This is a short I wrote last Halloween, but not many people got to see it. As I’m currently getting back into the swing of things, I’m going to be re-uploading some old work from my now off-line website. Enjoy!

***

The Wrong Road

Blood spills around her

Steadily her heart beats now

Death is all she knows

***

Liv tapped aimlessly at her phone as the frozen blur of a message she had received taunted her. She jabbed at the home button, before she thrust it into her pocket and let out a sigh. Her dad would have to wait for a reply.

“Come on,” she uttered, looking up and down the now empty street.

Kyle had said he would pick her up at half past four, and looking at her watch she saw that he was almost an hour late. With another sigh she shuffled her feet, and rubbed her hands together.

Her mum and dad would be sat in the hall with her little brother, waiting with bowls and bowls of candy and sweets, for the trick-or-treaters that so rarely passed their house. Stood beneath the buzzing streetlight she wished she was with them.

After a final look up and down the abandoned road, she threw her bag over her shoulder, and started to walk. She took out her phone again, but it was still frozen on the same message.

Hot chocolate, and an overflowing bowl of peanuts with your name on them, waiting for you. Love Dad. X

She smiled and looked up into the black sky. Half a moon lounged there, surrounded by glittering stars. Liv had always loved the stars, since she was a child they made her feel safe, and no matter how dark it was, if there were stars she told herself that she could find her way home.

Ahead of her she could see headlights fractured by the opening to the woods that lay beside the road.

“Kyle,” she said in a breath. The thought passed through her mind that he had been in an accident, and without a second thought she started to run towards the lights. “Kyle,” she shouted, straining her voice so that he might hear her.

She skittered to a halt as she saw the car, it wasn’t Kyle’s, she didn’t know whose it was as it was empty. The driver side door was open, and the keys were swaying in the ignition.

She peered through the windows of the car, and stood beside it for a moment. She couldn’t call the police, and she didn’t want to shout, in fact she wished she never had. Regret pulsed through her, before fear took its place. She looked back in the direction from which she had come, and then ahead to the road she had been heading towards. She swallowed hard and continued on ahead.

“People stop to go to the toilet all of the time,” she uttered to herself, keeping her voice low. The sound of her voice settled her, and she shook off what fear had found her.

Her phone began to ring and her heart hammed in her chest. She fumbled around and answered, cursing having the volume on so loud.

“Kyle?”

“Where are you?” he asked. “I’m outside.”

She looked back, and rolled her eyes. “I started to walk, come meet me.”

Within minutes she could hear the steady rattle of Kyle’s old car. He pulled up beside her and motioned for her to get in.

“You didn’t mention the abandoned car on the phone,” he said, as I threw my bag in the back seat, and quickly put on my seatbelt.

I shrugged. “What is there to say, someone stopped to relieve themselves? I’m sure it’s all fine.”

He raised his brows and looked in his rear-view mirror. “I don’t know, maybe we should call the police?”

Liv nodded, and dialled 999.

Kyle froze beside her. “Liv,” he said. “Liv, look.”

She looked up into the mirror and her breath caught in her throat.

“Drive,” she whispered. “Drive, Kyle,” she said, raising her voice, as she dug her fingers into his leg.

With mindless grace the shadow cloaked in grey crept closer to Liv and Kyle’s car.

“Kyle, why aren’t you driving?” Liv turned to Kyle and shook him. “Drive, why aren’t you driving?” she asked, her voice was strained, desperate.

Liv’s nails buried deeper into Kyle’s thigh, and blood pooled beneath them. Her teeth cut through her lips, and she could taste a coppery warmth in her mouth. Yet she barely noticed any of it, as a voice, frozen in the bitter grasp of the October night, whispered between them, “Yes, Kyle, why are you not driving?”

Neither of them could say a word. Kyle’s eyes were staring through the mirror, through the reflection he saw there, and into nothing. Liv was clinging onto Kyle, whilst trying to keep her heart from beating out of her chest.

Ice-cold fingers wrapped around their throats, and she began to laugh. The grip loosened around Liv’s neck as laughter continued to bubble from her lips. She took in a rugged breath, and reached for the door handle. With all that she had left she pushed open the door, tore her seatbelt out of the car, and jumped out onto the road.

Her feet found their balance and she ran. She headed towards the trees, slamming her hands against them to propel herself deeper into the darkness that surrounded her.

The world around her fell silent, for all but a tiny stream that flowed at her feet. She knelt down and took a moment to breathe. With weariness she looked at her hands and saw Kyle’s blood, blood that stained her fingertips. She plunged her hands into the water and held in a cry. After a moment she fell back and dragged her frozen hands through her hair.

Kyle, she had left Kyle behind with the phantom, the demon.

Leaning forward her phone slipped from her pocket, and as she moved to pick it up she caught a glimpse of herself in the stream. Her face was paler than the moon, and her cheeks were painted with dirt and blood. Her focus on her image was hazy, until shocking white eyes opened, and a small, sly smile gleamed in the water’s unforgiving reflection.

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