The Passenger

January 14, 2009
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Dark, roiling clouds squirmed to the tree-brushed horizon. The sky blew cold. A storm was coming. I drove, fast and furious, ripping up the highway in an white Mercedes. How embarrassing it all was. Here I was, ivy league grad and highly successful doctor, and yet I had no idea what it was in the back of my car. Just thinking of it plastered my hands in moisture. My day’s events sounded like something reserved only for nightmares.

I had awaken in my apartment, just like every other morning. I live downtown, right in the bustle of inner city. I picked up the newspaper from the hallway outside, made coffee, and got dressed. Then I entered an elevator and descended to the parking garage. The doors slid smoothly open and I stepped out. The ring of my thin stilettos on tarmac sounded wonderfully powerful. I felt like the woman of the twenty-first century. My ancestors would be proud.

Between car rows I marched, past the nice curveting shines of the newest beauties in the market. In the city, if you had money, you flaunted it. Life became magically easier if people saw you as worth their time. I spotted my car at the farthest end of the garage, where I always park to escape damage from crazy drivers. I fumbled around my keys and found the correct one. It was at that very moment that I saw it.

A huge, dark, cloud crouched low against my car. Its formless face twisted into snarls. Thousands of thin, cruel teeth flashed.

I screamed.

My keys spun away and smashed to the tarmac.

And I fled, heart leaping in my throat.

Five moments later as I was furiously jabbing the elevator buttons, a wave of doubt and embarrassment swept over me. What the… I sighed and turned. Work expected me in twenty minutes and here I was like a stupid girl, all flustered because of hallucinations. Of course. That sushi last night had been rotten…no matter what the waiter said. I heaved a deep breath. I would just go back to my car and calmly pick up my keys, get in, and go. I crept to my car, walking on tiptoes, unbidden thoughts of those terrible teeth creeping with me.

Well, nothing awaited me. I picked up my keys and inserted them. All was going right as rain.

I am here…

The words smacked into my head like a blow. The furious, dark beast was in my car, crouching among clothing and golf sticks! But, I didn’t scream this time. The words made me bold. Somehow it wasn’t as scary any more now that I‘d heard it.

“Who are you?” This was absurd, talking to a dark something that was probably a part of my imagination….conjured up from spoiled seafood.

I am your friend.

“What?”

You must get into your car.

“Now just see here,” I began. “Nobody orders me around!”

It snarled, springing through the glass. For a terrible moment teeth clashed and shivered millimeters from my face. I jumped away to flee.

Do not run. The threat was quietly said, but the cold force stopped me as if I was suddenly frozen.

“Okay! I’ll come!” I swung open the car door and tentatively slipped in.

Turn on the engine.

A twist of keys and my Mercedes burst into furious life.

Drive.

“Where?” I asked. The temperature had dropped, I suddenly noticed chills racing up my arms. An army of goose bumps.

The creature snarled. I must return to my home.

“But where is that?” I pulled up at a red light and watched people walk across. They were all so happy looking.

Wherever you want it to be.

“I don’t understand.”

But the shadow slipped away into my peripheral vision and fell silent. I pulled my car into a two-lane highway. Cars hurtled past. Seeing them come from a great distance, slowly approaching, was easy enough. But then they picked up speed, or else my eyes became lazy, and…then a terrible noise and blurred vision!…and the car would dwindle away again like a spent storm cloud. Seeing them now, with a strange new terror in my heart, brought back horrible nightmares I used to have as a child. How silly. Man-crushing cars indeed! I drove my Mercedes onto the road and put foot to accelerator. The creature, shadow, monster, what ever it was; remained mute.

“I’m going to work, you know,” I said. “I’ve got to go there and you can’t make me do otherwise.”

A rippling snarl drifted past my ear and the air grew dim and colder. Fear stabbed my heart, but I gripped the wheel.

“I am not a child. I am not a child!” I muttered the mantra like a prayer. In answer, the beast snarled into silence. I breathed deeply and tried again. “Why are you here?”

Silence.

The car sped faster.

In sudden annoyance I turned, twisting in my seatbelt, to quick-peek a look over my shoulder.

Nothing. Just golf sticks and piles of forgotten clothes. Was it all my imagination after all?

I never saw the car till it was too late.

My foot compacted onto the breaks…a beginning driver’s mistake. How childish! For a moment I felt the car lift up in defiance of gravity-

And then, a sickening drop, a sharp pain in my neck, and utter blackness faded my eyes.


I am here to take you home, the creature’s voice was familiar, but the shining white being to whom it belonged was not.

I held out my hand, how pale it was. The light engulfed my slender arm, and then, together, we ascended towards overpowering white brightness.





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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

shifra said...
Mar. 3, 2009 at 1:10 pm
Haha, I like what "I" said! That's supposed to be joey1657...but he didn't log out before commenting!
lol
thanks anyway joey1657!
And thank you yobono80 and clairebear7228 for your comments also!
 
shifra said...
Mar. 1, 2009 at 12:08 am
you have THE GIFT for writing! WOWOWOW! i love it! its so gothic and intense! keep it up!!! cant wait to read more of your stuff!
 
yobono80 said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 1:47 am
soooo amazing! cant wait to read more of your stories!
 
clairebear7228 said...
Feb. 12, 2009 at 12:53 am
wow shiphrah it's really good! do doctors wear stilettos to work though?? oh wait if you were a doctor you would! anyway great story, i really like the imagery
 
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