Short Story Saturday- The side of the road

Please be nice to this. I’m not sure how I feel about it. The publishing company I work for has these flash fiction things, where they post a picture and you write a story about the picture. This one is from a week or two ago but it inspired to write something a little bit different.


Luca was racing home trying to beat the rain, but traffic had other ideas. As the storm started to move in she started passing cars pulled off the road. Some had been there a few hours as evident from the bright orange sticker on the window. The police were aware, the car would be towed eventually.

Within a few minutes of the storm getting overhead, it was raining so hard that Luca couldn’t see more than twenty feet in front of her. She could barely tell where the car in front of her was, their lights were blurs in front of hers. The windshield wipers couldn’t go fast enough to get the water out of the way. She decided to take her chances and pulled her white Honda off to the side of the road, hoping that there was no one coming up behind her. Ideally, she would stop under an overpass, but she couldn’t tell where she was so hoping for a bridge to come up soon, so she pulled off the side of the road and waited.

As the car came to a stop, she turned on the emergency lights, but within a minute they were too annoying for her to listen to. She knew she was off the road completely, she had felt the ground change under her as she left the pavement and hit the shoulder; so she knew that she wouldn’t be hit by a car driving on the white line. It was raining too hard for anyone to see her lights anyway. Luca pushed her seat all the way back and debated taking a nap, but decided against it, reaching for the book she kept in her bag on the passengers’ side floor.

She tapped on the cab light and propped her book open on her knees. It was nearly peaceful, the sound of rain hitting the metal of her car and the rushing of cars on the highway. It was easy to drown out anything but the story on the pages.

It quickly turned from gray to dark gray outside as the evening crept in, the rain started to let up enough for Luca to see the lines on the roads and make out the shape of trees. As she finished up her chapter she looked around and decided it was best to continue her way home, it felt safer now. She pushed her seat back forward and tossed her book to onto the seat beside her.

Luca dropped the car into drive and started down the highway in the light drizzle that was still falling. She heard her car drive over the rumble strip as she looked behind her for any oncoming traffic and maneuvered herself back onto the highway to finish her journey home.

It was only a mile or two down the road when her dashboard started to light up. The tire pressure light blinked and flashed in front of her.

“Damn it,” Luca cursed to herself as she pulled herself back off the road right in front of mile marker 87.

She jumped out of her car and walked around it to see what was wrong, the passengers’ side front tire was very flat, a nail clearly visible in the threads. Luca weighed her options. She knew how to change a tire. It wasn’t the difficult. She had all the tools set up in the back trunk of her car. On the other hand, it was raining and she did pay for Triple-A just for the reason. She climbed back into her car and pulled out her cellphone and the card and dialed away.  It was going to take between 45 minutes to an hour to get the guy out to her on the highway, but the always say that in Luca’s experience it was much faster. She tapped her dome light back on and picked up her book. If it was an hour she’d probably finish the book she had with her, there were less than 100 pages left. If nothing else, this was a perfect opportunity to get some reading done, as uncomfortable as the front seat of her car on the side of the highway was.

She lost herself in the story, completely forgetting where she was or what she was waiting for until she reached the end of the book, it had been very close to an hour since her phone call to Triple-A and there was still no sign of them. The drizzle had picked up to a steady rain again, not as hard as it was to cause her to pull over in the first place, but still quite steady. Wet and dark enough for her to still not want to change a tire.

Triple-A would have to be here soon, she thought to herself, wishing she had brought a second book along with her that morning. She was not going to take a nap now. It was too dark and felt unsafe. As she sat there stranded in her car she felt a creep of dread come over her. It wasn’t like her to be unnecessarily anxious, but something about this didn’t feel right.

The traffic outside started to slow, the end of rush hour,  now the cars came at one or two a minute instead of the flow she was used to during her evening commute. She was starting to worry. Maybe something happened to the tow guy? Maybe she should call Triple-A back to see what happened?

As she reached for her phone, a hand slapped against her window. Luca hadn’t seen the tow truck lights behind her but was relieved to see the man standing outside her car. She pressed the button to roll down her window, then realizing it wasn’t going to work with her car off, turned the key to battery power and lowered it. A tall greasy looking man in coveralls stood next to her.

“Need a tire changed?” He asked.

“Yes, thanks,” Luca nodded. She grabbed her umbrella and popped the door to help get the jack and spare out of her trunk. As she rounded her car, she noticed that it wasn’t the tow truck she’d been expecting, but a plain white pick-up truck. Probably why she didn’t see the lights, she figured.

She grabbed her umbrella and popped the door to help get the jack and spare out of her trunk. As she rounded her car, she noticed that it wasn’t the tow truck she’d been expecting, but a plain white pick-up truck. Probably why she didn’t see the lights, she figured.

The man followed close behind her and without warning, as Luca started to open the hatch something heavy hit the side of her head and two strong hands grabbed her waist. The next moment she was in the bed of that plain white pick-up truck– unconscious. The man pulled up into a part of the bed that looked a metal dog cage, locking her in.

He walked over to her car, closed the hatch, and placed an orange marker on the windshield.

Another car that no one will think twice about sitting on the side of the highway.


If you are interested in reading stories by people who actually know what they are doing with horror style prompts, head over to the Stiched Smile Publications blog where there should be a Stitched Saturday post up today with better flash fiction than mine.

Until next time Internet,

Deanna

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