasonably I’d gone through this night for.
I thought about my wife. All our arguments, all our hate for each other, about the child she was carrying that belonged to another man. I even, for a reason I can’t understand or explain, started thinking about my middle daughter’s mother.
To be honest, I don’t know who she was. I found her as an infant, to my wife’s shock and displeasure. But, I couldn’t just leave her alone as she was. I never found out much about my daughter’s background, but it was clear that her mother had been either a drug addict or an alcoholic. Or maybe just homeless, for some other reason. I loved my new daughter, and I wanted to give her everything I’d been able to give my biological daughters. My wife had been against it, never genuinely warming to our adopted daughter. My two oldest accepted her fine, and my youngest probably has no idea she isn’t blood-related. I’ve never told her, but maybe my wife has.
My last thought before opening my eyes wanted my wife to suffer. I wasn’t specified how.
I slowly opened my eyes and found myself back at the beginning of the road, where I started my ritualistic journey. It was odd, but not surprising. I was expecting this, but it still gave me chills.
Since what I wanted was nonmaterial, I was supposed to go back to where I came from and find it waiting for me there. I grinned to think of it.
I went straight home, trying desperately to get rid of the lingering noises of the eleventh mile in my mind. I turned the radio up loud, sang along with songs I knew well, mumbled along with ones I didn’t, probably annoyed everyone I stopped next to at a red light.
When I got home, I was greeted by a dark house. The light was on in our bedroom, I could see it from the stairs, but I didn’t feel like going to bed. My daughter was either asleep or listening to music through headphones. I put the groceries I got on the kitchen counter and slept on the couch.
I had nightmares, but I don’t remember anything aside from the noises. They didn’t even wake me up. I was woken up Sunday morning by my daughter shaking me awake roughly around our usual breakfast time, which is around seven or eight. I was still groggy, but she seemed really scared about something.
“Dad, Dad, please wake up!” she whispered in a worried tone of voice. Why was she whispering? I reminded me of the silhouettes, and I wanted her to stop.
“What, what?” I mumbled. I couldn’t help it. I was still tired.
“Dad, something’s wrong with Mom.”
“What?” The drowsiness left me quickly. I tried my hardest not to grin at this, especially with my daughter’s obvious fear.
“I don’t know what happened, I went into the room, and the bed was covered in blood. I think I can hear her crying in the bathroom.” She was almost crying. Poor girl, I didn’t mean to scare her so badly.
“I’ll go see what happened, you stay down here.” I grabbed her by the shoulders gently and sat her on the couch. She nodded weakly, and I nearly skipped up the stairs to the room my wife and I shared on occasion. I tried not to smile in front of her. I didn’t want to scare her any more than she already was.
I shut the door behind me so that I could smile to my heart’s delight. I saw the bedsheets indeed covered in blood. It made me so happy to think of what might’ve happened while I slept last night. My daughter was right. I could faintly hear my wife sobbing in the bathroom.
I knocked on the wooden door with my knuckles and said in a faux sorrowful tone, “Honey, are you alright?”
“No…” she sobbed out, to my delight.
“Oh, what happened?” I asked, trying my best to sound concerned for her well being.
“I…I was waiting to tell you…there’s something…”
“About the baby?” I interrupted. “Or about its father? Because of it sure as hell isn’t mine.”
I heard her gasp. Oh, how much terror she must be feeling.
“I’ve made up my mind,” I told the door. “I’ll be filing for divorce. I’ll be taking my daughter, of course. Full custody, you will never see her unless she wants to see you. Why she would, I have no idea, but you’ve nearly ruined her. I’ve got to work extra hard to set her on the right path now.”
Still nothing from my wife aside from low sobs and gasps.
“As for our two daughters, well, I’ve decided you can keep them. If they want to see me, I’m free on weekends, and maybe a few days out of the week.”
She started to say my name, but I cut her off.
“No, no, no, not yet. I’m going back downstairs to tell my daughter the truth. You haven’t already, have you?”
She repeated my name, and again I cut her off.
“I’ll take that as a no. Good, it’ll give us something to talk about.” I was tired of having nothing but small talk with my daughter.
“Goodbye, my damn dear wife,” I said as I left. “I’m leaving shortly, so you may want to clean up.”
I went back downstairs and told my daughter about her being adopted. She had no idea, and of course, had many questions. I cut her off quickly and told her about my plans to divorce my wife, her adopted mother. She was supportive of it. Considering all the fights we had, she said she thought it was for the best. That gave me a warm feeling in my stomach.
I asked her to leave our house with me and stay with me at a hotel tonight. I planned to call one of my friends and arrange a move-in for a few months. She agreed, and we left in my truck together, with nothing but the clothes we were wearing, our phones, and a pack of gum and some soda.
Leaving my soon-to-be ex-fucking-wife to wallow in her stillborns blood.
Credit: Allison Snoopy
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