Flasher Fiction: Bind

Yay! Story, right? Hope you dig it. My partner is giving me pictures and images she has taken or drawn and I’m writing up flash fiction pieces for them. It’s fun! Especially since I write them so fast. This might have some edits in its future. Enjoy.
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Bind
by Steven G. Saunders

Gas is a commodity too many people take for granted. I mean, there you are one minute driving around, singing along to the latest Faderhead album, knowing full well that there are no cops along the dark road you’re speeding along and then… bam, that fucking gauge dips down to tell you “aw, fuck it, yo”.

I kept meaning to pay attention to my gas gauge, but I was having too much fun. The party was quite stimulating, and a few girls even talked to me, telling me that they loved my voice and hair. But I wanted to get out of there and drive by myself, scream at the top of my lungs out of a cold window with the wind whipping by, and punch my shitty car into over 100 MPH.

It was fucking awesome until I realized my car’s gas gauge had been broken. Well, shit, right? Out of gas in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest place to fill up probably five or more miles away. That’s a hell of a walk.

I go to call a buddy of mine. James will understand. He’ll come out, pick me up, and I’ll fill my gas can up, come back, and get my car going again. I know I had better finish this tequila off in case a cop happens by… while I’m sure I reek of booze, it’s better to reek than show, you know?

Man, cops suck. They always think they’re in control when all they are is a bunch of little boys and girls who got picked on a lot as kids. That shit pisses me off. I sure wish they’d just do their goddamned jobs and leave harmless pricks like me alone. But that’s why they fuck with me, yeah? Because it’s easy.

I finish my tequila and realize I have beer in my truck. Fine. It’s in the truck. I go to call James and I have no signal. What is this, the beginning of some kind of fucking shitty horror movie?

What do I do?

I get back into my car and try starting it again. No dice. Of course “no dice”! I’m out of gas. I bury my head into my steering wheel and my horn goes off for a second. It makes me laugh.

I better get walking.

Before I go, I grab my backpack in the back seat and fill it with my beer. Only a six-pack? I was a fucking Boy Scout– I should have been more prepared.

The road ahead of me is dark. Very dark. It’s just like every other dark country road in the Pacific Northwest. Just miles and miles of road, pasture, wooded enclaves, and fencing. As if on cue, it starts to rain. Drizzling at first, but as I walk and drink further, it starts coming down harder.

A fog has started rolling in as I walk along the road, hoping against hope that someone comes along and finds me. Other people might be scared by this sort of thing, but I simply am impatient. I just want to get home, sleep, shower, and call up that Chelsea I met earlier.
Her hair was spectacular. Her mannerisms cute and endearing. She was pretty good looking and I’m thinking she’ll make a fine addition to my collection.

The rain starts to come down harder. Then even harder. Holy fuck, how can rain come down this hard? And the fog starts getting so thick I can’t see more than fifty feet in front of my face. I don’t even notice until it’s too late and I take a header off the road, having stumbled into a ditch.

Dammit. My face. I think I cut it on a stick.

I get up, and I see a shape in the foggy distance. I start toward it and within a few short minutes I see what appears to be an abandoned shack of some sort. Fine. I’ll take it. It’s got that look of gray wood… the kind that has seen too much weather. In the dark, rainy, foggy moonlight I see the green moss. I smile at the whole… nature of it all.

flasher_fiction_bind

But it’s shelter, so I’m not complaining.

I wait there for a few minutes, drinking a beer. Then I hear a sound. Branches breaking. This shack must be on the edge of one of those wooded enclaves. Then I hear a voice… someone calling out to ask if someone’s there.

I respond. The voice sounds familiar. It’s hard to make out over the rain.

I emerge from the dilapidated shack and see a familiar face. It’s Chelsea… of all people, it’s the woman I was interested in at the party. She looks at me and smiles, telling me she figured it was me, having seen my car along the side of the road.

She tells me that she knows it’s my car, because she took special interest in me leaving, wondering if I would call her. I can feel my heart skip a beat. This girl was interesting! More so than earlier when I found out she liked things like Blade Runner and Skinny Puppy. Now she was saving my ass and sounding sexy while she was doing it.

Chelsea asks me if she can give me a ride to a gas station. I say yes, without hesitation. I start talking to her, offering her a beer, which she politely refuses. I wonder if she thinks VIVIsectVI is the quintessential Puppy album, or if she’s one of those Too Dark Park people.

Her response gives me pause. She laughs and asks me what I’m talking about. Weird. She mentioned earlier at the party that she was a hardcore Puppyhead– even had a tattoo and everything. I cock my head and talk to her some more.

Chelsea responds to everything okay as she leads me away from the shack. I’m no survivalist, but I get the feeling she’s leading me away from the road. Why? Why would she do that? Because I have no reason to believe otherwise, I ask her. I ask her if we are walking away from the road.

She knows a shortcut, she tells me. That’s odd. I’m not that far from the shack. But I have to trust her because I’m in a bit of a bind.

That’s when she turns towards me suddenly and says “Yes. Bind”.

What… what the fuck?

I ask her what she means by that, and her pretty face smiles. It’s not a cute smile. It’s the kind of smile I have seen actors try to replicate when they’re being evil. Something inhuman… something… anti-human.

I start to run. Because, hey, why not? This shit is freaking me out, man. I am probably just drunk and wigging, but you can never be too sure. I run into the fog and rain… I run and run and run…

Until I fall down. That’s when I use the shack to help myself back up. Oh, god, the shack. I’m back where I started? I don’t even know what to think. My drunk brain is trying very hard to be really afraid.

Chelsea stands by me. She places the rusty manacle on my right wrist and I can actually hear her grin. The moonlight glints off of her teeth and finally I feel the primal fear my brain has been trying to tell my body to get into. My mouth runs words that don’t matter. My eyes dart to the hanging bones I never noticed before.

I never noticed before because this is a different shack.

I wish I had never run out of gas. I wish I had planned ahead. I wish I didn’t have to end it all by being just another cautionary tale no one would ever know about.

This is a good a time as any to be out of beer.

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Image courtesy of  Nicole Turner

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