A couple parks their car on the local lovers lane. It’s in a small clearing in the forest, overlooking the small town. The guy insisted to drive around for a while as he manged to borrow his dad’s old veteran car for the evening. It’s supposed to be the date. They are slurping the remains of the soda and eating the popcorn from the movie.
“Did you like the movie?” the girl asks, engulfed in the movie they just saw, having some of the popcorn. It had been her choice, and the boy fell asleep halfway through.
“Sure,” the boy said, leaning into her. She pushes him playfully away.
“Yeah right, I noticed you fell asleep,” the girl says, throwing a popcorn at him playfully. He throws it back at her, just hearing her laughter.
“I’m awake now,” the guy says, kissing her.
The song from the radio ends, the news broadcaster taking over. It is a terrible radio station, local, but the only one they get a signal from her in this small town. The guy turns to the radio speaking in its slow and monotone voice.
“We report about the manhunt still ongoing for the convicted murderer and rapist, escaping from the mental institution. There are still no leads to his whereabouts. Noticeable features is his hook hand. Listeners are asked to report-“
“Enough of that,” the boys says as the news kills the mood, turning the radio off, putting on a playlist instead. The girl look around, uneasy after listening. She buttons one of her blouse button.
“Hey, maybe we should just-“
“Come here,” the boy says, pulling her closer, kissing her, his hands trailing down her side. But she’s had it. The moment is passed.
“No, come on. Let’s just drive home.”
“But I only borrowed the car for this evening. I don’t know if he-“
“Don’t care! It’s creepy here.”
The girl crosses her arms over her chest. She’s made up her mind. The boy accepts defeat.
“We can ask your father again for the car another time,” the girls tries to negotiate with. The boy is not biting to her offer.
“Sure,” the boy mutters, trying to get the engine to work. It doesn’t. He tries again: Same result. The girl starts to get a creepy feeling, an uneasiness as if the darkness around them swells.
“Do you need any help?”
“What? No! It just has this special way to get it started. Just give me a second.”
Still, the car won’t start. The night is coming to life. The nightlife is starting to wake, to howl. The girl inhales, trying not to intervene. The boy tried the key, but the engine just gave a small puff, not wanting to start. The headlight flickering weak before dying.
“It doesn’t work,” the girl says. The boy ignores her.
“Maybe you should just try to-“
“I know how to start a car,” the boy says, loosing his patient and snapping back at her. She raises her hand, leaving him to it.
The car finally stars and the girl leans in to fix her lipstick. She turns when a shadow glides over the mirror.
He pushed the pedals to the floor, car screeching as they bailed out from the lane, leaving their date in a pile of dust. The girl clutched the handle above her head.
“Did you just drive onto something?”
“Didn’t you hear it right now? It was like the car pulled on something?”
“Jesus, can you at least not whine about my driving? I’m taking you home, as you demanded, alright? Can you just not?”
They drive away out from the woods onto the highway. He turns back to the news on the radio, but it’s over. Just a slow ballad to fill the awkward silence is heard.
After driving for a while, both notices something is wrong. The boy curses, knowing this date went horrible wrong.
“Sounds like the tires,” the girl comments as they park the car at the side of the road. It is still far to the town.
“Let me have a look,” the boy says, not knowing much about cars.
Studying the back tire at the passengers side, he can’t make it out. It is as if it’s slashed. They wont be able to drive it back home. He stands up, looking both ways, no car is out on the roads, the forest on both sides is motionless in the dead wind.
He goes to the passenger door, motioning to open it to tell her they would need to call someone to come get then. That is when he sees it, that is when he freezes.
“What is it?” the girl asked, noticing his face going pale. The boy held out the arm.
“Stay in the car. Don’t come out. Lock the door,” he said, staring at the hook hanging from the car door.
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