Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
I knew there was something I needed to do, but I didn’t want to acknowledge the fact. I drew again on the cigarette. The acrid taste was a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the wine. Maybe I should simply relax and “rub-a-Rott”. That seemed the most appealing alternative. Still, that
something gnawed at the back of my mind. I swallowed the remainder of the goblet’s contents and closed my eyes in appreciation. What was the old saying? … “If God created anything better, he kept it for himself”?
Giving Fred a final rub, I stood and crossed to refill my glass. As I took another sip, I paused. I had better made the call before I became incoherent. Dowsing the cigarette under the faucet, I reached for the phone, and then paused to light another. Okay. I didn’t want to call 911; this wasn’t an emergency. I grabbed the phone book and leafed until I found the number. Okay. I took another swallow of the calming liquid and then a deep draw on the cigarette before punching the number.
Okay. Get your act together!
I stood, leaning against the counter, waiting for an answer … yeah, that’s what I needed. An answer. Like the State Police were going to be able to supply it. Sure. Right.
“Troop three, Lieutenant Henderson, can I help you?”
“This is Steven Campbell. I live out on Route 42. I was coming home from Phillipsburg tonight … there was something in the road I thought I should report.”
A pause and then, “Yes?”
“Well, if you have a car out this way, you might want to check it out.”
“Okay, Mr. Campbell, what and where was this?”
I took another sip of the wine. “The road just beyond the campground … Evergreen Pond Campground. It’s right off 42.”
“I know where you mean.”
“Well, there’s something there … in the middle of the road. Some kind of animal.”
“I don’t know. I had to swerve around it.” I paused and then lied. “One of my headlights is out so I didn’t get a real good look at it … but it was big.”
“We’ll check it out.”
“Uh … would you mid calling me back to let me know?” I forced a laugh. “I’m sorta interested.”
There was another pause. “Well … I’ll try.”
“Thanks.” I returned the phone to its receiver. Well, that was real swift. I sounded like an idiot. He probably thought I was some kind of UFO nut or something. Chances were better than good I’d never hear another thing about it … unless, of course, they actually found the fly. What then?
Taking another swallow of wine, I sat in one of the big wing chairs and stubbed my cigarette out in the ashtray. It was a fly. I had seen it. Big, ugly and repulsive, it had simply lay there with its disgusting, dirty feet stretched above it. I shuddered at the memory. What if I’d hit? That was too gross a thought to entertain. Then I saw the humor in it and chuckled. Man killed in collision with fly.
What a way to go.
Finishing my sedative, I rose and rinsed the goblet before placing it in the dishwasher. No need in sitting here any longer. No need to kid myself. The State Police weren’t going to call, and I certainly wasn’t going to call them. I didn’t want them to think me an absolute fool.
I bent to check the wood stove and found it burning low. Of course, there was no wood in the bin. Chris never went out to the wood pile at night unless it was absolutely necessary. She had stoked the fire with the last of the day’s supply. Picking up the canvas carrier, I headed toward the French
doors. Better now than having to restart the stove in the morning.
When I reached the doors, I stopped. The apprehension hit me hard. I didn’t want to go out again. It wasn’t the cold that was preventing me. It was the actual idea of being out in the night … in the dark … alone. I suddenly realized I was scared … not merely apprehensive, but down right
NEXT: SCARED continues.