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A Lost Road

A Lost Road

Even though Kyle was only going to be home for a few days, he was scrambling to gather his belongings and pack his car with whatever possible to bring back to New Hampshire for the long weekend. Computer, clothes, a Calculus textbook that probably won’t be touched, and a variety of other junk. He was supposed to be on the road by 9 after finishing his paper, but got sidetracked and was rushing to make up time. While running back and forth from the dorm room to his car, Kyle figures he can make it to his small town of Harrisville, New Hampshire by midnight if he leaves immediately. He throws the remainder of his things in the trunk and peels out of campus, speeding towards the highway.

The ride from UConn to his house is about 2 and a half hours, but Kyle can make it in half that when he needs to. It’s a cold November night, yet he has the windows down on his jet black BMW as he takes slow drags from his Marlboro Reds. Kyle loves these road trips home, especially when he leaves late and the highway is practically empty. He keeps himself entertained by rapping along with Kanye West as he blasts the ridiculously loud music throughout his car. Even though he enjoys the isolation and the fact that it’s just him and the road, Kyle begins to grow bored.
“I must have thrown it somewhere in here, where the hell is it?” he says as he rummages through the pile of junk sitting in his passenger seat.
“Ah, knew it!” he exclaims with a smile as he raises the water bottle to his eyes. The dark amber liquid looks almost invisible against the night sky. Kyle begins to take small sips from the bottle, but progresses to larger gulps as he argues with himself how the road is practically a straight path for the rest of the journey.

Kyle eases up, and decides to light another cigarette and press the pedal a little bit more. The glowing red clock reads 11:14, and he knows if he goes faster he can definitely make it home before midnight. All he has to do is cross into New Hampshire and..the thought gets cut short. Kyle looks into the rear view mirror and to his horror sees flashing red and blue lights.
“Oh s*** oh s*** easy, easy...you’re fine, you’re fine...you’re fine!” he panics as he attempts to slow down without looking too suspicious. The sirens wail as the cop nears Kyle’s car, but they pass and continue screaming down the highway.
“Haha yes! Thank god! Sucks for the idiot who has to deal with that pig”. Rejoicing in his luck, he turns up the stereo and speeds along. As he progresses down the road, he sees the lights from the cop car, along with quite a few more. He nears the commotion and notices the issue. A black SUV flipped and was laying upside down, completely destroyed. Kyle slows down as he passes the scene, mouth agape while he watches the paramedics wheel the victims into an ambulance. A small body, covered in a white sheet was being lifted into one of the ambulances. Firetrucks and police cars blocked off the rest of the highway. A cop knocks on his window and points towards an exit, indicating he should get off.
He gets off the exit and looks at the sign. “Winchendon, MA”.
“Awesome..this would happen. I’m pretty sure I threw a map in here,” he says as he searches in the back seat. He finally finds it and tries to figure out where he is and where he has to go. Unable to read the map and frustrated, he continues traveling down the road in hopes of finding a town where he can ask for directions. It’s 11:40, and Kyle is growing very impatient. He begins turning down random streets, taking lefts and rights in hopes of at least locating a house.
“Why the hell is this town so vacant!?” he yells, agitated with his unfortunate situation. Eventually he stumbles upon a narrow street with tall trees extending their various limbs above the road like a tent. It’s a dirt road, but a dim light is shining through the trees.
“Thank god, hopefully it’s a house or somebody that can give me directions,” Kyle says as he speeds down the street towards the light. He reaches down to grab his lighter and as he looks up he notices a white figure. Before he can even make out what it is he slams into it at 50 mph and watches it fly off the road. But he did make out what it was. He knew exactly what it was. A wave of nausea takes over Kyle, along with a repetitive chain of mumbled “no’s”. That sound, that disgusting thud continued to ring in his ears.
He reaches into the glovebox for his pocket sized flashlight and opens his car door to inspect the damage. The right headlight was completely crushed, along with a huge dent on the bumper. However, this wasn’t what surprised Kyle. There was no sign of whatever he slammed into. Distraught, he quickly ran around the car twice inspecting the area around it, underneath it, above it. No sign of any collision, yet the front of his car was destroyed. “Wha.. where...” he sputtered as he tried to make sense of the situation. Grabbing his cell phone, he punches in 9-1-1 and puts to his ear while spinning around with the flashlight, helplessly attempting to locate a body. Beep, beep, beep, beep.. “No signal” his phone reads, as if to taunt him. He tries to recount what he saw, and remembers a face. It was definitely a person, possibly even a child. He definitely saw a white dress. As he looks over the front of his car again, he notices a white ribbon about 7 inches in length caught on a piece of his torn up bumper. He quickly puts it in his pocket, and scans the trees with his flashlight before entering the woods. Kyle begins inspecting the woods, quickly flicking his wrist back and forth, searching every tree and rock for evidence of his mistake. The woods are thick and overgrown which makes it very difficult to discover anything that could be hidden by a tree or pile of leaves. Almost as if the woods planned to be this difficult.

Attempting to step over fallen logs and thorn bushes, Kyle ventures deeper into the thick forest, calling out to anyone that may be there.
“Hello? Is anyone in here..I’m so sorry..I’m so, so sorry,” he whispers, careful to hold back the warm tears that had begun to flow down his cheeks. Suddenly, he hears the sound of a twig snapping and whips around, facing a huge, old oak tree. Standing in front of the oak tree was a small girl in a white dress with her back facing Kyle. A long veil covered her dark, mangled hair and she seemed to sway side to side, ever so slowly. He asked, “Hel..hello? Are you okay? I’m so sorry, I wa-” but before he could explain what happened, she slowly turned around and faced him.
What Kyle saw made him cower in fear, cringing at the sight of his victim. Her faced was black and blue, yet as pale as the moon with deep, sunken eyes. She had cuts all over her neck, arms and legs, and one of her arms was contorted into a bent, twisted shape, resembling the branches above her head. Her delicate, white dress was stained crimson, dripping blood onto the leaves at her feet. “Oh my god...oh my god,” Kyle wept on his knees, unable to face the little girl he had practically killed. Silence draped the woods, yet Kyle couldn’t avoid the ringing in his ears as he tried to understand what was happening. He looked up, making eye contact with her and said
“You need to go to the hospital..I’m so sorry, please..come with me”, but she didn’t move. She continued to stare at him, before finally speaking 4 soft words.
“You ruined my dress”.
Kyle wept loudly, shaking with fear and sorrow.
“I’m so sorry, please let me take you to the hospital you’re very hurt,” he whispered, extending his arm to her. Slowly, she began to walk towards him, arms behind her back with her head cocked to it’s side.
“No, I don’t need to go to the hospital. I’m fine, but you...you may need to visit the hospital,” slowly speaking each word with such a delicate voice that it seemed to be on the verge of shattering. Kyle couldn’t understand what she meant, he wasn’t harmed in the accident at all, not a single scratch or bruise on his body.
“Me? I’m...I’m fine, trust me, but you need medical help and I will take you there..just come..to my car,” Kyle said, as she crept closer and closer to him. She was now hovering over him, and a wave of fear overcame him.
“You hurt me,” she said in a hushed tone, and revealed a rock behind her back. Quickly, she smashed the rock into Kyle’s head, knocking him unconscious.
The room was dark, and Kyle slowly opened his eyes. The room actually wasn’t dark, his head was just buried in his pillow. He had a pounding headache, and tried to figure out what was going on.
“Ughh am I hungover...I thought I was going home last night?” he spoke into his pillow, muffling his groggy voice. As he spun himself around, his eyes readjusted to the bright, white light of the room. As he regained his vision, he realized he was not in his dorm room, nor was he in his room at his parent’s house. He was in a hospital bed.
“What the....what!?” Kyle exclaimed as he noticed the handcuff chaining his hand to the frame of the bed. “What the hell is going on!?” he screamed, trying to rip the handcuffs off. A doctor and a police officer rushed into his room, attempting to calm him down. “Why am I handcuffed, why am I in a hospital, what the hell are you doing to me?!” he yelled at the doctor.
“Calm down, relax, do you not have any recollection of last night?” the doctor said, a short 40 year-old man with thick glasses. Kyle tried to think back to the previous night, and could only remember the highway and sirens.
“Not really...I was driving home from school I’m pretty sure, but why am I handcuffed?!”. The police officer walked up to him, with a stern unsettling look on his face.
“I’m Officer Fred Raymond, with the Winchendon Police Department. Are you aware that you were in a car accident last night?” spoke the officer.
“Not at all! I barely even remember driving, are you kidding me? What happened? Where’s my car!?” Kyle shrieked, bewildered by the news the cop had just told him.
“Well, your car is totaled, but that’s the least of your problems. You were driving under the influence of alcohol and rear-ended an SUV at 90 mph, causing it to spin out of control and flip. The vehicle belonged to a family with 2 children who were returning from a wedding in Springfield, and you are under arrest for the murder of Jeffrey Pickett and his daughter, Alexa Pickett.”
Kyle instantly remembered the little girl, the ruined dress, and the accident in the woods, and getting off the exit.
“But I passed that accident! I wasn’t the cause of it! I got off the exit, and tried to find my way home, and I had the map, I was trying to get home! I was just going home!” he said, as he wept uncontrollably, trying to figure out how this was happening.
“I’m afraid that’s not the case. You were highly under the influence last night, and upon rear-ending the SUV, you spun out into a guardrail where you were found unconscious at the scene, along with a water bottle full of alcohol.” said Officer Raymond.
“You received a very serious concussion due to the accident, which may be the reason you cannot recall what happened last night,” the doctor tried to explain. Kyle laid paralyzed by shock, confused by the story he’s hearing compared to the story he remembers. The cop spoke a few words to the doctor before the two began to head out of the room. Suddenly, Kyle remembered the ribbon. He reached into his pockets and grasped the delicate ribbon.
“DOCTOR WAIT! I HAVE THE RIBBON! I WAS IN THE WOODS, I FOUND THE GIRL, I WASN’T IN THE ACCIDENT, I ONLY PASSED IT! PLEASE, LOOK, I WAS IN THE WOODS!” he shouted as the doctor headed down the hall.

“The patient seems to be very unstable, insisting he was somewhere else at the time of the accident, even though he was clearly found at the scene of the crime. The patient has been treated with a serious concussion, however no other injuries were found.”




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