Bryce Marshall studies creative writing at Full Sail University. He moved from New Braunfels, Texas, to Orlando, Florida for school. In his free time, he likes to paint and watch films. You can follow him on twitter at @JeffTallGrass
The frigid air seemed to bite at Roy’s exposed skin. His lightweight, hooded sweatshirt and worn out jeans were no match for the North Dakota wind. He opened his wallet to see the picture of his kids. This only made him want get east faster. He continued walking with his thumb out.
“I told you I’d be home for Christmas and God knows I’ll be home for Christmas, sweeties,” He said to himself.
Before Roy could finish his thought aloud, a car pulled alongside him. The vehicle was a dark colored Ford Focus. From what Roy could see the car was slightly rusted by the tire well, as well as having numerous dents along the visible right side.
“Get in,” said the driver as he turned down the radio.
“Thank you so much, sir,” said Roy. He opened the door and placed his backpack on his lap.
“Where you headed?”
“East, I need to get to Bemidji, Minnesota. My babies need their father on Christmas.”
“Oh boy, I know that’s true. Let’s see...” The driver took a moment to look up a map on his phone. “That should only take about two hours. I’ll Get you to those kids of yours.”
“Thank you so much, sir.”
The inside of the car was immaculate. Roy looked around warily as to not arouse suspicion. About that time Roy finally noticed his nose had begun to run because of the outside air.
“Do you have a tissue or napkin I could use?”
“I might, let me check the console. Nope, none here, check the back I got a bag with some stuff back there. You might find something.”
Roy leaned over to the back seats looking for a new home for his snot. The bag was full of what seemed like camping equipment, ropes, tape, flashlight. No tissues, he checked another pocket. Only fire starting supplies. Nothing could be found.
“Looks like nothing in here,” said Roy.
“Check your door, I could have sworn I had something in here you could use,” said the driver.
He resumed his seat and began searching new territory. As Roy was looking in the slot of the passenger door, he noticed a small red stain in the crack between the door and window. Upon further inspection, it was realized to be blood. Roy immediately began to panic, trying hard not to show it.
“So you camp a lot?” Roy said nervously as he continued to search the door.
“Eh, when I can. Not much I can do with weather this bad.”
“Yeah, sure sucks out there.” Nothing is found in the door, Roy sits upright. “Well nothing here, I’ll just check the glove compartment,” said Roy.
“No, don’t do that!” said the driver, swerving slightly as he spoke.
“I’m serious don’t–”
At that moment Roy opened the compartment to find ID’s, wallets, passports and a dull black handgun. Roy knew nothing about guns, all he could tell was, it was quite old due to the weathered paint job.
This is when he noticed the driver’s unmoving glare. The driver was quiet. Roy was quiet. Neither wanted to break this silence because they knew nothing good would come of it.
The driver pulls over to the side of the road. It was still dark and cold, Roy had a bad feeling about this. Both occupants of the car sat silent for what seemed like ten minutes. The driver finally broke the silence.
“I think, maybe, it’s time for you to go.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll just be on my way.”
Roy tried but the door was locked. He became flustered as he tried unlocking the door. This is when Roy noticed, the lock did not function on his side, only the drivers.
“Hey, man, let me out. I’m going to leave.”
“I’m afraid I can’t do that… You’ve seen too much.”
As Roy spoke the driver swiftly reached into the glove compartment, pulled out the mysterious gun.
“No, please I won’t say anything man, I don’t even know your name who would I tell—”
The driver fired at Roy’s skull.
A thick, crimson liquid coated the window and door behind Roy. His lifeless body slid, slowly, down into a fetal like position. The driver went through Roy’s pockets, and shoved what belongings he took back in the glove compartment, along with the gun. The driver also removed Roy’s shirt, as to wipe off some of the blood from the window and door.
He unlocked the passenger door, from the switch on his side, and reached over to open Roy’s door. He promptly pushed Roy out of the car. The driver hit the gas then immediately the brake, as to close the passenger door.
He took a moment to find the country music station on the radio, and calmly drove on.