The Haynesville Woods

As Loretta and Mick drove down the unusually isolated highway, Loretta could feel the cold creeping in through her stockings, into the depths of her skin. Her hands were ice and the heater was barely making a difference but she couldn’t get herself to care about the shivers running up and down her spine.

They hadn’t exchanged a single word for the ten minutes they had been in the car. All they could hear was the rumbling of the old wagon and the occasional sputter of the heater. He never let her drive the truck, and tonight was no exception even though he basically chugged eight beers. While she silently fumed, he kept himself busy with the road; the Haynesville woods wasn’t where he thought he would be spending this particularly eerie winter night, but his curiosity and the beers had gotten the better of him.

“During the day, this might have qualified as romantic,” Loretta thought as she looked at the canopies that formed a sort of tunnel overhead. Right now though, there wasn’t a place more unnerving. It was like the shadows were talking to each other. She was getting more and more on edge as the moments passed by, each one of them seeming like eternity.

Mick looked over to her with his amused crooked smile plastered across his face, and that’s when it happened. The car hit something, something big, and it started spinning out of control. “Hold on!” he screamed as he smashed his foot on the break. The entire world was a blur and all they could see was each other’s terror filled faces. The car finally came to a screeching halt, Loretta was on the verge of tears, and Mick could barely breathe. The smell of burnt rubber filled their nostrils as they calmed their rapidly beating hearts.

“I should have driven,” she said in a voice he could only describe as manic. “You were clearly drunk, you wanted to go on a drive in the middle of the night to a haunted forest, and you just had to drive. Could you stop acting like a child and while you’re at it, stop treating me like one?!?”

“Lorrie, I’m not all that drunk, it was something on the road. I’m as sharp as a tack,” Mick said with a wonky smile, hoping to diffuse the tension. “Like hell you are,” she said as she zipped up her jacket and opened the car door.
“Come on, let’s see what, or who we hit.”

To their astonishment, all they could see were the haphazard tyre marks they had made, and a road that stretched on for miles. Mick looked to the sides, to make sure whatever they hit didn’t get hit off the road, but there was nothing. All they could hear was the crackling of the crickets. Puzzled and a somewhat scared they sat back into the car.

None of them had noticed till then that the radio was now chiming and when they heard the song it was playing, it didn’t take Mick more than a split second to decide what to do. He fumbled with his seatbelt, turned the car around and sped back in the direction they had come from. “A Tombstone Every Mile” kept playing though, they just couldn’t turn it off.

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