Leila and Jim Dennison were the kind of couple that would make most anyone cringe. They were absurdly in love. It was the kind of newly-wed love that they felt the need to express publicly everywhere. Both were the goody-two-shoes type since childhood. This was something they also felt the need to flaunt to anyone that felt beneath them. Although difficult to stomach, at their core, Leila and Jim were generally good people. None of this would matter today, though. Some would say morals don’t always play a role in situations such as this.
The couple set out on a long road trip down to the beaches at the southern tip of the state. It was a noxious ride, for the smell of rotting garbage permeated the air along the first few exits. Leila began complaining of the horrible stench. She mentioned how if it continued she would vomit all over the car. So Jim pulled over. He knew all too well that if he didn’t, there would be no end to her nagging.
Leila stepped out to get the air she so desperately desired. Just as she was about to take a deep breath, she let out a scream. There was a dead cat on the side of the road. The poor animal had been mauled to pieces. Jim jumped out of the car and rushed to his wife’s side. They began chattering about how it was difficult to tell if the cat had been hit by a car or some other creature got to it. They both decided to get back in the car and get on with their trip.
Halfway toward Route 88, the two began feeling uneasy. Maybe it was the dead cat they just saw. Maybe it was because the stretch of road they were headed toward was said to be notoriously haunted. Perhaps, it was a bit of both – or perhaps it was something else.
What Jim neglected to tell Leila was that he’d been down this road before. It was recently, in fact and his experience had not been a pleasant one. He had on his GPS and it started acting strangely as he entered the area. It kept re-routing and glitching up. There was no explanation. Then he saw something he refused to tell anyone about – ever. A car drove past him while he was parked on the side of the road. There was no one in the driver’s seat. The car was filled with corpses positioned upright in each seat. He just couldn’t make sense of it. He admitted to himself it was clearly of paranormal nature but, he wouldn’t dare tell his wife. She would have him committed for sure.
As the couple neared the ghostly-looking sign “Route 88”, they both visibly tensed up. Many a person that traveled that road came back with a ghost story. There were legends about it all over the state. Supposedly, it was once a trail that Native Americans used. It led to sacred ground and rumor had it, they were not pleased with others traveling on their land.
Jim and Leila were deep in conversation almost forgetting about all the creepy lore the road had to offer. They spoke of the future just as the car wound around the last bit of the infamous highway. It was a winding stretch, the kind where you could barely see around the corner. The two were still yapping away until Jim noticed he was talking to himself. It was a silence that struck him like a thousand bullets.
His wife was gone. Not dead, not missing, not opening the door to leap out of the car, just – gone. He stopped the car and got out trying to make sense of what just happened. There simply were no words; no explanation. His wife had simply vanished.
As time passed, Jim’s story was added to the long list of tales that went with Route 88. Some speculated that aliens took her. Others swore it was spirits. Some people in the scientific community secretly made discussion of a portal. The fact is no one really knew. One detail is for certain. Leila Dennison was never seen or heard from again.
© 2014 CardCastlesInTheSky
Some of you that read here often, know of my tales as a horror writer. I have been writing short stories like this one since I was about five years old. I was reluctant to share any of my psych-horror on here in the past because 1. There’s not much of an audience for it in the blogging world. 2. I was in fear of someone stealing my work. (It’s happened in the past.), & 3. I was just plain shy. So, I hope all of you enjoy reading this. It is my oldest passion. It’s my reason for being here, among others, and I’m very proud of it. Let me know what you think! I’m always glad to hear it.