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Ghost Car

A shadow was running the dark street, passing the black hulks of the many run-down buildings in the city of Lonnington. The occasional light of the streetlamps revealed the shadowy form to be a frightened Leroy Carson, carrying two large canvas bags in each of his black-gloved hands as the tail of his coat flapped behind him. You see, Leroy has just robbed the Lonnington First National Bank and was $20,000 richer… if he could escape, of course. Behind him, he could hear the sirens growing louder. Leroy looked ahead and saw an alley between two large buildings to his right. Moving quickly, he ducked into it and slid behind the dumpster that it housed, panting loudly, his heart galloping at a breakneck pace. Five minutes later, three police cars flew past, sirens screaming and lights cutting a swatch of red and blue light in the dark night.

Then, as quickly as they had appeared , they were gone. All became quiet. Leroy looked behind him and saw that the alley opened up into a parking lot at the other end. He smiled to himself and ran out into the lot, which was lighted by a single lamp sitting on a grassy island in its center. Leroy needed a car, and fast. Lonnington wasn’t safe for him anymore. To many things had gone wrong with the robbery, though it had begun alright. He had walked in, gotten everyone on the ground, and had the teller fill the canvas sacks he had brought, making sure she did it quickly by keeping his gun trained on her. She had filled the sacks and he had just grabbed them from her when it all went to hell. The security guard, who had been at the door when Leroy had come in, had sneaked up on the rookie bank robber. He had grabbed Leroy from behind, and the two had struggled for a moment. Then Leroy had thrown the guard on the ground, losing his ski mask to the guard as the man fell. Leroy had shoved his .44 Sheppard into the man’s face. “Shouldn’t have played the hero,” he had said with a sneer. Then he had blown a rather large hole in the guard’s forehead, splattering blood and gray matter all over the carpeted bank floor. Then he had grabbed the moneybags and ran as the people screamed.

Leroy chuckled at the part about the guard, remembering how the balding older man had looked so surprised with the gun in his face. Leroy Carson was a man who enjoyed others’ suffering immensely. It satisfied him to know he was causing another to feel pain. Gave him the warm fuzzies. The guard had caused a hitch in the plan, however. He hadn’t intended to kill anybody. Now he was not only a thief, but a murderer as well. There were also at least twenty people who’d seen his face. Now he had to leave town, and quickly. He scanned the parking lot, but it appeared to be deserted. He couldn’t see any cars. Leroy was about to give up and search somewhere else, when he saw it. Tucked into the far corner of the lot and hidden in the shadows was a vintage 1964 jet black four-door Chevy Impala in pristine condition. Leroy ran to it and tried the door. It swung open easily and revealed the leather interior, which was the brightest white Leroy had ever seen. It almost seemed to glow. He checked the ignition and couldn’t believe his luck: the key was hanging there.

Leroy wasted no more time. He threw his money into the back-seat of the classic car and got in on the driver’s side. When he turned the key, the Impala started up immediately, the engine purring like a cat with a full stomach and a warm lap to sit in. He pulled out of the parking lot and was driving out of Lonnington and into the rolling hills surrounding the small city for miles several minutes later. The car drove like a dream! It felt as if it were floating down the road.

Despite the seemingly perfect condition of the car however, Leroy couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right with it. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it was almost as if he wasn’t alone in the car.
He had been riding along with this feeling nipping at his mind for two or so hours, when he began to hear a buzzing sound, like a fly hovering near his ear. He attempted to swat it away, but the noise did not waver. Then, without warning, a bright flash erupted inside the car. Leroy let go of the steering wheel and shielded his eyes, yelling and waiting for the crash. Several minutes later, Leroy was still waiting. He lowered his arms from his face. The Impala was still on the road, going a steady forty-five mph. Leroy looked at the steering wheel. What he saw shocked him. The steering wheel was acting as if it were gripped by invisible hands. He felt for the gas and brake pedals and felt some force keeping his foot from touching them. Though it seemed impossible, the car was driving itself.

Leroy tried to grip the steering wheel, but some supernatural force kept his hands inches from it, just like the force around the gas pedal. It was as if they were both inside invisible boxes. Leroy tried in vain to grab the steering wheel for several minutes before giving up. He sat back on his side of the bench seat and closed his eyes. The sense of not being alone in the Impala had made its way from the back of Leroy’s mind to the front. Opening his eyes, Leroy looked to the passenger side of the car and saw nothing. He looked into the rearview mirror and scanned the backseat. Also nothing.

“Get a hold of yourself Leroy,” he said to himself under his breath, “You were alone when you got into this car, and your alone now.” He looked around the car once more. “I’m alone,” Leroy said to the empty car. “Lonely as I can be!”
He sat back and closed his eyes again. He had forgotten about the car driving itself for the moment. He wasn’t being driven off the road, and that was enough for him to relax a little.
“Damn, I’d kill for a smoke,” he grumbled.

“Here, take one of mine.”
Leroy’s eyes shot open. He looked beside him, and his jaw dropped. Where there had been nothing but empty space a moment ago, there was now a fat man in a black suit with slicked back hair, offering Leroy a cigarette from a pack. Leroy could smell the Aqua Velva on the man. The strange newcomer had a large face with a giant grin spread across it. It was the kind of grin politicians use to win voters over. The smile did not touch the man’s eyes, however. They were a cold, flat, icy blue, and behind them, Leroy could see what the smile was masking. There was knowing in those eyes, and something else to. Anger? Yes, that was it. there was intense anger in those cold pools of arctic blue.
Leroy was so stunned that he could manage nothing but a stammered “Thanks, pal,” before taking a cig from the pack being offered.

“Oh, no problem,” The man said, still smiling, “They say that these things will kill ya, but bad habits are the hardest to break, right?” He put the pack of cigarettes into his pocket and patted it. Leroy, not knowing what else to do, took out his lighter and lit the one he had been given, then inhaled the calming smoke into his lungs. After a moment, Leroy found his voice.
“Who the hell are you, and how did you get in here,” Leroy asked, his voice still a bit shaky. The man kept smiling and said, “My, my, aren’t you forward. Well, Mr. Carson, you can go ahead and call me Meryl. Everyone does. As for how I got in here, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Besides, explaining the things I can do is not why I’m here.”

“Then why are you here,” Leroy said impatiently, “and how do you know my name?” After getting over the shock of seeing him come out of nowhere, he had immediately begun to dislike this Meryl character. Meryl’s smile faded. “I’m here, Mr. Carson, to have a little chat with you,” he said in a serious voice. “You see, my… well, I guess you could call them my bosses, they have been watching you rather closely throughout the years. They believe you’re not a good person. However, they always give people a chance to redeem themselves.”
“Where exactly are you going with this, uh… Mires?”
“It’s Meryl, Mr. Carson. And it’s simple really. My bosses have watched you cause others pain long enough. The security guard was the last straw for them.”
“How in the hell did you know about-”
“Do not interrupt me, Mr. Carson,” Meryl said in a low, serious voice. “as I was saying, the guard was the last straw. They sent me down here to talk to you and determine how bad of a person you truly are. I have with me a list of your worst offenses. We will see just how bad you are, then I will relay the information to them. They will then pass judgment accordingly. This chat we have, Mr. Carson, will, for lack of a better phrase, determine your fate.” This made Leroy grin. “Sure pal, sure,” he said with a laugh, “Whatever you say. Now get out of my car. I don’t care if you use your magic powers or if you have to tuck and roll, just get out.” Meryl’s smile returned to his face. “I’m sorry Mr. Carson, but I can’t, at least not until we’ve had our talk. I could lose my job, you see.”

Leroy was getting angry. He reached into his overcoat and pulled out his gun, which he then leveled at Meryl’s chest, pulling back the hammer with his thumb as he did so. “I don’t think you understand buddy,” Leroy said in a dangerous voice. “Get out of this car, now.”

Meryl kept on smiling. “I can’t, as I’ve told you. And don’t bother shooting me. It won’t work, my friend.” Meryl put his index finger on the muzzle and pushed the gun down. Leroy immediately brought it back to Meryl’s chest.
“Don’t touch my damn gun!” Leroy nearly screamed.
“Sorry! Somebody’s touchy.” Meryl put up his hands in a defensive ‘calm down, lunatic’ gesture. He still had that amused smile on his face. That smile sent Leroy over the edge. He pulled the trigger of the revolver. There was a bang that resounded throughout the car as the muzzle flashed. The bullet tore a hole into Meryl’s suit, just below left breast pocket. Meryl kept smiling, unaffected. It was like the bullet hadn’t done a thing to him. He chuckled. It was a rough, throaty sound. “I told you, Leroy. Guns don’t work on me.”

Leroy looked first at the gun, then the smiling man next to him, a puzzled look on his face. Then he pulled the trigger again. Bang! Meryl was still unharmed. Leroy pulled the trigger of the gun again. And again. And again. Bang! Bang! Bang! Meryl’s smile never wavered. Leroy, his six rounds gone (one on the bank guard, five on Meryl) threw the gun on the car floor in frustration. Meryl, still with that annoying grin on his face, said to Leroy in a cocky, I’m-smarter-then-you voice, “Are you quite finished, Mr. Carson?” Leroy, angry, shocked, and more than a little scared, muttered a quiet “Yeah. Yeah I’m done.” Meryl clapped his hands together and said cheerily, “Wonderful! Now let’s get started, shall we?” he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small notepad and a sharpened pencil. He flipped to the first page then said “Here we are, Mr. Carson. Your first offense. Now, just to clarify, this list details the worst things you’ve done, not everything you’ve done. That list would kill quite a few trees. Now, let’s continue. It says here that when you were ten, you broke your little brother Freddie’s arm.” Meryl looked at Leroy with disapproving eyes. “What?” Leroy said innocently, “It was an accident.” Meryl looked at his notes, then back at Leroy. “According to my notes Mr. Carson, and I can assure you they are quite accurate, you told everyone it was an accident, but you really pushed Freddie out of that tree you were climbing, then threatened him that you’d do worse if he told the truth. That isn’t very good for your case, Mr. Carson.”
Before Leroy could reply to this, Meryl flipped to another page. “Here is your second offense. Age 12, you robbed an old man. 82 year old Mr. Claren, it says. It also says here that to get his wallet, you threw him to the ground, breaking his fragile leg in the process. Do you deny these allegations?” Leroy’s face broke into a grin. “Nope,” he said, “I did it. Got twenty bucks out of it to. That was some good money, and you know what? I don’t regret it. Not one bit.”
“Your truly a disgusting individual.” Meryl said this as though he were stating a common fact, like saying the grass is green. He then continued reading from his notes.
“Oh, it seems as though you didn’t do anything to bad for a few years. That should help your case.” He flipped to the next page. “Okay… ah! Here we go. Age 15, you sent another boy to the hospital. You hit him in the side with a baseball bat. Cracked some ribs, nearly punctured his lung… not good, Mr. Carson, not good. I’d ask if you regret this, but I’m sure I know your answer already.”
“If you think my answer is ‘no, Mr. Asshat, I don’t feel bad’ then your one hundred percent correct.”
Meryl looked at Leroy with narrowed eyes. There was no grin on that large face now. In its place was a frown that made Meryl look much different from the smiling man who had first appeared. The cold eyes however, were the same.
“That was a little more vulgar than what I was going to say, but it’s close. Mr. Carson, I’d turn down the confidence and the profanity. It severely damages your image in my superior’s eyes.”
“You think I care what your damn boss’ think?”
“I would care if I were you.”
“Well I don’t!” Leroy snarled, “I don’t care that I’m a bad person, I don’t care if your boss’ hate me, and I especially don’t care for you either, pal!”
“Well, if you don’t care about saving your skin, Mr. Carson, then I guess we can stop right now instead of continuing on through my papers. Besides, I’ve read through these notes many times. From what I’ve read, you deserve the absolute full punishment. It shall be dealt to you as soon as possible. Goodbye, Mr. Carson. “
“Go to hell!”
Meryl did not answer this. Instead, he turned away from Leroy and looked out the window. Leroy began to hear the buzzing noise once more. It grew louder and louder. Then there was another bright flash, and Leroy shielded his eyes, as he had before, when this strange man had first shown up. Then the light faded, and Leroy lowered his arms.
“Finally, he’s gone.” Leroy said with a sigh. He went to grab the steering wheel. His hands stopped inches from it.
“Oh come on!” he yelled, “He’s gone, now let me get on with my life!”
All of a sudden, Leroy felt the car speeding up. He looked to the speedometer and saw the needle climbing steadily up, passing the numbers by and showing no sign of stopping. The Impala was taking the corners of the road roughly now, and it had started to swerve. It had reached seventy miles an hour and was still speeding up at an alarming rate. Leroy tried to grab the wheel again, but it was pointless. Try as he may, the invisible force kept him from grabbing it. he tried the brake, but they were useless, still blocked by forces unknown. He tried the brakes a few more times, then looked up. What he saw ripped a bloodcurdling scream from his throat. It was the last sound that ever escaped his lips.
The car was found two days later, just off the road and plowed into a tree. There was dried blood splattered on the cracked windshield where Leroy had smashed his head and shattered his skull. Leroy himself was slumped over the steering wheel. His nose had been obliterated, and there was a large gash on his forehead which was caved in. The coroner determined that he had fallen asleep at the wheel. No one much cared, though. Even Leroy’s family didn’t miss him much. They hadn’t seen him in several years anyway. The bags containing the $20,000 were recovered from the car’s backseat, which was all most people cared about. The case was closed.



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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

FireloverThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm:
daaaaang man. this is reaallly  good. i am speechless
 
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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 31, 2013 at 7:35 am:
Very good! Nice job!
 
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Sarah1517This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm:
Pretty cool, keep it coming!
 
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FluteFreak said...
May 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm:
This is really good. My only critques are that you switched from present tense to past tense in the middle of the story and that in your second paragraph you use the word "had" a lot. Try to elminate or use synonyms to make your writing stronger.
 
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indimcmathz said...
Mar. 31, 2012 at 2:57 am:
really good,  i liked it a lot :D keep writing!
 
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DreamsOfGold said...
Mar. 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm:
This is awesome. Let me just say, you are awesome! You're a genius! In the art of words, it is very important to know what your readers like, what is in and out. I say that as long as you work hard, it's always in.
 
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IamtheshyStargirlThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm:

Wow, this is unlike anything I have ever read. I rather liked it. The ending was especially unique, your writing style is very interesting. 

You said you want constrictive critism in your author's comment, so here I go :)

“You were alone when you got into this car, and your alone now.”  ‘Your’ should be ‘you’re’, as it is a contraction. ‘Your’ states ownership, and ‘you’re’ is a contraction of &lsq... (more »)

 
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