“Come back,” I said, the words slurred and without the powerful pitch I’d intended. “Where the hell are you going?” I tried to shout, but the sound came out more feeble than I’d expected. The world span as I twisted either side, nausea rising as my eyes darted, flicking left and right across the darkness. All I could see were tall shadows approaching from all around, their slow, ambling approach getting ever closer.
I reached to touch the pistol, but before my fingers found its reassurance and my vision could catch up, I felt the car moving, the motion doing nothing to stop the sickness forcing my eyes shut. I slid left and right in my seat without the belt to hold me fast and I forced myself hard against the door, bending to get traction. With my head turned away, my eyes closed tight, something hit the car, the sound much as before. This time we didn’t stop, even at the third impact, the crush of something under the wheels, the scratch of metal over the roof. We kept going, kept bouncing along the rocks, the ground undulating beneath us until the impacts stopped and with a great thud against the tyres I felt the smooth road beneath us. Our world calmed.
I turned, daring to open my eyes and almost with surprise I saw the man back in the driver’s seat, his hands on the wheel, fingers blooded.
“Are you okay?” I said, my voice hoarse and unsure.
“It’s not my blood,” he replied, his eyes not leaving the road. I didn’t speak for a long while, remained quiet letting my stomach settle. When it had settled enough, another feeling took over, an overwhelming urge to stop, to get the cuffs from my hands, to find out what this guy’s intensions were.
“Can you let me out?” I said as buildings grew on the side of the road.
“Where are we?” he said still facing forward.
“I don’t know,” I replied with the truth.
“You plan on just knocking their door? Seeing if they’re kindly strangers who wouldn’t turn you into the police?”
“I think the police have more on their plate than me?”
He thought for a moment without reply.
“I guess, but do you want to take that chance?” he said after a letting the silence hang. It was my turn to pause, despite not wanting him to think I was. I didn’t want him to change my mind. I didn’t want him to think I was even considering his words. “I should be able to get those off, the locks are straight forward. If not I’ve got a hacksaw,” he said, for the first time making eye contact.
“How far are we from your house?” I replied, keeping the scowl fixed to my face. I didn’t want him to think I took any pleasure from the suggestion, despite my obvious eagerness to rub my wrists free of the ache.
“Five minutes,” he replied, turning the headlights back on at the sight of another pair of lights on the horizon. I flashed a look inside the car as it passed, it was full of teenagers, the back windows steamed, the driver’s face fixed forward, looking half asleep.
“What day is it?” I said. He turned in my direction and looked at me, raising and then lowering his brow.
“New Year’s Eve,” he said. “I assumed you we at a party,” he said looking back down to my wrists hidden behind my back. I shook my head and turned away to look through my window.
We passed a building on my side, but it had gone out of view before I could take a proper look. I turned back though the cracks in the glass. We were lucky, apart from the mess in the centre, the damage limited to long fissures running the width of the screen which didn’t affect the view.
Another building shot by and I realised we must be in a village, but the lights were out here too. Even this late shouldn’t there be someone awake on New Year’s Eve? I caught the guy’s concentration just before he spoke.
“Power’s out here too,” he said and I nodded. “I’m just up here.”
“Wait,” I said as he slowed the car, pulling right up to a house right on the road. As the car stopped, he turned in my direction, twisting in his seat as I turned my head around the view, slower than I would have liked, but any quicker and I could feel my vision blur. “It looks clear,” I said once I’d satisfied myself. His eyes shot across the view with a look of panic as if I’d reminded him of the nightmare. “It’s clear,” I said in a softer tone. He nodded and pulled from the car still checking the horizon and jogged around the bonnet.
I took a deep breath, but stopped halfway through the pull, my bound hands searching the seat, touching at the small of my back as I wriggled to get to each part. I couldn’t find the gun and his hand was at the door, I snatched a look down the right side between the centre console, peered left between the door and seat and as the door opened, I looked up at his hand reaching out to help me up. I’d expected the light to come on above our heads so I could get a better look, but it stayed dismal and I remembered it hadn’t when he’d opened the door in the field.
Something made me turn away, a noise in the distance perhaps, but I never noticed the source because as I turned my foot touched against one of the hard objects out of place, my eyes following down to the dark pistol on the floor sat next to a long claw hammer, a crowbar, a metal box with coloured wires coming from the rear and the man’s hand reaching toward my feet.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.