Slow Down!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image:

Slow Down!

There was little traffic on the road. Mel thought that if five cars had passed them over the last hour it would be unbelievable. More like two, or even one. Perhaps that was why she noticed the figure in the distance.

Hey, Jeff, is that someone standing in the road?”

Jeff shook his head, but Mel couldn’t understand how he could possibly not see her. They were drawing closer, and she could see it was an old woman, dressed in a long black dress. What the hell was she doing just standing in the middle of the road?

You must be able to see her now. Slow down... maybe she’s in trouble.”

Jeff’s foot stayed firmly on the gas pedal. “Whatever you think you see, Mel, you’re imagining it. There’s nothing there... no one.”

In spite of his words Mel knew that Jeff could see the woman just as well as she could. He was going to brake at the last minute. That’s what she told herself, for the only other explanation for his behavior was that he was going to run her down.

The old woman looked directly through the windscreen. They were so close that Mel swore she could see every wrinkle on the woman’s face, every grey hair on her head. “For God’s sake, stop!” she screamed, as she braced herself for the impact.

Mel screwed her eyes closed, bit down on her lip, but nothing happened. There was no impact, no bumps as the vehicle ran over the top of her body. She opened her eyes. “What? Where did she go?”

I told you there was no one there,” Jeff said.

She jumped from the road at the last minute, didn’t she!”

Jeff said nothing but kept on driving. Mel knew he had seen the woman. The proof was there to see in the tense expression he wore on his face, but if he had decided to deny it there was no way she could change his mind. Did it matter? Obviously the woman had escaped harm; better to just let it drop.

They continued driving along the road in silence. It was after they had taken a sharp right-hand bend that the old woman appeared again. Once more she was standing in the middle of the road, and as they drew closer Mel saw that the old face was smiling.

She’s there again! What the hell is going on, Jeff?”

There’s no one there, Mel. You just think there is.” His foot pressed harder on the gas as the road straightened.

Stop! Stop the car now and tell me what’s going on.” Mel spoke in not much more than a whisper. “Who is she? And why don’t you admit that you can see her?” She reached out to grip his arm, but Jeff just shook her hand away.

Stop it, Mel. Listen to me, and listen good. There... is... no... one... THERE!” On the final word the car reached the position of the woman.

Nothing happened. Mel began to quietly sob. “Can we just get off this road? Please?”

Sure we can, just as soon as another road joins it. If you hadn’t noticed there’s been a real shortage in junctions.”

Wiping at her eyes, Mel decided that she need to get herself under control. Maybe she was just imagining it; perhaps it was some kind of trick of the light through the branches of the trees. When the woman seemed to appear a third time, Mel kept quiet.

Leaving her eyes just slightly open, she watched the woman, or whatever it was that she was seeing. Perhaps the old woman was a ghost. That would account for the out-dated clothes that she was wearing, as well as the lack of impact. It was hard to believe though, for the figure looked so real, so substantial.

Again there was no collision. The woman just seemed to vanish from in front of the car’s bumper. Mel just felt her pulse begin to slow down to a more normal level, when Jeff went rigid behind the wheel.

Now that’s what I call plain nasty.” The voice was a croak.

Jeff moved a hand from the steering wheel, lifted it to his throat. Mel followed his movement and saw the gnarled fingers digging into his neck. Barely daring to look, she turned her head, and there was the old woman, sitting forward on the rear seat, both arms stretched out towards the man in front of her.

Let him go!” Mel shrieked, using her own hands to prize at the fingers that refused to relinquish their grip.

The laughter was chilling. “I don’t think so, dear.”

Let him go or you’ll kill us all!” Mel’s attention was torn between freeing Jeff and the approaching bend in the road. She renewed her attack on the fingers that dug into her boyfriend’s throat, but it was no good.

And then Jeff went rigid. Mel stared in shock as the blood seeped through the front of his shirt. The old woman held up his heart, still pulsating.

No...” it was not much more than a sigh and was soon extinguished by the sound of metal on wood. Mel found herself flung forward in her seat, and both she and Jeff were dead before the fire ignited.

There was no one to see the old woman, dressed all in black, walk away from the wreckage until she quite simply... vanished.


Submitted: March 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


D. Thurmond aka JEF

A good one Hul. --- I think I saw that woman once, maybe it was a good thing I didn't see her again. LOL

Fri, March 12th, 2021 7:39pm

Mike S.

Another fine 'spookster' Hull

Fri, March 12th, 2021 8:27pm


The morality of this tale is sharded like a kaleidoscope!

Sat, March 13th, 2021 8:11am


Honestly, I don't know quite where this one came from. Thanks for giving it a read.

Sat, March 20th, 2021 1:56pm

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