A Night to Forget

A piece I worked on for my fiction writing class this past semester. Tried to make it a bit more interesting than just having it be an anthro fiction piece.

Actually forgot I posted this one earlier. Well, I deleted the older version and posted this, the newer version.

Enjoy!


“Honey, I’m going to be gone for a while,” Zoe informed her husband as she walked into the kitchen, grabbing the keys from her purse. With no intention of going anywhere in particular, she had on her favorite, dark-green t-shirt that complimented well with her fiery red hair, and a pair of jeans and tennis shoes. Steve was nearly done cleaning up yet another uncomfortably quiet dinner they had together. As he was washing the dishes, he didn’t seem to mind getting the stale smell of dish soap and old food on his light-blue, button-up shirt and black pants, nor did he mind getting water on his black, leather shoes.

He put the last plate on the drying rack and turned to her. “Where will you be going?” he asked plainly. “Who with?”

“Rebecca,” she replied, “you’ve met her before.”

“Yes. And I don’t like her one bit,” he said sternly with his damp hands on his hips. “You still didn’t answer my first question Zoe.”

“Why do you care?” she said, returning the blunt tone, “I just want some ‘me’ time for a change.”

“I understand that, but you’re my wife and I need to protect you.”

“By what? Not allowing me to see the light of day?”

“Not alone you won’t.”

Zoe stood there baffled, unsure of how much more she can take this. She couldn’t think of anything else to say that she hasn’t already said before in the past. She knew he didn’t want a divorce; that was the only way she could be free of him, and she could live her own life for once. The only thing she can do is lie to him or sneak out, if only to have a few moments of freedom. Zoe hasn’t been able to contact Rebecca, her only friend, since she left town a month ago.

Steve had his eyes fixed on her, his hands still on his hips, waiting for a response from her. Not wanting to see his judgmental eyes any longer, she did the first thing that came to mind: turn around, walk out the front door to her blue, 80s Chevy pickup, and leave to go nowhere in particular. For the first time since she married that control freak, she defied him. No, stood up to him. She didn’t know if Steve said or did anything as she left, nor did she care. She felt more freedom now than she’s ever felt before.

*           *           *

It was nearly half-past ten in the evening, Zoe had been out on the road for a couple of hours. The sky became cloudy, though the full moon still shone bright through the thick, grey cover. She was driving along a two-lane highway that ran through the local state park. A nearly even row of tall evergreens marked the park’s boarder on both sides of the highway. Zoe was taking in the nighttime scenery as she drove, never once turning on the radio. Aside from some peace and quiet, she didn’t mind the monotonous, small chugs of the engine, or hearing the tires move along the pavement, or the wind rushing around the truck as she drove on through the tunnel of trees.

After noticing one of the tree borders were about to end on one side, Zoe figured she was a good distance away from town, but more so, the control freak she married. Nighttime continued on; the calming, continuous sounds of the drive started getting to her, along with the breeze coming through the open windows of the vehicle. Her eyes started to get heavy. Sleep would’ve came over her had it not been for a deer bounding right in front of the truck, startling her. She just missed it after swerving to the right, one of the front tires hit a stump and a rear one followed suit. The right, front corner of the truck rammed into a nearby tree, but the airbag didn’t deploy. Zoe felt lightheaded from the whiplash and blacked out for a moment.

An hour passed when she regained consciousness after getting jostled around in the driver’s seat of her pickup truck. The front of the passenger side of the truck seemed to embed itself in the tree she hit on the side of the road. That portion was crumpled, and the front, right tire was tilted inward while the headlight clamped around the tree. Zoe made several failed attempts backing up her truck to free it, but after a few tries she finally gave up and got out.

A thin line of blood streamed from her fiery-red hair and soaked one end of her thin eyebrow. She wiped this off despite the cut still bleeding. She then felt her cheek and looked in the side mirror, noticing two thin scratches running across her freckles on her face. Her dark green shirt got mangled and soaked in sweat from the adrenaline rush during the crash. A sharp pain shot through any joint she tried to move while inspecting her truck. Wincing at the pain in her arm and back, she reached into her purse to pull out her cell phone and called 911.

Zoe realized while explaining to the dispatcher that she wasn’t sure of her location. All she could tell the woman on the other line was, “I-I’m sorry. I-I don’t quite remember what road this is. There weren’t any road signs or anything.”

“That’s alright ma’am,” said the woman as if she’s rehearsed for these calls, “We have tracked the location of your call and will send help right away. Could you at least give me a description of your surroundings?”

She told the dispatcher. Near her crash site, an empty field claimed the other side of the road and began where the forest ended. Just within her sights, Zoe noticed an old building down the road. She had trouble explaining to the dispatcher the odd, blue light shooting out of its top into the cloudy sky, despite it seeming uninhabited. The woman on the other line wasn’t fazed by the oddity.

The dispatcher continued, “Would you like me to stay on the line until help arrives?”

“N-No, it’s fine. It shouldn’t be too long, should it?”

“They’re already on their way.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. You have a good night ma’am, and please don’t go any further into those woods.” She immediately hung up.

Zoe put her phone back and looked off into the dark woods. The only headlight working on the truck barely cleared away the pitch black that seemed to creep amongst the trees. It only illuminated the few trees and plants right in front of the truck before fading into the night. She didn’t see anything passing in front of the light, save for the many gnats and a few moths attracted to it, casting tiny specks of shadow on the trees.

A small breeze gently tickled her skin and the loose leaves and grass. She checked the road to see if any emergency vehicles were coming, or anyone at all. Nothing. No other lights aside from her truck, the blue beam, and the soft glow of the moon. She stared at the beam for a time, mesmerized by its calming hue. For a moment, she had nothing to worry about, nothing to fear.

After a while, she broke off her brief, hypnotic state and decided to sit in the back of her truck. “God I’m such an idiot,” she started saying to herself, “I don’t know where I am or how I even got here.

*sigh* “Steve’s gonna kill me. First I lie to him about meeting Rebecca, now this happens. Thank you karma. I promise to not try to escape my husband again.”

She laid down on her back in the cargo bed, knowing she’ll be waiting a while. “Ugh, I can almost hear him screaming at me again about this. Yes, I lied to you and ran away. Do you really think I still want any part of this relationship?” She played out how the conversation would go to herself. They would argue how Steve’s overprotective of her to the point where she can’t be out of his sight for very long; or that he tries to make her be a “good little girl” even though they’re both in their 30s. Their usual topics of bickering.

Zoe was interrupted in her monologue by a sudden rustle from the woods. Startled, she looked towards the sound and got out of the truck. She crept closer to where she thought it came from. Silence. She heard another rustling sound, closer this time. “Sounds too big to be a chipmunk or something. Another deer?” she thought. Inching closer towards the woods and away from the shining headlight of the truck, she tried to pinpoint where the sound was coming from. Silence again. Another rustle, another inch away from the light. This pattern continued until she was deep enough in the woods that the headlight barely cast her shadow.

Just then, she noticed dark-green tendrils moving about and floating on their own. Yet, they seemed to join up into a tall, black figure that didn’t have a face to it, just a human-like shape; only a thick, black vapor came out of where the figure’s face would be. It just stood there, or rather floated there, and simply stared at her. She wanted to run, yet didn’t. …Why do I feel…comfortable in front of this thing?, she thought, It’s as if…Steve didn’t exist at all; like I never met him. I wonder if this thing could speak.

She got her answer. I’m glad you do not run from me, it replied, most mortal things that can see me usually do. She could hear its wispy, tingling response in her mind. Who is this ‘Steve’ you do not wish to know anymore?

My husband.

You do not wish to know the one you’re coupled with? The one you love?

…No. No I don’t love him…I regret ever marrying him. I know he won’t let me leave him. It was just now that, despite the darkness, Zoe noticed any small plant life near the figure slowly withered away, turning to brown. She also noticed the dark-green tendrils were brighter than before. What, or who, are you?

It doesn’t matter. No one would believe you anyway if I told you. The black figure started gliding forward and around Zoe; not once did it turn to look at her. She didn’t move unless she needed to keep eye contact with the figure. The green tendrils grew slightly brighter as the figure absorbed life from the small foliage on the ground nearby. It stopped just before the glow of the headlights and turned around to face her. Turn off that light.

She managed to break out of her trance. “Yeah, ok.” Lacking any hesitation, she went to go turn off the headlight.

The figure glided forward to the edge of the unmarked road. She followed until she stood right next to it. You see that blue light piercing the heavens?

Yes, she replied to the voice in her head.

That is where all go who wish to forget whatever they desire to forget. They are sacred grounds for my kind, so be respectful when treading upon it.

Wait? What do you mean by –, but the figure suddenly evaporated, leaving a thin, dark cloud in its place before the breeze could blow it away. Wonder what that was about.

Zoe looked down both sides of the road; still no emergency vehicles in sight. She looked towards the old building with the blue light spire. Her curiosity grabbed her, and she started walking towards it. She soon fell into a trance as she headed towards the building, becoming unaware of her surroundings while softly chanting to herself, “Let me forget. Let me forget.”

Indeed she did when someone speeding down the highway hit her. The vehicle sent her corpse flying off the side of the road in a crumpled heap. It was just then emergency vehicles arrived.

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