The Night Goes On…

Linda knew she was horribly late. Her Mom was again gonna be all fussy about her new job. She could already hear Mom yelling ‘Why do you have to take up a job so far away? Why do you have to work so late?’ Mothers, she thought, shaking her head, they would never accept you were a grown up. Okay, so yeah, maybe it was a little too late today, even for own her liking, but she was enjoying the drive. She mostly had the road to herself except for the occasional stray dog and the owl hoots. It was a peaceful, starlit, half moon night and the road was long and lonely. She liked that after the day she’d had. The empty stretches of fields on both sides of the road were beautiful in their own way.

She was lost in her own thoughts when she thought she heard someone. Was it a scream? She decided to step on the gas pedal a little more and get the hell out of there. That’s when she heard it again. But it was not a scream. Definitely not. She slowed down to try to catch what whoever it was was trying to say. And she heard someone crying and yelling out for help. Linda stopped the car and tried to peer through the night. It was a little difficult to see considering the limited lighting. The cry sounded as if it belonged to someone really young.

Okay, so she was not a really courageous woman. Even thinking about getting out of the car and checking who it was gave her the creeps. But what if someone really needed her help? She had to go check. The field was quite empty with the occasional weeds sprouting here and there. So she decided to take the car in the field. If it was something or someone creepy she could just turn back, step on the gas pedal and leave.

It took her every ounce of courage she had to get in that field. And right there standing in front of her in the sweep of her headlights was a young girl of not more than 12. Tall and lanky, freckled face, button nose, cropped hair and quite pale. She had tears streaming down her cheeks and a running nose. Just looking out at her made Linda feel like getting out of the car and hugging her. There was just something so vulnerable in the way she was standing there.

Linda was busy scrutinizing her, when the girl said, “Will you please take me home to my Mom? I’m a little scared to walk back.”

Linda’s heart reached out to her and she said,”Yes, of course, sweety, hop in! Tell me where you live and I’ll take you.”

A ghost of a smile flitted across the girl’s face, “I live not far from here. I can tell you the way.”

Linda gave her a hearty smile, “Sure” and the girl climbed in the car. Linda extended her hand, “I’m Linda. What’s your name?”

The girl just stared at Linda’s outstretched hand and said, “I’m Amy. And my Mom has told me not to shake hands with strangers.”

Linda tried to hide her smile. “Fair enough”, she said.

As she turned the car back on the road, Amy seemed to get a little more comfortable and started talking. About her school, their farm, her brother Rick who annoyed her so much. Linda was really looking forward to a drive home alone but she was quite enjoying herself in the company of the kid. Amy kept on giving her directions towards her house and Linda was glad she didn’t have to make a huge detour to take her home. After about half an hour of driving around, Amy told Linda to take the next left. “I live just around the end of this lane”, she said. Linda turned on the dirt road towards the left and was keeping an eye out for the farm and the house Amy had described. “Stop here, that’s my house”, Amy said. Linda slowed the car down and was looking out the window for Amy’s house.

“But…”

As she turned towards the passenger seat, her mouth went dry.The seat was vacant. She started trembling as she turned again towards the “home” Amy had brought her to. “Holy Name Cemetery”, the plaque read.

Linda wasted no time in reversing the car at full speed on the dirt road and pushing on the gas pedal till her car protested. She didn’t stop  for anything till she reached the safety of her own home. She quit the job the next day and started working with her ex-employer at the same amount of salary as before. Never did she take the road to her new workplace again. And was creeped out by the name Amy till the day she died.

—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X

This post has been written for picture it & write by ermilia

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22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joetwo
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 22:19:18

    Excellent story. That’s why I don’t pick up hitch-hikers!

    Reply

  2. mistylayne
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 01:22:22

    This is like that urban legend except the hitchhiker disappears as soon as they get to a house and the driver goes to knock on the door and is told the hitchhiker actually died a year ago. 🙂 Love the imagery at the beginning about the drive being so peaceful and silent. I love a good ghost story!

    Reply

  3. carolynpageabc
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 04:20:33

    Oooooh eerie….. didodidodidodido – (Supposed to be an eerie sound!)
    ‘A ghost of a smile’ had me wondering if this was indeed a ‘ghost’…
    Great story. I never have and now I most definiately never will pick up a hitch-hiker; especially late in the day on a ‘peaceful, starlit, half moon night ‘. Well done! 🙂

    Reply

  4. Ermilia
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 05:34:11

    Wow. I loved how Linda wasted no time in getting out of there. If I was in her situation I would definitely do the same! Very creepy and well executed. Thanks for contributing to Picture it & write this week, Shalvika!

    – Ermisenda

    Reply

    • Shalvika P
      Jul 11, 2012 @ 08:22:02

      Thank you, Ermisenda! I think if I was in her place I probably would have frozen in one place and would’ve been too scared to move. I’m glad Linda had better courage than me 🙂

      Reply

  5. russtowne
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 10:35:44

    Well written, Shalvika. Thank you for sharing your story with us!
    Russ

    Reply

  6. Soma Mukherjee
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 11:05:59

    wow what a gripping tale ..Shalvika i have a hyperactive mind and its real hard for me to read anything at one go..but this was so engaging…could not move before i finished reading…
    you have to publish your short stories…i would love to have a signed copy..
    wonderful ,loved it

    Reply

    • Shalvika P
      Jul 11, 2012 @ 12:53:35

      Thank you sooo much Soma! You’re so kind. And I’m just so overwhelmed. I mean about 2 months ago I didn’t even know I could write two sentences that people would like. And here you are, someone who writes so amazingly well, telling me to publish my short stories! You just made my day sweetheart! 😀 Thank you!

      Reply

  7. prshntBhat
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:08:06

    Okay. So my pants feel wet. No big deal. Its just sweat I guess.
    Next time put up a disclaimer for the weak hearted.

    Reply

  8. judithhb
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 07:24:46

    That’s great and what a fantastic, unexpected ending. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Prashant
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 15:26:15

    bamboozled with your honest way of writing !! 😉

    Reply

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