Paper Doll Assignment 6-
|Jenny was in a hurry home. She had finished her last minute shopping in town and was eager to get back to her country ranch before the nearby thunderstorm that was lingering overheard broke loose. The darkening skyline revealed huge black clouds that were circling and engulfing the green mountain range. Storms had always made Jenny uncomfortable, but somehow this one seemed unnatural.|
She was a city slicker and had only come to live in Glenview four months ago when her lawyer reported an unsuspected death of a remote aunty she had never met nor heard of and suddenly she inherited a five-hectare rundown ranch in a small town in Oklahoma. At first the idea of leaving Chicago and her waitressing days for a nice country life had pleased her, but as the days turned to weeks and the weeks into months, she had doubts on whether the decision to start a new life in Glenview was such a good idea.
Actually, it was moments like this really made her homesick. She knew that after saying goodbye to Luisa in the supermarket, she would be completely alone until the next day when she would return to worn to check her mail and buy her daily packet of cigarettes.
She started the old Mazda up, and as the engine coughed and spurted, she drove of into the darkening country road.
|Jenny loved that old Mazda, despite it's fits and starts. She named her Mazzie, after the Crow girls Charles de Lint wrote about. Heading toward home, she lit a smoke and eyed the threatening skies. Oh, man, it was gonna dump on her for sure before she got to the ranch. She was considering heading back to Glenview but then she hit a major pothole and Mazzie jerked hard to the left, clunked and clattered and finally let out a long groan before stopping dead.|
"Fraking hell!," she yelled, then tried to restart Mazzie. "Come on, girl, come on." The old Mazda made a few grunts until she subsided to "click click click." Jenny pounded the steering wheel in frustration.
She climbed out of the car and considered lifting the hood but she had no idea what she'd do then. Looking ahead of her, she saw only red dirt and weeds lining a two mile hike into the wind. Looking back toward Glenwood she saw pretty much the same, except the wind was at her back, and help was, hopefully, that way. There was no point in treking home since she'd have to get help at some point. Besides, Glenwood spelled company in Jenny's mind and right now she needed some.
Grabbing her purse, she started for town, only to be hit by a gale that nearly knocked her off her feet. With a nervous glance back at the growing storm, she took off at a trot, hoping to get indoors before she got soaked.
|“SHIT!. Just my damn luck.” she mumbled in protest as small raindrops begun to fall from the sinister sky. She pulled the collar of her worn denim jacket up, and hugged herself tightly in order to confront what was coming. The sun had now disappeared completely and a foggy darkness covered the deserted landscape.|
She wasn’t sure why, but in that instant she felt a sudden urge to run and get out of there. The problem was that there was nowhere to run to, since the road kept going and going for at least another 5 miles.
Her cheap imitation snake skinned boots were now useless, not only were her feet soaking wet, but the heels slipped and sunk in the muddied roadside. To make things even worse, lightning bolts begun flashing in the sky, and the dark shadows seemed to follow her on her awkward trot home.
After what seemed like hours, but was probably only a few minutes, some car lights appeared in the distance.
|She stood in the muddy road waving her arms frantically. Come on, come on! Stop for me, please. she pleaded. Sure enough, a beat up faded red truck slowed and stopped, and shoved the door wide. Tom Hanks leered out at her. Seemed like every time she was in town he accosted her, and so far she had managed to avoid the old lech. Gritting her teeth, wondering whether he was better than braving the weather, Jenny mentally shrugged and then climbed in.|
"Well, if it isn't Miss Jenny. Ain't you a sight. I saw your old clunker back on the side of the road a piece and I wondered what happened. Damn girl, you're shivering. Scoot on over here and I'll warm you up." Tom grinned through rotten teeth and his whiskey breath nearly knocked her out.
"I'm not cold, Tom," she lied through chattering teeth. Hypothermia was more welcome than his advances."Thanks for the lift. I hit a pot hole and Mazzie -- uh, my car just died. I was about to walk back to town to get help, but the storm hit so hard I just ran for home."
"Well, don't worry your pretty little head none. I'll take you home. Then, when the storm settles down, I'll see what I can do with the car."
"That's okay Tom. If you'll just take me into town, I'm sure the guys at the Exxon can fix the car." She prayed he'd cooperate. "I'll stay at the Motel Six tonight and get things taken care of tomorrow."
"I wouldn't hear of it!" Tom took a swig from a bottle he had stuck under his seat. "I can fix it and it won't cost you a dime." He grinned through his snaggled teeth. Offering the bottle, he said, "Take a drink. This'll warm ya' up."
Jenny moaned to herself, then waved the bottle away. "I'd really prefer just going into town, Tom. Please."
"Playing hard to get, girl? That Miss Do Goody act is getting old." Tom gunned the truck and kept heading for her ranch..
|Jenny felt her blood curdle and she begun to shiver even more. Her brain went on overload trying to think of what to do next. |
Should I stay still and wait for my destiny? What if I jump out of the moving van just like in the movies? How about hitting him in the head with that empty bottle that’s digging into my foot? Would pleading be any good to me now?
These thoughts bombarded her all at the same time, and she begun to panic looking at Tom drooling over her. The rain kept pouring down from the darkness, and furious lightning bolts flashed across the sky in an attempt to wake her up from this nightmare.
“Hope you got that fireplace fixed up. I reckon we’re gonna be needing it tonight sweetie” Tom snickered as he took another swig.
“How do you know about my fireplace?” she tried to sound normal, but her voice came out frail and broken.
“Ya know, I used to live there when I was a kid. I know every corner of that house like the back of my hand”. Tom emphasised that last sentence with a terrifying smirk. “ And I think ya already know it Miss Jenny, tonight ya aint gonna be all alone.” His eyes seemed to glow in the darkness, and as soon as he noticed true fear in Jenny’s gaze, a crooked and evil smile grew on his ragged face.
|Jenny looked out the window at the pounding rain. She couldn't see farther than a few feet beyond the truck, but she knew what was out there. Nothing but red dirt -- now gluey mud -- and sage brush. Terror was building in her gut, and she was having trouble breathing. This loathsome, drunken lout was in control and she couldn't think.|
Tom reached over and grabbed her knee. "Don't touch me you jerk!" Jenny yelled and pushed him away.
"Ah, you knows ya' want me gal," Tom said "And tonight, yer gonna get all that's coming to you."
Jenny knew that the farther Tom drove, the farther help was away. She steeled herself, deciding the only chance she had to get away was to jump. She grabbed for the door handle, but Tom's drunken driving caused his truck to skid in the muddy road. For a moment the truck became airborne and Tom cursed.
|A blinding lightning bolted across the darkness, and with that, the entire world faded to black. |
Jenny could hear a car horn from a distance. The noise was getting louder and louder, but she couldn’t make out where it was coming from. She could feel warm blood dribbling in her eyes and her vision was all blurred. Her head ached so much she felt dizzy, but as soon as she focused reality kick-started her senses.
She was hanging upside down, fastened awkwardly by a compressing seatbelt. Tom had been propelled out of the car and his lifeless body had penetrated the windscreen to end up bloodily demolished over the hood.
The car horn kept blaring a deafening trumpet and Jenny scurried to unlock her belt. She landed with a painful thump on her head, and cautiously contorted her body to escape through the broken window.
With great effort she pulled herself up against the nearby tree and managed to stand to take a deep breath. She contemplated the devastating scene. It all seemed surreal, just like a horrible nightmare, except that this time there was no way to wake up. Warm tears started to roll down her face, but they were quickly washed away with the pouring rain that kept spilling from the cursed night.
|Standing in the downpour revived her somewhat. What the hell should I do now? Looking around, she realized she was almost home. Her head was pounding, making thinking impossible. I'm sure not gonna wait for some other lunatic to show up She could hear the car horn blaring closer, so she got as far off the road as she dared and started walking home.|
The red Oklahoma dirt was turning to mud, thick and sucking. Somewhere she lost a shoe and soon decided to abandon the other in hopes that movement would be easier without it. Within minutes she realized how stupid that was.
"Ow!" she yelled, stepping on something sharp. She nearly fell, but barely balanced before another sharp rock cut her other foot. She sat down, hard, then, and gave in to angry tears. I wish I was back in Chicago. What in God's name made me think I could morph into a country girl? Will this night ever end? When the fit of tears slowed, she peered into the darkness, wishing she had left a light on. Where am I?}
The thick darkness had engulfed everything and now a devastating wave of loneliness and desolation invaded her senses. Crying was the only way she could cope with the anguish she felt. She plummeted on her knees and felt the cold slimy mud seep through her clothes. The rain wast brutally pounding over her, and the erratic lightning flashes forced her to close her eyes. With her strength all but vanished, all she could do now was to hope for salvation.
She lay there, immobile for what seemed an eternity. She was lost in her own world trying to block out the horrific situation she was now in. But something in the nearby bushes moved and awoke her senses. She couldn’t see that far away, but she guessed it was something relatively large since she could hear its movement through the noisy storm. She froze, listened and stared at the darkness. There it was again, something was moving but she couldn’t make out what it was.
Shit, what could it be now? How many dangerous animals do they have in this damn place? Will I last a full night like this all alone? Mindless panic begun to invade her again as the perturbative noise sounded louder and closer.
God, please get me out of here and I swear I’ll take the first bus outta this cursed town. God, let me see the light of day again. God, please save me!
BBBOOOOOMMM -A ferocious lightning flashed across the sky illuminating the small clearing she lay in. The instant her eyes adjusted to the blinding glow, she let out the most horrendous scream she was capable of.
|Jenny woke up in her bedroom. She was warmly tucked under her blankets, but she was still mud caked and wet. There was light in the next room and she could hear voices. How did I get here? Who is out in my living room? At least I'm out of the rain, but am I safe?|
Her feet hurt like crazy, and her head was pounding. Reach up to press her pounding temples she felt bandages. Well, whoever brought me here must not be planning to kill me, or else why patch me up?
Marshaling all her resolve she called out, "Hello! Is someone here?"
Light poured in through her door almost immediately. "Jenny, honey, how are you feeling?" Mrs. Moreno, the postmistress, looked down at her with concern.
"Mrs. Moreno? Did you bring me home?" Jenny started to sit up, but quickly thought better of it when the room began to spin.
"Jenny! Oh, Jenny, you're awake!" Luisa appeared next to Mrs. Moreno. "How are you feeling? You got a pretty nasty bump on the head." Soon her bedroom was filled with the faces of folks from town.
Luisa took her hand and said, "My husband Carlos found your car, and by then the storm was so fierce, He just laid on his horn and drove toward your place, hoping to pick you up before you got too wet."
A great big burly guy Jenny had never met came around the bed. "Yeah, but before I got there I found a terrible car accident, and I had to call the sheriff's office and wait for them."
Jenny was having trouble following the story line, or even focusing her eyes. "Now you all get on out of here." Mrs. Moreno cut in before Carlos could go on. "This girl needs rest."
Jenny could feel herself drifting off, and her last thought was, Gee, I didn't know that many people even knew I existed! I guess maybe I do belong here after all.