The windshield wipers swished back and forth, pushing rain and ice into a wall along the windshield. Frankie leaned over the steering wheel, squinting to try to see through the downpour. Rachel fiddled with the radio as she stared out the window at the unbroken line of bare trees zipping past. Static crackled through the car, competing with tinkling of sleet against the windows and the whoosh of heat blasting out of vents.
Frankie cut his eyes over to Rachel. A few bars of music floated from the speakers before fading back to static. He thought it might have been “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. “I can’t believe you didn’t write down the directions.”
Rachel stirred and turned away further, her reflection in the window showing the anger in her eyes. “It wasn’t my idea to go to some stupid party. I wanted to stay in and watch scary movies.”
“Funny. ‘I want to stay in and watch movies’ sounded a lot like ‘okay, sounds like fun’ when you said it.”
“Shut-up, Franklin.” He turned his gaze back to the blurred road, knuckles whitening on the wheel.
They drove in silence for a few miles. The car felt sluggish, but picked back up when he pressed the accelerator. Frankie heard a bang and the engine started knocking; the check engine light glowed in the darkness. “Damn it all!”
He gestured at the dashboard. “Something’s wrong with the damn engine!”
“There’s no reason to yell at me.” She leaned forward and peered through the deluge. “Do you see a light up there?”
He squinted harder. “Yeah. Maybe we can find a phone there…if we make it.”
The car sputtered and jerked, but managed to get them into town before dying. Main street was like a ghost town, except for one lit storefront. “Stay here. I’ll go see if they have a phone.” Frankie pulled his jacket over his head and bailed out of the car, running through the rain.
He reached the door of the lit building and burst through it, shaking the water from his hair and body. “Whew! Sucks out there.”
He paused as dozens of faces stared at him. He saw women dressed as flappers sitting with men dressed like extras from Saturday Night Fever. Men in zoot-suits played cards with cowboys, while women in 15th-century dresses served them drinks from large metal pitchers. Frankie’s eyes lit up. “Hey! You guys having a Halloween party?”
“GET OUT!” A man dressed like a Revolutionary War soldier limped out from behind the bar. “Leave! We don’t want you here.”
Frankie held up placating hands. “Listen, man, my car died and I need a phone. No need for any drama.”
“We don’t have any phones! Leave now!”
Frankie’s fists curled into balls. “What’s your problem? It’s freezing out there…” He stopped and backed up when the soldier pulled a musket down from the wall and aimed it at him. Chairs scraped the floor as all the sitting men stood. Frankie noticed they all had guns. “Whoa! Easy, fellas. I don’t want any trouble.”
The soldier fired the musket into the ceiling and weapons filled the hands of the other men. “GET OUT!”
Frankie turned and ran. He raced down the street. Rachel started to get out of the car. “GET IN!”
She got back in the car, her confusion plain. Frankie jerked open his door and jumped inside. The car started up with a roar, and he slammed down the gas. Wheels smoked and the car fishtailed a bit in the slush as he zoomed down the street, out of the crazed town and back into the forested road.
“What the hell’s going on?”
“Those crazy bastards were going to kill me!”
The radio clicked on and a few bars of “This is Halloween” appeared then faded. Something in the engine banged and the check engine light glowed in the darkness. “I can’t believe this!” Frankie shouted.
Rachel looked out the windshield. “It looks like there’s another town just ahead.”
“Hopefully they aren’t crazy.”
The car sputtered and jerked, but brought them into town before dying. They rolled to a stop and a flash of lightning highlighted the Revolutionary soldier. He opened the car door, a look of sadness on his face. “I had hoped we got you out of here in time, but I fear not.”
He took off his hat and held it over his heart. “Welcome to New Roanoke, your new home…forever.”
Word Count: 750
Speakeasy time again. Hope you enjoyed the story. Head on over to their site and check out some great stories by some great writers. Enter your own and join in the fun. This week they’re giving away a copy of American Supernatural Tales and New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird to some lucky winners.
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