Dead End

Posted: May 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

The Dead End sign should have been our first clue to turn around. But Craig had refused to ask for directions and he would never admit that he’d taken a wrong turn. I kept my mouth shut to keep the peace.
After we passed the sign, the road narrowed and there was no place to turn around. We pushed forward, looking for a wide spot in the road but the trees closed in tighter, branches scraping against the shiny red paint of Craig’s new Escalade. Curse words spewed from his mouth at every new scrape. I remained silent, knowing that to suggest we try to reverse out of there would only anger him further.
And now there we were. Stuck axle-deep in mud at the end of what could only be described as a trail – the road had ended miles back.
Craig swore and stomped on the accelerator again. The smell of hot rubber filled the cab and rooster tails of mud spewed out behind the vehicle. We weren’t going anywhere without a tow truck.
I checked my cell phone. No bars. Of course.
I calculated in my head the amount of time we had been driving since we passed the sign and tried to estimate how long it would take to hike back to the main road. Even the most optimistic estimate had us hiking through the woods in the dark. It was already 3:30, and the October sky was losing light fast. I didn’t relish the idea of walking that road even in daylight, clad in a cocktail dress and pumps, but at night…
Craig killed the engine and we sat in silence. He knew what I wanted to say, but I didn’t dare say it. He fucked up. He should have listened when I told him not to try to take a shortcut just because Google said there was one. He should have turned back at the Dead End sign. I told him so. I told him so.
Dusk fell over the vehicle. I pulled my sweater around me but it was little help against the chill of the approaching night. A flash of light in the rear view mirror caught my eye.
“What’s that?” I finally dared to speak, having something to say other than ‘I told you so’.
Craig looked over his shoulder.
“A vehicle! Holy shit, we’re saved. Must be some hunters or something. Wait here.”
Craig jumped out and waited at the rear of the car for the approaching vehicle. He waved his arms to flag them down, not like they could have gone any further anyway.
I head a loud POP and my husband fell to his knees.
Two figures dressed in plaid approached the vehicle. I was trapped.
“Well, lookie here, Clem!” a voice said. “Looks like we’all won the lottery!”

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