This week begins the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 1 – Fly
Nationally, I have no idea when the fear actually started. For me, it started on the night of October 10, 1999. There was nothing unusual about this particular October except that I was facing my fortieth birthday, and I was not happy about it. Other than this, 1999 had shown us a typical fall season.
The leaves were exceptionally beautiful, and there was a pleasant chill in the air. The unusually violent thunderstorms of the summer were behind us, and, surprisingly, the remainder of the hurricane season promised to be a dud. It seemed as if Mother Nature had blown her wad over the last few years and had simply sat back to watch. No one was complaining. We had had enough of her vengeance to last us many years. Even the millennium doomsayers had fallen into silence since August. Life almost
seemed normal again.
On this particular night, the tenth of October, I was hurrying home. I was directing a show at our local theater which was fifteen miles away, and I was tired. The rehearsal had gone well, but I couldn’t wait to get home. It was late … almost eleven o’clock, and I knew that everyone at home was
probably already in bed. It was a Sunday night, and Chris, my wife, would have to be up early on Monday. Our son, Marty, also had classes the next morning. Still, feeling all of my forty years, I pushed my old convertible to the limit, the radio blaring sixties rock music.
The roads between the theater and our home are narrow, winding and forest shrouded. I loved the drive. The big, heavy convertible hugged the corners and ate up the straightaways. I actually began to feel young again.
As I rounded one of the sharp curves, I punched the accelerator and watched the speedometer jump to sixty. The big, V-8 roared as the Beach Boys sang about driving down the same old strip while looking for a place where the chicks were hip. I negotiated another curve with only minor
squealing of tires. Then another straight stretch. I really gunned her this time sending an airborne sea of leaves in my wake. The needle raced to eighty and then dropped suddenly as I braked for the next curve.
In the back of my mind, I heard Chris’s voice. “Be careful, Steve … there are a lot of deer through here.”
I took the next straight shot at meager sixty. The car’s bright lights flooded the road ahead.
Not a deer to be seen.
I braked again for the upcoming “S” curve. For an instant, the light illuminated the decimated cornfield and then swung back to the road. I slammed on the brakes and felt the big car begin to slide.
My first thought was, “My God, someone’s lost an ironing board!” The convertible slid to a stop.
For a moment I sat looking. Then, slowly, I opened the door and stepped out. The sound of the radio seeped into the cold, dark night as the Capris crooned about the moon and the girl on their arm.
I stood looking at the road in front of me. What appeared, at first, to be an ironing board laying on its back wasn’t an ironing board. The legs angling above the road surface were not those of an ironing board … but they were legs.
Cautiously, I took a step forward. Chris’s voice echoed in my mind. “Be careful, Steve. There are a lot of deer through here.” This wasn’t a deer.
I took another step, trying, in my mind, to make sense of what I was seeing.
Beside me, the big V-8 rumbled, anxious to be gone from this place. Inside the car, where it was warm, the radio continued, muted now by the open door and the sound of the motor … the white leather interior now pale green in the glow of the instrument panel.
I took two steps this time, skirting the edge of the headlights’ beam. I couldn’t block the light.
I couldn’t trust my own eyes. I had to see what lay on the road in front of me, and I had to see it clearly.
The strange object wasn’t an ironing board, though its legs, thrust above its huge body did remind me of that. I wasn’t a deer either … it was a enormous fly.
NEXT: SCARED continues.