The Girl in the Road

Three hours and seven minutes. That’s how long Cathy had been driving that night. Leaving the protest at around nine o’clock and after setting off at five in the morning to drive the same time across boarders to get there. She was exhausted, her legs ached, and her voice was horse from shouting, but she was happy. She felt she had really achieved something during that time and she was sure that the next protest she would do the same again.

The lights above the motorway glowed a dim orange and the rhythmic flash as they passed overhead was hypnotic and Cathy could feel her eyes trying to close. Shaking her head and reaching blindly for her cup of coffee she tried to force herself awake again. It worked to a degree, she didn’t feel her eyelids fighting their way down again and the coffee gave her a slight jolt, if only because it was cold and pretty unpleasant. Added to the lights in the dark there was the thumping of hundreds of raindrops as they exploded off the cold car exterior. The rain had started towards the end of the protest and slowly built until now it was a fierce downpour playing a drum solo.

After about ten minutes Cathy felt her eyelids trying to do their escaping act again and she reached for her coffee again. This time the base caught on the lip of the cup holder and, in her tired hands, she accidently tipped the coffee into her lap. With a yelp she bounced in her seat, looking down to see what she had done and moaning as she felt the cold coffee soaking into her skirt. Sighing in irritation to herself she reached for a handful of napkins to try and dry herself off, only after that looking up over the wheel for the first time in several seconds.

There was a person stood in the middle of her lane. A girl and Cathy screamed and slammed the wheel to the side. The wheels of her car screeched and skidded in the rain and the car slid sideways and slid towards the girl in the road. Cathy continued to scream as the car slid. Closing her eyes and waiting for the thump and her car flattened the poor girl. But it never came. The car slowly stopped and Cathy was left with the sound of the rain and her own beating heart. Finally daring to open her eyes Cathy saw that she had come to a halt, side on across two lanes of the motorway. It was a small miracle that there was no one else on the road at the time, due to it being so late.

Remembering why she had slammed on her breaks Cathy jumped from her car and staggered out into he road, looking for what she expected to be the flattened body of the girl. At first Cathy didn’t see the girl, thinking that she must have sent her flying or worse, caught her in the bumper of her car. Looking around Cathy was beginning to reach new levels of panic when, looking back to where the girl had been she saw her. The girl was crouched in the road, her hands over her head as if bracing for impact. She was pale, with long blond hair that was plastered to her by the rain which had turned the strappy red dress she was wearing dark. She was bare of foot and as Cathy ran up to her she yelled and fell to the side, trying to escape.

Cathy took her arm carefully and tried to calm her.

‘Shhh, Shhhh. It’s ok, you’re ok.’ She tried to coo but the girl still struggled against her for what felt like minutes, sat in the road but finally the girl gave up and just sat sobbing.

‘Are you OK? what happened to you?’ Cathy tried to ask but the girl didn’t reply. Just sobbed.

‘Why were you in the road?’ Cathy asked all to aware of how soaking wet she was getting crouched there in the rain.

‘He…he…he jus…’ started the girl but then she was reduced to sobbing again.

‘Come on, come with me, I’ll take you to the police.’ Cathy said, taking the girl by the arm and leading her, without objection, to the passenger side of her car where the girl slid into the sat and sat with her head in her hands.

Cathy sat down behind the wheel again and careful turned the car back onto the road, driving cautiously now after her close encounter. And very aware of just how wet the inside of her car was getting which in any other circumstance would have infuriated her but at that moment she could ignore that. As she drove Cathy tried her best to talk to the girl but she got very little out of her beyond stifled sobs and quiet weeping. All that she managed to find out was they the He the girl had been talking to was her boyfriend. Upon learning this Cathy very quickly started to put the story together, or at least put a story together in her head. She could imagine the kind of swaggering jock that this poor girls boyfriend was. The kind of meathead that thought he was the gift that god gave the world and thinking he could to whatever he wanted to whoever.

Well he wasn’t going top get away with it on Cathy’s watch. She was going to take this poor girl to the police and make sure that they nailed this sick bastard to the wall. Looking over at the girl again Cathy thought she couldn’t be much older than eighteen and even they it may have been pushing it. Despite her makeup having run down her face in the rain she was still exceptionally beautiful, with exceptionally smooth skin and gorgeous blue eyes which looked so doe like and innocent despite the red whites. Her body was slender and the soaking wet dress clung to it, accentuating her figure for anyone to see. Her pale skin shimmered with the rain water and seemed to almost sparkle in the dazzling lights as they passed overhead.

Cathy pulled her attention away from the girl and back to the road. The street lights were still a dull orange. Why had they seemed to be so bright and sparkling? Risking a glance back at the girl she saw her in the dull light. Sitting there quietly snuffling to herself. She was still tired Cathy thought, the adrenalin rush was wearing off. There were still only a few miles back to town and Cathy wanted to stay alert. It was going to be a long night yet.

‘So what’s your name?’ Cathy asked, hoping to distract herself.

The girl didn’t answer.

‘Where do you live?’ Cathy asked now

‘London’ the girl said in a quiet voice.

‘That’s not exactly close.’ Cathy replied. Glad that maybe there was a conversation she could develop.

‘No’ the girl replied

‘How did you end up all the way out here?’

‘I was staying with my boyfri…’ started the girl before she started to cry again, softly.

‘Oh it’s ok, It’s ok. I’m going to make sure all this gets fixed.’ Said Cathy. Anything to try and calm her.

The girl didn’t stop crying, but she quietened.

Cathy turned back to the road again. Her eyes had been lingering on the girl’s long legs, her skin smooth as silk even here and how her delicate feet were covered in scrapes and bruises from walking barefoot down the road. Cathy’s wanted to just pull over and hug and comfort the poor girl but there would not be prudent at the moment. What she needed to do was get the pair of them to a police station where they could report what happened. But Cathy looked over again and saw the girl was looking at her, their eyes met and she was drawn into her beautiful eyes. Just staring at her, full of tears still and engulfing like a hole had opened up and swallowed Cathy. It almost pained her to look away but she managed to fix her eyes o the road again.

‘Thank you…’ the girl said in her gentle voice. There wasn’t a crack in it.

‘You don’t need to…’ started Cathy

‘Thank you for stopping and helping me. Not many people would have.’ The girl continued.

‘That may be right, but I always look out for a woman.’ Cathy replied.

The girl sobbed again quietly but didn’t start crying. There was an almost irresistible force trying to pull Cathy’s head around to look at the girl again but she fought against it, trying not to think about her soft, round lips. Her cold skin. It was insane. She was a happily married woman and had plans to adopt maybe someday and yet the appearance of this girl was rapidly driving her insane. What was wrong with her? Keeping her eyes glued to the road she tried to keep her eyes fixed to the whiter lines flickering in the headlights. Counting them as she was acutely aware of the sweet-smelling perfume the girl was wearing. Surely that should have been washed off in the. Then the girls hand closed gently around her hand on the gear stick.

Cathy’s heart beat quickened as she felt the girls soft skin on hers and her breath seemed harder to pull back. She glanced across at the girl who was staring longingly at her, her perfume was filling her nostrils to such a degree that Cathy thought she would smell this girl when she was in her grave. Slowly the girl leaned in and Cathy felt herself doing the same. But then she pulled herself away. She was probably twenty years older than this girl who had just been through something truly horrific and was not in her right mind. Cathy tried to open her mouth to say something to that effect, to try and be gentle with this girl but all she could manage was

‘What are you…doing?’

The girl didn’t need top reply, her hand was still on the gearstick and Cathy felt, almost against her will, the wheel of the car turning over and the vehicle slowing as they entered the hard shoulder. Cathy wanted to object but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything. That perfume was so strong and even as the car slowly drifted to a stop she knew she had nothing to say. Somewhere inside she knew she didn’t want to be doing this but wherever that part of her was it was far away. Tucked up and being supressed by the desire that she felt, the smothering need to touch this girl’s skin and feel it against hers. The car stopped and Cathy heard the flick of the hazard warning lights.

The girl didn’t need to say anything either. Almost as soon as they had stopped her hand was on Cathy’s face and Cathy felt she would have her rest it there forever. But there was no forever as the girl leaned in to no resistance from Cathy. The girl whispered something briefly in Cathy’s ear, so quiet that even with straining her hearing it was too quiet. Then heir lips locked. The kiss felt like an explosion in Cathy’s brain as thousands of pleasure receptors exploded to life and she felt her head spinning in the clouds. It was the best she had ever felt and she suddenly felt like this was the only thing in the whole world that was right, this one glorious moment that had brought the two together through tragedy. Her hands were on the girls legs and her skin was as soft as she had imagined, without out any blemish and as smooth as she had ever felt. Almost too smooth. Like running her hand over a glass pain.

Something wasn’t as right as she had thought. Her tongue felt strangely warm and there was a wetness between her chin and the girls. Like she was drooling. Cathy tried to pull away but the girl resisted, pulling her back with surprising strength. Cathy tried to pull away again, struggling this time and she felt a sharp pain in her tongue. She yelped and pulled back harder, leaving the girl to finally let go. Only the girl didn’t leg to entirely. As Cathy pulled back the girl’s tongue stretched comically out in front of her like a piece of gun a child would pull out from their mouth, the end still plunged into Cathy’s mouth and as Cathy tried to scream she realised that their tongues were connected. More precisely, the girls tongue had latched onto hers.

Then Cathy tried again to scream when she took on the full effect of the girl’s face. the girl’s chin was cleft in two by a huge tear in her skin, the bone revealed beneath it and when Cathy screamed the girl’s head rolled backwards and the rip split open. The girls lower jaw split clean in two in a shower of blood as the thing let out a harsh, croaking screech. It’s eyes had rolled around in it’s head and were pure white while it’s teeth popped from it’s jaws like popcorn from a machine and were replaced by yellow razors. Cathy tried to pull away bodily but the things legs kicked forward, it’s feet folding like claws to a chorus of snapping bones and seized hold of Cathy, pulling her forward with horrendous strength. Blood was now filling Cathy’s mouth as her tongue was mauled by  the things own tongue and her scream became a gurgle.

The things arms shrived like a balloon with all the air released from it and the thing’s dress fell gently down to it’s waist, revealing it’s pale body, alabaster white and from it’s belly button exploded a plume of blood, drenching Cathy, as four fleshy claws burst from inside. Between them was a membrane, making it appear like some horrific flower with gnashing teeth in the centre. More tongue like appendages sprouted from the mouth at the centre of the flower and even more from between the things legs, all wrapping around Cathy and pulling her towards the creature. Cathy’s flailing became weaker and weaker as she felt herself sliding across her seat and towards the thing. The whole interior of the car was red with blood and there was a thick, cloying scent of it everywhere. Somehow despite this, as Cathy was relentlessly drawn to the centre of the flower, she could still smell the perfume that had intoxicated her so just moments earlier. Then her face was mere inched from the horrific mouth.

A car sat at the side of the motorway, the hazard lights flashing and the interior blocked by red. There was no sign of movement from it until the passenger door opened and a young girl emerged. She was soaked in blood from her hair to her bare feet. When she stepped out of the car the closed the door with a small snap before looking up to the heavens. The downpour was as heavy as it had ever been and thunder rattled in the distance. The girl stood in the rain for a moment, arms outstretched and a huge smile on her face as she let the blood run on her body, mixing with the rain before the happily skipped off down the road, splashing in the water that had filled the drains.

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A short story first draft

So I did promise a first draft of a short story so here goes, This is the kinda thing I have been writing so far…

The sun was shining bright and hot in the cloudless sky, the birds tweeted happily and the village was a hive of activity. Men walked around with chests bare, carrying timber and hessian sacks full of wheat and other materials. The women washed their clothes and hung them out to dry. Laughing and calling back and forth to each other as they worked. Children were either busy with their chores or had finished for the morning and were running about playing tag and hide and seek and any other manner assorted games. The mood was one of happiness and joy, the winter storms had passed and the village was determined to enjoy the warmth of the spring for as long as they could.

Amelia was one of the few children who had yet to be allowed to venture out into the sunlight. She had been tasked to sweep the floors by her mother, a task that had proved to be a longer one than Amelia had anticipated. She gazed longingly out the window at the sun hovering just above the treeline of the forest that bordered their village. She wanted to go out and pick flowers to decorate her room with, her seventh birthday was drawing near and she wanted it to be pretty for the occasion. She had managed to clean most of the floor but there were still a few patches of dust left that she had missed and she was so bored of the job.

After a few minutes of deliberation she decided on her plan and carefully lifted up the edge of the rug that lay in the centre of the kitchen floor. Quickly she swept all the dust she could see under the rug before letting it flop back down again, covering the dirt from view. Amelia knew that she would be found out for this eventually but it saved her time and with the sunlight wasting she didn’t care. Having completed her genius plan she dropped the broom to the floor and ran to the stairs. She called up to her mum that she was finished but didn’t wait for a reply before running gleefully out the house.

Amelia skipped down the cobbled street, dodging round men and women trying to get about their business and even past a group of her friends who were stood at the corner of a house trying to decide who was going to be the first person it in a game of tag. They called to Amelia to come and join them but she just skipped on by calling out that she was going to pick flowers. As she left the town through the main gate the doorman called to her to be careful and not to venture into the forest but Amelia ignored him and raced out into the fields.

The flowers had come into full bloom early this year and they filled the fields like a sea of red and yellow, rolling like waves in the cool breeze and Amelia skipped through them joyfully. She had decided that she didn’t want any of these flowers, they were common and every little girl in the town had picked hundreds for themselves. No Amelia was going to go into the forest and pick some of the rarer flowers that sat between the trees. Those were the most beautiful flowers that there were, she had seen them when the teacher had taken the towns school into the forest to look for birds, she had wanted to be allowed to pick some then but the teacher hadn’t allowed her, she said it wasn’t why they were there and that she’d get lost if she left the group. But now there was no teacher to stop her and Amelia knew that she couldn’t get lost if she only stayed to the edges.

It wasn’t far from the edge of the village to the forest and soon Amelia found herself in the shadow of the tall trees. Even here at the edge of the forest the flowers were so much prettier than those in the fields. There were red and yellow ones yes, but also beautiful purple ones and vibrant orange ones, bright blue and some that seemed to shine, golden, in the sunlight that still managed to slip its way through the gaps in the trees. Amelia picked herself a large bunch of each of them and was about to turn and run back to town when she heard something floating through the trees.

There was something different in the air, it sounded like someone singing, but it was not words that Amelia heard. It was beautiful and as soon as Amelia heard it she had to know who was making it. She started cautiously into the forest, aware that she shouldn’t be venturing into it alone but she loved music and she had to find out who was singing, she wanted to know how to make such a beautiful sound. She slowly walked a little deeper, taking solace from the fact that the sun was still bright above her and shining down through the trees. Amelia wasn’t far into the forest when she started to smell a sweet smell in the air that accompanied the song that was becoming ever clearer. It smelled like sweets and fruit juices and seemed to float to her nose on the same gust of air that brought the music to her ears. Amelia pressed onwards until she could see a clearing through the trees. She stopped just at the edge, the sunlight in her eyes and she turned back to see how far she had come. Through the trees behind her she could still see slithers of outside the forest and even what she thought was the wall that surrounded the town. Satisfied that she wasn’t very far into the forest, and would have no trouble getting back. Amelia stepped into the clearing.

As Amelia stepped out into the clearing she no longer had the glare of the sun in her eyes and after blinking a few times she managed to clear her vision and get a proper look around the clearing. Where she had expected to see a person standing in the clearing she saw nothing but a few moss covered rocks and a small puddle, but what caught her eye was a small clump of brilliant white flowers that sat right in the middle of the clearing. Their flowers were larger than any other flowers Amelia had seen hat day and they were breathtakingly pretty though in the middle of the petals was a second but that had not yet opened to the sun. The land around them was so empty of anything that it was as if the very forest itself had moved away from them, to abandon them on their own. Amelia thought that they were the most beautiful flowers in the whole forest, they seemed to glitter in the sun and as they bobbed in the breeze the music that she had been hearing seemed to grow slightly louder. Somehow these flowers were the source of that beautiful music. As she entered the clearing all the flowers seemed to turn towards her in unison, though initially unnerving Amelia just could not look away from how beautiful they all looked. The wind rushed through the trees and the leaves swayed like a beckoning motion. Amelia giggled; it was like the flowers were asking for her to come to them. They were on their own after all. They must be lonely.

Amelia walked up to the group of flowers, still singing to her as she came. Amelia sang a few notes to accompany them. Her teacher had always said she had a perfect voice for singing. She had decided that she had to pick every single flower in the clearing; they were too beautiful to be abandoned here and if she left only a few behind they would be even lonelier. As Amelia approached the flowers they all turned to the air and opened their strange second bud, releasing a thin mist of pollen was emitted from each. The pollen glittered and shone in the air, being taken high by the wind before slowly drifting back down, flittering and sparkling in the air, twisting and swirling like a ballet dancer. It fell like a curtain falling over her, warm to the touch and simply disappearing when it toughed her. Amelia spun around, dancing with the pollen, her hands brushed with shimmering gold from the mist in the air. She was in such wonderment that she started to laugh and giggle and to her amazement the flowers around her seemed to join in on her laughter, echoing her enjoyment.

The leaves of the flowers brushed up against Amelia’s legs and she realised that she had spun into the midst of the flowers. They were all around her now, their brilliant faces looking up at her. She sunk to her knees, completely surrounded by the beautiful white buds. She couldn’t help wondering why these flowers were so beautiful but kept their buds closed up after releasing their pollen, especially seeing as every other flower in the forest had already opened up. She reached forward lazily for one of the flowers, but as she did so it seemed to swerve away from her hand, seeming to laugh as it did so. Amelia giggled again and left the flower alone, thinking it probably shy. Amelia yawned, starting to feel slightly tired after her run to the forest and she lay back amongst the flowers. She felt that she could just close her eyes and go to sleep, the flowers standing vigil over her and as she had this thought they flowers seemed to lay their leaves across her legs and arms as if holding her.

Amelia lay there staring up at the glittering pollen still hanging in the air. She was blissfully happy, this had been the best idea she had hand and as she lay there, listening to the still singing flowers and watching the pollen fall she thought that she never wanted to have to go back to the village. Just as Amelia felt her eyes start to close her thoughts drifted to her mother who had probably already discovered her devious trick and Amelia thought that she had probably better collect her flowers and leave, she didn’t want to worry her mother if she were to try and find her. She tried to move her arms to get up but found they felt very heavy, full of sleep. Amelia looked around her but all she could see on either side of her were the flower bulbs looking down at her, closing in on her it seemed. Then Amelia felt something moving around her and looking down at her body she saw those green stems starting to slide their way up her body, like skinny green snakes, wrapping around her legs and arms as they went.

Amelia opened her mouth, about to tell them to stop, she didn’t like this game but she couldn’t manage to emit words. All that she could do was emit a faint grown as one of the flowers snaked over her chest and reared up above her. It seemed to hover, poised over her for a few moments as is examining her before finally opening up its brilliant white bulb and revealing rows of serrated yellow teeth.