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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Family · #2013785
Bishop drives home.
Word Count: 1013

An Unexpected Passenger

It had been a long night, the road from the hospital was long and Bishop knew there would be no sleep weather he got home before dawn or not. The matriarch of the family was gone, his grandmother, the woman who raised him to be a good man. In a way he was relived. He no longer had to worry about her and her health, he no longer had to worry if his uncle was cheating her out of her money. Hopefully she didn't leave him anything, he mused as the road kept going on.

The highway was uncharistically empty, the headlights from a stray car would blind him momentarily as it passed, heading the way which he just came. There would be no more family get togethers for the holidays, no more big family portraits. Just as her mother before her had passed, the family found reasons not to spend time together. His grandmother was the back bone of the family, no one fought around her, no one cursed or complained. A smile touched his frown as he passed a rest stop.

Two hours to go, two more ahead of him. He should have stopped, he was thirsty and now that he had time alone, realized he was also a little hungry. He pressed on, the comforts of food and drink could wait until the next stop. He didn't really care to do either task as it was.

Signs that he was going threw a small town littered the scenery. Everything would be closed this time of night. He had to stop at a red light. One other car was awake on the road, it was turning north, his direction. Perhaps he would have a little company for the rest of the journey. He wouldn't mind the presence of another driver, they would never know his joyful sorrow of another presence.

His sight started to get blurry, his first tears since she had taken her last breath. Why now? Why on the road? There were so many doubts in his mind. He wasn't ready to go home. He should have stayed in the hotel, alone with his thoughts. Would that have been more dangerous? Most likely, he couldn't decide what to do next. Maybe he should turn, the light was green and still he sat. The back roads wouldn't have anyone on them should he feel the need to pull over. Yes, he should turn.

Forgetting to look for oncoming cars he turned right, heading east towards home. There was a faint horn coming through the fogginess of his mind. Perhaps he should have looked. Oh well, the road ahead was dark, much darker then the highway. Trees stood ominously over him for what seemed like miles, there was only a few small streets heading in opposite directions as he drove. No houses, no businesses, no lights. It was odd. Still he drove.

He would fall into a weird sleep, almost a trance. His foot would slowly press on the accelerator until at one time he looked down and realized he was going 90 miles per hour. Something kept fogging his mind. Sure he just dealt with the death of a loved one but he has never felt like this before. He felt like he was losing control, not just of his body but of his mind, his life, everything. A cold chill swept over his body and he started to get paranoid. It was so dark inside the car, the dashboard lights were dim, perhaps he needed to change his battery.

An hour from home. Things started to look more familiar as he passed the lone house and gas station. He had passed one other car on his way on the county road and took a look at his phone. His GPS was getting rather irate with him when he veered off the path she wanted him to take so he turned it off some time before. Pin pointing his position he looked up in his rear-view mirror and slammed on the breaks.

There she was, in her long grey hair and green night gown. His grandmother was in the back seat. He didn't move, didn't blink, didn't even breathe. There was a light in front of him, a biker was stopped in the middle of the road, staring at him. Between them stood a dozen deer, unblinking in the harsh light of his brights. He looked back, she was gone. She was there, he saw her.

The deer started to move on, unaware of the destruction that would have occurred had he not been able to stop the vehicle in time. The biker nodded his thanks in his direction and went on by. Bishop nodded back, his heart racing, his mind in a whirl. He looked back again. No grandma.

The rest of the way home he kept looking, waiting for her, wondering if what he saw was just a figment of his tired brain or something else. Was she there to warn him? To tell him to slow down, to be cautious? Was she even there at all? The cold chill came over him once more. It was her, her spirit. Had she not made it? Maybe she was stuck here on earth with unfinished business. He would hope not. He had not had his faith in a long time, and now it would be useful to him. He shook his head. He had made peace with his decisions long ago. Another chill. Maybe it was a sign, maybe she would never leave him alone. Who had ever been haunted by their grandmother? Interestingly enough, he was not the first.

He pulled into his drive as the sun came up. There were things he could not describe, questions he could not answer, some he would not. So many accidents were supposed to happen, he wasn't supposed to make it, he knew that as fact but he made it. He made it home to his wife, his children, his dog. Elsie May Hammond, his grandmother, had come home with him.
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