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Unwilling Passenger

By Mike Hargreaves All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

Missing Clare

Each mile passes me by one at a time, filled with uncounted streetlights. The dark night sky hangs overhead, as if it is the king of this orange-lit road. The songs on the radio, the DJ and his callers, are the only voices I can hear over the noises from the trunk. My eyes feel dry and tired, my eyelids so heavy. Still the miles flash bye, and the road streaks past as I drive on.

The motorway curves right and I'm looking out over a city, all lights and no movement, the world seems empty like my heart. The radio plays a tune and more miles pass as the pounding in the trunk stops.

Another turn off, and then another disappear in my rear view mirror. The road looks the same every so often, indistinguishable from other memories. A car shoots past heading over the ground I’ve already covered, its headlights burn and I perk up.

I reach into the passenger seat for my coke and take a swig. Chew some gum. Another voice speaks on the radio, I think it's Clare but I realise it's an advert. I feel sad and think about my passenger in the trunk.

The road slides under the bonnet and reappears in the rear view mirror. The driver side front wheel drags over the rumble strip, the noise wakes me, and my unwilling passenger. I hear more thumping from the trunk.

There's another tune on the radio, then another call comes in. This time it is Clare's voice and she's telling me it's going to be all right. She's back and things are going to be fine. She's in my arms and we embrace and I feel so human. Like I had forgotten I was alive, and now here she is, reminding me. My arms wrap around her body holding her close, and I tell her I'll protect her, “this time”, she'll be with me forever.

We kiss and I feel the pain of my heart hoping, and dreading this won't last, but it does. Our lips part after an eternity and my heart is thumping and it's getting louder. I close my eyes and feel her golden hair in my face. Her arms wrap around my neck, her legs on my lap. Her breathing is so regular and so deep. She is alive and so am I. And I don't remember how but I never want to forget this moment.

I hold my breath and in that moment smell her perfume. The pain comes on in a wave and when I open my eyes the orange light has washed Clare away. I can hear sirens and see flames and feel the dampness of something on my face. I hang there as air billows around me and I would cry but I've forgotten how. The remains of other cars are scattered across the motorway and I'm so tired now. I can't see the trunk from where I'm lying but then I realise I don't care. I close my eyes and breathe in, and her perfume is there again.

I'm in pain Clare and I don't think I can make it right any more.

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