Photo credit: cooee from morguefile.com
“I write foresight,
One day you’ll find me in the distance
But still never died before.”
Jail - NOLA (Down)
Ice crusted the glass; white piled in small drifts around the wipers. The moon smiled at me from her gleam on the hood, but my headlights were dismal candles, mocked by the enshrouding mystery of early morning fog.
I felt something. Something there. A chill that snaked down my spine, blossoming in spider-pricked gooseflesh on my entirety. My fingers cowered in their leather gloves, nearly releasing the steering wheel. A stunning realization that I was not alone in the car. I was afraid to look.
Afraid I’d be right.
The fog divided by the hood wisped along the window. Ghosts of sky, weighed down with wet and white to blanket the earth of mortals. I summoned the courage to take a quick glance at the passenger seat.
Nothing, aside from silvered shadows diffused by the windshield. I took a shuddering breath. Switched on the heat. The car felt like a tomb.
Glanced in the rearview mirror. Nothing but darkness and my wild, staring eyes. Adrenalin surged through me, thrilling my muscles. I increased my speed to shorten the duration to the next town. I’d get out. Shake it off. Maybe get a motel room. I wasn’t as young as I used to be; I could drive for twenty-four hours back when I was twenty.
But not here. I wouldn’t—couldn’t—get out here. This was in-between land, this dazed cushion of damp down and beguiling muted colors.
I turned up the radio. Rich, mahogany tones of bass guitar and silken deep voices comforted me. The ice crept in from the outside. My breath was frozen and fell to my lap like snow. I dropped my gaze to my thighs. A flash of light. Thunder in my ears, trapped. Rushing.
It was dark then. Only the green dials gave approximation of where the dash could be. I felt disengaged. Wet. Before the window closed on my last breath, I finally saw him. He was there to meet me, only he couldn’t follow.
Then it was dark no more.
Strangely, I found this a rather reassuring piece. Especially the last line.
Unlike Tony, I found it rich in terror. LOL! Great descriptive rhythm to this.
Headlights like dismal candles - I love that line.
Another richly textured descriptive piece that makes me feel the ice underfoot and the car beams bounce off the inside of the car roof.
Reading this was like listening to music that has tears shoved against the backs of your eyes and wordless cries trapped in your throat the whole way through. Stunning.
Brilliant. I agree with Christina, like music.
This brings back memories of driving all night long, the quiet roads under the stars. I can't drive 24 hours anymore, either. But in those days, I drove and listened to the music over the hum of the car.
To me this piece had music. And its title would probably be "The In-Between Land."
Poetic beat to a story that just like cracking ice, brought fissures of horror.
I'm with Laura on this one -- terror with great descriptive rhythm.
It's the uncertainty of what's happening, the unnamable, that makes this so terrifying. Great story. Peace...
This really was a scary one, Carrie. More scary not to see a face in the back seat than to actually see one.
A beautiful mix of music and rhythm to the description. So wonderfully textured and detailed.
Adam B @revhappiness
Yea Carrie, amazing here. I loved the detail and again, the subtle poetic voice you bring to your stories. I could hear a deep, dark voice in my head reading this one to me... guiding me...
I don't understand everybody's terror with this. Me and Tony are riding together. It's just somebody driving through a dark period. Sun always burns eventually.
What a great bit of atmosphere this creates and the mood and tenor it sets are amazing. Fantastic.
As always, the description in this is brilliant. Really brings the story to life. And NOLA is certainly an excellent album! I enjoyed this story a TON!
Such poetry in prose. Well done, dear mortal.
It was sort of comforting that she found the light at the end. But, the rest was unsettling. I kept waiting for the ghosts to turn off her car and gobble up her soul. Haunting & beautifully written!
I think what is beautiful about this piece is that it plays with the readers most basic fears: dark, cold, closed in, disorienting spaces. But, at the end we have someone, "him" and then no more darkness. It is "strangely hopeful" as Tony put it. The fluidity of it's interpretation is what makes it exceptional. Great work.
I always enjoy the descriptions and mood of your pieces. I think the terror Laura speaks of is more in Nola's past, stuff sitting just below the surface of her conscious and senses, the "spider-pricked gooseflesh", "Araid I'd be right." - fears born in the mind are always the worst!
Part of Crooked Fang?
Sitting at my desk wondering what to say....nothing comes.
I an in awe. Thanks for sharing.
Gadzooks! What a chilling tale. Your style is so vivid, Carrie. Don't ever change. Keep up the great work!
Very atmospheric, felt physically cold while I was reading it. V. Poetic too, each stanza had at least one memorable line.
It's this line, "Ghosts of sky, weighed down with wet and white to blanket the earth of mortals." Just perfectly sums it up. I actually felt cold reading it!
Sentences like "my headlights were dismal candles, mocked by the enshrouding mystery of early morning fog." make me wanna chuck it and give up writing. You certainly bring it, Carrie...
I know I've said this more than once Carrie, but this is one of your best - you just keep getting better and better...
As others have said, it's what's hinted at, not what's actually told, that makes this piece. I especially love the line: "My breath was frozen and fell to my lap like snow." Beautiful image.
Bunch of good lines in here but I also struggled to follow what happened. I can't decide whether I find the ending peaceful or grim. Honestly, that could be fine; sometimes it's about the journey and not the destination.
Oh, such gorgeous prose. I never tire of your lush descriptive images and deft metaphor. Your pieces invoke trance state.
There's a lot to be gained from playing with universal terrors: like the back seat lurker? If I look and there's someone there I'm screwed ... but if I don't and there is? To know or not know that is the question. You're too cool for school as always.
Very lyrical, as usual, Carrie. I also didn't feel terror or even fear in this piece, but then I'm more comfortable in darkness and shadows. You've woven a beautiful tapestry with words.
Headlights like dismal candles and the breah falling to his lap like a snow lead balloon (that's how I pictured it!) - awesome lines. And the last one gives me chills - what more could I ask for?!
Your work is always so tangible. The description trips along with flashing images that invoke guttural emotions. You don't just tell us what's around you make us feel it. This is what I love about your work.
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