Sheer panic swept Caroline as she realized her worst nightmare. She turned the key several times, and heard nothing, but a click. The headlights of her friends’ car faded in the distance; the sounds of the night grew louder and louder. Gripping the steering wheel tightly she began to envision images from every horror movie she watched with one eye open throughout the years.
Ten, twenty minutes, an hour passed. Not a solitary car passed along the road to the old graveyard. Options limited, she had to decide how to solve the situation. First option she stay in the car all night terrified by the sound of the wind, the creaking gate and the knowledge of a hundred very old graves. The second option she walk the two-mile distance without streetlights or an idea of what wandered in the night.
Bursting into tears, she opened the door slowly, and stepped out on the gravel. Sighing, she wiped her face with a tissue, and cursed the Moon for taking the night off. She regretted her ridiculous decision to wear heels as she began to walk down the road. Clip, clip echoed loudly in the night as she headed into the night.
A noise in the graveyard startled her causing her to stumble. Catching herself, she increased her pace, not wishing to identify the sound. She figured she had been walking an hour before deciding to take a break. She had to be close to town.
A noise caused her to turn around and she stared, s hocked by the sight behind her. She was no more than a yard from her car. “This can’t be real,” her mind screamed.
She tossed her shoes; oblivious to the pain of the gravel ran finally pausing as sweat dripped down her body. She turned to look, certain she was far from the car. “Nooooooooo!” she shrieked as she stared at the car, now a foot closer.
Fear and panic gripped her unable to comprehend what was happening. A third time she ran straight into the night, no longer afraid of the night sounds, determined to escape this nightmare. She rushed down the road, hoping, praying she would turn and the car would be gone. She felt her heart pounding, sweat running down her face, but she would not, could not stop.
Finally, her legs cramped up, and she could run no more. Gasping and wheezing, she slowed and stopped. “Please God,” she begged, “please let me be free of that car.” She slowly turned and stood directly in front of the car. She sank to the ground tears streaming down her face. As hard as she tried, she could not free herself from the car.
The night sounds grew thundered in her ears. She imagined the murmur of voices in the wind moving closer. She scolded herself and the voices stopped. The squeak of the old gate increased as the wind picked up its pace. A chill filled her, and she made her way back into the car. She locked the doors and gripped the wheel, wondering how long until sunrise and rescue.
She glanced at the time, but her eyes refused to acknowledge the numbers. Not one minute had passed since she looked at her watch hours ago. “My watch must be broken,” she thought as she took the silver piece off and tossed it angrily to the floor. No engine, no time and in the middle of nowhere next to a graveyard, she shuddered to think how things could get worse.
Each sound from the graveyard increased her nervousness. She regretted the decision they made to come out here on Halloween to wander among the graves. As small group, they laughed and joked and tried to scare each other, but by herself, she was terrified and wanted to go home.
“Maybe they will miss me and come back,” she thought. They planned to meet at Harold’s for a cup of coffee. She could not decide to be angry or relieved when they finally reappeared. They simply HAD to return and she could leave this endless nightmare.
A car passed slowly and stopped in front of her, headlights filling her car. She heard voices and recognized Tony and Cecile. She tried to open the handle, but the handle would not budge. Horrified she tried harder, but the door remained shut. She began to scream their names, trying to get their attention.
“Tony! Cecile! Don’t you see me? I am here. Get me out of the car.”
Relief flooded her as she saw them come toward the car. “Thank God,” she sighed. She waited with anticipation as they stood in front of the car. Any minute one would open the door and release her from this nightmare.
She waited and waited, but they did not move. She tried the horn, but the horn did not blare. She began to scream their names repeatedly, but they did not look at her. Panic, sheer panic caused her to bang and scream and cry over and over, but nothing, they did not move.
“I don’t know why we keep coming out here Tony. It’s been ten years, yet here we are again.”
“Now Cecile, I guess we are still trying to figure out what happened, because none of it made sense”
“We should have come back Tony.”
“I have regretted that point daily for ten years Cecile, but tonight I realized we need to stop coming. We must let the past go.”
Horrified, Caroline watched them turn and return to their car. “Come back, come back,” she sobbed. “Don’t leave me here alone.”
She heard the car engine turn over, and watched horrified as the lights came closer and closer. If they did not stop, they would run right into her. She hit her silent horn frantically.
An odd wave passed through her as the car continued toward and through her. Suddenly she realized for ten years she was caught in a loop with no escape.