Behind the Poplars

This is an excerpt from a Hallowe’en story, Behind the Poplars, that I have been working on over the last while. This is opening scene and while this may seem a little ordinary it is only the start of what I hope is a spine-chilling story that I think will add an air of spookiness to Hallowe’en this year. I think it could give a shiver or two to some very brave adults, however I would feel that children would be too young for this particular Hallowe’en story. You never know I may publish the end result here someday, but for now may this whet your appetite.

Behind the Poplars

Music drums through the car radio telling Sam Addison to “open your eyes”. It sounds like it should be played on one of those awful Christian radio stations. They are very adept at slicing Franz Ferdinand with the Gospel of Matthew and other unconnected combinations. Just what people want to listen to on their way home from a stressful day of work. But the line “open your eyes” pierces Sam’s consciousness.

Sam has driven this road countless times over the years, but would be hard pressed to describe it to someone. The driving rain is pushed sideways by the strengthening winds. Globs of horizontal rain flash up in the headlights of her old pick-up. The depth of night, with lashing rain is not the best time to try and study the roadside. The ditches are lying in shadows and the lights of the houses are only highlighting the lashing rain. She guides her car around the bend, and gleans a light sitting high from the ground. A house Sam has never noticed before. The light is at an unusual angle, and as she drives passed she sees that it is a turret. The house is hidden by the oppressive tree line that flanks the road, but through the gaps of branches she can just make out the outline of the house and what is definitely a turret on the west corner. A turret house in this area, whoever built it wasn’t from here.

The wind has picked up and is buffeting the car; Sam fights with the steering wheel to keep it between the fading road lines. She is approaching the junction, the biggest one in town. The overhead lights are waving in the wind, the colours are obscured from her vision every few seconds. She pulls up to the junction concentrating on the colours. Her eyes squint and trace the arc that the lights are taking; she doesn’t hear the horn blasting from her right. She doesn’t see the headlights that are flashing in her peripheral vision.

She hears the crunch of metal against metal and she only sees the car as it slams into her door. She only sees the driver as his face drives closer and closer to hers. The two cars pirouette across the eight point junction. She doesn’t hear the other cars as they squeal their brakes, swerving out of the way of the two mechanical dancers. She only hears “open your eyes” blaring from the radio speakers. Utter darkness descends as her eyes close.

Photo: Anonymous