Estimated reading time — 15 minutes
What are you doing right now? Not five minutes ago. Not five seconds ago, right now. What are you doing, right now? Let me take a shot in the dark here, are you just slumped over on your unmade bed, endlessly scrolling through the endless internet? You haven’t even moved in the past few hours have you?
Jesus man, it’s three in the morning and you’re sitting here still scrolling down page by page. But what exactly are you searching for? Is there something that you really want? Like really want, and no, not playing cards, not a wig, not like on Amazon. Is there something that you would kill for, something that you would sprint through salt laced glass for? Well then it’s your lucky day, and I’m sure that’s a first in a while for you. Lucky for you, you can get it, however, it may take some effort. There are some requirements that not too many fully meet, but you surely will; with your pathetic life, your crappy flat, your broken cigar box that you willed with those worthless poker chips, your pile of piles next to your unloaded dishwasher. You are perfect.
Now to start, what do you want? It should not be something that you just would like, but something that you really want. It should almost be impossible for you to go on without it. Good? You have something in mind, because now you have something to look to for support. You do not want to fail. Secondly, you will need a car, do you have one? No? How do you not own a car – oh, you sold it? Ohhh, well that may be a problem, you’ll figure it out. Also don’t even try to use your rusty old bike, what is going to happen is not something that you can do on a bike.
First things first, get ready do go. Got your shoes tied, jacket zipped? Good. It’s time to leave. Get out of your apartment – lock it? Why do you say that, it’s not like you have anything in there. Im almost tired of your questions, come on. Okay, get out of your flat, slowly walk down the hallway. Take each step with caution as not to make any attention, don’t even step on the pile of cigarettes that always seems to grow every time you pass it. And no, don’t pick up that wad of money or that snapped pair of glasses. Make sure as you leave, everything stays the same, everything.
Almost there, you are doing great; moving down greasy walls slowly, stepping over the empty wrappers on the ground and creeping around the mystery splotches. All of this without a sound.
Okay. Now your outside, so far so good. Luckily you shouldn’t have to go too far. You’ve probably past this place hundreds of times, and yet have never truly seen it. Step outside, step into the brisk air. Step into the air almost cold enough to where you could shatter a lock with a hammer.
Remember, you still need to get a vehicle, though don’t use any humongous car, don’t use something that will stand out. The cover of night may be something that will help keep you safe. You don’t want to do this, but deep down you know the truth . . . you really want to. Think deep down, think about that flame in you soul. That spark keeping you going, what kept you alive during finals. That flicker of light that keeps dimming by these payments. When you are done, you’ll have a lifetime of gasoline to turn a match into a bonfire.
Back to what was being said before, and yes, you can choose that sleek black Mercedes over there, but don’t expect it to come back in that same condition. Yeah, yes, that one over there looks perfect.That sexy beat up decade ol’ prius is just sitting there and it looks like the owners inside right now – wait! The engine’s running! Run! Door! Keys! Yes, this is perfect, floor it! Well, guess you have a car now, half tank too. And would you look at that, keys in the ignition. That should work very well.
Now onto the true mission, you need to find the road. No it doesn’t have a name, no not on google maps, technically it isn’t even a real road. Though it will appear if you are looking at the right time, and you will only see it if you know what you are looking for. And last rule, you have to do this alone, but that surely won’t be an issue for you.
The time to go is whenever you think the roads will have the fewest drivers, 4am will be perfect. Remember those woods on the west side of town? Path forgotten, oak cloaked, it’s the road that attracts nothing and no one. That will be your best bet, it will be a long stretch of woods and it will look the same as every other road, though trust me this road will stand out. Nothing will be different, but that flame inside of you will flutter if for only a second, it will lurch you forward. So start driving and soon your flame will be driving you, but while you wait, let’s start thinking about what exactly you’ve been wanting so bad. Don’t even deny it, you wouldn’t have stolen a car if you weren’t chasing something important. This is really important to understand for certain, you won’t get too much farther unless you know exactly what to do. So for example, if you are desiring something monetary like a pouch of diamonds you will see something different from someone wanting love. If its diamond you’re after, under the coverage of the foliage, the moons will shine through like the glistening reflection of diamonds or the moon will be clear with a thick golden swirling hue by it instead of the normal clouds. Though if it’s love you’re after, rose petals will make their way down from above you, even though the oak trees are currently by you, the farther you go down the road the more pink will flutter past your peripherals But that’s not what you want, no, that’s not what you want. You’re after something you can’t hold aren’t you, you just want to be stable. You want that job agency to call you back, you want to muster up the courage to talk to that girl that you think may be eyeing you. What you want it a happier life. Ah, here you are. Once you are completely sure you understand what you truly desire, take a deep breath and turn onto it.
You have a few seconds to turn around, but it seems like you’re already making your way down the road. At this section of your travels, you have officially begun down the unnamed road that you will be following for the next eleven miles, each one just one step closer to what you want. Though you’ve simplified what you wanted? So now you are just asking to get rid of your problems? Yeah, that sounds great, getting everything you want down to a phrase. But back to the venture, each mile will truly test how much you really want this. Before you go any further, stop and hear these few rules.
Do not turn on a radio during the drive. This also means no ipod of mp3 either.
Do not try and use any type of phone during the drive, don’t argue it’s for Google Maps either, it’s a straight road.
Never open any window windows in the car, make sure the top is coverent and the windows start shut, if not, apologises in advance.
DO NOT EVER leave your car.
You mustn’t exceed thirty miles per hour, if you top over by even 1 mile per hour, the road will lead you right back to where you started and you can’t redo.
And last but not least put on a seat belt, this isn’t a rule of this road. Just common sense, don’t be stupid.
At this point, your heart is racing more than it ever has before. Calm down. Slow your heart rate, take a deep breath. One . . . two . . .three . . . exhale, good? Okay, slowly press on the gas, feel your body lurch forward with the vehicle, because now it’s your suit of armour and there’s no turning back now.
In the beginning, everything will look normal if you are right on track. The tall oaks blocking your peripherals and when you look up the sight of the sky is breathtaking. The clear abyss of space seemingly just floating above you, not a cloud in sight, not a star in the sky, not even the moon visible in the deserted sky.
The air is frigid right now isn’t it? It’s still the first mile, turn up your heater and keep those windows shut, you can’t take my eyes off the road soon, so for now look around, it’s surreal. But now is the time of no return, you have just passed the one mile mark.
Now onto round two, keep your mind set, because the next hour or so will push you to your limits or, well . . . kill you.
This is the second mile and most people would tell you to put the heater on max, but you’ve already done so haven’t you?. The temperature is the main reason this car was so much better than that bike you insisted on taking before. The temperature will continue to drop so don’t get your hopes up, if it starts getting too cold, speed up. Yes, the temperature can cause frostbite. Also you are now approaching your first turn, keep this in mind; with every mile you take, the more treacherous the journey, the more turns you will take, the more potholes you will go over, the more rocks will hit the windows. Keep this in mind if you want to keep this car perfect, a few scratches from rocks and annoying bumps won’t hurt you too bad, but if this car stops moving for any reason you won’t escape. . . you will die. From here on out, your life is now in the hands of this car.
Good, you are doing pretty well. Once you pass this upcoming turn, the third mile will begin. This mile is very very easy as long as you keep you gaze forward and stay in the center of the road. You’ve surely noticed, but the road itself has changed. The road from pavement to a more cobble, throughout this mile it will slowly deteriorate into a dirt path. The material of the road is not the only change, you are not crazy. Those silhouettes of what seem to be human figures are actually there, behind trees, walking in the forest, they are truly there. Make sure not to gaze upon them, you will know what they are soon, but for now keep yourself as unnoticable as possible. Remember a distant object may be unnerving, but it isn’t damaging the car so do not worry.
Also another thing that was left out of the rules is something that you probably will not to attempt, but should be mentioned. Never attempt to leave, do not drive back, do not vear into the forest, if you attempt to do so the road will never end. If you try to leave now, you will be left in a never ending loop forced to face the harsh reality of an emptying fuel tank as well as the cooling heater. The frost on your windshield will eventually grow and if you turn around, the chilling air will without a doubt overcome you.
Look at yourself, so determined, so cold, terrified. You have clearly began the 4th mile now. Those distant figures have noticed you haven’t they? Undoubtedly they are try to say something, not too you but in you. That faint mutter in the back of your head is them, completely unintelligible, but seemingly purposeful. Mutters of what seems to be a man speaking a language lost millennials ago. This speech can not be drowned out by anything but sheer willpower. Focus on what you want, remember that clear sky? Why was it like that, the tranquility of being able to rid your problems is the idea that will help deafen this constant distraction. As far as you can tell, the muttering is still distant so if it won’t get any better, at least try to keep it as far back as you can.
You’ve noticed something peculiar haven’t you? That small mutter has slowly gone away, so has the infinitely thick wall of oak; don’t get your hopes up, they will all come back. Now merely a few, spread out trees, and the long strands of the thick, windblown covering the path on either side of the road. That’s is not it though . . . there is a lake to your right, but remember to stay on track. Yeah, yeah don’t look at the lake, the peaceful lake. It’s so silent, theres to movement on it at all, it’s so surreal. But you mustn’t look at it, keep your eyes on the road. Though the still waters are reflecting the moon above you. It’s so large, so bright, the moon is humongous, though in your peripherals it seems to be too far right to try and get a good look without turning your head. You want to don’t you? You really really want even the slightest sight, but if you’re cold now, it wouldn’t be recommend to steal a glance. Keep your eyes looked down the road, if you try to take a sneak peak the road will abruptly end. You would accidentally drive off, plunging to the frozen grasp of the waters. No matter how badly you would want to look back, that moon above the lake will by a landslide be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen, there would be no looking back.
Well wouldn’t you look at that! You are nearly half way there! Remember that, this is when most people start to lose hope. The trees have comeback and that empty sky that once gave you peace now just seems, empty. With the only source of light being by your car’s brights, the sky seems void of any emotion, if you keep hope, your will be able to endeavour this miles struggles. Your lights will flicker every once in awhile, but that’s exactly what should be happening. Keep hope, look straight, try to stay warm, and you are in great shape for what’s going to start.
Oh no, this stero is going to prove to be difficult. It looks that the real owner had amped the subwoofers and the speakers. During this mile the radio will turn on, the noise produced will be screeching making you wince in pain for some time. Only a minute or two into this, a calm voice will start. If you are lucky the noise from the stereo has completely deafened you, blocking you from this voice’s horrors. The feminine voice is so soothing, drawing you in to it but what she says is terrifying. She speaks in a way that makes you imagine – no not imagine, live. She speaks in a way that causes one to live their greatest fears, dangers that no one even realized they feared. Fears to terrifying to even comprehend, much less explain. Try your best to stay in a straight line, what she says will cause it dangerous to navigate properly so go slow, even if your primal self wants to floor it to escape the tortures. If you vear off you will freeze and perish in the vain of your mission. Endure the torture and make your way through this slowly. If you go too quickly, the noise can quickly make your steering a bit too sharp on the twists and turns of this mile.
Mile seven, known as a hell hole coated in bubble wrap; nothing in this mile can hurt you physically. If you can survive this mental pain, and keep you eyes laser guided down the declining path. Watch out for speeding up too much as the constant decline of this mile can make the frozen tires of any vehicle a bit difficult to manage, especially because those silhouettes are back. Remember from before as they were a distant mutter? Well you won’t be that lucky this time, as soon as you passed the mile 6 milestone, they souls all took notice. And notice that word choice, yeah, those silhouettes are the souls of those who embarked upon this journey only to have the temperature sniff out their spark.
Souls on this mile have made it their mission and to drag you down with them. In the beginning their past mutters will start back up, but as every moment passes, the volume of mutters increase, and the mutters stop being dialect but screams. The hidden souls that were also behind trees are now approaching the sides of your newly stolen car. Not close enough to get a good look at their face, but you do not what to see that. Ear bleeding, glass breaking screeches, you will hear them as they try to get your attention. Don’t look. Even a sight will paralysis you, letting your car stay straight off the side of a bending road. Luckily if you ignore the noises, that may even seem like they are coming from the passenger seat, they will get bored and leave you alone. Don’t turn your head at all, this mile in particular.
Mile eight, good for you mate! Ha, sorry, that was bad . . . but back on track. This mile stops the decline and starts to through in inclines too. Now is when you should really look forward, not as much for the life and death of your dead passenger, but more for the fact that the ridiculously sharp turns here are just difficult to navigate. Take this one slow and keep your eyes open. If you shut them for too long, the coldness in this mile could genuinely freeze them. Any form of liquid that could be in the vehicle would freeze within mere seconds when you got on this mile. Also, those souls from the last mile are gone, but this batch is not nearly as easy going.
During this mile, your headlights may stop working for a second or two, if you do slow down for just a second. DO NOT COMPLETELY STOP. Slow down, the souls if you haven’t noticed are tailing you, if you completely stop are slow down too much for too long, they will swarm your car. The screeching and the heinous laughter freezing you almost as much as the water bottle the past drive left under the rear seats. If you get swarmed, you may be in what some call “a pickle”. Clawing at your tires and prying open the doors, the beings will do anything get in. All they want is to feel something, anything. The taste and texture of a living being is something that some of these souls have gone without in hundreds, if not thousands of years. Again, if you get caught in a swarm, your best end is trying to strip nude and die by the frost.
Mile nine, you are so close to the tranquility of releasing all of your problems. That dream may be the only thing to get you through this mile. Everyone’s mile nine is so similar it is almost textbook knowledge. That large oak tree that was almost black, the one you passed just a few moments ago, as soon as you did that, your headlights, stereo lights, heater, everything went out. You vehicle will begin to stall and the souls will begin to swarm, the noises from the end before will remain the same, but you can scare these guys pretty easily. Hopefully you are able to restart to the car with your eyes shut, do it as quickly as you can and try your best to tune out the distractions from the souls. Just pay around the ignition for the keys and restart the engine. It may take a few tries but when you hear that noise, thank the sweet Lord Jesus and floor it. This is the only mile where you can speed through, the noise should have scared of the bodiless beings, but you can only open your eyes when their screams are completely out of earshot.
There is a noticeable smooth transition between mile nine and ten. This mile should go back from dirt to pavements. The road by now has straightened out and the beings on your sides have fallen behind you. Do not actually do this, but if were to look behind you, you would see all of the souls slowly following you. This isn’t bad though, not chasing, but it seems that they are more impressed than anything else. And if you believed that, you are so wrong. If only you could see their faces . . . if they had one. If they had a human face, their smiles would be larger than the Joker’s. These souls aren’t happy for you, but for the fact that more likely than not you are going to meet you life’s stop sign during the next mile.
Last but in no way the least difficult of miles. Everything in your vehicle will lose power, similar to the ninth mile, even the engine. In most humane situations, any car would be immobilized, but your car is still moving. Well aren’t you lucky? You get to move without any consent, the force pulling you and without any light from the stars are headlights you are in absolute darkness. But your eyes should be shut anyways, if not, it is a great time to do so. Even with your shut eyes you will be able to see the red. The red that is growing like the train lights about to plow into you.
Most people by now would have full covered their eyes and ears, but you are too codependent, so it has to be said. Cover your eyes, your ears too if you can, but eyes are what could kill you if opened. Do whatever it takes to keep them shut, anything. This red light is like the lake and moon from before, but this time it will bring pain before the end. The unrelenting noises, sounds almost inconceivable by human ears from every possible direction and angle. No preparation could be taken to prevent this torture. The previous cold has not been thrown out the window and replaced with this hell. But actual hell. Flesh melting, bowel boiling awful, the heat you are feeling is unimaginable. The heat is turning the hood of the car a similar shade of red than the light, but don’t look. The end of life is right in front your eyelids. The heat won’t kill you as long as you resist the urge to open your eyes. If your flesh seemingly is peeling of while each individual atom is being split beneath your melted skin, deal with it. The pain will last precisely forty-two seconds and you may not think that it is a very long time, but almost all of the individuals who make it this far not only fold under pressure, but flipped inside out and ripped to pieces before even ten seconds. Where all of this takes place is unknown, but the survivors have called it, “the bottom of Cocytus”.
After this mile, your vehicle will have stopped, but don’t you worry. You have lived. Take a breath, let even a fragment of what’s left of your sanity return to you. Your journey is seemingly almost at its end, the hardest part done.
Again, take a deep breath and press the gas. You will have yet another mile to go, but this is a straight shot road, nothing apparently dangerous about it. In the end, you will be met with a dead end. Don’t worry, park the car in the center and close your eyes. Let all your worries seep from your soul to the car to the surface. Imagine why you did this, what have you been traveling for? Think about what it was you did this for and make sure you know what it it.
Just get rid of my problems.
Simple enough isn’t it. Don’t worry if you don’t see any changes the second you open your eyes, but think about where you started. The beginning of this unnamed road off of the woods. When your eyelids peel apart, you will be right where you started. All normal temperature and everything, this may confuse you but you are done. The change in your life will not be immidiate, but it will occur soon.
So now that you are done, you may be asking what’s going to happen now? What’s the catch? Can I keep this car? Will my dead mom come back to life only for me to loose her again? To answer to all of that; nothing will happen but your wish, there’s no catch, if you want to, and don’t be stupid. The only catch is your memories, the feeling of all of this will be left with you, but nothing else should happen. Your wish is granted and you are free to return to your home.
No need more rules and regulations except for the ones you place upon yourself. You are free to do what you please with no more issues. You can go back to your apartment and just stay there, or you could drive down to nicer neighborhoods out east and find a place there. Break into a house rob it, hell, you can kill the homeowners and take their house. No one will care. No one will even notice. You have no more problems. You are a free sprite.
You are just now realizing the implications of your wish, aren’t you? Cute. Never going to be able to ask that girl out, never going to be able to tell to your mom you love her. To them you never existed, to them you don’t exist. And on this note, it may be nice to hear; think about the consequences of your actions before you take them. Have fun with your limitless life . . . if you can even call it that.
CREDIT : Harry Warfel
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