When is a beer a beer too many? Perhaps it is the very first one, for my restraint and good sense seem to evade my grasp with increasing nimbleness from that point on. That one beer had long come and gone, and a row of its empty fellows made up my drinking buddies before the carriage had even turned back into a pumpkin. It’s not my night, what a thought – was it ever?
A glance at the dance floor met with familiar faces. From one who is always surrounded by smiling faces, should such loneliness be expected? It certainly could not be. The faces in the crowd – those were all friends. So were the personnel, the dancers and, especially, the empty fellows on the table. Those in particular seemed to be the best friends of all.
A thought became motion, and the comfort of the seat was left behind. I still make sure to go to everyone to say good-bye; after all, what if they got worried? Slight frowns met my gaze more often than not, but they all ended up nodding to my departure. A run by the counter – can’t forget the staff, no sir – as I yelled at Jenny for a single pal for the way. The bottle found its way to my right hand, and the left tipped handsomely, as I always did to Jenny – uncontested favorite at the counter – she was ever so good; smiled ever so earnestly!
The parking lot seemed rather longer than earlier, and it’s astonishing how different the colors of the cars looked under the poor lighting. Thankfully, clicking the button on the remote repeatedly provided flashing lights to lead the way, and soon the comfort of the car greeted my senses. Realization made itself known, as the world seemed slightly shaky. A brief nap led the way back to the light, though much carefulness was needed not to sleep until morning on the spot.
I hit the road, and felt shards of clarity coming back to a sobering mind, fruit of the cold wind from the open window clashing with blinking eyes. The way was still quite long and mostly deserted from this point on. An oppressive silence threatened the mind with self-reflection, and the radio provided the solution, now blasting a familiar song. Singing along, while clueless to the lyrics, the open night seemed ever so inviting in its infinity. A moment of rationality threatened the peace of the stars above, a reminder that even their embrace would end soon enough. Yet, the song changed with impeccable timing and so did that train of thought.
In the distance, the outline of a human shape started to become visible. Instinct reacted, and relief only came along with the realization that the doors were indeed locked. Safety in speed and locked doors, there are no problems here! The shape started to become clearer, and it was a woman. A young woman at that – but old enough to where she became of interest, mind you. She was wearing a white dress that looked somewhat odd. Alarm bells were going off. From memory popped up stories of lonely drivers mugged in the middle of the night by hidden assailants after stopping to help a fragile and attractive woman. Yet, there seemed to be something off about this particular fragile and attractive woman. Her hair looked disheveled, her face pointed slightly downwards and, more importantly, she was walking barefoot.
An internal struggle proceeded. Logic fought feelings, objectivity fought idealism and rationality fought libido. The latter side in most battles seemed to prevail. How many times will one face such moments in life, movie-like moments that require not reason but passion and bravery to meet the “one”. At several times the speed of real life, scenarios were playing in the unconscious part of the brain. In them, from such an altruistic gesture, true love and carnal desire would sprout. The decision had been taken the moment the first inkling of her attractiveness had shone through the night to his innocent eyes. “If I end up beaten and walking home on foot, so be it!” And similar thoughts echoed powerfully.
Stopping close to her didn’t lead to much, as the woman kept on walking as if she had not seen the car. Is she drunk or stoned? Morality issues ensued, and a sigh came through. A yell held no results either, and there was the necessity of backing up to catch up to her once more, where a second yell finally seemed to get a reaction. Upon closer inspection, the scantily clad woman seemed more voluptuous than had originally come to attention. The combination of disheveled and even ripped short clothing with her curves made anxiousness and nervousness come to the fore, coupling with a strong desire to not come across as a creepy pervert.
“Are you okay?” No reply; maybe she nodded? “I can give you a ride, if you’d like. You really shouldn’t be out here by yourself at this time…” Especially not while wearing that, though these last few words were left unsaid.
No reply once more. So, she is stoned? Her level of sobriety would have to be evaluated, as morality and the law dictate. The awkwardness of avoiding staring at her alluring figure, while trying to see if she was replying physically instead of vocally, was proving too much to take. A reach of the hand later, and the door was opened before the stoned princess.
“Come, I’ll give you a lift to town. It’s okay, don’t worry.”
Miraculously, the girl entered, and sat down. My eyes were sinfully attracted to her mostly exposed legs; the hands gripped the steering wheel until they turned white. “Jesus Christ, she’s hot as Hell!” was all that was echoing in the sobering mind. Realizing that no one probably took lightly to being ogled at, the road became the focus of my stare, risking merely occasional glances at the girl. These glances always stopped over the legs though, before recoiling in fear back to the road.
Conversation was attempted multiple times, but success wasn’t met. All the normal questions were left unanswered until silence was just left to rule. Earlier, upon stopping to yell at her, glances at her face had shown that she had probably been crying. Black smudges of what could be assumed to be ruined make-up were running down her face, and her eyes looked red and slightly swollen. We’ve all had those days, I understand.
Silence was a cold dictator, and through it the heavy breathing of the person in the passenger’s seat took on increasingly erotic undertones. Then again, little of what she could do at this moment wouldn’t be taken in as eroticism by a hormone-influenced mind. Yet, it was surprising that what sounded almost unmistakably like slight moans were now reaching that same mind. Continuous shifts in the seat were now proving increasingly fruitless to hide the physical manifestation of the imaginative thoughts. Yet, were they really just imaginative? More and more certainty was dawning on me that the moans were indeed real, though whether of pain or pleasure was hard to tell. The girl really has got to be rather worked up – was she hinting at something?
While questioning her well-being, a glance went further up than the middle of her glistening thighs, and the sight that my eyes encountered stopped them, and sent them right back to the road. Wide-eyed confusion stared back in the review mirror, as a moment was taken to think over what had been seen. She was pregnant. Very pregnant, in fact. A mixture of disappointment and sadness welled up, as imaginative wishful scenarios crumbled one upon another in seconds. Yet the feelings that followed were once again those of confusion. How could I not have noticed that she was pregnant? Though the eyes had been lost amidst the curvy shapes of her body, there was one glaring curvy shape that seemed to have been missed in its entirety.
That alone reshaped everything, and conflicted feelings raged on. Does she have a boyfriend? Is it okay to do it even this further down the pregnancy? Was it even okay to lust after a pregnant woman? The hormone-riding brain worked itself into a frenzy, as drops of sweat fell across the temples.
It took a whole minute before the next rather logical thought: doesn’t this make her state all the more worrisome? When questioned as to whether she’d want to be taken to a hospital, the woman remained there silently as before, moaning in brief intervals. From such silence, a negative answer had to be drawn, right? The ride proceeded.
Further furtive glances to the side seemed to focus once more entirely on her exposed skin. She seemed more attractive at every peek, her enticing moans adding to it. The windows of the car had begun to fog over slowly, as in queue with its driver’s thoughts.
The feeling was subtle at first. A slight tingly sensation on the arm slowly became a soft touch. A peek revealed the woman’s hand making its way down towards the hand that rested over the gear stick. All reason had been thrown out the fogged up window at this point, and all that filled this innocent soul was carnal desire. The soft hand grabbed and pulled the other towards the enticing body. Hovering over the skin, the first touch of the bare legs stabbed through my senses like fire. She was warm and soft – so very soft – the feeling of her slightly sweaty thighs opening the mind up to a world without reason. The feeling of her skin drowned the entire conscience in an almost oppressive desire.
She pulled the hand further up. Oh, dear, she is rather assertive, isn’t she? But the landing place wasn’t the ever-wished place of wet dreams. The feeling was odd, yet what was now being felt was fairly obvious, even without looking. It was her belly. My hand was now being pressed upon her pregnant belly. If ever there was a moment where one would wish to scream, this was it. Utter confusion and conflicting sensations overtook the mind. Disturbing, erotic or touching? Creepy, kinky or emotional?
Touching the belly, the feeling of what one could only assume to be little kicks from the baby was evident. Perhaps too evident, I must say, must be a pretty tough baby – or maybe that much kicking is normal? What also made itself evident at this point was her shaking. The hand that still held the hostage over the life that had yet to be was now shaking more and more.
It was this unnatural shaking that made obvious the need to take the eyes off the asphalt. The sight that met them was horrific. The beautiful legs were now splattered with blood, so was the seat of the car and the woman’s white dress. There seemed to be more at every second, and my hand resting over the belly was now also touching a spot of blood, which made me recoil instinctively. Cussing ensued, part of it vocally but the mind redoubled the mouth’s efforts. Oh God, is this what they mean by the waters breaking? Was she about to give birth in the middle of nowhere? Will it happen inside my car? And is it supposed to be this messy? If she keeps bleeding this much, she’ll die before the kid is born. Or maybe it wasn’t all blood? The mental discussion continued in the fractions of second that followed the realization, yet enough sense remained to begin pulling the car over to the side of the road.
“Shit. Why didn’t you say anything? Okay, listen to me. It’s going to be okay. It’s fine. The ambulance will come fast, real fast, I’ll call them.” The car stopped. “It’ll be okay. You’ll be fi…”
A look at the girl’s face cut the words of reassurance off. A wide-eyed look of pure terror was splashed across her face. Her mouth, semi-opened in a frozen scream that couldn’t materialize, was trembling along with both her hands that were now bloody and kept at a distance from her body – as if she herself was disgusted by the display. “The terror isn’t appropriate,” is a thought that came to mind immediately, though explaining the reasoning might not do it justice. That wasn’t fear you hold for a wound or for pain. It wasn’t fear you hold for uncertainty, either. It’s a type fear that is more basic and instinctive, something that takes you over when faced with a personification of danger – a killer, a predator or a monster.
The blood kept flowing, and only now came to notice that the belly seemed to be visibly moving a little, a show of some type of struggle inside it. The sounds coming from it were strange, alien to the range of sounds a human body normally produces. The girl seemed to notice for the first time the existence of the shocked onlooker, and jumpily grabbed at the hand closest to her, a mad look contorting her features that accentuated the dark smudges extending further down her cheeks. There followed couple failed attempts at speech before she yelled out in stutters: “Get it off me! Get it off!” The pleading tone blended with a threatening one, all in an attempt to beg for a glimpse of salvation.
As the movement in her belly became frenetic, she screamed loudly in pain. The internal commotion was now clearly visible, as the once white dress covered in blood moved up and down, a relatively peaceful hint of the devastation that was becoming more audible by the second. The irregular mounds that were showing on her belly under the dress seemed to be moving up and down, as in a macabre display of indecision. A sudden blood splash followed a piercing sound, and the woman’s screams intensified, along with her death grip. A new source of indescribable screeching was somehow coming from the woman’s nether regions.
“Please!” She begged, ceasing her unintelligible screaming to yell out a plea for divine intervention, “Kill it! Kill it! Kill it now!”
Her belly seemed to get a little smaller, but under the cover of the foul dress moved a new, more hideous shape, screeching and slithering, as it tried to free itself from this one last thin shackle.
Strength as I had never felt lent itself to breaking the mad woman’s grip, and the sneakers hit the path in a mad dash. Running was all that mattered – crazily, wildly, with no destination or end in sight. Screams and more screams. The woman’s begging screams. My own babbling screams. And another’s screeching that defied perception.
Keep running. Just keep running. Run from the lights. Run for the darkness. Fear no obstacle, fear no beast, for what was left back there would not fear them either. All that the brain was concerned with was putting one foot in front of the other. Lungs burned, so did the legs, but can’t stop running yet. Darkness overtook everything behind exhausted eyelids that closed in a physical break down. As the force of gravity lead the way in the only direction possible, a single prayer went out – Please, God, tell me I’ve run enough.
Waking up sore in the middle of an unknown field, I walked aimlessly and found a road where I hitchhiked back to the closest town. I hitchhiked much like the woman had done the night before. That recollection dawned powerfully on me and I cried. I cried as I hadn’t cried in years – much to the dismay of the family that had given me a ride.
Days passed. I declared the car as stolen, and have yet to hear back from the police. Conscience and hindsight have been proving to be rather cruel on me. I know not what happened that night, nor do I propose any theories. I chose to ignore it ever happened. I chose to avoid looking at any reports on the local news regarding that general location, or about women found dead or abandoned to their luck. To be honest, I avoid the news in general. I fear what I could learn from it. I’ve become able to sleep now, while accepting that maybe something demonic was released that night. But I feel like there might be real, rational news articles that would make me endure years of sleepless nights. I’ve also been going to the church lately. Yet, I think I keep blaspheming, because, when I’m there, under the protection of religiosity, there is only one prayer that keeps me going: “God, I hope demons are real.”