Siren Song

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Writing Bunch


A long car ride gone wrong. That night in the past that everyone wants to forget. Best friends would do anything for each other, right?



(Writing critiques appreciated!)

Submitted: January 06, 2018

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Submitted: January 06, 2018

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“What am I supposed to do in the car with my mom for three hours?” The girl’s sparkly nail polish flashes as her thumbs move across her phone.

“Idk,” is the instant response. The girl sighs. Catie is never actually helpful in times like these, but at least she tries. That’s what best friends are supposed to do after all. They help each other out in tough spots, you know?

Another vibration comes her phone. “You could always talk to me,” Catie suggests. The girl nods to herself, ignoring the police siren that wails past the car window.

That’s pretty much the only thing I can do, she thinks. She goes to respond, but the letters disappear and the screen goes dark under her fingers.

“C’mon,” the girl pleads. She shakes her phone, though she already knows that won’t do anything. Pressing the power button only makes the low battery symbol start to flash.

“It had 52% charge!” the girl grumbles. “See, this is why I need a new phone.” She says it loud enough that her mom should hear her, but another siren going by drowns her words out. The girl closes her eyes and lets out a breath. Thank god for that siren. She shouldn’t have said that. She knows that her parents saved up for a while to get her the phone she has now.

When she opens her eyes again, she has a smile fixed on her face.

“Mom, could I use the phone charger?” She asks.

“Angie, my phone has the directions plugged in. You know how fast that drains the battery.” Her mom never takes her eyes off the road and Angie doesn’t ask again. She knows there are some battles that you just can’t win.

Another siren goes past.

“Oh, I hope there hasn’t been an accident,” her mom sighs. “I’d hate to hit traffic and miss the tour.” Angie also hopes there hasn’t been an accident, but the tour, she couldn’t care less about. She doesn’t even want to go to the school, and not just because it’s where her sister goes. There’s too many people there, too much party. The whole place makes her feel like she’s drowning.

Angie flips her blank phone nervously between her hands. She tries to take more deep breaths as another siren wails by.

“So how are you, sweetie?” Her mom asks. Internally, Angie groans. There it is. The moment she’s been avoiding since getting in the car. She pulls at seatbelt and wishes she was anywhere but here, trapped in this car with her mom.

“I’m fine,” she says, praying that will be the end of it. Her mom should know by now. She will never talk about that night. All she wants is to move on and forget about it.

“Aren’t you excited about the tour?” Her mom asks, risking taking her eyes off the road just long enough to toss Angie a hopeful smile. It makes Angie’s stomach twist. Her mom hates driving, but here she is, driving one of the busiest highways around, all for Angie. In that moment, Angie wishes she could be Catie or her sister or literally anyone else. Catie is gorgeous and popular and in every other way, typical. Angie wishes their roles were switched, because maybe then that look wouldn’t have felt so tragic.

“Yeah mom, I’m really excited,” she lies. “I’m going to sleep now though.”

“Okay.” Her mom looks like she wants to ask more but doesn’t. “You can always talk to me, you know,” she tells Angie.

To herself, Angie is shaking her head. She wishes she could, but her mom just wouldn’t understand. Catie doesn’t understand, and she was there that night. Sometimes, even she doesn’t get it.

“I know mom,” Angie sighs. “I’m just tired. I’m going to sleep now.” She is tired at the very least. She hasn’t been sleeping very well recently. As she turns to face the window, she watches another set of blue and red lights speed by.

The leaves on the trees surrounding the road are just starting to change color. Once upon a time, Angie might’ve tried to paint them, but now, they don’t seem quite so pretty. All she can think is that they’re dying.

There’s something moving out there, Angie realizes. She presses her face to the glass and squints her eyes. In the distance, she watches as a hiker emerges from the woods, stepping out onto the highway. He’s head to toe decked out in serious hiking gear, a silvery walking pole in each hand. And here he is, ending up on the busiest highway around. Angie thinks that’s just about the funniest thing she’s seen in awhile. It actually makes her smile.

Another set of police lights goes by and Angie closes her eyes in their glare.

When she opens them again, it is all she can do not to scream. She jerks back from the window. She doesn’t even care if her mom notices. She actually hopes her mom notices because  maybe then she’ll understand. The hiker is no longer across the road. His face is pressed right up against her window, his eyes gleaming in the light of another police car.

He makes a gesture with his hands. Open the window, he’s telling her. Angie shakes her head. She won’t do it! But her hands betray her. She watches as her own trembling fingers push the button, down, down, down. Her mom asks her what’s wrong but Angie barely hears her.

The boy is leaning in closer now. He smells like stardust and rotting leaves. He shouldn’t be here, Angie thinks. This wasn’t the deal.

“You could always talk to me,” he says.

“What are you doing here?” Angie whispers. Her words are torn away as the car rushes forward.

“Isn’t it obvious?” The boy smirks. His hiker clothes have vanished, replaced with the dark cloak he’d been wearing that night, when she and Catie had first met him. Catie thought he was hitting on her. Angie had tried to pull her away. She kept telling Catie that there was something a little too dark in his eyes, but maybe Catie was a little too drunk or a little too bored to listen. She wouldn’t listen. She wouldn’t leave. Catie let him kiss her, and then all of the sudden she was hanging over the edge of the bridge, and the only thing keeping her from falling was the boy’s hand.

“I’ve come to collect,” the boy says to Angie.

“But, I- I thought you...” Angie trails off.

“Can you imagine? If you’d just kept quiet and let me have that pretty friend of yours, I would never even have known what I was missing. And to think, you were right there in front of my eyes and I didn’t recognize it!” He grabs Angie’s hair and tugs her closer to the window. He runs his fingers over her cheeks, her nose, her eyelids. “How could I not have seen it?”

“What do you want from me?” Angie asks. “You aren’t supposed to be here now. That wasn’t the deal!”

The boy laughs. “The deal? The deal is whatever I want it to be. You sold me your soul, darling. There are no rules anymore.”

He licks his lips. “We’re wasting time, Angie. There’s much to do now that I have you by my side, so much to do. Open the door, Angie,” he says.

She shakes her head no, but her hands are already pulling up on the lock. Mechanically, she unclips her seat belt and pulls back on the door handle. She thinks that maybe she hears her mom scream.

“Take my hand,” the boy says and so she must. Together, they walk through the speeding cars to the trees.

“Say goodbye, Angie.”

In the distance, another police siren fades away.

 


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