Time for another, although belated, installment of free writing fun! As usual, this is very rough, but I hope you still enjoy it …
Off in the distance the sun had started to set again on this long journey. I had managed to stop for provisions during the afternoon, and now had a stack of food and drink behind the passenger seat. One thing that would be lacking tonight though was a comfortable bed.
I hadn’t planned any part of this journey, and if I had done I would have made sure to locate some proper hotels or B&B’s to head for each night. At least I had the common sense to bring my sleeping bag with me.
The first night hadn’t been too bad, I’d managed to get a single bed at the Travelodge, but last night had been in the car parked at a busy 24hr service station. There had been constant traffic flow all night, mostly loud lorries, and the fluorescent lighting had been a permanent feature, but it had all made me feel that little bit safer.
Somehow I didn’t expect to even get that luxury tonight. I’d started to leave the bigger towns and cities behind me as early evening began to make its appearance, and now the darker it became the more distance there seemed to be between the smaller villages. As the buildings became sparser, the trees grew all the more frequent until there was enough of them to constitute a small wood. I kept driving though, assuming it couldn’t really last for that long and hoping it would be soon so that I could stop somewhere for a rest.
As I continued though, the trees only seemed to get denser as well as bigger and were appearing much closer to the road. The dread that I’d been trying to keep buried started to make itself known as I realised I was probably going to have to stop soon. I hadn’t been relishing the idea but it seemed I didn’t have many other choices, if any.
Coming across a shallow lay-by, I pulled over and off the road as far as I could and killed the engine. Turning off the headlights, I sat and listened to the engine ticking as it cooled, settling itself in for the night.
I sat still for a long time, letting my eyes adjust to the dark, turning my head back and forth as I got used to the sounds of the night. I knew I would have to move soon, to get myself out of the car to retrieve my sleeping bag from the boot, but at that moment my own terror seemed to be keeping me firmly in place.