Monday, October 22, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Monday Morsels: Dark Ride

Dark Ride
by Angela Smith

“Here kitty, kitty, kitty.” Adrienne Fuller plodded over weed clumps in the middle of the night, still wearing her Crocs from work. She slapped at a mosquito on her arm, but more of the beasts bombarded her neck. Sweat from the hot and clammy night crawled down her spine.

Her flashlight sliced through the sluggish darkness but didn’t stifle the shadows. The country was different at night. The buzz of locusts eased the transition between sun and moon, but the baying coyotes left a harsh echo as the world held its breath, unmoving as it waited for the sun to return.

She should be used to it—she had grown up here—but fear skated down her spine every time she imagined snakes coiled in trees and shiny spider-eyes levitated around her. And yet the night creatures were safer than the human ones.

She choked back tears, coughing through a curtain of regrets. Her whole life was falling apart, and she had no idea how to fix it. This temporary living arrangement was harder than she anticipated. Sidney disappeared a week ago, and she couldn’t lose Tonka, too. Which was why she was out here at almost two o’clock in the morning, the bugs buzzing in her ears making her shrink inside.

“Tonka. You little rascal. I’m going back inside.”

In hunting mode, Tonka burrowed himself under the tree closest to the road, his butt up and ears twitched as he focused on his target.

She crouched and snapped her fingers, regretting that she hadn’t brought his packet of treats to shake. He’d darted outside as soon as she had opened the door, but she usually didn’t have to lure him back inside at this hour.

Headlights from down the road lanced through the trees. Eyes glowed around her, floating out of the darkness in a kaleidoscope of colors. Adrienne had lived here long enough to recognize the creatures. Owls, foxes, coons, and deer to name a few. Wolf spiders—one of the many beasts to creep her out during Texas summer nights—grew like monsters in the darkness. Twigs twitched and she jerked her flashlight around. Probably a coon.

Tires screeched. Tonka darted toward her. She stood, almost stumbling backward in the dirt. Lights approached, two cars barreling toward her like demon talons in the moonless night.

They were likely drunk. Looked like they were playing a dangerous game of chase. She patted her pocket for her phone and cursed when she realized she’d left it in her purse. She’d grabbed the flashlight she kept stored in a flower pot but left her purse and phone inside when she rushed to catch Tonka.

She ducked behind a tree. She was way too close to the road, and she didn’t want the headlights to illuminate her. Best to hide and wait it out.

She waited and watched, fear tightening her chest. This was no game.

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📚  Find Angela Smith here:

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HiDee said...

Thanks for sharing your opening with us Angela. I'm definitely intrigued!

Angela Adams said...

When the heroine or hero is undercover, the story is usually a good one! Thank you, Angela, for the "sneak peek" post.