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Sunday Drivers

by Angela Slatter

A new voice joins the Cabal today, one whose stories are powerful if (and perhaps because) they're often more than a little unsettling. So please welcome Angela Slatter as she takes us on a dark road trip...

The dead girl sits in the passenger seat, watching me. Her face is etched with spider-web petichia and her eyes are jelly-red.

My hands are pale and tight at ten and two.

“I’m so sorry, Rachel,” I say. I really mean it, not just because I’m in big trouble.

“I cannot believe,’ she spits between blood-stained teeth, “that you slept with my husband.”

“It was an accident.”

“What, you slipped and fell on it?” It’s amazing the volume the dead can reach. I feel a trickle from my ear. My fingers come away red.

“I’m sorry,’ I whimper.

“Sandy, if you say that again, I’m going to kill you.” She deflates. “My own sister.”

“I’m – not going to say it again.” In front of us the headlights gallop, illuminating the bitumen and the piles of banked-up snow. I should have put the chains on.

“How long?”

“Only a few months.”It was more like eighteen, but least said ...

“He decided he wanted to be with you so much that he strangled me?”

“Well, maybe he just liked someone who didn’t spend all her time in front of the mirror.”

“You could do with a bit more time in front of the mirror.” Recognising the truth, her retort lacks sting.

“There was no need for him to kill you. I really am sorry about that.”

“I appreciate you avenging my death,” she admitted.

Walter hadn’t realised that family comes first. He called me to help get rid of Rachel’s body. He dropped her into the boot and leaned over to brush hair away from her face. That’s when I hit him with the claw-hammer. Seven times. He slumped in on top of her.

Rachel is still talking. “It’s almost enough for me to forgive you.”

She reaches out. I flinch. Her hand passes through mine like needles of ice. I reef the wheel hard to the left.

The car fishtails, skids, ricochets around the bend and slams into a parked police car with an ear-shattering crash.

I hit my head on the steering wheel, see dark stars. I turn to Rachel, to see if she’s okay.
She smiles, fading away. “Almost.”

There’s the ‘pop’ of the trunk and I see the lid rising in the rear-view mirror. Two pissed-off cops clamber out the undamaged side of their vehicle.

I let the darkness flood over me. I’m not going anywhere.


This is seriously creepy, and a great ending. Nice work :-)

Posted by: Jason | October 16, 2008 12:18 AM

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