“What’re you kids doing in there?”
“Who’s that?” Squealed the disheveled teenager as she poked her head up from underneath the wool blanket.
“You two lovebirds put some clothes on and get out here!” The police officer commanded as he shone his flashlight into the heavily fogged windows of the car’s backseat.
“We’re dressed officer.” Robert called as he reluctantly tossed the blanket off Anne Marie and him. “We’re coming out now.”
The two teenagers exited the car and stood embarrassed before the uniformed law enforcement officer. “It’s against the county code for anyone to park in unlit areas after dark until further notice.” The seasoned cop chastised as he shone his light into the teenager’s downturned and ashamed faces.
“Besides, I’m sure you know about the attacks, right? It’s too dangerous out here.”
“Yes, sir.” The teenagers answered in unison.
“It’s not safe for anyone to be out here at night like this.” The West Virginia cop repeated as he glanced up towards the moon. “Especially tonight, with this creepy fog rolling in, and it being extra in the dark woods and all.”
“We’re sorry, officer.” Anne Marie offered.
“Yes, we’re sorry, sir. It won’t happen again. I’ll take her straight home now.” Robert added.
“Good. Now stop whatever silliness you two were doing and run along. I’ll be back to check in a few minutes.”
“Yes, sir.” Robert agreed, finally raising his head and meeting the cop’s stern gaze.
An uncomfortable silence drug on until the cop broke the younger man’s indecisiveness. “Now, young man. Run along, now.”
“Yes, sir.” Robert repeated for the fourth time in four minutes.
The cop returned to his patrol car and drove off as the two overly amorous teens climbed into the front of Robert’s car. “That cop was scary.” Anne Marie whispered.
“He wasn’t so tough.” Robert checked the rearview mirror. “Do you think he’ll really be back?”
“Yes. Just take me home please.”
“Alright, baby.” Robert teased. “Let me take care of some business in the bushes first.”
“Can’t you wait?”
“No. I gotta go bad. Why? You scared?”
“Are you, baby?”
“Just hurry up.”
Robert leaned in and kissed Anne Marie’s cheek before turning the headlights on, climbing out of the car and running to the thick brush to relieve himself.
After several minutes alone in the dim glare of the headlights, Anne Marie turned on the radio to cover her unease caused the eerie silence combined with their remote location. When Robert suggested earlier they park at “Lover’s Point” after the movie, she’d forgotten all about the recent disappearances in town and quickly agreed. Now, after the cop’s warning and Robert taking his time relieving himself, Anne Marie began to worry and second-guess her decision making.
After several more minutes, Anne Marie reached over and honked the car’s horn three times. “Hurry up, baby.” She whispered.
As if answering her desires, Anne Marie detected movement in the bushes dimly illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights. “Finally.” She whispered.
Only Robert didn’t return.
Several more heartbeats passed and Anne Marie’s trepidation at her predicament turned into anger at Robert for bringing her here and leaving her alone in the woods for so long.
Anne Marie honked the horn again three times.
On the third honk, something heavy landed on the roof of the car with a force strong enough to visibly dent the thin metal.
Anne Marie screamed.
The car’s shocks lifted the vehicle an inch into the air as whatever caused the dent in the roof disappeared or leaped off. Anne Marie didn’t know which as she reached over and locked all the vehicles doors.
The barely detectable sound of glass breaking coincided with the vehicle’s headlights going out.
Out of the corner of her eye, the frightened teenager observed the impossibly quick movement around the periphery of the vehicle, but couldn’t see whatever broke both the car’s headlights, plunging Anne Marie even further into darkness.
She involuntarily screamed again but abruptly stopped as the creature landed hard on the hood of the vehicle.
Anne Marie noticed the creature’s talons attached to disproportionately large feet as they poked into the hood of Robert’s car in the faint light provided by the moon. She noticed the monstrosity’s hideous, glowing red eyes next. The rest of the six-foot thing appeared pitch black, shrouded in darkness by the shadow of the creature’s large wings. Lastly, Anne Marie detected the outline of the two large ears on either side of her tormentor’s head.
Anne Marie finished the scream the creature had interrupted.
Regaining her wits, Anne Marie slid into the driver’s seat and turned the keys in the ignition.
“Come on! Come on!”
Anne Marie turned the keys again as the creature on the hood of her vehicle leaped back onto the roof. Anne Marie looked up as razor-sharp talons poked through the padded headliner.
The car started.
Anne Marie slammed the vehicle into reverse and hit the gas. The vehicle lurched backward and the thing fell onto the hood and rolled off the front of the car. Anne Marie screamed again as the vehicle gained momentum.
Turning the wheel, completely unable to see in anything in the dark of the night, Anne Marie crashed into a large tree.
Her head snapped back into the headrest and Anne Marie moved the gear shift lever into DRIVE.
The car died.
The terrified teenager turned the keys in the ignition several times without any result.
“What now?” Anne Marie thought.
Anne Marie’s instincts told her to run and that’s exactly what she did; run as fast as she could into the dark.