Good morning, everyone! Hope your Thursday and your week are going well so far. Ready for a little free fiction?
A tension-filled drive down a rain-slicked coastal highway provides the setting for “Dead Things,” a story about a man who fantasized for years about killing his wife. He never quite had the courage to do the deed, but the lines between fantasy and reality blur when they reach an ugly stretch of dead marshland. What’s the old adage? Be careful what you wish for?
Copyright © 2012 Annie Reed
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Cover and layout Copyright © 2012 Thunder Valley Press
Cover art © 2012 Annie Reed
The damn trees gave Jerry the creeps.
Mired in mud along the ugliest stretch of Highway 101 known to man, the dead forest looked like the aftermath of a nuclear blast. Stripped of needles and bark, the massive trunks lay strewn like ancient skeletons across marshy wetlands on the ocean side of the highway. Gnarled branches reached like arthritic fingers toward the sodden Oregon sky. Jerry had a sudden vision of dead things hauling themselves out of all that muck. He gripped the wheel tighter and edged the accelerator down, pushing the car over seventy.
He could have predicted his wife’s reaction.
“Slow down,” she said, like he was some stupid little kid who needed scolding. “You want to get us both killed?”
Well, maybe not the both of them.
The wipers beat double time against sheeting rain blown sideways from out over the sullen, gray ocean. It had been raining since Coos Bay. Even running the wipers on high, Jerry could barely see the damn road. His shoulders ached from mile after mile, hour after long hour, of driving when he couldn’t really see. It was a wonder he even noticed the damn trees through all the rain.
“Jerry!” His wife’s voice was shrill, like it always got when he ignored her.
He eased up on the accelerator. Doing seventy on wet pavement was just asking for trouble anyway.
The thought had no more than crossed his mind when he felt the rear tires begin to slide.
(read the rest of the story here)