A Moonmausoleum original writings based on the Urban Legend – The Vanishing Hitchhiker

I was driving back home after a work seminar out of town. It was a long stretch, and I thought I would just drive through the night to get back. It was a narrow road, hardly any lights along the road. It was still a couple of hours until I would reach home, and I was listening to the weird night radio at the local radio station. It was mostly static.

Suddenly, I almost had to weer off the road. Right there, right by the side of the road, a girl was standing, her hands out, hitchhiking. I didn’t see her before my headlights shone right at her, making her appear out of nowhere.

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I floored the breaks. When the car stopped, my pulse was going off the charts, my breathing uneven, Shaken, but unharmed, I looked back to the girl. She was still standing there, unharmed as well. I exhaled, happy I hadn’t run her over. She was standing so still, just looking at me, her thumb, still held high in the air, waiting on a lift. I opened the door and stepped out.

“H-hello? Excuse me, but do you need a lift?”

Girl standing on the road lit up by red light
Photo by Riccardo Mion on Unsplash

She turned her head and meet my eyes. She was wearing a white summer dress in the chilly night. Only a rugged denim jacket, filled with patches of bands and slogans shielded her from the unforgiving autumn wind.

“Are you ok?” I asked, now beginning to fear I had scared her with the car. She was still standing at the side of the road, not moving.

“Can you give me a ride?” she asked then, her voice was just a weak shiver. I looked around. There was nothing here. I had hours left before I reached home and was going to work tomorrow. But I couldn’t leave her here. Not when I also almost ran her over.

“S-sure. Jump in. Where to?”

She started to move, she came towards me, not making a sound as she walked over the road. She got in the backseat. I thought that was a bit weird, but didn’t say anything. Perhaps she felt safer at a distance. I got back behind the wheel and started the car.

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“Where do you live?” I asked. She didn’t answer at once. She was looking out the window, the moon hitting only half her face.

“Take me home,” she said, just a breathing. I wondered if I should call the police then. Clearly, something had happened. I had chills, and looked around. There was nothing coming out from the surrounding trees but the wind’s whisper.

“Where is home?” I asked, just driving, looking in the mirror, trying to figure out what to do. She sighed.

Empty road in black and white
Photo by Michael Mouritz on Unsplash

“The blue house. The blue house at the right turn after the old bridge,” she said.

I had no idea where we were, but just continued forward, hoping to reach the bridge soon. I looked back again. She was beautiful, pretty in this sad way. Her face was pale though, and she looked out the window, staring at something in the distance.

“Did something happen? Tonight I mean?”

She turned her head and met my eyes in the reflections in the mirror. She nodded.

“Yes,” she said.

“Do you need to call someone?”

“Just drive me home.”

We continued in silence a couple of minutes. Every other time I checked in the mirror, she was staring out the window in a daze, other times, she was staring right back at me, her gaze direct.

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After driving for a while we reached a bridge.

“Hey, is this it? Is this the bridge?” I asked and turned. It was like she woke from a slumber, she sat up and got sight of the bridge.

“Yes, that is it, that is where it happened,” she said, her voice low, getting closer to me as she leaned forward to the drivers seat to get a better look. I could sense a smell, something sweet, something familiar. We were approaching the bridge.

Empty bridge in the night surrounded by fog

“Where what happened?” I asked, the smell getting stronger, that familiar smell. That sweet smell. The smell of rot and decay.

“This is were I died,” she said, and I jumped. Her mouth right next to my ear, her low voice loud because of it. Again, I floored the breaks. The wheels spun, leaving a black mark on the road right by the bridge.

When I got control of the car again, I turned around. But she was gone. Only her denim jacket was left. I got out of the car, but saw nothing of her. The forest around was dark, the water under the bridge darker. The night grew colder. I got in my car and hurdled out of there, not stopping before I reached home.

Days went by, by I couldn’t get that lonely, pretty girl out of my head. I drove back and reached the bridge. In daylight I was able to find the turn she talked about and made it. When I saw the blue house, I sighed with relief. I wasn’t going crazy, she had really been there.

The garden was overgrown, the blue paint weathered and needed another coat. I rang the bell and waited with the denim jacket in hand, hoping to return it to the strange girl I had met.

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But it was an old woman that opened. She peered out at me, looking at me suspicious.

“Yes?”

“Ah, yeah, hallo, so… I met a girl a couple of nights ago, she said she lived here.”

“No girl lives here, it’s only me,” the old lady said. I was left standing there, confused and lost. The woman was about to close the door again when she stopped dead in her tracks. She opened her mouth, her eyes shocked.

“Why do you have that?” the lady asked, looking straight at the jacket I was holding in my hand.

“Oh this? It’s the girl’s, she forgot it in my car when I gave her a lift.”

The woman before me turned white. She had to support herself to stand upright. The door creaked and opened as she leaned on it. And when it did, I saw the picture. A faded picture of the pretty girl, smiling.

In a whisper the old lady said:

“No, no, that is my daughter’s. She died in a car accident on the old bridge over ten years ago.

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