Matt Billing's hands gripped the steering wheel of his Taurus, as it made its way down the old route 66. He had taken a month off for vacation from his job at the advertising firm. Which of course they were more than willing to give him. Especially after fifteen years of constant loyal service. But he had mainly done it so that he and his wife Shelly could have some time alone. The idea of them getting away from Chicago seemed like nothing more than a dream, but here they were traveling down the road to a destination which would bring such happy memories. Of course Matt wanted to take the inter-state so it would be faster, but she insisted that they take Route 66. Just to take the same route everyone did back then in the fifties. And anyway there will be a lot more interesting things to see. Interesting things? Yeah, so far all that he was able to see was the never-ending acres of farmland. Even though there was traffic that came from the other direction, it still seemed like a boring drive. His eyes glanced over to the passenger's seat where Shelly sat asleep. The way she sat there, leaning forward towards him, giving him a clear view of the tanned flesh of her cleavage. Tempting him to pull over and make a move on her. Maybe back in their twenties they would have done something like that. Putting caution to the wind and willing to express their love anywhere, at any time. But that was twelve years ago and now they lived a more private life with such things. Still, those thoughts lingered in his mind. Which or course he would have to ignore, until they were somewhere private, away from everyone's eyes.
It was at that moment he heard the sound of a car horn, which woke him up from his daydream. The horn was one, which Matt had never heard before. To him it sounded like the low pitch of the death march. When he looked into the rearview mirror, he could see the image of a black, old Torinado with its high beams blaring down on him. Which seemed odd considering it was in the middle of the day. The Torinado sped up, coming closer to his back bumper, then went into the oncoming traffic lane and flew passed him.
"Damn teenagers." he said, even though he had remembered the days he drove like that.
It was then Shelly woke up, her sleepy eyes stared at him curiously Her arms stretched in front of her, while she let out a slight moan. A smile appeared on her lips so lovingly as she moved closer to him.
"How are you doing sweetie?"
"Fine. Just trying to stay awake from this long drive."
"Oh my poor baby. Maybe once we reach the next town we should stop."
Matt had already planned on doing that, for he wouldn't be able to go another ten miles. But for some reason, he found himself thinking about that black Torinado. Especially when it had passed them. The way all the windows were tinted and the brief view of its license plate. 666DTH. For some reason he felt the cold sensation of fear running through his soul. Yet, he didn't try to show it to Sherry, for she would ask questions about it. And that was the one thing he couldn't handle right now. He could feel her head resting on his shoulder and her right hand on his thigh. The unconscious motion of her fingers moving up and down, brought back that temptation.
"What are you doing?" he asked with a grip on his lips.
"I was thinking about the drives we used to take when we were younger and what we did during those boring parts in the road." she said shyly as he felt her hand squeeze his thigh slightly.
Matt couldn't believe what he was hearing her say as well as what she was doing. It was as if she was hinting around about reliving a moment from the old times.
"And what about it?" he asked, as if he had no idea what she would do next.
"How about this." she replied as her hand unzipped his pants and lowered her head into his lap.
Later, their Taurus continued to move down route 66. Matt showing a satisfied expression on his lips, while Shelly looked like a child that got away with something she shouldn't have. He could feel himself wanting to have a cigarette, even though he had quite four years ago. But the black billowing smoke that came over the hill ahead of them suddenly broke the bliss, which they both felt.
"What the hell is happening?" Matt said suddenly.
"It's probably some farmer burning their leaves. Around here it is probably legal to do that." Shelly replied.
But from the way the smoke looked, it seemed it was coming from the road. Before they even reached the hill, Matt started to think the strange black Torinado caused it. Mainly because the sights of it made him feel it was out to do damage. At least that was what he thought.
"Come on Matt, you know it's nothing more than your own paranoia doing this. You have been driving for so many hours, making yourself exhausted and this is the result of it." a voice echoed in his head.
Still, he couldn't get the thought of it out of his mind. That feeling that what they would see would be something so horrid. But there was no way he could turn around, for the road had become to narrow. Especially with the on coming traffic. The only thing, which they would be able to do, was to wait and see what would come. Once they reached the top of the hill, they could see the flashing lights of the state troopers' cars, flares glowing on the black asphalt and a car facing a large elm tree. The dark smoke they had noticed a moment back was originating from the burning wreckage, while a few of the officers directed the traffic around the accident. When they were directed around it, Matt got a good look at the sight. Seeing a woman with short black hair, her flesh burnt slightly as she laid on the edge of the asphalt in a pool of her own blood. The driver, a man, had been forced through the windshield. His body lying limp and lifeless as streams of blood ran down the hood of the demolished Mustang.
"My God, get us out of here." Shelly said in a terrified tone.
"Doing the best I can. " Matt replied as his attention went in front of him.
They passed the accident within seconds, but the image of it stayed trapped in their mind. Two miles down the road they stopped at a large truck stop with the name, Rose's in neon above the front door. Normally, Shelly wouldn't want to stop at a place like that, but after what they had seen, it would do. After they pulled into an empty parking space, they sat there in silence. Even though they didn't know who the victims were, there was still a sense of dread, which consumed them. Because it could have been them which would have been in that accident. Caused from Shelly making Matt take his attention off the road while she showed his her oral talents. For Matt the thought of that Torinado stayed fresh in his mind. There was no way for him to know if it caused the accident, but its license plate stayed locked in his mind. 666DTH.
'Don't let your imagination run wild. It's just mere coincidence. You have no idea what could have caused that." that same voice said in his brain.
"Are you ready to go inside?" Shelly asked in a caring voice.
Matt turned to her, giving her the expression that he wasn't aware of what she asked. Yet it seemed as if Shelly knew something was bothering him. She didn't say anything, for it wasn't the right place to talk about it. When he looked at her, the way the ends of her fingers played with the ends of her long blond hair, Matt knew he couldn't resist her. A smile formed on his lips as his hand reached over and touched hers.
"I was just waiting for you to be ready."
They got out of the Taurus and made their way to the front door of the truck stop. Across from them, a couple cars say by the pumps, filling their tanks. Then his attention went to the parked cars on the side of them. It was then that he noticed the black Torinado that was pulling out of a parking space. The engine roaring like a lion, those dark tinted windows hiding the identity of the driver, Then raced off back onto the street. Matt could feel as if his heart was going to stop the moment he saw the car. Of course it passed the moment he heard Shelly's voice again.
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah, fine. he said, then looked at her. " Let's go inside."
At the restaurant she had asked him about his job at the advertising firm. This was one of the few times she asked about his job. Usually, she was always be complaining about her job at the doctor's office. It was obvious Shelly was trying to take his mind off of what was bothering him. Questions lingered in his mind, ones that could not be answered. Did he really see that Torinado? Did Shelly see it when it speeded back onto route 66? Or was it just his imagination. But the one thing which worried him the most was, did the driver see him? Recognize him from when he or she had passed them? That was the one thing, which bothered him the most. Even though it all probably was nothing but paranoia, there was still something deeper that festered deep inside his soul. Yet, there was nothing he could do about it.
After having a burger and a couple cups of coffee, they sat there for a moment in silence. Shelly looked as if she wanted to say something, just from the expression on her face. Matt just wanted to ask her what was on her mind, but not a word was uttered from his lips. All he could do was to wait to see what she would tell him.
"Honey, I think we should get a motel room at the next town we get to." Shelly said.
"It sounds nice. But how far is the next town, that's what I'm worried about." he said honestly.
At that moment a waitress walked by, which of course Shelly got her attention. The waitress was a woman with medium, fiery red hair. On her apron was the nametag, which showed the name Penny. She showed a smile on her lips that were so welcoming, as her voice had a slight Southern twang.
"How can I help you all?" she asked.
"We were wondering how far is the nearest town? We were planning to get a motel room for the night." Shelly explained.
"Well, that depends on which direction you are headed." the waitress said as her hand rested on her hip.
"We're headed west down route 66." Matt found himself saying.
"Oh heck, there is a small town a mile and a half from here. You two have to go to the Night's End motel. It's perfect for a romantic night." the waitress said as she winked at Matt.
"That sounds perfect. Thank you very much." Shelly said in an excited tone.
Matt knew what was going to come around for them, no matter what motel or hotel they would end up at. It was the same expression that would get when she wanted him. Of course there was nothing he could do to argue about it. Even though the haunting memory of that car stayed in the back of his mind, it could never overpower his desire for Shelly.
That night they found themselves in some dark, cheap motel room. The walls were paneled with dark brown wood, the television on the dresser across from the bed showed some porno. Mark just laid there on his back, staring up and the shadows above him. He could feel Shelly's naked flesh against his, the warmth of her body enveloping his. Even though he wanted to sleep, his body longing to collapse and surrender to its fatigue, it didn't. There was something about that car which stayed on his mind.
"Matt, let it go. You are being paranoid about the whole thing. Close your eyes and just go to sleep." his voice echoed in his head.
Even though he wanted to ignore it, his fatigue made it impossible for him to do so. No matter how hard he tried to fight it, sleep finally came.
Matt found himself in the center of a small town, the heat from the summer sun beating down on him. He could see people moving about, doing their normal routine, smiling and welcoming those who they passed. Yet, for some reason he felt a cold chill surrounding him. Making him want to run away and yet he didn't. The wind suddenly picked up as dark, ominous clouds came forth, blocking out the sun. Casting forth a dismal, light gray shadow over the land around him. The people around him became nothing more than mutilated corpses, lying where they stood. Blood flowing on the cement, while the stench of death filled the calm air.
"My God, what happened here?" he whispered, then hesitated for a moment. "Why can't Shelly be here? She could help me through this. Help me keep me sane."
"You want your beloved, just look down and you will see her." a low, dark voice breathed in the air.
It felt like tiny daggers ripping through his flesh, as the temptation to look kept burning in his soul. Finally, he couldn't take it any more, he had to look. When he did, he saw Shelly's body ripped apart, her blood splattered everywhere. Pink stained bones of her legs, ribs and hands revealed, while chunks of flesh dangled from the bone. Her eyes looking up at him with such terror as her mouth remained open. The more he gazed at her corpse, the more he felt the sorrow fill his soul. It was then that he heard the sound of her voice calling out to him. So strong that he could not ignore it.
"Why did you let this happen? Why didn't you try and stop this?" her voice said.
"But,…I…" he muttered.
It was then that he heard the sound of an engine revving as he looked up in fear. Finding himself staring at the high beams of the Torinado. Casting out its light upon his as he stood there paralyzed in fear. The engine grew louder, Matt tried to back away from it. But it seemed no use, for there was nowhere he could run to. The headlights suddenly dimmed for a brief second, and he could swear that he was able to see who was behind the wheel. The person's face was covered by the shadows of a black fleece hood, wearing a black leather biker's jacket and its hands that gripped the steering wheel were nothing more than the white bones. He had staring at death itself, or maybe some demon that was thirsty for blood. Which ever it might be, it now had its sight on him. The engine started to race once again, tired turned wildly as smoke floated from behind it. 'You can run but you can't hide from me. Sooner or later I will find you.' a voice echoed around him. Then the Torinado moved quickly towards Matt as he finally let out a scream.
He woke up quickly, wanting to sit up, but there was an agonizing pain, which shot through his entire body. His body remained motionless as his back pressed against the cold, smooth surface of the asphalt. All he could do was to stare up at the dark sea of twilight with the multitude of stars glimmering like diamonds within it. Matt could hear the sound of voices near him, a man and a woman. But he couldn't even lower his head to see them.
"What is happening to me? Why am I out here when I should be back in the motel room with Shelly? What did I do now?" he thought.
"Sir. Sir, can you hear me? If you can try to speak so I know you can hear me." the woman's voice said.
"My wife. Where is my wife?" he asked in a weakened tone.
For a moment neither of them said a word, but to Matt that was all that he needed to hear. He knew that she was gone, and he was the only survivor. Of course, living without her would not be a life at all. Just an empty excuse of existence. It was then he heard the man clear his throat as if he was beginning to address him.
"Sir, I'm sorry to say that your wife didn't survive the crash. We found her body a couple feet from the wreckage. She must have been thrown out of the car during the impact. But we are going to take care of you." he said in a sincere voice.
Matt wanted to cry, but the pain he felt made it difficult for him to do so. He could feel the paramedics' hands gently lifting up his head and placing a brace around his neck. Then a split on his right leg. Even though the pain was unbearable, he tried not to show any emotion toward it. It was then the lifted his body up onto the gurney, then through the back door of the ambulance. Once they started down route 66, Matt tried to figure out how this could have come about. The only thing, which he could conceive, was that he had fallen asleep at the wheel. And what he had thought was real was nothing more than a dream. The motel, the truck stop, and even the strange black Torinado. It was just a dream, nothing more than that. There isn't some demon driver out there waiting to run me down.
"Sir, are you alright?" the woman asked.
"Yes, just upset about my wife's death." he said, and thought. "And grateful that son of a bitch in that car isn't real."
"Don't worry everything is going to be alright. You just relax. We'll be at the hospital within fifteen minutes." she said smiling.
It was then from the back windows of the ambulance bright white light shined through it, as the sound of a racing motor was heard coming from outside. Matt could feel his heart racing wildly as he thought of who or what it could be. The sound of the horn blared through the closed doors. The cold, low melody of the death march. As it made its first strike to the back of the ambulance, Matt could hear that low, ungodly voice in his head again.
You can run, but you can't hide. Sooner or later I will find you.
And it was obvious that it now had found him. The ultimate being who thrived on road rage.
THE END !