Black Out

by Cassidy


travelling along a lonely stretch of highway, a young woman finds herself in the middle of strange occurences.

Brooke sat up, straightening her back, she herd a crack as she stretched it out. The semi was cruising along slowly as Brooke shook herself awake. She sighed, there were no other cars and now the sun was going down there wasn't much to see anymore. She knew why no one wanted this route, it was boring as all hell. 600kms, only two towns, the only thing to see was mountains and a few red neck country freaks.

She had just started working for this company and she wanted to make a good impression, now she regretted it. She had seen the way they had looked at her when she said she would take it. The boss was hesitant, probably because she was a tiny little woman, they assumed she couldn't handle a big rig. But she convinced him she had hauled trucks right across the country and there was no truck too big. She didn't really believe it but her boss did, so that's all that mattered.

She couldn't afford to get fired again. So here she was, halfway through wherever the hell she was, staring at the straight, narrow, seemingly never ending or even curving road. A few dead kangaroos lay on the side of the road, if she was in a car, she would have to be careful at this time of night, but her bull bar would be able to stop an elephant so she didn't care. Less cars on the road meant faster time, even though on this road she didn't think it mattered.

Brooke sat at the 24 hour truck stop sitting at an old faded leather seat, eating a burger staring out the window. There were two other trucks there, one of them was parked and looked like he was staying the night, the other refueling. The old building seemed to be wood and badly needed paint. It was small, with a few seats at the counter and a few booths and toilets in the back, they had good food though, if it didn't repeat on her. As she pulled out of the parking lot she saw three people dressed in white matching robes wandering down a side street, like they were on their way to a cult meeting. They gave her goosebumps as she watched them walk down the middle of the road, country people would have to get bored out here and get into all sorts of weird Satan worshiping stuff she thought.

An hour later she sat staring out the windscreen, night had set in as she cruised the lonely highway her headlights sweeping the road, phone on the dashboard, Mike, her boyfriend was on the phone "so when you getting back?" he asked " i don't know, ill get there tonight, but i might stay the night, depends what time it is, im making good time at the moment" she said lighting up a smoke and opening the window "what was that, was that a lighter, are you smoking?" he asked, how the hell did he know? she thought "no, i just opened a window, its stuffy in here" she said, "oh OK" he sounded convinced, shit he was dumb. She watched the road as she noticed a flash of light just above the tree line, a purple hazy flashing light a fair distance from where she was "you hear me?" the voice on the phone said, she snapped back to reality "what ?" she said.

"what are you doing?" he asked "nothing, i just saw something, there's a light over above the trees, its purple, just trying to see what it is"

"whats it doing?"

"nothing, its not a plane, its still, i think. Im moving so i cant tell, what has a purple light?"

"i don't know, there's houses out there, probably some country people having a shin dig or something"

Brooke laughed "yeah probably"

Just then the light disappeared as Mike was talking the phone started to cut out "Mike? what did you say i cant hear you properly" she looked at the phone, it had reception. His voice came back "you hear me?" he said "yeah, must of cut out for a second".

The light reappeared again, flashing and then about ten other lights started flashing through the trees. Brooke watched them as they flashed, quicker and grew brighter and then disappeared again, just as a car came from the other direction, she watched as the car disappeared into the darkness and the lights didn't reappear again. Suddenly there was a loud bang on the side of the truck. Brooke jumped so high her foot slipped off the accelerator and the truck slowed down, she sat up and got the truck going again and looked in the mirror but she couldn't see anything through the dark.

"what was that?" Mike asked

"it must of been a kangaroo, hit the side of the cab, it scared the hell out of me" she said noticing that her hands were shaking, she wasn't scared of anything, except intimacy, she felt strange, something static was in the air, a strange chill or something indescribable.

"Stay on the phone mike" she said "why?" he sounded concerned now "just do it, talk to me, tell me about your day or something, im tired and i need to stay awake" she huffed "OK, alright, calm down" he started to talk about work but she kept looking back, searching for the light again. He droned on in the background as her radio turned itself on, a static sound came through and then the sound of Johnny cash came through singing. She looked down, an eerie feeling surrounding her, she couldn't remember if she had left it on so she turned it off.

"you listening?" mike's voice broke the silence "yeah, i am, radio just came on, keep going" she said irritated. The high beam lit up the road ahead of her, the white line never ending, either side of the highway was forest, pitch black, then something caught her eye. Something moved out of the forest, something gray and tall stepped out of the trees just as she went past, she didn't get enough of a look at it but it wasn't an animal. She looked back, but it was useless, there was no light out here even from the stars, it was a clear night but there was no moon at all.

She realized then that it was silent, mike was gone, the phone was quiet. she pressed the screen "shit" she swore trying to call him back, there was no signal now.

She kept driving waiting for the signal when something else caught her attention. Standing just off the side of the road she could just make out the figures of people standing on the side of the road, wearing all black, watching her as she drove past. The eerie feeling didn't pass as they disappeared into the night, she didn't even slow down to see who they were but her breathing had become so heavy she was getting light headed. She lit another smoke to calm her nerves and turned the radio on.

She drove on for a while, waiting for Mike to call back, listening to some country song. One other car had passed in the last half hour. She could feel herself starting to fight sleep but she still had a fair drive ahead of her. As she turned a bend in the road, she saw a car up ahead, no lights on, parked by the side of the road in the dark. As she got close to it, she saw a man standing next to it on the phone and as she went past he turned, he was wearing a blue shirt and he was covered, head to toe in blood. He turned his back again as she stared at him. He didn't look like he needed help and she didn't want to stop so she kept driving.

Brooke was so confused, what the hell was going on, its like something kept trying to get her to stop but all her instinct told her not to stop for anything, no matter what. She was only two hours away and she had enough fuel, unless she broke down she wasn't going to stop out here for any reason.

Her eyes got heavy again as she turned the radio up and put the windows down. She noticed there seemed to be a growing number road kill off the road, more and more until there were piles of dead carcasses all along the side of the road, she threw her smoke out the window and put the window up, the stench was horrific. Suddenly at one of the piles she saw a man, crouched over one of the carcasses grabbing something out it, he looked up as she drove past. "what the hell is wrong with this town" she said she looked at her phone again, no missed calls, after the smell disappeared she wound the window down again. she looked at the time 10:47 pm. The cab was humid but the air outside was bearable. She headed down a steep bit of road when all of the hair on her arms stood up.

She tried to shake off the feeling but it wouldn't budge. As she turned a corner she saw a woman, standing in the middle of the road, wearing a white dress, she was pale and had long black hair, she was watching the truck as Brooke slammed on the breaks. She was traveling too fast to slow down and the truck was heading right for her but she didn't seem to even notice. Brooke closed her eyes, she herd the tires squealing and the horn blaring and the truck trying to slide to a stop, all of the rubber gripping and shuddering as she waited for a bang.

She opened her eyes, there was a flash and then it was dark again, the truck slowed down and eventually stopped. There was no bang, no body. she looked around her, there was no one. She thought about just calling the cops and keep driving but she had no signal and if the woman was hurt she had to help her, but something stopped her, she didn't want to get out of the truck. She looked around and tried to see her, climbing over to the other side of the seat she couldn't see anything. She grabbed the door handle and her phone and took a big breath as she opened the door. She hopped down from the truck and stood on the road. She stopped and listened. There wasn't a single car, or breath of wind, the light of the truck cab only went so far and then the darkness closed in rapidly.

She turned the phone torch on and walked back along the truck, she checked underneath, there was no blood. She made it to the end of the truck but there was nothing, she checked the side of the road on both sides, there was no one here, she went over to the tree line, there was no sound not even from an animal. If the woman was leaving, she would of herd her moving through the grass but it was silent. Brooke stood still for a moment and then noticed a road sign, Miles 30km. Her heart jumped, Miles? that's not possible she was still 80 kms out she had just checked. She looked at her phone, the time was 11:30pm. She stood, frozen. She had just checked the time, where had the last 40 minutes gone. Had she fallen asleep? she couldn't of she'd be dead. She sat crouched down on the road struggling to figure out what had happened, she tried to remember what had happened. she stood up and got back in the cab and with shaking hands drove the last 30 kilometers into Miles.


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