Hitchhike

Ding, ding, ding. The taste of smoke and scent of gasoline lingered in the air. “Raina, open your eyes! Wake up!” Lilly called to her but Raina didn’t move. Raina was the only thing tethering Lilly to this world and she wasn’t ready to let go just yet. Lilly moved her transparent hand forward and slightly touched Raina’s sweat-beaded head. Shattered glass covered Raina, her body smooshed against the top of the vehicle, all four wheels pointed up at the clear sky. The airbags hadn’t deployed and Raina’s seatbelt was the only reason she was still alive. There was a jolt, a small tingle of electricity that surged through Lilly’s fingers and into Raina.

***

6 Hours Earlier…

“No jack. Fabulous,” Raina said as she closed the trunk on her Apache Jeep. Her ginger hair fell in her face as the cool breeze blew by, giving her the chills. Leaning in to rummage through her grey duffle bag, she pulled out her black sweater and layered it on top of her teal long sleeve.

“Like you could lift that tire anyways,” Lilly replied. She walked over to Raina and leaned against the warm vehicle, though she couldn’t feel it. “So, what now?”

“I guess walk?” She said, sitting halfway in the jeep. “That sign said the next gas station was in ten miles. Maybe someone there has a jack.” Raina walked away locking the jeep three times, just to be sure.

***

“Ugh, can one of these people stop honking and give us a ride.” Raina shuffled her purse, it was starting to weigh her down. They heard another honk, an old blue bronco came to a stop in front of them.

A man hopped out of the truck. “Look’s like you could use a ride!” he yelled, even though he was only a short distance.

Raina grinned at Lilly, turning to the man before he noticed. “You have no idea! I got a flat from a loose construction nail and I don’t have a jack. Mind driving us? I mean me, to the next gas station? The sign said eight miles that way.” Smiling, Raina pointed south. Good thing no one else could see Lilly. She looked completely out of place. Like she walked out of a ‘60s movie.

“Sure thing, hop in.” The man gave a smile and waved his arm towards the truck. He was attractive for a man in his mid-30’s, brown eyes and shaggy hair that matched, a 5 o’clock shadow hiding a scar on his chin. He walked Raina to the passenger side, opening the door as she pulled herself in. Lilly unnoticed in the seat beside her. “I’m Thomas.” He smiled, throwing the bronco into gear. Never putting on his seat belt.

“Raina,” she replied, matching his smile. His truck smelled like fresh cut grass and stale smoke. They sat in awkward silence. Lilly carelessly put her legs on the dash, only visible to Raina who rolled her eyes at the road.

“So, where you headed?”

“Edgartown,” she replied, at the road.

“Running away from home, are we?” he said in his charming southern drawl.

“No.” Though she’d thought about it. “I just graduated, and found an old family letter.” she said, her eyes going to Lilly. “So, I got ahold of my aunts and they invited me to stay.”

“Must’ve been hard for your parents.”

“What’s that mean?” Lilly said, putting her feet back on the floorboards. Raina ignored her.

“Uh, no… I mean my dad was disappointed I wouldn’t be attending Cambridge this fall; he’s a professor there. Though, I think he’s happy I’m seeing my aunts. Why would that be hard?”

“And your mom?” he pried, ignoring her question.

“Um, she passed.” Raina stared at her lap, awkwardly twiddling a loose strand of hair.

“Sorry, I wasn’t meaning to pry. I’m just a curious man.”

They pulled into the Exxon parking lot. Raina couldn’t contain her excitement. This stranger was making her uncomfortable. “Stay here, I’ll get the jack for you. I’ll be real fast.” He winked.

“Uh, okay.” Raina was confused as he stalked into the convenient store.

“What is with this guy?” Lilly’s eyes followed Thomas.

“Odd, isn’t he?” Raina replied, opening the glove compartment and pulling out a journal.

“Raina!”

“What? A girl can’t snoop?”

Raina’s eyes froze on the journal. Lilly, leaning to see what stunned her, “Oh, my lord.” Inside the old journal were entries. Each with a picture of a young redhead, and lock of hair. Her eye’s darted to Raina’s.

“Oh, god. This guy’s psycho! We need to get out!” Raina was trembling in fear, but it was too late. Thomas approached the truck, the girls too distracted to notice.

“I wish you hadn’t seen that,” he said as he grabbed the back of Raina’s head. Smashing it into the dashboard and knocking her out. Thomas sauntered to the driver’s side of the truck and hopped back in, threw the car in gear and skidded back onto the road. Lilly was screaming but it didn’t matter. The only person who could hear her was unconscious. Lilly was hitting Thomas, but he couldn’t feel a thing. She tried grabbing the steering wheel but her hands fell through each time. She kept trying, as her arm morphed into his and she took control of the wheel. “What the hell?” he said in confusion. Trying to regain control over his right arm. Lilly was inside, controlling his every move, but he was strong and continued to fight her. Causing them both to lose control of the truck. The bronco spun out and tumbled down the road. Lilly was forced out of Thomas’s body just before he flew out the windshield. The truck came to a halt on the side of the highway. Traffic behind them stopping as well.

Lilly moved over to see Raina. “Open your eyes! Wake up!” Lilly called to her but Raina didn’t budge. Lilly moved her transparent hand forward and slightly touched Raina’s sweat beaded head. The airbags hadn’t deployed and Raina’s seat belt was the only reason she was still alive. There was a jolt, a small tingle of electricity surged through Lilly’s fingers and into Raina. Her grey eyes shot open as wailing sirens rang in her ears.


About Amber Lieurance

Amber Lieurance was born and raised in San Diego, California. She is the youngest of three girls. She has always loved reading and the creative arts, and is pursuing her degree in creative writing. She currently resides in Houston with her dog Frodo.

>> Amber Lieurance's author page

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