A place for horror or darker stories, mostly written for 'Screams!!!'
| Going Nowhere
Throwing all caution to the wind, I picked up the car keys and climbed behind the wheel. Tony wouldn't like it, but then he was the cause for my desperate need to escape. If I didn't leave before he woke up, I'd never be able to; he'd make sure of that.
And so I'm stealing his car.
I'm insured, at least that's what he told me. I've never seen it in writing, but he has always kept this stuff hidden from my eyes. I am breaking the law though. Not only am I taking his car, but I don't have a license either. When I think about it, it's pretty obvious that I wouldn't have. Tony was never going to make it easy for me to get away.
Before you go condemning me, you need to understand that I can drive perfectly well. Better, in fact, than most of the drivers you'll find on the road. I stick to the rules, or at least I always have done until today.
There's an urgency that makes me ignore the speed limits, although it's not going to do me any good if I get pulled over. Once the house is a few miles behind I'll ease my foot off the gas, slow down a bit. Of course once he notices there's no car outside I'm pretty sure he'll call it in, even though he will know I have taken it, not some random car thief.
Damn it, I should have thought this through a bit more thoroughly. Tony would, I'm sure, love the idea of leaving me locked up for a day or two before he comes to bail me out. And what would follow? He'd keep me from going outside without him, using however much force it took to get my compliance.
My eyes keep straying towards the mirror. I guess if the police turn up, I could make a run for it. I wouldn't get very far though. Perhaps I should go to them, beg for protection. There must be a law against holding a person against their will even if they are married. Again, Tony's preempted me, for he's got the doctors to say that I'm under stress and often not rational.
No, the police won't help me. They'll just see some crazy lady, and I can't say I'd blame them. I have dark circles beneath my eyes, hollowed cheekbones. My hair has not been washed for weeks. Yes, they'd see me as what I am - a disheveled mess.
I'm across the other side of town now. No one is following me so far, and now that I've hit the highway I can pick up speed. It's early enough in the morning for the traffic to still be light, and I'm heading the opposite way to most of it. They've all got places to go, while me... ultimately I'm going nowhere, but I do know how I'm going to get there.
No, he doesn't beat me, and we do not have monsters in the cellar. What we had was his mother in the attic. He never told me, and I would never have found out. The woman was bed-bound, mute, a prisoner of her son. Tony had told me that she had died years ago and I had no reason to question him.
I discovered his secret when the woman fell out of her bed. The bang on the ceiling sent me up to the attic to investigate, even though Tony had told me it was out of bounds. That poor woman looked at me as though I was some kind of monster, and she kicked and struggled against me when I tried to help her up.
Perhaps things would have worked out a bit better if Tony had not arrived back at that moment. I climbed down from the attic and ran to the door, grabbing his arm and dragging him into the house. I told him about the woman in the attic, and he stared at me, shook his head.
"Annie, you're crazy!"
"I'm not. She's up there. Go and take a look." I pushed him towards the attic, and watched as he slowly walked up the ladder. "Come up here, Annie," he called down.
I went up the ladder to the attic, and there was no woman, no bed; just an almost empty space with nothing but dust and a few empty boxes inside. I couldn't make sense of it then, and I can't now. Had I seen a ghost? Or was it a premonition of what was to come and the woman was me in the future?
No! No way was Tony going to do that to me. I'd stayed awake all night, just waiting for the moment to get away from there.
I press my foot down on the gas, speeding my way to the only place I can think to go. It's an uphill journey now which slows my progress, but I'm keeping my foot to the floor, steering round one sharp bend after another and always going up.
I know this road. I know where I'm going. All the way to the top of the cliff and then I pull down onto the steering wheel, hear the safety barriers splinter apart from the force that it's been struck with; and then I'm up, flying inside the car, before it is taken by gravity, and begins to nosedive.
My journey, along with my life, has reached an unavoidable and very sudden end.