A Mysterious Tale

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A suspensful short story.

Submitted: April 27, 2011

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Submitted: April 27, 2011

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A A A


I barreled down the small dirt mountain side road. Headlights glared harshly at me in the mirror, a mere yard behind my bumper. A raw blankness enveloped my mind, making the thirty seconds I, or rather we, were being chased feel like an eternity.
During that time the headlights in the mirror took on a sinister character like huge dead eyes with the monster lurking behind. My eardrums were assaulted with the blaring of an old truck horn emanating from the horror behind. The lights disappeared.
“Don’t let him pass!” Andrew cried.
“He just jumped up on the bank off the road!” Michael yelled from the back seat.
“Holy crap,” Robert stated matter-of-factly. “We’re going to die now.”
“Well, we wanted an adventure…” said Nathaniel, in a tone that did not match the gravity of the situation.
“Shut up!” I said, trying not to let my voice shake and failing.
The events leading up to this conundrum flashed surreally and ironically through my mind, not truly contemplating them but just being aware of them.
___________
“Let’s climb a mountain at night!” It was a simple statement that was met with a chorus of agreements from our little band. Some primal force drove us, it seemed. Simply living was not enough for us; we needed to search out conflict and adventure.
The time and date was set. We started the night peacefully and normally, going to a school basketball game. After that, we drove a few miles to a local gas station and bought cigars so we would have something to do when we got to the top of our mountain; perhaps this irresponsibility of hurting our lungs at such a young age foreshadowed the events to come.
Although exact navigation was not high on our list of priorities, we did have a general idea of where we were going. The general plan? Drive up an old mountain side road until we found a place to finish hiking up the mountain that the road started to climb. Simple, it seemed; too simple, as it turned out.
The car was full of cheer as I drove to that fateful road and started climbing gradually up, further into the hills…
We came to a gate. It had seven Master pad-locks on it. To most normal people, this would have been a physical and psychological deterrent; we just decided to find a place to park so we could walk past the gate.
We drove up a small fire access road, parked, and got out of the car. A minute later, we saw the pale white wall of the trailer, illuminated by a half moon, and got back in the car not wanting to be on private property. It was probably the smartest choice we made all night…
As we turned around, I saw a man striding towards the car, his face veiled in shadow under the moon.
“What the…?” Michael said, taken off guard.
We laughed as we spontaneously drove right past the figure, not wishing to talk to anyone.
After thirty seconds of driving down the road, the headlights appeared, and I sat there, numbly driving in a living nightmare. Thoughts raced through my mind faster than the lights flashed in my eyes but all unconsciously. It was all mindless, brain cells firing away randomly.
Seconds stretched on longer than it seemed possible and yet flew, flew on the cold night air that rushed past our small island of threatened security.
The headlights went left and jumped, riding the steep bank for a fleeting moment before reappearing. It wanted to pass us. With only one way out of this side road, I speed up, determined to get to the main road and safety.
The road widened but only barely. It was too much though. The lights disappeared, and an engine roared. White light in the car mirrors switched to red light right in front of me. Tires skidded and the truck came to a halt in front of us. The world stood still…
The truck door snapped open and a figure cloaked in shadow emerged, trailed by a loping dog. The figure approached my window and took his hand from his pocket. He clutched a short barreled, large bored revolver. The hammer was cocked and his finger was on the trigger.
“Oh God, please…” whispered Nathaniel unable to finish.
The whole world froze, my eyes glued to the chunk of steel in his hand, seeing every millimeter of its dully gleaming surface.
“Role down the window,” he rasped.
I mindlessly obeyed, controlled by his finger on the trigger. The coldness of the man dulled the effects of the adrenaline coursing through me. I couldn’t fight a gun, and I couldn’t run from it either.
“Get out of the car.”
Again his tense trigger finger acted like an invisible force. I got out. We all got out.
“Lay on the ground.” He pointed where each of us should do so. We did, now in the line of sight of a shotgun he had retrieved from the back of his truck. “If you move or talk, I will kill you,” he said without raising his voice. We were on a stretch of road with no houses around. No one was near. He tied us up with zip ties. Hands tied behind the back, tied to ankles, gagged… He lifted each of us into the back of his truck and covered it. He was strong and lifted us easily. I heard my car start and move off somewhere.
I had thought that I had already experienced the longest two minutes of my life that day. I discovered that such a short amount of time could feel even longer. This drive, back up the hill, was longer; but it still ended. The truck crunched over gravel and ground to a stop. I heard the truck door slam and the sound of one of my friends being picked up and carried away struggling. One by one he carried us away, me last of all. At this point, all of us had started furiously struggling, unwilling to let this monster control our fate. We were simply tied and gagged too well, and he was simply too strong. Helplessness and fear overwhelmed me and I eventually stopped struggling and could here each of my friends do the same lying next to me on the hard ground. There was nothing we could do. We were powerless.
He shot each of us on down the line and me last of all on the end. He was stronger.
_________
“As you can clearly see by this short written piece recovered from Mr. Johnson’s house, which is in his handwriting, your honor, the defendant has shown a long history of twisted and violent views of the world and people. The witness, Robert Hendrix, is one of the few men alive today to have seen Mr. Johnson so close to committing a crime. He is the character from the story that shares his name. However, as you can clearly see, he was not killed on that night now twenty-one years passed. The story is basically true to actual events, up to a point. Mr. Johnson apparently discovered much of the story because of his extensive stalking of his victims after the crime has been committed in order to write of himself from their point of view, which is his hallmark. He did the same thing with his three victims previous to Robert’s near death and his two following.
“Robert and his young friends narrowly escaped when they managed to squeeze past Mr. Johnson’s truck and drive to the main road and out of reach. The only reason Mr. Hendrix is here is because he saw some of the details of this case on the news and put the dots together. For twenty years he only saw this instance as perhaps an encounter with someone on drugs and he never even reported it to authorities. It is clear that Mr. Johnson’s original plan is represented by the story he wrote in denial of his failure to carry out that plan. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that this testimony and evidence is not meant to be included in criminal charges and is only supposed to better represent the defendant’s violent and twisted mind. Thank you.”
“Does the defense wish to counter examine the witness?”
“Yes, your honor. Mr. Hendrix, did you contact any of your friends when you saw this case on the news?”
“I would have but I couldn’t. They have all disappeared over the years since we were teenagers. That’s why I came.”
 
 


© Copyright 2020 Maximillian Donovan. All rights reserved.

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