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On the Road to Nowhere

on the road to nowhere


Estimated reading time โ€” 22 minutes

My old Toyota was barely hanging on during my trip to work that day. I probably should have asked around to maybe arrange a carpool, or even just called in sick, but I was hoping it wasn’t too far gone. It was approaching the end of the month, and the last thing I needed was to miss a day of work when rent was coming due.

Though the job paid pretty well, I still mostly lived paycheck to paycheck. I managed my money well enough, but things weren’t always easy for the working man who never managed to achieve any further education after graduating high school. My home life hadn’t been the most stable over those years, so I had never been the most attentive student. There were times I never even believed I would see the other side of those times with my sanity intact, but life got considerably easier when I was able to move out of my childhood home.

My old beater of a car was struggling like hell when I pulled into the parking lot at my job, but I kept my fingers crossed that it would still get me home after my eight-hour shift ended. I had been ignoring the check engine light for a while now, but it hadn’t been struggling so much until that Thursday afternoon.

I live a good forty minutes away from my job, but the money was decent enough to warrant the commute. Still, I shouldn’t have continued to procrastinate in getting my car looked at. It was my lifeline, after all. I suppose I was hoping to avoid the likely high cost of whatever repairs it would need, or having to take any time off work to arrange to get it fixed up. So, I just continued to cross my fingers and roll the dice.

Naturally, of all days for this to happen, my relief called in a little after ten to let me know he would be a few hours late. Caleb, a friend who works in another department, had already offered to give me a ride home if my car wouldn’t crank since he lives out my way.

Unfortunately, Jackson running late guaranteed that my only option would be to put my faith in my ragged, old Toyota to get me home at two in the morning when my now elongated shift should come to an end. I snuck out to the parking lot to check things out during my break times, but I wasn’t the most well-versed in automotive problems.

I looked up a few videos to narrow down what could be causing the engine to stall, smoke, and backfire from time to time, but most of my research indicated I would need a replacement part or two, to which I currently had no access to. I told myself that I would not procrastinate any longer on getting someone to look at it if I could just make it home safely that night.

As was almost entirely too predictable, Jackson did not stroll in until a little after three. Yeah, he apologized for the inconvenience, but it felt more of an obligatory statement than a genuine one. Maybe I was just pissy about having to work over, while frustrated about my uncertain trip home so late.

Regardless of my irritation with the situation, I was finally ready to approach my near-death sedan and hope for the best. It didn’t help my circumstances that it was the middle of November and the thirty-two-degree temperature and bitter wind were already biting into my skin by the time I reached my vehicle.

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Between the cold causing my gooseflesh to shiver, and the uncertainty of whether or not my car would crank, making my back tense up, I was far from a happy camper. My hand was shaking like hell while I attempted to slide my key into the ignition switch, but I finally made contact and gave it a turn.

It took a few tries, forcing me to worry I would flood the engine, but before too long, my rust bucket was humming to which I let out a grateful sigh in return. Hopeful that my journey back home would go smoothly, I took advantage of the deserted roads and pushed my pedal down to make the trip in my iffy vehicle as short as possible.

If nothing else, pushing past the speed limit got me a little closer to my destination before the engine let out a loud popping sound, followed by a high-pitched squeal, while steam billowed out from beneath the hood. I’d love to tell you that I handled this with dignity, but that was far from the case.

As I guided my deceased piece of shit to the side of the road with a complete absence of power pushing the wheels, I yelled out every single variation of the word ‘fuck’ that my brain could conjure.

I slammed my fists against the steering wheel and the ceiling of the car, still screaming obscenities with every single swing. By the time I was done with my rant, my face was flushed and my hands were swelling. If nothing else, it warmed me up considerably.

I popped the hood, which caused more steam to burst out into the frigid night air. I slipped on my work gloves to be able to flip the latch to release it all the way, but it was hard to see anything through the fog that was erupting from my engine. The cold weather only served to make it even thicker.

After feeding the radiator some water, wiggling a couple of hoses, and kicking the shit out of my bumper, leaving a fresh new dent to add to my aggravated state, I gave my ignition another try. It wouldn’t even attempt to turn over. I just sat in my driver’s seat for a while, thumbing through my contacts in search of anyone who may be up this late, while puffing away on a freshly lit cigarette.

I had never tried Uber, or any other such services in the past, so I was unsure if they still operated at this hour. Naturally, my service was sketchy in the middle of nowhere that I now sat parked in my broken Toyota. No wifi, no mobile data, one bar of service. Yep. The fates were not in my corner, on this bitter, cold night.

With a heavy sigh that made my breath mimic the steam that still drifted out from under my now closed hood, I snatched my backpack from the passenger seat and began my long walk home. It was around four in the morning, and I would already be in the warmth of my house, had my car not decided to delve into the deepest recesses of my asshole with its favorite brand of ‘fuck this guy’.

I was still muttering curses under my breath over the first couple of miles of my trip. I had my hands buried in my jacket pockets and I wished I had thought to wear something thicker when I headed out to work, some twelve hours ago. I stopped for a moment to light another cigarette while checking on my phone to see if my access to the internet had returned yet.

“Of course not,” I said to myself with another sigh.

My feet were already throbbing. I stretched my back out, causing a series of cracks and pops to echo from the lower half of my spine. I looked around at the empty road, feeling like it appeared far less familiar than the one I had traversed twice a day, for the last few years.

There were woods on either side of me, which I always knew to be there, but they still looked almost foreign to me. Perhaps they just seemed different because I stood in place, as opposed to the sixty miles per hour I would normally be speeding past them at. Maybe I just hadn’t paid much attention to them before.

It was still a strange sensation, to be honest. Everything felt a little off, somehow. The air was cold, but the wind did not appear to be moving much. It didn’t smell like frosty grass and leaves. Maybe it had just been some time since I last took the time to appreciate such scents. It was almost as though the oxygen I breathed tasted used in some way if that makes any sort of sense.

The world around me was almost completely silent, while I sat on the curb, taking a deep drag on my smoke while allowing my exhausted feet to stop throbbing for a moment or two. The trees on either side of the road appeared to harbor no life. No rustling. No crickets chirping. Nothing. It could be that many forest creatures were hibernating or otherwise at rest. Again, something I never paid much attention to before. Rarely was I out this late, and this would be the first time I was forced to trudge a good twenty miles back to my home.

Before I started moving again, I decided to dig through my bag to find my earbuds. Perhaps some music would make the time pass by at a quicker pace. Luckily, my phone held a vast library of downloaded tunes, so I would have no desperate need for internet access to enjoy my own personal walking soundtrack. I tapped on my nineties playlist and continued my stroll with the Gin Blossoms guiding my path.

Maybe forty-five minutes after my trip resumed, while Gavin Rossdale was insisting that he has a mushy head, which is better than the rest, I decided to give my phone an obligatory glance to check on the time.

“Four, thirty!” I exclaimed to the deserted highway.

I was sure I had been walking for at least an hour before I stopped the first time. There’s no way I had only been traveling for a half that. I glanced around to see nothing more than trees and the empty road. There was nothing that could differentiate where I started from where I now stood, aside from the ragged, piece of shit rust bucket I left in the breakdown lane many miles back.

Part of me almost wanted to travel back to where I had come from, but I didn’t want this trip to take even longer. Surely my phone was just glitching from the cold. Maybe service was just so bad out here that I wasn’t able to get a solid reading of the time. That made sense. It was a reasonable enough theory, anyway. Far more sensible logic than the last couple of hours of walking had only spanned a quarter of that time.

Once again, I began my saunter with a freshly lit cigarette and Toad the Wet Sprocket in my ear holes. The chilly air was still biting into my skin, and now my shoulders were so tensed up, that I may as well have left the coat hanger in my jacket when I threw it on before leaving my job in the dust.

Every few minutes, I glanced back at my phone to see the time remained unchanged. I kept going, regardless of the unmoving digits on my screen, assuming that this only proves my theory that it was nothing more than a technical issue. I continued to glare at the phone until another minute finally passed by on its face, which felt like it took a good quarter of an hour to my internal clock.

After many more miles and only a handful of minutes having supposedly passed by, I knew that the sun should have risen by this point. According to my mental chronometer, it should be creeping up on seven, though my phone insisted it was only a little after five. I was sure that dawn had to be just around the corner, but I couldn’t see the slightest indication that the sun would be rising any time soon. It did not surprise me to see my phone’s low battery light flashing either.

I was growing steadily more skeptical about the possibility of ever getting back to my home when the road finally showed me signs of life beyond my own. The world was so dark around me, that the headlights approaching from my rear practically lit up the entire highway. I turned to face the vehicle that sped in my direction and extended my thumb out to the side. I could only hope this lone traveler would take pity on my freezing ass.

I may have been seeing things, but as the car drew closer, it looked as though it was bellowing almost as much steam as my own had been before it spluttered out. Still, I maintained my outstretched, pleading thumb and hoped to God they would pull over. As the long and wide seventies model, Lincoln slowed down and drifted over the curb where I stood, I practically leaped for joy in the back of my mind.

I stashed my phone and earbuds into my jacket pocket and jogged over to meet the veritable land yacht that appeared to shudder wildly as it idled. The rear window behind the passenger door I approached had a transparent tarp in place of the absent glass, and the faded green paint was chipped and speckled with blotches of rust, but I was still excited to have a ride, nonetheless.

“Thank you so much!” I exclaimed after pulling the door open to allow a cloud of cigarette smoke to erupt from inside.

As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, a foul smell leaked out from within. It almost made me think of moldy bread dipped in spoiled milk. The seats were covered by large sweatshirts that appeared to represent one football team or another. They were a similar green to the exterior and had what almost looked to be numbers sewn onto them in large, white patches, stained with yellow and brown splotches. They were more like symbols than actual numbers, though. Perhaps the shirts represented a foreign team, bearing less recognizable numerology.

The woman at the steering wheel didn’t so much as glance in my direction when I slid into the vehicle and closed the door. She was incredibly thin, with heavily wrinkled and darkly tanned skin. It looked far from a natural tan, and she appeared as though she had seen the wrong end of many hard drugs in her time. Her bushy and knotted hair had a faded purple dye job, with dark roots, with streams of grey and white running through it. She wore a faded blue and pink flowered dress that revealed her bony and weathered arms.

As soon as I snapped the seat belt latch, she hit the gas without a word. Though the interior of the car was quite massive, I had little legroom as my seat was pushed up close to the glove compartment. Choosing not to take a glance in my gift horse’s mouth, I thought it best to not push my luck by adjusting the setting.

It was quite awkward to be sharing a car with someone who wouldn’t so much as acknowledge me, but the fact that we were moving considerably faster than the couple of miles per hour I may have previously been going, made it easy to tolerate a bit of discomfort.

“I really can’t thank you enough for picking me up,” I offered in an attempt to ease the tension.

“Ain’t nothin’.” She spoke in a graveled and worn voice.

“What brings you out this way so late?” I asked, trying my hand at a bit of small talk.

“Drivin’.”

I just nodded my head while deciding it may be best to remain silent after all, as the woman to my left reached into the center console and pulled out a pack of Morley cigarettes. I had to doubletake at the writing across the wrinkled, soft shell pack, as it was designed to match the style of Marlboros, which were my go-to brand.

I recalled watching several movies over the years whose characters would smoke Morleys, as this would avoid the producers having to pay an actual cigarette company to allow their name to be displayed on film. Could this have been some sort of novelty pack? Was I reading way too much into a simple pack of smokes? Likely so.

The woman held the open, crumpled box up to her mouth, and pulled a cigarette out with her lips, tracing thick saliva across the other remaining butts in the pack. She offered me one with her outstretched hand, while she lit the one in her mouth, letting go of the steering wheel and causing the car to drift, quickly to the left.

“No thanks,” I replied to the splayed open pack in her hand, gripping my right hand tightly around the ‘oh shit’ handle above the passenger door.

“Suit yerself,” she stated, wrapping her bony fingers around the steering wheel again while taking an unnervingly long, deep drag from her cigarette.

I tried to make my glaring eyes as inconspicuous as possible, while I watched half of the lit smoke between the old woman’s dried and chapped lips burn about halfway down throughout that single drag. The solid inch of cylindrical ash still protruded from the remaining cigarette that still hung out of her mouth, falling to her chest moments later.

That was when I noticed the front of her dress was covered in gray, sooty, ex-nicotine, and paper. I had momentarily been tempted to fish out my own smokes after she offered me one of her spit-moistened ones, but I found my appetite for the habit waning.

By the time the woman snuffed out her Morley in the cluttered ashtray, before lighting another, it was getting harder and harder to see much of anything through the thick plume of fog that filled the cabin of the old Lincoln.

“Do you mind if I crack the window?” I asked, hoping this request would not offend my chauffeur.

“Lever’s broke,” She replied, taking another incredibly deep inhale of smoke.

The more I heard her speak, though it had only been short replies at most, what I could make out from her accent sounded southern almost, but more like a parody of what some may assume a country accent should sound like, if that makes any sense. It reminded me of an actor putting on a southern drawl for a role, having never actually heard one in person.

“Can you roll yours down a little?” I continued, hoping I wasn’t pushing my luck with the strange old bird.

“This ‘n’s broke too,” she said, jiggling the handle for confirmation.

“Oh.”

“Ye can git out if it’s botherin’ ye,” she stated with a shrug.

In all honesty, I considered it. We had already been driving for a good ten minutes or so. Surely I wasn’t far off now. Still, the thought of getting back out into the freezing air, versus just a little while longer of muffling my coughs, and trying my best to avoid breathing in that awful smell would remain an inner debate for a while.

“No, it’s ok,” I replied, still unsure if this was the right call.

“I didn’t mean any offense. I really do appreciate the ride,”

“Mhmm.” She shook her head from side to side while muttering under her breath.

We sat in silence for some time, while my driver chain-smoked one after the other. I could hardly breathe after another ten minutes went by, but I knew we had to be getting closer to my destination. This road was a straight shot to the town I lived in, and my home was only a few miles past the city limits.

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Though I couldn’t see a damn thing through the smoke that engulfed the speeding car, I was certain I should be within tolerable walking distance of my house by this point. I was beyond ready to get away from the foul stench and breathe in some fresh air. Not to mention, everything felt just a little bit off, from the cigarette pack to the phony accent. Sure, I could be overreacting to easily explainable things, especially with how exhausted both my body and mind had grown, but I wanted nothing more than to get out of this car and away from this woman.

“If it’s cool, I think this should be close enough,” I said, breaking the silence that was almost as suffocating as the thick fog.

No reply.

“I can just get out right here if you don’t mind pulling over.”

Still, not a word.

“I sincerely can’t thank you enough for getting me this far.”

Was she even still awake?

“Ma’am?”

Nothing. All I could see was the flicker of light when she would take another deep drag of her cigarette. All I could hear was the rumbling of the engine, the tarp flapping in the wind behind me, and the tires occasional bump over the reflectors in the centerline of the road.

I waved my hand back and forth in an attempt to clear a line of sight through the cloud.

Suddenly, the woman’s face emerged through the smog as she let go of the steering wheel and charged toward me. Within seconds, her whole body was on top of me in the passenger’s seat, and her wrinkled and bony fingers wrapped around my wrists, pinning me to the door.

“YOU AIN’T GOIN’ NOWHERE!”

Her foul breath hit me like a careening truck. Apparently that was the very thing that caused the spoiled milk odor that worked its way through the car, though that was only the diluted version. What struck my nose this time, was so much more intense and stomach churning. I had to fight against the lump forming in my throat, as well as the considerable strength of the frail old woman.

“Ye had yer chance to leave,” she said softly.

“I didn’t have to offer ye that!”

I could feel the car gliding from left to right as we still sped across the deserted road. I had no idea how this was possible, as the foot that was previously on the pedal, was now pushing against the dashboard as she continued to scream at me.

“I PICKED YOU UP! THAT MEANS I OWN YOUR ASS NOW!”

“THEM’S THE RULES, BOY!” Her eyes were wide and maniacal, as was her menacing grin, which was filled to the brim with yellowed and rotten teeth.

“Get off me, you crazy bitch!” I squeaked out after her fingers let go of my wrist and wrapped around my throat.

I grabbed onto the door latch with my now free hand and hoped to be able to throw it open. Surely rolling out into the concrete couldn’t be much worse than whatever this insane hag had in store for me. Of course, the door wouldn’t give way.

She cackled madly while I attempted to fumble around for the lock.

“You ain’t gettin’ back out that door,” she sneered, digging her fingers harder into my neck.

I was trying everything I could to break free of her grip, but it just made her laugh harder.

“THIS ROAD IS MINE, YOU SIMPLE SHIT!!”

“Get your fucking hands off me, you psychotic cunt!” I squeezed out through a strained breath.

I started thrusting my fist into her ribs after giving up on my attempts to open the door. She didn’t so much as wince from my punches, regardless of the complete lack of any padding around her frail bones. Every one of my jabs felt as though they were striking little more than her solid ribcage, but she gave absolutely no reaction to my assault.

I felt the wrinkled and leathery textured skin of her cheek slide across my own as she moved in closer.

“You was mine too, as soon as ye set foot on it.” Whispered directly into my ear.

She kept one hand gripped around my neck, while the other grabbed onto the top of my head, slamming it against the window. That first hit almost knocked me out cold, immediately making me feel dizzy and queasy. The second was worse, causing my eyes to cross and my body to feel weak and devoid of life. I didn’t feel the third. Not before everything went black.

The darkness behind my eyelids showed me no momentary escape from my rolling prison. I found myself back on the deserted road, frantically running from the speeding Lincoln as it chased after me, spilling thick plumes of smoke while cackling madly through the grill that was filled with yellowed and jagged teeth. White and purple hair, which sprouted from the roof, blew in the wind as it sped towards me.

I veered from the road and into the trees, in hopes of evading the pursuing land yacht, but it crashed through the trees as I darted between them. One by one, it splintered through the thick bark, while losing no momentum as it charged at me. I passed through the treeline, and into a clearing which would be where I would make my final stand against the beast. I stood my ground, facing back at the menacing red glow of the headlights. I balled my fists and straightened my back in preparation for my impending doom, when…

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My eyelids sprung back open, and I found myself still pressed against the door of the passenger seat. The crazy old bitch had returned to her seat, and I could vaguely make out her outline and the orange glow of the tip of her lit cigarette through the fog. I tried to remain silent and still, to not alert her to my being conscious while I felt the pulsing pain in my head with every beat of my heart. I adjusted my neck slightly and I could feel the dried blood tearing from the vinyl where the door met the window.

I inhaled shallow breaths in my attempt to keep my awareness unnoticed, while I tried to come up with a plan on how the hell to get out of this tomb on wheels. As I noticed the old lady’s silhouette moving through the smog again, I closed my eyes, hoping to God she hadn’t realized I was awake.

I could smell her breath on my face, and felt her only inches away from me while the tires began to veer to the left again. She wrapped her hand around my brow and gently turned my head to the left. I felt my back stiffen, and I fought to keep from wincing at the pain as a bony finger dug into the wound on the back of my head. I heard the gut-wrenching sounds of her licking the finger after she drew it back, and drips of slobber that fell from her mouth onto my chin almost caused me to give in to the burning stomach acid in my throat.

Three more times, she dug her finger into the gaping hole, that now streamed fresh blood onto my shoulder. Of course, it could have been her thick slobber leaking from her fingertips down my neck, but whatever it was felt sticky and moist, which combined with the smell of her breath to make the growing nausea even harder to battle against.

“God damn, you taste good!” She moaned before running her tongue from my jawline to my temple.

It was taking every bit of self-control I could muster to not audibly gag while the wretched harpy continued to sniff my hair and lick my face. The trails of saliva she left in the wake of her slurps, reeked as much as the smoky plumes of foul breath she kept panting.

Finally, she moved away from me, presumably back to her seat at the steering wheel, as I felt the car reposition itself into the proper lane. I slowly cracked my eyelids, before committing to opening them fully. Once again, I could see her shadow through the fog and the burning cigarette in her mouth. She was still uttering light moans and smacking her lips together in between them.

I darted my eyes from side to side in search of any means of escape. I closed my eyes again when I heard the old bat shift in her seat, but she didn’t seem to move in close to me this time. While I sat in the darkness behind my eyelids, I listened to the sounds around me again.

The hags’ borderline orgasmic groans were accompanied by the humming of the engine and the tires thumping across the reflectors, but it was that other sound that caught my attention. The one that had been part of the soundtrack of my journey into hell from the start. Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner? The tarp that still flapped in the wind would be my best chance of getting out of here.

The biggest hiccup in my burgeoning plan, was how in the fuck was I going to get into the back seat? I gently guided my hand down the side of the chair I sat upon. The land yacht I rode in had a long cab, and my seat was pushed up close to the glove compartment. If I could recline the seat as far back as it could go, I may be able to access the plastic-wrapped window without having to climb into the back.

My heart was hammering and it was growing more difficult to keep my breath shallow as my fingertips hooked onto the reclining latch of my seat. I still sat sideways from the previous attack, so I braced my back against the door and prepared for the impending battle for my freedom. I slowly reached my other hand to the seatbelt clasp in hopes of being able to release both at the same time.

Before giving myself a chance to reconsider, I pulled the lever at the base of the seat, allowing the back to flop down onto the rear bench while popping the seat belt loose. Immediately, the hag wailed out and I saw her face push through the thick cloud towards me again. With my shoulder blades still pressed against the passenger door, I whipped my right leg around and slammed my heel into her nose. I heard and felt a crack behind my boot as she whimpered a muffled ‘OOF!’.

The lit cigarette fell from her mouth and onto the carpeted mat on the floor, as I shuffled my body up the reclined seat back. I reached out to the plastic tarp, and clawed my fingers into it, almost instantly forming the first tear. The wailing old bat charged at me again, and I tried to slam my foot into her mouth, but she caught it in her outstretched hands.

I kicked at her with my other foot, while my hands still tore at the makeshift window. Though I felt her bones snap behind my kicks, she appeared unphased as she yanked the workbook off the foot she still held. Finally, I tore away enough of the tarp to easily slide my body through, but her skeletal fingers were still gripped around my ankle while she pulled my sock away.

While I continued to wage war on her face and chest with my other foot, she would not be distracted from her task, even when a small flame began to crackle from the floorboard her lit smoke had landed on. I screamed out in sheer terror when the haggard old woman’s mouth fell unnaturally wide open, tearing the flesh of her cheeks and spilling dark ooze down her neck. When her jagged and rotten teeth slammed down around the front half of my foot, I cried out again in horrific agony as she bit into the flesh of my appendage.

Feeling my heart rush with panic, I beat harder on her face with the heel of my one remaining boot. More darkened pus was leaking down her torn cheek from my attacks on her brow, but it would not break her focus. She pulled her head back and peeled away the skin and meat from my foot, leaving bare bone and gushing muscle tissue behind. I fought against the shock that threatened to paralyze me when the blood that spewed from the grizzled fibers allowed me to slip my ankle free from her grasp.

Everything became a blur as my senses began to betray me, but somewhere in my cluttered mind, I knew I had to continue my efforts to free myself from this horrendous beast of a woman. With one final kick directly to the mouth that still chewed on my dismembered foot meat, I pushed myself farther up the reclined seat. Refusing to allow her another chance to swoop in, I wrapped my arms around the top of the open back window and pulled myself out of the speeding Lincoln.

My right shoulder was the first thing to slam onto the hard concrete. I felt it dislocate, while my collar bone snapped like a dry twig. The side of my face scraped across the ground, before my hip crashed down, bringing my knees cascading behind me. I was aware that more bones were breaking, as my body spun and rolled across the rough and gravelly surface until I finally came to a halt where the road met the grass.

I blinked rapidly against the morning sun shining down into my eyes which had only looked into shadows and foggy darkness for so long before my mind faded into the black once more.

By the time I came back to my senses again, I found myself strapped down and speeding across the road once more. I was momentarily terrified that the mad bitch had swerved back to retrieve my broken body from the ditch, but my heart settled back into place when I realized I was in an ambulance. I would find out, sometime later, that a passing driver had noticed my beaten body on the side of the highway, and called in some help.

For the most part, my injuries could have been a lot worse. I had cracked ribs, a shattered collarbone, dislocated shoulder, and my left arm and leg were broken in multiple places. The scrapes across my face were mostly just surface wounds, and the split on the back of my head had required about a half dozen stitches to seal shut. Other than that, my hip was bruised up pretty good, as were my elbows and knees.

The doctors had a lot of questions about the front half of my foot that was missing its flesh, but I wasn’t about to tell them what really happened. I highly doubted they’d believe my account of what had actually occurred, and I didn’t want to risk adding a stay in a mental institution to my physical recovery. Eventually, they chalked it up to the possibility of a wild animal munching on my toes while I lay unconscious. It wasn’t all that far from the truth, really.

The bite had left a pretty nasty infection, which had already grown gangrenous by the time I arrived at the hospital. They ended up having to lop it off at the ankle, but it wasn’t as far gone as it could have been. I’m supposed to get fitted for a prosthetic soon, so that’s something at least. I imagine it’ll take some getting used to, but nothing I can’t handle. Between that, and the months of recuperation that lay ahead, I shouldn’t have any reason to get on that goddamn road any time soon. Honestly, I’m just happy to be alive, even with one foot officially in the grave.

It’s only been a few days since that long trip back to the home I have still yet to reach. There’s no telling when they’ll allow me to get back to my house, but my sister brought a few necessities by. Amazingly, my phone didn’t receive too much damage from my leap from the speeding land yacht, so, once I was able to feed it some energy, I was able to type all this shit out. I think I may delete my nineties playlist, though. It always amazed me how music can thrust your mind back to certain events in life. I don’t need any extra encouragement to revisit these memories in the future.

I can’t say I’m entirely sure where my car led me that night. I’d love to believe it was as simple as a glitch of my phone that made time appear to trickle by at a snail’s pace, but that logic leaves a lot to be desired. Is the rancid old harpy still speeding across that highway somewhere? Maybe so. Was I in her neck of the woods, or was she in mine? Who knows?

I’d like to think that the cigarette that hit the carpet ended up engulfing the car in flames by the time the ragged old hag got done with her snack. Speaking of which, I think I may be officially done with smoking. Damn psychotic bitch may have inadvertently saved me from future lung cancer. Ha! Stick that in your fucking pipe, you cackling sack of wrinkled shit!

I still have to make some calls and see if my rust bucket can be recovered, but I honestly have no idea if I’ll be driving anywhere in the near future. It’ll be strange to get used to operating the pedals with my left foot when I do get back behind the wheel, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep my job or search for something closer. Maybe some sort of office work would be more to my lone foot’s liking. It’ll likely be a while before I need to worry about that, though. Fortunately, the company I work for has fantastic insurance, plus a solid disability plan. Perhaps I can ride this out a bit and enjoy some relaxation for a while. Surely I’ve earned that much after all of this.

Just do yourself a favor, yeah? Don’t ever just ignore that check engine light, as I did. There’s no telling where you may find yourself stranded if you do.

Credit: William Rayne

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