Erik Deissler is a full-time student at Full Sail University and is presently working toward his BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. His debut story, The Stranger from Beyond, is his first attempt at flash fiction writing. Between assignments, he writes short stories and is an avid reader of Robert E. Howard and Raymond Chandler, among other favorite authors. He is currently working on a short story in the fantasy genre. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stranger from Beyond
Alone, I was, in the dead of night, driving upon a road surrounded by the thickest forest anyone could ever pave a road through. For miles on end, all you could see were trees, brush, and the occasional road sign. Even still, I was never concerned. I had driven this road hundreds, if not thousands, of times before, and I was sure that the only thing I’d ever run into was some kind of wildlife. And if I did, I was sure to win that battle because I drove the head of an unstoppable 18-wheeler. Not to mention, even if I did have a run-in with a crazed person, I always carried a .357 magnum that was strapped to my left hip where no passenger of mine could ever see it.
Of course, I had never planned on actually using it.
That night, while I drove on that lonesome, forested road for the last time, I was about half way through my journey when I had spotted, at a great distance, something reflecting at me from the light of my headlights. Having driven on this road countless times, I knew it inside and out, and I knew for sure that there was nothing there - no reflective sign or anything that could be causing the light to be shining back at me. As I drove on, it seemed the light continued to follow my eyes with incredible precision, but there were times when the light would shake and flutter away from me, only for it to come zooming back to my eyes again with computer-like precision.
As I finally approached this reflecting light, I noticed a figure in the mold of an upright man standing on the shoulder of the asphalt. His arm was extended out toward the road, and in his hand was a cellphone, which I presume he used to reflect the light back at me. He looked young, maybe in his early twenties, his skin as fresh as a baby. He had dirty brown hair that looked almost like a wig and wore a dark green hoodie that nearly camouflaged him amongst the forest beyond.
I pulled up alongside him, my truck descending to a slow crawl, and set down my passenger side window. Looking out the window, I called to him, “Everything alright, pal?”
He was silent for a moment, and my already suspicious mind grew ever more paranoid until he finally answered back.
“I’m not sure,” he replied with a rather calm tone for a man who seemed to be far out of sorts. His bright blue eyes stared back at me, and it seemed as if they had something otherworldly to them. Or, maybe I was just looking for something to be afraid of.
Out of courtesy, and feeling a bit sorry for the lonesome kid, I asked if he needed a lift, to which he accepted with that same unnerving calm. Hesitantly, I opened the passenger door and slid back to my driver’s seat. At first, as I watched him, he seemed to be very confused as to how to get into the high-standing truck. But just as I was about to offer him some help, he suddenly managed to pull himself in without any trouble at all.
Sending a cautious glance his way, I told him to close the door and we’d be on our way. Then he turned, stared blankly at me for a long while as if registering a command, then proceeded to shut the door without a word. By then I was very concerned, as I had thought that he might’ve had a serious case of amnesia, or worse, that he was utterly deranged. As he went to shut the door, however, I noticed something that made my skin crawl and my hair stand on end. In a spot where the follicles of hair began on the back of his neck, I noticed a slit just along the edge that protruded from the skin under his hair, and from that slit emanated a blue glow.
With curiosity getting the best of me, and adrenaline-fueled fear driving me, I pulled at the seam with great force only to find that the man’s scalp came off in my hands, revealing a glowing galaxy-like globe within the chamber of his skull.
Suddenly, and with great speed, the man turned to face me, his expression one of shock and vicious anger. I now saw that behind his eyes was the same unearthly blue light that illuminated his skull.
Filled with an unholy terror, I reached for my magnum and fired a few rounds aimlessly into the inhuman being. None of the bullet-holes produced any sort of blood or liquid that would indicate he had been injured; but, much to my horrified satisfaction, he startled backward and finally slumped against the door, the light flickering out behind his eyes. Without a moment’s hesitation I threw open the passenger door and shoved him out. Closing the door, I pressed my foot to the floor and quickly took off, never to return.