I am a sculptor.
It's a boring subject to most, I know, but I was born different. You see, I have a condition they call a "Romantic Heart" which means I could have no sudden scares, no vigorous exercise, no overeating, no excitement and my only prescription was an easy life.
But the thing about being an artist, is that I have a wild imagination.
When I was a kid I would lay in bed at night terrified. Every shadow could be a deadly creature and every noise a stalker at the window. I could hear myself breathing harder, terrifying me even more. And then it happened...
The floor settled.
Just that pop in the wood sent me screaming and reeling; my heart pounding out of my chest and the world becoming surreal.
Ever since those days I have tried so hard to keep my imagination in the studio.
But then she came to the studio.
Alphe, as in Alphonsine. She was friendly enough sure but her pranks and stories always bothered me. She never believed me when I told her about my condition. In fact, she tried to scare me even more.
Then she started telling this story of the vanishing hitch-hiker, to her friend Matt, while we were working.
I knew the gist of it.
A man picks up a mysterious Hitch-hiker. Then when the driver turns to say something, the hitchhiker is gone and he drives off the side of the road. Dumb story, I know, but I never knew.
I'm driving now. It's night. My eyes are so tired. I've had to sing to the radio just to stay awake, but more than anything, I want to sleep.
I catch movement in my rear-view mirror.
I know there was nothing in it, but hackles raised up my neck and the base of my skull. I stare at the mirror and I know there is nothing in it. But I also know that if I stare at the mirror long enough that I will see something. Chills run up and down my body but my eyes cannot tear away from the mirror.
Then I see them; eyes - brown, dark, with flecks of gold and green underneath. I feel so cold to look at them.
My heart is pounding. If I turn around, I can see there's nothing there. Nothing. Then I can stop scaring myself to death
I turn around to be greeted by...nothing.
"What happened here?" asks the auburn haired girl with the french accent.
"Who are you?" The coroner replied.
"I'm Alphe Duval. I'm a friend of the man in the wreck. I heard my friend was in the accident, but what happened here?"
"We're not really sure. All we know is that he ran off the road and broke his neck. He must have fallen asleep at the wheel. This sort of thing happens a lot on this road. He died on impact with the tree. That's all we have at this time..." He zipped the black bag closed.
"Oh GOD!" Alphe put her head in her hands and cried. She walked away from the accident as a group of people had formed.
At the fringe of the crowd a young man stands. His eyes dark brown with gold flecks. He stares with a stoic, emotionless face at the mangled wreckage fused from steel and wood from the tree. He walks away into the early morning fog.
He passes a row of scarred and damaged trees along the road and beside the trees lay 13 wooden crosses.