“No I don’t want you to get out and push.” She knew she was raising her voice but what did he expect? The car was pissing well stuck. It was a fact. Sarcasm wasn’t going to unstick it. She breathed in then out. “I’ll just try reverse again.”
He was shaking his head with that cocky grin on his face: she could see it from the corner of her eye. As she floored the accelerator, a trail of mud flew forwards as the wheel slipped. Idling the engine, she turned to him. Shrugging his shoulders, he opened his door and got out.
“What now?” The steering wheel clenched between her fists had made her knuckles white. Releasing it, she stretched before shaking her head.
“It’s jammed solid,” he said.
Was he laughing? She thought he fucking was.
“I’ll go for help. There was a farm a mile or so back.”
“What about me?”
“You stay here in case someone comes along.” He shrugged his shoulders, his grin increasing.
As he slammed the door, she pulled out her phone. No reception. What kind of god forsaken place was this?
Of course it was her fault because it’d been her idea. A ferry to a small island sounded a great idea. A tiny island too. The ferry only took three cars at a time, and cost a hundred quid less than the bigger islands. One small village, single lane roads, cows wandering everywhere, and a mud track that wasn’t even on the map.
She watched him walk away. White trainers already shitted up from the relentless rain and mud bath the island was. She turned the radio on and scanned for channels. Absolutely nothing. Not even a local station. She wondered how they survived. No shop. Not even a pub. What did they do? There must have been twenty or thirty houses. What did they do of an evening? Forget that, what did they do for a job?
She’d settled on a CD, but turned it off half way through. A dead battery when he came back with a farmer wouldn’t help. He was taking his time. The island was so small he could have walked round it four times. She imagined him in some farm house: hot soup, freshly baked bread and a change of clothes. Meanwhile, she was freezing in the car, the driving rain and sleet pounding the roof. She tried her phone again. No bars, half the battery gone already – she guessed it was searching for a signal it wouldn’t find. Turning it off, she looked round.
A shadow behind. The corner of her eye just caught it. She turned, her heart instantly pounding hard.
A bang on the roof. Loud bang. Not a twig falling or a stone. Really loud.
Three more bangs. They filled the car. It was like someone was on the roof.
“Shit.” She looked around, saw he’d left his window half open. Fuck that, the doors were unlocked too. Punching the door lock and window button. Not working. The keys – engine not turned on.
Fumbling with the key. Trying to turn it but it wouldn’t. Pounding above her. Someone on the roof, definitely a someone, not a bird or animal. Fumbling again with the key, it turned. Engine fired up. Hands punching again for the window button and deadlock. Shaking fingers smashing into the vinyl but not finding the switch.
Three more bangs on the roof. Really fucking loud. The roof above the passenger seat dented, pointing inwards. Finding the window switch, it wound up. Slowly, really slow. Was it always that slow?
Dangling from the roof. Red all around the wrist. Blood. Trying to reach inside the window.
A scream. Her voice, but she heard it without realising she’d screamed. She punched the deadlock button again. Finally her fingers caught it. Locks snapped into place. The window still half closed, the arm up to the elbow inside, waving, reaching for her. The button again. Window inching upwards, touching the arm then stopping. She pressed it again. Nothing. Electrical cut out, safety device or some other shit. The arm was trapped though, waving around towards her.
Three more bangs then it happened. Something on the windscreen, rolling down to the bonnet. Round, bloody. Head shaped. His head.
She heard herself scream again. Heard vocal chords grate then tear. Then she saw them. Four people walking towards the car. All covered in red. Blood soaked. One held two arms in the air, another the legs. Two more holding a bloody red torso with his t-shirt on.
It finally clicked. No shop, no pub: this was their job. This was what they did. This was how they entertained themselves.
His latest book, Seven Daze, has been published by Caffeine Nights.
He blogs at ….. http://batteriesarentincluded.blogspot.co.uk/