Storymania Logo



Short Stories

Lost In Space...Beagle 2 by Harvey Kennett The true story of Beagle 2 ? Apologies to Yanks in general... [1,105 words]
The Happy Housewife by April Griffin A short but powerfull tale of a battered woman. [980 words]
Mind's Shadow by J Shartzer A teenager is engrossed in the search for the reason of his girlfriend's sudden suicide. [8,115 words]
Melancholy Polly by J Shartzer A young woman with a bizzare history is deeply affected by her mother's death. [1,579 words]
Your Little God Is Pooh And Creepy Too by Xoggoth Only the innocent find salvation. In the run up to the revelation the ki... [1,442 words]
The Three Rotten Sisters by Christopher W Sorenson A funny short story about three snoody women who marry three fine gentlemen. In the e... [789 words]
The Markings Of An Angle by Narinder Bhambra A short story. [1,398 words]
The Fly And... by Xoggoth That Geoff Goldblum had it easy! One fly?? I should have been so lucky! [483 words]
The Difference-1 by Sukesh Srivastava An emotional story of sacrifices made for each other in the family. [4,595 words]
The Diary Of Mystery by Hazli Ghazali Collection of Hazli's short stories under the topic of mystery, a lot to think and discove... [3,982 words]
The Come Back by Bryan Meckley About a successful overdose. [2,157 words]
Ripple Effect by E Rocco Caldwell A scientist has discovered time travel or maybe his own descent into insanity. [838 words]
Providing For Sarah by Xoggoth A desolate man finds comfort in an imaginary (?) companion. But who will care for her when ... [883 words]
Pakistani Feast by Jerry Pat Bolton A man, alone in the jungles of Pakistani, become surrounded by a pride of tigers. [1,681 words]
Night Ride
My Eternal Triangle by Erasmus Flynt - [710 words]
Monica's Pie by Paul B Kramer Reklon Harponip, a Turkish lad on his own in America, identifies with Monica Lewinsky's plight as ... [3,062 words]
Man Skin by Harvey Kennett When you sleep, what happens to your dreams ? [776 words]
Hell Is A Personal Place by Erasmus Flynt Each of us has a personal idea of Hell! [1,043 words]
Goodnight Sweet Kevin by Harvey Kennett It concerns me that we, as a species, follow trends and "buzzwords", and anyone who dares... [603 words]
God's Trainees by Xoggoth Him upstairs is thinking of retiring, all he needs to do is train up some suitable replacements.... [1,570 words]
Fury Of Steele by Robert E Tadlock The drug lords of Hong Kong are trying to take over L.A. But Hong Kong itself will feel the fury... [2,686 words]
Free Road by Deon Coetzee The possibility that life may be ended with a happy parting of one's shadow, ie. suicide, that is not... [194 words]
Food For Thought by P J Lawton Ever wonder where the food of the future will come from? [973 words]
Do You Remember Now? by E Daugherty - [703 words]
Did You Hear The One About The Three Icelandic Bishops by Gypsey Teague When you invite a guest into your home, be prepared for ... [493 words]
Death Walk by P J Lawton A space ship crashes on a lonely planet leaving the crew a long walk to safety. [1,147 words]
Changing To Go Out by Xoggoth In the aftermath of the genetic bomb, a simple night at the pictures with the missus is no e... [444 words]
Business Card by E Rocco Caldwell Madness can be in a simple telephone call. [723 words]
Back To The Garden by Xoggoth Depressing the extent to which everything is being dumbed down these days. Poor state educat... [527 words]
A Conversation With God by Kevin Myrick Basically, its a short story with sort of a twisted view on the whole walking with god ... [1,230 words]
The Music I Held by E Daugherty - [802 words]
Licorice Tea by Shelley J Alongi This is a story I havent' worked into my novel yet; it's how Rachel makes a decision to fall in lo... [3,590 words]
Victim by Gypsey Teague By the full of the moon, and the cloak of the night. There are some things that are better Kept in the l... [1,372 words]
Twisted Figures by Rae Just wrote it down as it came to mind.. no sense or anything :) [294 words]
Things To Do Before I Die by Gypsey Teague Everyone makes lists. Some mean more than others. [1,045 words]
The Waitress Fom Hell by Richard Koss The story of a patron's ongoing feud with an over-the-hill waitress. [750 words]
The Soldier by Solo A darkly lyrical tale of an old soldier seperated from his men behind enemy lines who takes on a mi... [8,019 words]
The Siege Of Tar Ebon by Dayne Edmondson This is a story of human kind's greatest hour of need. [2,501 words]
The Man I Call My Dad by Justin M Chapman A story about my dad that I wrote for a class. It tells about him. [979 words]
The Gatekeeper Of The Heaven by Partha Pratim Majumder Theme : Hypothetically, the concept of God,heaven etc. are all created by and pr... [2,419 words]
The Divine Inside Of Thoughts by Elroy Jamoke Lloyd Auto-bio piece... [4,442 words]
The Clearing by E Rocco Caldwell A simple ghost story that happens to be true. [783 words]
Spirits Revolt by Jack Roland Butter When Donna moves to her new Californian house she can't believe her luck. Soon she discovers tha... [1,079 words]
Simon Says: The Case Of The Singing Lady Blues by P J Lawton A hard-boiled private detective makes a fatal mistake. He can't ... [3,757 words]
Simon Says: Case Of Vengeance By The Letter by P J Lawton A hard-boiled private detective's past comes back to haunt him. [3,972 words]
Simon Says: Case Of The Deadly Diamond Dupe by P J Lawton A hard-boiled private detective reluctantly gets involved in a terr... [3,813 words]
Shadow Cat by John Caruso On a cold winter day a feral kitten wandered out of the wooded paradise surrounding our home in west... [22,470 words]
Roundabout Love by Kevin Myrick The story of two people who shouldn't be able to fall in love, but came together. [1,187 words]
Pyscho Librarian by Sarah Beresh About a librarian who was a Physco killer and told all her lil library kids about her past the... [1,849 words]
Not Much Like Christmas by Stephanie A Erickson A short story based on the song "Christmas By The Phone" by Good Charlotte. Also based ... [2,616 words]
Neighbors by Shelley J Alongi Aviation story. This story takes place before Andrew meets Anne in his spactacular early morning lan... [1,523 words]
Mom's Color Code by Partha Pratim Majumder Relationship between mother and son. The very intricate relationship that needs no description... [1,287 words]
Managing by Shelley J Alongi Twenty years after marriage, and despite life, Anne and Andrew still manage to hold everything togethe... [2,329 words]
Last Day by Shelley J Alongi Aviation Story 18. Anne and Andrew, a sinus headache, troublesome passengers, a frantic boss, and the ... [2,335 words]
Landing Part Two by Shelley J Alongi Aviation story. Relationship conflict. Melanie talks to Laura about Jeff. [1,765 words]
Landing Part Three by Shelley J Alongi Origins of the accident. Pleasant flight. [1,176 words]
Landing Part One by Shelley J Alongi Anaviation story. A pilot is caught between a rock and a hard place, literally, leading to a ... [1,637 words]
Landing Part Four by Shelley J Alongi Melanie is afraid. [1,480 words]
Landing Part Five by Shelley J Alongi Jeff's dream. [1,033 words]
Jolly John's Last Laugh by Partha Pratim Majumder In 1963 , A young Englishman bought an old Bunglow at the foothills of Himalayas near ... [2,437 words]
Is It Real Or Is It Memorex? by D G Williford You tell me... [82 words]
Billy And Jason by Ashley A Selsing Jason meets a new kid, Billy, who steals his things. At first they are enemies, but they then ... [1,382 words]
Back Page News by E Rocco Caldwell The thoughts of a dying US soldier on the road to baghdad. [805 words]
Attack Of The Sans by Randy Johnson A Space Warrior named Fland travels to a planet called Narburg and battles intelligent Slug ... [3,022 words]
An Encounter With Evil by P J Lawton A young man's search for the bizarre gets him a little more than he bargined for. [1,761 words]
A Season For Figs by Geraldine Winters A short story. [3,255 words]
A Hike by Jennifer Winter A short story. [875 words]
A Friend by Peter Izdebski I was like clay, so soft and yellow. I listened and followed because I didn't know that I could talk ... [917 words]

Go to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 [29] 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
Night Ride
A tired young man accepts a ride from a mysterious stranger.
[1,463 words]
P J Lawton
[February 2004]
[email protected]
An Encounter With Evil (Short Stories) A young man's search for the bizarre gets him a little more than he bargined for. [1,761 words]
Death Walk (Short Stories) A space ship crashes on a lonely planet leaving the crew a long walk to safety. [1,147 words]
Food For Thought (Short Stories) Ever wonder where the food of the future will come from? [973 words]
Future Shock (Short Stories) A young woman gets a glance into the future, can she change her destiny? [1,035 words] [Science Fiction]
Simon Says: Case Of The Deadly Diamond Dupe (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective reluctantly gets involved in a terrorist plot. [3,813 words]
Simon Says: Case Of Vengeance By The Letter (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective's past comes back to haunt him. [3,972 words]
Simon Says: The Case Of The Singing Lady Blues (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective makes a fatal mistake. He can't make it right but he can make those responsible pay. [3,757 words]
The Watchers (Short Stories) A young man has a strange encounter and is orderd to keep quiet, after 50 years he finally decides to tell his tale. [1,874 words] [Science Fiction]
Time Ripper (Short Stories) What if a serial killer could jump through time. Maybe he has! [1,459 words] [Science Fiction]
Night Ride
P J Lawton

It was just about sunset on a sultry summer evening as I slowly walked along US Highway 79 in Southwest Arkansas. I was hot, tired, and pretty much depressed. I really wasn’t looking forward to a long night on a dark deserted highway. A sudden whisper of tires on pavement came up from behind and a big mysterious antique looking Cadillac slowed to a crawl then stopped beside me. A darkly tinted window slowly lowered with the soft whir of its electric motor. As I bent to look inside a hushed voice with a soft southern drawl said, “Where you headed son?

I couldn’t see the driver very well but I could tell it was a man. “Well Mister, right now I’m headed for Memphis.”

I heard the click of the door locks and the voice continued. “I’m headed in that direction myself. Stow your gear in the back seat and hop in. It’s a pretty long drive and I could use some company.

I placed my backpack and guitar case in the back and eased into the front passenger seat. Without another word, the driver put the car into gear and drove on.

We rode in silence for a while. The driver was quietly humming a familiar song. After about ten minutes he turned to me. “Been walking long? Don’t see to many folks out walking on such a lonely stretch of highway. It’s not always safe to be out alone you know. There’s been talk of some strange happenings around here.”

The lights from the dash provided me my first good look at him. His look could only be described as haunted. His long gray hair was swept back in a retro 50’s ducktail. His cheeks were sunken and his flesh sort of hung loose, like someone who had been sick for a long time. His eyes were bright and shiny like coals of fire they danced in slightly sunken eye sockets. There was something familiar about him. I thought about it for a second then mentally shook my head. No, it couldn’t be. I simply stared at him.

I guess he sensed my unease and spoke again in that soothing soft drawl. “Relax son, everything is okay. I just thought you might like to tell your story.”

“Sorry Mister, guess I’m a little tired. I’ve been on the road most of the day. It’s not much of a story really. It started with a call yesterday afternoon.”

For the next few minutes I told my tale. I had been down in Bossier City, Louisiana working as a freelance guitar player and singer at some River Boat Casinos. Yesterday I had received a call from an old friend whose band was playing at a club on Beal Street in Memphis. He needed some temporary help. That was Thursday, this was Friday, and I had to be there tomorrow, Saturday. I told him I would be there, packed my bag and hit the road.

My old car had been pretty much done in. Two hundred seventy thousand miles will do that. It had finally taken its last breath about five miles up the road from where I had been walking. I had simply pushed it off the road and left it.

The driver made a sidewise shift of his eyes. “So, are you just about helping out a friend or is it something more?”

“Yeah well, I am going to help him out for a while but I do have bigger dreams.”

“Yes, well most do son, most do.” With a slight pause he turned slightly toward me. “Look, I know you must be tired. Just relax there and rest awhile. We’ll talk more later.”

I was suddenly very tired. Even though I fought it, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. As I settled a little deeper into the seat the last thing I heard was the driver humming that song again.

I awoke with a start. We had stopped. A quick glance around showed that we were parked at a roadside store. Looking down the highway I could read a sign that said Memphis 110 miles. I glanced at the old Cadillac’s dashboard clock, 2:17 A.M. I couldn’t believe that I had slept so long. But, more importantly how had we come so far so fast.

A few minutes later we were back on the road. The driver gave me an intense studying look then asked, “Son, are you planning on the music business as a career.”

“Mister, I’ve been playing since I was five years old. I really don’t know anything else. In my backpack are about 40 songs that I have written. After Memphis my plan is to go Nashville. With a little luck I will be a star someday.”

Abruptly his tone chilled. I felt a thousand goose bumps form as he spoke. “Well, I can see you have yet to learn that the music business is a long hard road, a really hard road. I know. I started out pretty much like you. In fact you remind me of my young self. Sometimes though, you just have to make your own luck.”

“You are in the music business? Would I know any of your music? You do look sort of familiar.”

His tone was now a little sadder. “Well, let’s just say that I was doing pretty well until I made a few bad decisions. Anyway, that was a long time ago. Son, the music business can be like a giant leech. If you are not careful it will suck the lifeblood right out of you. You look like a bright young man. I will give you two little pieces of advice. Well, not exactly advise, more like warnings. Believe me, it comes from first hand experience.”

He stopped talking and a sudden stillness came over him like he was reaching for far dark memories. A few seconds later a shiver ran over his body and he continued. “First of all, choose your friends wisely. Many will pretend to be friendly but will take everything they can. Just bleed you till there is nothing left. The second is probably the most important warning I can give. Stay away from booze and drugs.”

“Mister, I don’t use drugs or booze. I haven’t had a drink in over a year.”

“That is fine for now. As you get more established in the business, more famous as you say, the pressures will increase daily. Two to three hundred days each year on the road will do that to you. Sometimes it gets so bad that you can’t even remember what city you’re performing. You can’t let that happen. Using the booze and drugs won’t help. You just have to do whatever it takes to get by, shorter concert tours, frequent trips home, whatever.”

Bitterly, as though talking to himself he continued, “Once the booze and drugs take over, you’re finished.”

He stopped talking again then after a few seconds his mood lightened and he started humming. I knew that song, I couldn’t remember the name but it was right on the tip of my tongue. I started to ask him the name but was too embarrassed.

Ninety minutes later we were approaching the lights of a big city. The driver pulled over where the road forked. One fork was to the brightly lit city, the other into the darkness of the country night.

He slowly turned to me and in a quiet sad voice said. “Son, this is far as I go. Those lights up ahead, that’s Memphis. Oh, one thing to remember, the music business can be a wonderful career. Just be sure that you can control it, if not, it will surely control you. Goodbye son, remember my warnings and good luck to you.”

I retrieved my gear, stood by the roadside and said. “Thank you so much mister, I surely do appreciate the ride, and the advice. By the way, will you tell me your name?”

“No son, I believe you already know.”

With a wave of his hand the driver turned and slowly drove off down the dark country road. In less than a second he and the big dark car vanished. I stared for a few minutes trying to make sense of what had just happened and what I had experienced this night.

Finally I turned and began a slow walk toward the bright city lights. Thoughts of the driver’s words kept moving through my mind. After a short distance I turned for one last look down the darkened road. Floating through the air on a soft summer breeze I could hear singing in a voice I instantly recognized. It was the song the driver had been humming all night. “Since my baby left me, I’ve found a new place to dwell. Its down at the end of lonely street, its . . .”



Submit Your Review for Night Ride
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*

Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for Night Ride

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

© 2003 P J Lawton
February 2004

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.