A paranormal short story
Coming December 2, 2016
The road stretched out before him into the night. George hated these rural routes, with no street lights and no homes, the nothingness pressing in around him. He strained to see, the lines swallowed as if by a heavy, black haze.
At times like these, he wished he’d had the radio fixed. He pushed the button, as though it would work this time, but all he got was a faint popping and static. He turned it off and slouched back into his seat. “Damn.”
His annoyance wasn’t so much at the radio as at himself. He should have started sooner. He’d had one— no, two —drinks for the road, and now here he was with two more hours of driving ahead and already it was well past midnight. He couldn’t refuse a free drink, though. After all, he was retiring next week, and this was the last time he’d have to make a trip like this— all the way out here, into the middle of nowhere, holding the hand of some insecure client.
He drew his hand across his face, as if to pull the weariness from his mind. “What’s that?” There was something in the headlights, a movement perhaps, maybe a reflection. He slowed. Narrowing his eyes, he searched the blackness. It was then he saw her standing on the side of the road. She turned, facing the headlights as he pulled up next to her. She couldn’t have been more than fifteen, maybe sixteen at the most.
He rolled down the passenger window. “Are you all right?” His breath created puffs of steam on the night air. “Can I give you a lift somewhere?”
She said nothing.
“Where are you going?” He undid his seatbelt and slid over to the window. “You know, it’s really not safe to be out here this late by yourself. Why don’t you let me give you a lift? I don’t mind, really I don’t.”
Slowly, she moved to the door. She opened it and climbed in.
She left the door open, and he reached across and pulled it shut, his hand brushing against her dress, its cold, wet fabric clinging to her slight form. “You’re soaked. Where’s your coat? Don’t you have one?” He took his jacket off and placed it around her shoulders. “Are you all right? Has something happened?”
Water dripped from her loose blonde hair down onto her dress. She didn’t speak, her face deathly pale in the light from the dashboard.