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Last Date

By P. A. Clouden All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Fantasy

Last Date

‘Krissy was perfect but I should’ve known better,’ Michael thought to himself as he left the high school. His bow tie loosened, jacket opened and half his shirt hanging out of his pants. He had been embarrassed, humiliated, and even worse, had his heart broken. Michael tried to gather his composure but the further he got away from the school, the more he felt comfortable crying.

Girls like her don’t date losers like you

Those were the only words echoing in his head as he got to Murray Street. The neighborhood was deathly quiet from parents getting a good night’s sleep knowing their children probably wouldn’t be back until morning. Michael lived another mile and a half from Murray but he was in no rush. As he neared the end of Murray Street, he noticed a lone car, lights off and parked, in the middle of the street.

“Who parks like that?” Michael asked aloud. As he got closer, he noticed how nice of a car it was. It was a sleek, all-black, two door. Michael knew enough about cars to recognize what kind it was, “a 1964 Cadillac Fleetwood. Who would leave such a beauty here?” Michael admired the vehicle from every angle until he noticed the most peculiar thing of all. The keys were still in the ignition. He thought for a second. If this car belonged to someone, they would be coming out soon to claim it. They surely wouldn’t take too kindly to him drooling all over it. But what kind of moron leaves the keys to his car in the ignition for anyone to steal? Especially when its this nice of a car.

“This has gotta be some kind of trap.” Michael said aloud, admiring the keys. Noticing how the swayed back and forth in the wind, tempting him to take a ride. He convinced himself he was making this up, but couldn’t deny the temptation. He wanted to climb inside. Take it for a spin. It couldn’t hurt. He could bring it back after he went for a little joyride. Time was running thin. Michael made a split decision and hopped in. Michael closed the door and noticed his hands were trembling. Beads of sweat had formed on his eyebrow. “It’s now or nothing.” Michael whispered. He turned the key in the ignition, the cadillac smoothly purred to life. “Nice and easy. They don’t make them like this anymore. “ Michael almost laughed as he grabbed hold of the steering wheel, pressed down on the gas pedal and took off.

The thrill of driving away in a stolen car made Michael cheer and scream aloud, “Who’s a loser now?!”

He wasn’t sure where he was going and he wasn’t slowing down to think about it either. Apart of him just wanted to drive away and never come back. He thought about the prom. Thought about how he had been duped by Krissy, how she pretended to like him and convinced him to show up at prom so she could humiliate him in front of the entire school. How her football flunky friends drug him outside and kicked the crap out of him. He looked up at the mirror in the car, almost didn’t recognize his bruised face. His lip had swollen and his eye had blackened but he was starting to feel better in his new car.

Michael turned on the radio, he had a sinking joy to sing aloud to whatever song was playing. It could’ve been a teen pop song by a pretentious diva, he didn’t care. He would sing it anyway. The caddy’s radio didn’t look as if it had been updated since the car was made but Michael figured he could still get a signal. Most of the stations were static. None of his favorites were coming in clear enough. Finally he landed on a station he had never heard of before. 196.4 FM.

He’d cut in just as a man with a deep hollow voice was talking, “You’re listening to 196.4 FM radio. Blast from the Past. You’re tuned in to our Teenage Teardrop hour and we’re playing your favorites. Like this classic coming to you now. Don’t go anywhere.”

Well, where oh where can my baby be

The Lord took her away from me

She’s gone to Heaven so I got to be good

So I can see my baby when I leave this world.

“I recognize this song,” Michael said aloud. “It’s from 1964. Wait….1964. 196.4 FM radio.” Michael began to panic a little. ‘1964 Cadillac Fleetwood’

“What is happening?” Michael asked aloud.

“We’re going to prom, silly?” a girl said suddenly appearing in the passenger seat of the car. She was wearing a pink chiffon prom dress with long white sleeves that went almost up to her elbows and a pair of white gloves. She was wearing a corsage and a pair of thin heels. Michael did his best not to crash the car as he stopped abruptly in a panic.

“Who - - are…? Where did you—?”

“Don’t you like my dress?” she said, with a softness to her voice that almost felt scared.

Michael froze. Unable to respond.

“y-Yes. It’s lovely.” he managed to choke out.

A jovial smile returned to her face, as if she was completely unaware of the fact that she just appeared out of nowhere in the passenger seat.

“Wha - What’s your name?” Michael asked, his voice still shaking.

The girl turned to face him, staring him in the eye for the first time since she appeared, and let a coy smile come across her face, “You know what my name is, silly.”

Michael felt an uncomfortable lump rising in his throat, and got a twinge of fear in his gut. Who was this girl? Where did she come from? Why was she acting as if she knew who he was?

“Aren’t we still going to prom?” She asked him.

“… of- of course.” Michael managed and began to drive again. The car was silent for a moment, long enough for Michael to hear that deep, hollow voice again.

“You’re listening to 196.4 FM radio. Blast from the Past. You’re tuned in to our Teenage Teardrop hour and we’re playing your favorites. Like this classic coming to you now. Don’t go anywhere.”

Well, where oh where can my baby be

The Lord took her away from me

She’s gone to Heaven so I got to be good

So I can see my baby when I leave this world

“Again?” Michael asked aloud.

“This is the only song they play.” The girl eerily responded.

Just then, the car stalled and the engine went cold. Michael panicked. He pressed his foot to the gas. Nothing happened. He turned the key in the ignition repeatedly; still nothing.

“What’s going on? The car won’t move!” Michael yelled. The girl remained surprisingly calm.

“This always happens.” she said.

“What are you talking about? What always happens?!” Michael frantically asked.

“Shhh…just listen to the song.”

“What song?”

Suddenly, the radio roared back to life and it was in the middle of the same song:

We were out on a date in my Daddy’s car

We hadn’t driven very far

There in the road, straight ahead

The car was stalled, the engine was dead

I couldn’t stop, so I swerved to the right

Never forget the sound that night

The cryin’ tires, the bustin’ glass

The painful scream that I heard last

“Wait…are you…? Are we going to die?” Michael asked.

“We have to. It’s in the song.” she said.

“But I’m not —“

Michael was cut off by the loud horn of a mack truck cruising up the hill, it would be coming towards them shortly. Michael reached for the car door but it was locked. Before he could unlock it, the seatbelt suddenly wrapped tightly around him and locked into place.

“No, no…” Michael frantically grabbed hold of the keys and turned the car back on, as it suddenly came to life, Michael got an idea. He grabbed hold of the wheel, pressed down hard on the gas and made a sharp left turn out of the way of the oncoming mack truck. As it passed him, he watched as the truck just as suddenly as it appeared, had quickly vanished. Michael was covered in sweat and could barely catch his breath as he looked to the passenger seat. The girl’s face was no longer calm, but a frightened expression came over her face, and then a laugh.

“It’s over…It’s…it’s over?” she said aloud, “You did it. You did it! You broke the curse!” she screamed as she leapt into Michael’s arms. This was the first time Michael had touched her. She left cold; frozen actually. “Thank you” she sobbed, “Thank you so much.”

“You— You’re welcome.” Michael answered confused, “What exactly happened?”

“You are the first one to figure out how to break the spell of the song” she said with a laugh, “Now I can finally go to prom.” she laughed again. Just then the girl became hollow and began to fade.

“Wait…wait…who are you?”

“Friends call me Baby.” she said as she finally vanished into thin air. As she went, so did the car and almost in a trance, Michael found himself back on Murray Street. His bow tie loosened, half his shirt tucked out of his pants, his lip and eye swollen, but no longer sad. Michael felt a sudden urge to return to his prom.

He tucked in his shirt, fixed his tie and ran back to his high school. He ran past a few seniors who had known about him getting beat up, he didn’t pay attention to their taunts and laughs. He was going straight to the gym before he past the trophy cases in the hallway. There, he saw something he couldn’t believe. There was a picture next to a crown and underneath that said, ‘You’ll always be our Queen. R.I.P Brenda “Baby” Murray 1946 -1964.’

Michael held his breath tight as he realized exactly what he’d gone through. He’d gotten a girl to her prom, in just enough time to get her crown.

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