The windscreen wipers were going flat out but still losing ground against the lashing storm, the lightning was almost continuous illuminating the inside of the car and reflecting off the chrome plated crucifix that dangled from the rear view mirror. The roar of thunder almost drowned out the radio. ‘It’s raining men’ was playing. ‘It certainly is’ thought Ben and smiled at the irony, as he struggled to keep the car on the road in the darkness. Suddenly there was a blinding flash and the car ground to a halt. Everything was dead, engine, lights, and radio, Ben tried to start the car but at the same time he knew it was a futile action.

     Crump!! Something heavy hit the roof of the car. Fearing that a fallen tree had pinned the car down but the jolt had restored the power to everything and the radio crackled back to life. Gingerly Ben turned the key. The engine fired up and he engaged first gear and moved forward, at least he wasn’t trapped. Stopping almost immediately to assess the situation, he was aware of something sliding off the roof. He froze as an arm streaked with blood and chunks of skin hanging from slashes, flopped down onto the windscreen followed by a lifeless torso. It’s head with eyes wide open blood streaming from them, where it’s nose should have been was a gaping hole and the lightning was clearly visible through the cavernous opening where the back of its head had once been. The body slid down on to the bonnet, getting tangled into the still thrashing wipers, finally falling onto the road.

     Ben backed the car up and drove past the soaking bloody mess that had once been a man.

      ‘We’re playing music to match the weather tonight here on radio Orefull’ crackled the DJ in his best scary voice. Still shaking with shock at the grisly event, Ben turned the radio off – nothing happened the controls welded solid by the first lightening strike. On he growled ‘Get this. Bat outa Hell by Meat Loaf’ Ben put his foot down only to meet a swarm of what looked like huge birds flying directly at the car unable to see, he stopped. The car was completely swamped by huge BATS! licking the blood and gore left by the mutilated corpse. Ben could hear the squeaks of the bats as they signalled each other in the darkness. ‘Like a bat outa Helllllllll’ the song finished. ‘Meat Loaf there, what weather we’re having, moving on with The Doors and Riders on the storm’ shouted the hyper active DJ.

     The bats responding to the signals from the others all flew off descending onto the mass of mutilated human remains frenziedly feasting on the unexpected banquet.

     ‘There’s a killer on the road, his brain is squirming like a toad’ the voice of Jim Morrison seemed to be aimed specifically at Ben.

     “Shut up” he shouted as he tried to turn the radio off. RAP RAP on the window, RAP RAP RAP!!! The passenger door opened.

      “Take pity on an old man” a hooded figure got into the car. Ben reeled as the foul smell of sulphurous burnt flesh instantly filled the car.  

     “Take pity on one who has a bag to fill on a night like this, just one more soul and I can return to my rightful place.”

     His breath smelt like he had terminal halitosis. Ben couldn’t speak as the realisation of what had happened to the corpse slowly dawned on him.

     “What do want?” Ben said with an unconvincing attempt at bravado.

     “YOUR SOUL!” was the scream as the figure launched itself over the car.

     Ben’s outstretched arm clutching at anything with which to defend himself found the crucifix and he ripped it from its chain, thrusting it forward. He heard a strangled choking sound as the figure backed away, cowering into the foot-well. Now Ben was in control and he pushed the crucifix into the face of the now cringing creature, a choking smell of foul smelling brimstone almost overpowered him as the nightmare disintegrated before him.

     GAME OVER! GAME OVER! flashed before Ben’s eyes and he felt somebody taking off the virtual reality mask.

     “Well done Ben, you found the one thing that you needed to defeat him. Now sit down, have a cup of coffee and come back to reality”

     Slowly Ben remembered what he was doing, a virtual life taking situation game. A cup of coffee was placed in his hand as he contemplated the journey he had just experienced.

     As he got into the car to go home, he looked up at the storm laden darkening sky. The radio came on ‘Starting off tonight with The Weather Girls and Its Raining Men’…………………….

790 words Michael White 2020

  • Gail Young
    Posted at 12:36h, 01 March Reply

    Really well written. Had me in suspense.

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