THE DEFROSTER FOUGHT to keep the windshield clear as Jeremey drove us down Clay Road. He'd flipped the wipers on, but the glass was fogging up from the inside, so it didn't do much good. Wind whistled and roared past the car. I drummed my fingers nervously on the edge of the passenger side window. I couldn't decide if I was hoping Joshua's truck would be there, or if I was hoping it wouldn't.
Probably a little bit of both.
I drew a smiley face in the condensation. It only took a couple of seconds for the water tension to break, and the sketch began to drool. I peered out through its crying right eye. The barren, dead fields zoomed by in my peripheral vision. Streetlights were all but nonexistent on the rural road. The car's headlights were the only thing cutting through the darkness.
After about five minutes of driving in silence, the car slowed, gravel crumbling and crunching under its tires. The farm house appeared in the distance, illuminated by our headlights and a faint bit of moonlight peeking through the hazy cloud cover. The building's white facade glowed, and its mournful, forest-green shuttered windows glared down at us as we approached. I could no longer sense the motion of the car. It was like the house was the one doing the creeping, and we were standing still.
"Do you see it?" Jeremey whispered.
He was talking about the truck. I rubbed the side of my fist against the glass, erasing the grin from Mr. Window.
I didn't see it.
"No." I wasn't sure why we were whispering.
Jeremey put on the blinker for no reason at all, and began to turn into the empty driveway.
"Wait." I put my hand out as if to stop him.
Jeremey pressed the brakes, front tires in the dirt driveway, and glanced over at me.
"Let's not park here," I said. "Just in case."
"Where do you want to park?"
"Down the road a ways. So the car is less... obvious."
Jeremey put the car in reverse, we backed out of the driveway and continued another two hundred yards down the empty road. "Far enough?" he asked quietly, pulling off onto the dirt patch on the side.
"Yeah, this will do."
Jeremey shut the car off. The headlights dimmed, and everything went dark and still.
We both sat in silence for nearly two minutes, neither one of us moving a muscle. "We can leave if you want," Jeremey finally said. "We don't have to..."
"No." I tried to stop my hand from shaking as I reached for the handle on the door. "Let's do this." I pushed it open.
Wind whipped my hair around and tugged at my clothes as I stepped out of the car.
The driver's side door creaked open, and then it slammed shut with a dull clunk. Jeremey muttered under his breath, "It's cold as fuck." He made his way around to the passenger side and faced me, crossing his arms in front of his chest for warmth and shifting back and forth on his feet. "What are we doing here again, Harper?"
"I just want to have a quick look around."
He raised his eyebrows at me. "Well then, let's go already." He spun his head back and forth, checking both directions on the road. "Before he gets back."
"All right." I pulled my phone out of the pocket of my jeans. I hit the home button, and the screen lit up. Fifty-six percent battery life. That would have to do. I opened the flashlight app and the camera flash turned on, illuminating the road at our feet.
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•• Wattys 2018 Winner •• Wattpad Featured Story •• One day, a wind blew into the town of Millstone and didn't stop. Slowly people moved away. It was like the town was trying to clear itself out, as though it was preparing for something sinister. Whe...