“She couldn’t see anything. The moon was teasing her, playing in the sick game, by hiding behind thick pasty gray clouds. She ran until her stomach burned. Her legs threatened to betray her as they buckled underneath her.
She dared not look back for fear she’d trip on logs or underbrush. The bitter, stale, acidy smells assaulted her nose and lodged in her throat, signaling he wasn’t far behind.
The blindfold he’d kept on her had only been off long enough to reveal the dense forest–his hunting ground.Where he’d found her two days or maybe two months before. She’d lost track of time.
Barren trees reached out to trap her. Their bony branches, acting like jagged nails, taunted her cheeks as they scratched and peeled her smooth complexion away from her face, but she pushed through, ignoring the sting and the sticky substance oozing from her wounds.
The taste of earth, iron, and salt saturated her dry tongue. Her throat coiled in response. She gagged, but pressed on. She begged for death, but not at his hands. Not again.
‘Here, kitty, kitty’ he called.”
My friend, we’ll call her Jane again, as once more she’s humilated herself, clutched the steering wheel as we headed back from dropping a friend off at a conference. It was late and we were unfamiliar with our surroundings. I’d been sharing the story rolling around in my head. (you only got a snippet of it)
I became engrossed in telling it, and though her eyes were on the road, her mind was immersed in the woman escaping a psychopath.
“Hey did we miss our turn?” She turned the radio down. (Why do we do that?)
Slightly irritated that I had to come out of character, I looked around. “No. I thought you were paying attention.”
“Well I wasn’t,” she snipped. “I’m turning around.” She hopped off the interstate and began pulling over onto the shoulder of the road. Neither of us spoke. The silence hung in the air. We were surrounded by ominous looking woods. The night was similar to the one I had been describing. The moon was full.
As she slowed down, a shimmer caught my eye in front of us. What–what is that? “Oh no! Stop, Jane! It’s a man!”
He was in the middle of nowhere. In the pitch of night. Holding a white plastic sack. I couldn’t make out his face, but as she slammed on the brakes he moved toward us.
I threw my hands in the air. “Lock the doors! Roll up the windows! Roll up the windows! He’s coming!” My soprano voice turned shrill.
That’s when my friend Jane, lost all ability to function. Her hand frantically raced up and down the car door looking for buttons to lock and secure us.
“Jane, do something!”
She did. A heinous word that had obviously been forming on the tip of her tongue forced its way out of her mouth. My precious friend’s mouth. She screamed it to the top of her lungs and once it was out it repeated like a stuck record. I stopped shrieking out of shock. My head seemed to turn in slow motion. The abominable word rang out in a slurred slow motion as well. Over and over.
She cut a hard right and threw dust and rocks on the shadowed man standing alone on the shoulder near the woods. A hitchhiker? Maybe. A psychotic maniac with a switchblade and ropes? Possibly.
We shook with fear, turned into the wrong lane, dodged oncoming traffic and finally found our way into the city again. Jane pulled over at a movie rental store near the friend’s house we were staying at. We sat there staring straight ahead. Numb. Trembling.
Jane spoke in a hoarse whisper, “I want to tell you something.”
I looked at her then reached over and took her hand. It was still clammy. “It’s okay. You were scared. I forgive you.”
She pulled her brows together, pursed her lips and slipped her hand out of mine. “I was going to say you are never, ever, under any circumstances allowed to tell scary stories after dark.”
I stared at her a moment with surprise. “Oh…okay.” I scratched my head, sighed and paused a few seconds before I asked, “So you wanna rent a scary movie?”
“I hate you,” she whispered and started the car.
* Jane did feel bad about her foul words… later.