It was cold out. Cold enough to make my nostrils sting when I didn’t inhale through my mouth. I felt the tip of my nose begin to redden as we packed the car and headed out into the empty Slovakian countryside.
Piotr was intent on this trip. It was obvious he needed tot ake this trip as he, a skinny man of endless ramblings, remained speechless.
We climbed into my trusty black Dodge Dart and drove along the snow-packed roads towards the near-uncharted countryside.
Svetlana sat in the front side, Piotr was in the back. We rubbed our hands and breathed heavily to convince ourselves we were warm as the Dart took it’s sweet time to heat up. Svetlana twitched endlessly, her thumbs drumming out patterns to songs of old and new. She was nervous. We all were.
As one turn begot another, the countryside quickly became a dimly lit labrynth of unplowed roads with steep drop-off’s on either side. The map was as worthless as our understanding of the native tongue it was written in. We crawled along the country roads searching for a landmark, a sign, anything. Then we found the unexpected.
She was tall, slender, and attractive with thick brown hair flowing like a stream down to her delicate shoulders. She was dressed in a vintage brown ball-room dress. Pink hues flowed throughout the ruffles amidst her shoulders and hips. She was beautiful, and she was walking along the road, totally alone.
Against the advice of my carpooling friends, I offered her a ride. She didnt respond. I raised my voice and offered a ride once again. Nothing. Slightly offended and overcome with curiosity, I drove in front of her and blocked her path with my car.
Without a word, she looked into my eyes. Deeply, like an orangatang at a petting zoo you’re trying to offer food. She examined me like I was the first human she’s ever seen. She opened the car door, sat down, and closed the door quietly.
We sat in silence as I began to drive the car.
As the car accelerated, she stiffened in her seat. She refused to make eye contact with us. We asked questions, she remained docile.
Once again, we were left to the unmarked road and a game of guessing the right way to Piotr’s estranged Uncle’s countryside mansion. As the Dart plowed through foot deep snow, the sounds of snow squeaking under frozen rubber tires filled the car.
“Do you see it” said the unknown girl.
I almost drove off the rode as her arm jutted past my face and pointed towards the horizon. Startled by her sudden animation, we slowly gazed in the direction she pointed.
A glowing orb slowly appeared over the horizon on the right. Her arm remained stiffly extended and pointing towards the light.
“Who are you” Piotr blurted. “What the hell is going on? How could you be walking outside in the dark, in the cold? Where do you want us to take you? What the hell is goin on?” Piotr’s questions continued in a rapid fire succession until he lost his breath, then his nerve.
The unknown girl held her gaze with the light. It grew larger but remained a blurry point of illumination in the cold distance.
“I can’t go back, I can’t go back there. We mustn’t go back.” The strange girl pleaded. Her gaze never veered from the mysterious, ever-growing light source. Who was she? What the hell was going on? We all wondered, but were afraid to ask further questions for fear of finding out something awful.
“Please. Don’t go back there.” Her face grew slightly pale and her eyes became bloodshot as she stopped blinking. at. all.
“Tell us who you are, tell us what you want, and tell us why we can’t go there or else we’re kicking you out of the car!” Svetlana’s threats felt as empty as the hope of hearing more from this strange girl.
Silence. Silence. Finally a panicked breath interrupted the void of sound. It was the strange girl. As she held one arm steadily pointed towards the light source, she clutched at Svetlana with the other arm. Her arm flailed about Svetlana. First she grabbed her hair, then her coat, then she grabbed at her own shoulder ruffles and tore them off. When the ruffles fell to the ground in front of me, I couldn’t see where they landed. It was like they disappeared into the Dart carpet.
“Do you see this spot ahead?” the girl asked calmly.
A bridge appeared about forty yards away.
“Do you see the spot” asked the girl with a heightened sense of alarm.
Now twenty yards away, a rusted, twisted sedan was barely visible. It was ancient, rusted, and tattered. Obviously this was resultant from a fatal event. Something awful had happened to this car.
“I see it” I squeaked out in-between my short, hurried breaths. Her damn arm was now shaking as it remained stiffly extended next to my arm. I am going to rip this fucking thing off if she doesn’t put it-
“This spot, you see it. Do you see?” she asked again with a now calm voice. The heap of twisted metal buried in white was fifteen yards away.
“Yes, we see it. We see it” we said with vigor.
her arm slowly lowered. The car was ten yards away. It was an older model of the Dodge Dart I drove. The roof was obliterated into a series of jagged triangle shaped shards which were all caved in and facing the driver’s seat. It had obviously been in a horrific accident.
“This spot. This spot. Is where. I. DIED.” She screamed violently as her peach colored fair-skinned cheeks became grey and emaciated. Her face was now covered in deep cuts and her hands clasped the sides of her head. She continued to scream violently as her eyes rolled back into her skull and more cutts appeared on her face, neck, and body. Her eyes. My God, they were black chasms. Never had I seen something so dark.
The car lost control, we began to spin. Faster and faster. Screams loud enough to fill a stadium flooded my car. Faster and faster we spun. I felt a callosued, jagged hand clench my neck.
It was her hand.
We spun violently towards the bridge. If only I could hit the gas and correct it. Her scream went from a high pitch squeal to a chorus of deep-pitched, guttural cries of agony
The fingers dug into the skin of my neck slowly. They felt like jagged icicles.
I couldn’t mo-