Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)
TITLE: What to do? What to do?
By Marita Vandertogt
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She decided to pull over long enough to call home, to let Adam know she was okay, on her way home. The car moved over to the side of the road, and Angela could hear the crackling of pebbles under the tires as it rolled to a stop.
“Hey babe,” she spoke into the phone, conscious that the black night was now a soft gray haze around her. “I’m going to be late,” she kept talking, her heart beating a little faster now as another car pulled up behind hers. “See you when I get home.” She clicked the phone shut, and locked her door, getting ready to pull away back onto to the highway.
Knock Knock. Two quick raps on her back windshield. “Hey” a woman’s voice yelled through the mist. And another knock, knock. Angela wasn’t sure what to do, to start to make her way back onto the road, or to get out of her car and see what the woman wanted. She decided to pull forward with the car, as if not hearing the woman, or the knock.
“Hey” she could hear it again, louder now as a dark figure started to show through the mist. “Hey, I need help. Please don’t leave. I need a phone. I need to make a call.” The voice was getting more frantic. Angela’s hand held onto the steering wheel, tighter as the woman’s voice grew louder. What would Adam do? What would he tell her to do? She didn’t know. And she had only moments to decide. Another car drove past them, slow in the threatening fog. Angela decided to take a chance and see what the woman’s problem was. Okay, she said to herself. Maybe this is stupid, but I can’t leave her here.
With that, she slowed the car to a stop and rolled down the window. The figure was standing now with her arms hanging by her side, the ultimate give up position.
“So,” Angela tried to keep her voice strong, loud. “What’s the problem?”
The woman walked up to the car now, and put her head up to Angela’s. A head full of blonde tousled hair, and mascara smeared eyes stared back at her.
“Hey, you okay?” Angela felt a tug of compassion for the woman. She opened the door and stepped outside.
“It’s okay,” the woman said. “He’s on his way now. There’s no way I can outrun him.” With that she turned around and walked away from Angela’s car. “If you’re smart,” she called back over her shoulder, “you’ll get yourself out of here before he shows.”
With that she stepped back inside her car and shut the door. Angela walked over to the car. “Hey,” she said, “you wanted to use my cell phone. Can I make a call for you?”
The woman lay her head against the seat rest and with a deep breath, shook her head back and forth, in long slow turns. “It’s okay,” she said. “I shouldn’t have tried to leave. It was wrong I know. Please leave now.”
Angela walked back to her car feeling helpless in the ever thickening fog. She picked up the cell phone beside her and dialled 911. “I don’t know,” she spoke to the operator, “but if you could send someone to check out a blue Camero, at the side of the road.” She gave directions as close as she could. She knew the fog would make it hard. The operator confirmed a dispatch, and Angela started her car to move away.
Just before she did, she decided to let the woman know help was on the way. As she made her way through the fog, back to the woman, she discovered, there was no woman, there was no car. Nothing but the fog.
“Huh?” Angela said out loud into the night air. Then moved quickly to her car to head back onto the road. “Huh?” she said again, confused.
“Cancel my call,” she said to 911. “Guess it’s okay.”
The fog was thick, but the events of the evening thicker in her thoughts.
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