The following is a piece of Friday Fiction I’d like to share with my readers. I so enjoy writing these each week! This story is part Frank Peretti, part Justified, and part my imagination, as I understand the Bible and heavenly beings. It’s an original piece written by me. Enjoy! And hey, if you want, leave me a comment. I love to hear your thoughts, always!
It was that stretch of road that ran deep into the woods and parallel to what was meant to be the old sky lift, that she’d decided to take. That one where the owner of the property had committed suicide before the project was done. The story of his hopelessness and the remote nature of a road no one ever drove made Barbara shiver. Goose flesh rose up on the back of her neck, and she wished she hadn’t come this way. Wished she hadn’t been in such a hurry to get home tonight. Wished she’d ordered take-out, so she didn’t need to rush. She wished she had a co-pilot with her. Someone to talk to, someone to drive away the dread she felt deep in her belly.
She’d been on the road for only a few minutes when the “winker” came creeping up behind her. Winker, that’s what they’d called one-eyed cars when she was a kid. She’d always hated the look of them; disabled, broken, neglected. The car advanced and soon she was able to see the color applied to the old Pontiac on the day it left the showroom floor. Mustard yellow. Blech! It looked nothing like the bright yellow color that comes sputtering out of a French’s Classic Mustard bottle when you squeeze it, but something akin to Grey Poupon. Another shiver ran up her back.
The Pontiac moved closer to her bumper as they drove on in single file, and as it did, the lump in her throat grew. What if someone bent on waylaying her was driving that jalopy? What if the car contained more than one someone? What if they had a gun, a tire iron, or a Rottweiler with them? Everybody carried a tire iron, right? What if they forced her off the road?
Barbara tried to continue on at the same pace she’d previously set for herself, but found her foot pressing down harder on the gas pedal with each scarred fir tree she passed. The road was getting wider up ahead, and more serpentine in design. On her right side was the formidable mountain face that made construction of a ski resort possible. On her left was a sheer drop of 200 ft, the road having been dug out of rock, and rocks still littering it’s path. She sent up a little prayer, “Lord, please, help me stay calm.” It wasn’t much of a prayer, but it was what came to her in the moment.
The Pontiac grew closer. Barbara’s fear rose two degrees. She got her cell phone out of her pocket and was poised to dial for help. No dice, no signal. She kept the phone in her lap anyway, checking every few seconds to see if the towers could connect with her once more. She knew they couldn’t. The ravine this road ran through was deep. Too deep for cell towers to reach. She was on her own.
Intuition told Barbara that she was being followed by danger, shrouded in darkness, and not in a literal sense. It was spiritual darkness she recognized. Disobedience. Hate. A determination to harm, in exchange for harm done. She recoiled at the thought of it, then heard a distinct voice utter her name.
“Barbara, fear not! You are seen. You are known. You are loved. You will be protected.”
That’s when it happened. Up ahead, in the utter darkness, a light shone. A figure outlined by the brilliance appeared. It was immense. Glowing. Dressed like a member of the U. S. Marshal’s service, with gun drawn.
What in the world! Barbara thought? Too close to the figure now, she couldn’t stop. As she winced and waited for the collision, the “apparition” lifted the barrel of the handgun, and Barbara’s car passed beneath it. She was clear and on the other side of the gunman before she knew what’d happened. The Pontiac did not fare so well. It’s driver swerved hard right in order to avoid the marshal, and subsequently collided with the mountainside. Running along the shale ledge outcropping, sparks flew off the door and fenders of the car, turning the night sky Classic mustard bright.
Barbara looked in her rear view mirror. She blinked, then blinked again. Was this really happening, she wondered? She knew she’d have no cell service here, but continued on while holding her phone in her lap, ready to dial 911 at the first sign of a solid bar. She knew she was only a short distance from the place where this road intersected with the one above it, and that reception would be possible once she got there. She hurried.
Barbara recounted all the pertinent details of her travel to the operator once safely at home, and was connected to an officer who asked her to repeat it twice more. She doubted anyone would believe her, but when the story of a brown Pontiac published on the 11 o’clock news that night she was sure she had not imagined the encounter. The newscasters said the car was empty when the police got to the scene. They were asking anyone who knew anything about the crash to contact the police right away. Barbara shivered once more.
Trouble on the Road is an original story, written by Lori Hoose, copyright protected.