Ever get that queasy feeling in your gut? The kind you get when something's wrong? Well, I had that feeling awhile ago, when I had just left my office building. There had been a sudden influx of work to be done, and it was almost 11 PM when I had left. I had just gotten into my car when I felt it- an almost nauseating queasy feeling in my gut, accompanied with a tingling at the tips of my fingers. It was almost as if my throat had suddenly constricted, and I found myself desperately gasping for air.
I was on the verge of passing out when the odd sensation disappeared, almost as sudden as how it happened. Confused, and a tad bit freaked out, I quickly opened the car door and sucked in the fresh air greedily.
Fearing that I would have a sudden relapse, I climbed out of my car and peered around. Strange. There were almost ten other cars still in the car-park when I had left the building. Now, my car was the only car left. All the lights in the building were turned off, too, which couldn't have been possible- I was one of the first few workers to leave and the top board executives were still having their meetings in the building.
I was beginning to feel uneasy, standing alone in the poorly lit car-park next to a completely dark and empty office building. I quickly clambered back into my car, turned on the engine, and left.
The drive through the city was equally unsettling- the streets, usually bustling with activity of the town's youths, were completely empty. The shop-houses lining the streets were closed too. I could feel my anxiety levels rising as I yearned for some human contact.
Finally I exited the town, and turned into the highway. The highway was eerily quiet, and after twenty minutes of driving, I realized that I had not seen a single car on the road. Genuinely freaked out by now, I pulled out my phone and quickly called my girlfriend, Diane. Now, I've seen my fair share of horror movies, and by the way things were working out for me, I was half expecting to hear static over the phone. I guess you could imagine my surprise when Diane answered.
"Danny?" Her voice rang out from the phone speakers.
"Diane! God, I thought I wouldn't be able to get through."
"Get through what? Dan- it's like midnight right now, where are you?"
"I know, baby, I'm on the highway right now. Just needed to hear your voice."
"Okay, Danny. Keep your eyes on the road now, you're going to miss the cut-off."
"Cut-off? What-" Confused, I peered through my windows and true enough, there was a break in the treeline to my left, with a gravel path leading right up to the edge of the cliff that the highway was on.
"Diane- how did you know?"
"Remember the cut-off, Danny." And with that, she hung up.
Positively confused, I stopped my car and walked towards the gravel path. There was nothing special about it, no dead bodies, no splashes of blood, no ghostly figures like how one would expect in a place like this. The only odd thing I couldn't get my head around was that I had driven down this highway countless of times, to and from work, and I had never once seen this path before. Something was definitely wrong here, I just couldn't tell what. And how did Diane know I was near the cut-off? How did she even know about this cut-off?
I gingerly peered over the edge of the cut-off. It was a long drop down, and I couldn't even see the bottom of the cliff, just the sharp, rocky edges along its side.
Desperate to get home, I hopped back into the car, revved the engine and sped off.
The next thing that struck me as weird as the length of the highway. Usually it would only take me half an hour to get off the highway. Now, I had been driving for almost an hour and there was no sign of the exit.
My radio wasn't working.
My phone wasn't working.
My headlights were dying.
The only source of light was the moonlight filtering through the dense canopy above. I could barely make out the road ahead of me anymore.
I've already passed by the cut-off a couple of times.
It was almost as if it were taunting me, egging me on to drive off it to escape from this never-ending road. It seemed to appear at different parts of the road now.
No way, no way I'm driving off this cliff. Just ignore the stupid cut-off.
This just wasn't making any sense at all.
Maybe if I hold out, maybe if I keep driving. The exit should be just up ahead.
It's been three hours. My fuel's close to zero. My phone died on me, my headlights too.
The exit. I can't find it. I don't think there's even an exit anymore, just one big loopy road, bringing me round and round and round.
And that's what I did.
Drive round and round and round.
Starving. Hungry. I have to get off this road.
Round and round and round.
Just one more drive. My final drive. My final drive till I see the cut-off.
I see it.
Just up ahead. Like it's beckoning me over.
And this time, I go for it.