A single streetlight flickered and blew, as Carly sped along the deserted highway towards home. She blinked as she drove underneath it. Just a mere
second of darkness between the glowing orbs enough to make her eyes heavy. Seventeen hours since she'd last left home, and a mere 6 hours sleep she
might get before leaving again.
"Great idea Carly!"
she muttered under her breath. "You wanna take your kid trick or treating? NO PROBLEM! I'll just pull a double
shift. Got nothing better to do than stuff my face with candy and watch old horror movies anyways."
She rolled her eyes and sighed...
It wouldn't be so bad , but for the hour commute each way. Working day shift normally, Carly was long since safely home and tucked in bed by this
hour. The scarcity of other drivers made her uneasy. What if her car broke down? Or she had a blow out? Or if she hit a deer?
she spoke with authority over the musings in her mind.
Her exit finally within sight, she could almost feel the warm covers of her comfy bed around her, protecting her from the mid-fall chill.
It wasn't until she had fully made the turn that she noticed all the streetlights on this stretch were out. The road ahead was completely devoid of
anything in sight, and Carly slowed the car to a crawl...suddenly overwhelmed with fear like she was driving into a black hole.
"Get a grip, Carly..."
Switching on the high beams, she hit the gas. She knew this road perfectly in the daylight, and felt confident enough that she could navigate it in
The road was paved, but long ago. It twisted around, and ran up a single long hill before coasting down to a long flat expanse.
The car jerked left and Carly swore, realizing that the only thing darker than the road in front of her, was the potholes that lay therein. She slowed
a bit, so as to account for the many more she knew were ahead.
Her eyes burned with exhaustion and straining to see the road in the dim light. She blinked it away, and her head nodded a bit. God, bed is gonna feel
She could barely make out where the dark shadows of the tall spruce trees ended and the night sky began. It was like driving down one dark forested
tunnel. Just twenty more minutes, and she would be home.
Carly came to the fork in the road and promptly swerved left, to the route which directly connected to home. Only then did she see the first lights
she had seen for miles...and the first vehicles.
Police cars had blocked the road, and an officer directed her to turn back to the fork.
"ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!! Drive back to the right fork and add another 45 minutes to my time??? GOD!!!! "
At this point she was so tired, she didn't even bother to see what was going on, or why. She just wanted to get home as fast as possible. Turning the
car around, she drove back and entered the right fork, a path she had only driven once before, while getting lost searching for her new address. She
knew it well enough to find her way around, thankfully.
The rage subsided, and her head nodded again, her eyes closing for a couple of seconds.
When she opened them, there in the head lights, was something...someone, crouched in the road.
Carly screamed and yanked the steering wheel hard to the right. Too hard. The car bounced out of a big pothole as it turned and sent her careening off
the road and into the trunk of a huge oak tree. Her forehead hit square on the steering wheel between her white knuckled hands, and she let out a
quiet little " Ow"...before her vision too went as black as the night outside.
The pain came first. Then the dizziness. Then the nausea from the dizziness. She shivered too. So cold. Opening her eyes, everything was blurry. The
dark outline of the steering wheel, the spider web of cracks in the broken windshield...the splinters of wood and bark hanging from the tree and
scattered on the crumpled hood of her car. Her fingers raised and gently touched a large bump on her head.
She moaned and turned towards her foggy window, hand moving to open the door.
The illuminated face of a small child gazed at her. Her cheeks as white as new fallen snow, and her eyes as black as tar. Carly screamed and jumped
back from the window at the sudden specter.
Was this what she had seen in the road? Whose child was this in the middle of the night, on an almost abandon road? Was she the reason for the
Carly's mind raced with pain and questions. In the blink of an eye the face was gone.
Carly yelled from the passenger side of the car. Not sure if the child was merely hiding. "Are you ok? Are you hurt? Did
I hit you?"
Silence, but for the breeze scraping the broken branches against the side of the car, like fingernails on a chalkboard. It raised the hair on Carly's
neck, and she shivered again...not with cold.
She climbed over the front seat, and exited out the back passenger door. If the girl was hiding behind the driver side door, or worse..she didn't
want to hit her. A fresh wave of pain and dizziness washed over her as she stood on the ground, and walked around to her door.
No one was there.
Maybe the bump on her head was more severe than she thought.
She stumbled a bit down into the ditch, to assess the damage to the front of her car. Despite being crumpled beyond belief, one headlight still shone
in the darkness. It was then, that she spotted it. A tiny face staring up at her...broken.
Now she was sure, it was not just a bump on her head.
Surely no child would still be out trick or treating? This girl must be lost. That's why the police presence.
She debated on walking back to
the police, or trying to find the girl herself. A long walk back to them means the girl could travel farther away,and then not be found alive.