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LEFT for ghostsandstories.com

The Scenic Route

by Jamie Lockwood
(England, Manchester)

My car radio has never worked the way it should. So when my friends, and I went for a drive. Without radio, it was a pretty silent drive.

We had just come back from a Christmas fair. I was the driver and decided to take the scenic route (yeah, yeah stupid horror movie recipe!), but I'm one of those people who like to see the trees at night. I'm not scared of the woods. In fact I'm the kind of person who goes into the woods.

I tried the radio to distract myself from the sounds of giggles in the back. I played with the dial.

"Hello? Where are you?" everyone stopped. The voice was coming from the radio.

A little shaken, I laughed and Natasha joined in; we had obviously picked up on some radio drama.

"I'm cold, and my feet hurt. I want to come inside."

"@^%&in heck Jamie!" Laughed Lisa. "Shoot me up that woman!" We ignored it and sure enough it went back to the crackly noise of static.

I put in my tape, West Life, hardly good listening, but would keep me awake throughout the journey.

I joked with the girls singing along with 'Uptown Girl', while the mist gathered outside. Suddenly Stacey screamed "Jamie, look out!"

I slammed on the breaks. A girl was stood in front of the car. She was wearing raggedy jean and a tank top. She looked like a Mosher.

The tape in the machine stopped. The crackle of the static came back. I got out of the car ready to rise up a storm and looked at her. She was freezing, shaking so fiercely.

"Heya love, you alright?" I walked a little closer; she was hugging herself, her head down, hair covering her face.

I took a good look at her clothes, they were dirty and torn. She wasn't wearing any shoes. "What happened to your clothes? Did someone hurt you? It's okay love, we're all girls here. We canhelp you, get you checked out?"

She looked up a little as if she had only just realized I was there. "I'm so cold."

I flinched. She sounded like the girl on the radio. But nevertheless I turned to get a blanket out of the car.

"Jamie what the @^%& is going on?" said Stacey.

"I dunno," I replied, this girl - something's happened to her. We need to get her to a hospital."

I held up the blanket and turned to see she'd gone. Suddenly Lisa screamed. The girl had her face straight up to the passenger window. And what I saw still keeps me awake at night. Her eyelids and lips were cut off and blood steamed down her face like tears.

"I'm so cold and my feet hurt. Get up and let me come inside." Only now her voice sounded distorted.

I jumped in the car and sped off. The girls in the back were hugging each other and crying whilst Lisa sat and rocked back and forth with her hands at her face. I'm not the kind of girl who prays. In fact if I did pray I'm sure God would have trouble remembering me.

But that night I prayed really hard and drove as fast as I could until my feet hurt.

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