The first time I saw him was in early January. I was on the sidewalk when his car turned around the corner. I heard the motor roaring, saw the car gaining speed, then noticed his grin. The woman in business attire didn’t stand a chance.
He didn’t drive away. He even pulled her body from under the car and tried to resuscitate her. It didn’t help. When the police came he cried.
That day I wasn’t sure whether I had really seen the grin; he looked genuinely concerned about the woman and he didn’t try to flee. He told the police that it was an accident; I told them that I thought he was accelerating when he came around the corner.
I never heard what came out of the case.
In late January I saw him a second time – or to be precise, I saw the grin a second time. It was on a woman behind the wheel of a black SUV.
Three children were on the pedestrian crossing. The oldest ran; his two siblings were too slow. I think I even heard the woman laughing.
The small boy was pulled with the car; the girl was thrown against a fire hydrant. I can never forget the face of the older brother, the one that got away, in the moment he touched his sister’s body.
The tires screeched; the woman jumped out of the car and fell on her knees. She just stared at the long, red marks between her car and the pedestrian crossing.
Since that day I work my way through three or four newspapers per day.
And every day there is at least one accident. Every day there is at least one driver with an unblemished record that, as the newspapers put it, “lost control of his car.” Sometimes they have better excuses – a leg cramp, a technical fault, a distracting dog in the car.
The third time was on the 3rd of March. I had noticed a pattern; an area particularly prone for “accidents.” The police had told me that I was crazy, that it was all just my mind – and I nearly believed them.
Then, near the large public library, I saw the grin again. The car was waiting at a red light. I saw his face, his serious expression, and looked away. A moment later I heard his engine howling. I only saw his face for a short moment.
There was no mistaking it. Different people, but without a doubt the same unnatural grin; the same widely stretched lips and closed teeth; the same unchanging expression and focused, glassy eyes.
I didn’t see the accident, but I heard it. His car sped through the red light and around the corner. Car horns; then a crash; then screams.
When I ran around the corner the only audible sound was a blaring car alarm.
The man fell sidewards out of the driver’s side door; got back on his feet and slowly walked to the front of his car. He didn’t try to help.
The woman’s body was cut in half; wedged between the two cars with her blood slowly trickling into a storm drain. She said something about love and family. She stopped talking long before the ambulance arrived.
At least one per day; only once it wasn’t a car – a motorcycle instead.
They all deny that it was on purpose.
I’m not crazy; I’m not the only one that saw it.
Two articles said that the drivers were smiling.
I barely sleep anymore. I lost my job and it might be good that way. Now I have time to research; to figure things out.
Besides the grin there is one more connection I made. I noticed it last week.
I saw the black car in the distance. It was too far away for me to see the driver, still I knew. I felt the grin.
I ran towards it to watch the events and it sped in my direction. It took me too long to realize that her eyes were on me. It might have been just her large face, but the grin seemed wider than the other times.
I ran in the other direction; then ducked behind a parked truck.
That moment the driver’s eyes turned to the young man across the street. I screamed at him to run; he reacted too late.
The crash threw the young man several meters backwards, right next to a storm drain.
The car crashed against a street light; the woman was thrown through her windshield.
The woman survived. The young man died.
I only saw the connection when the blood seeped out of his body. A thin stream ran from his body and towards the storm drain.
That moment I noticed the pattern. I remembered the arm of a woman in business attire bent over a storm drain; I remembered the long red line of a young boy’s blood on a manhole; and I remembered the trickle of thick, red liquid into a storm drain just below a severed body wedged between two cars.
The young man’s blood reached the grate bars. And in the dark below, just between the bars, I saw the body of a man.
He was thin; his whole body and face black. I wouldn’t have seen him – if not for the white teeth and the wide grin.
This is my story, originally I published it on Reddit.