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The Phantom Hitchhiker
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The Phantom Hitchhiker
Well. It's about this dude, right... Oh who cares. Read it. Then you'll know.
I'm, um, well, me. I like playing the guitar (if you can call it that) and buying too many CDs on a whim. Well, someone has to. I've got light brown hair, muddy brown eyes (well I think they are, it's quite hard to see your own eyes) and a turned up nose. I intend to make a million before I'm 16 so I can get a nose job. I hate children (sorry, kids!) and I'm fairly suspicious of new people, though I'm told I'm quite nice once you know me. Really.
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (1)
Unfortunate Side Effects (Short Stories) Some old English homework. It's lvl 7+, though!!! And I'm afraid its not particularly depressing, or about failed love, death or sex. Sorry bout that. [552 words] [Horror]
The Phantom Hitchhiker
The murky blackness of the October night was illuminated patchily by car headlights as the few travellers made their way home, concentrating not on the dark around them but on thoughts of welcoming families and comforting food. Into the path of one such driver stepped a pale, young girl, clutching a damp, beaten old cardboard sign reading ‘BIRKENHEAD’. Her large dark eyes pleaded mutely. The man pulled up slowly on the hard shoulder by the entrance to the Mersey tunnel and wound down his window. ‘You look like death warmed up!’ he said cheerily ‘Get in, love. Where do you want to go?’ The girl sank gratefully into the back seat of the car and told him her where she lived. Her voice was quiet and she spoke her address almost wistfully, as though she had not been home for a very long time. The man tried to smile reassuringly. ‘Soon have you there,’ he said, but, although the words were confident the man felt inexplicably uneasy, as though he had volunteered to spend the night alone in a mortuary. She didn’t answer but sat shivering, her unnaturally pale skin seeming almost translucent in the faint, artificial light of a passing car. ‘Take this, you’ll catch your death otherwise,’ he said rashly, passing her his sweater.
The man drove carefully through the tunnel, uncomfortably aware that his car now seemed to be the only vehicle about. Normally he liked to have the road to himself but suddenly he was feeling uncharacteristically lonely, almost desolate. He turned to engage the girl in conversation to take his mind off his isolation. She was not there.
Compelled by desperation he did not understand the man drove on to the address she had given earlier. He knocked and waited for the door to be opened by an elderly woman. Their eyes met and hers filled with tears. ‘Not again,’ she murmured. Then wordlessly she proffered a photograph – it was of the girl, as he had known it would be. He felt chilled through to his soul. ‘What happened?’ he heard himself asking. ‘An accident,’ she replied ‘In the Mersey tunnel. Exactly 10 years ago tonight.’ He nodded and walked away.
The next morning, the man drove down to the local cemetery and spent a morbid half-hour reading the inscriptions on each of the graves. Eventually, he came across the girl’s unkempt, mossy grave. As he gazed at it and read and reread its tragic inscription he was enveloped by a sense of futility and emptiness as though life had no purpose or value. Then he noticed his sweater. Why hadn’t he seen it immediately? He bent and picked it up. It was warm …but not comforting. ‘Keep it,’ he said flatly and as he threw it back down he was fleetingly aware of it falling on to a pile of discarded jumpers, though when he looked again there was nothing there.
|READER'S REVIEWS (5)
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"I liked this for a first time write. You have a good grasp of plot and character development. Work on your own unique style and one day you're be a fantatic writer. Hand in there. I really enjoyed this." -- e. rooco caldwell.
"Overall good story but it was kind of predictable and the title makes it sound like one of those old movies from the 60’s but I really liked the writing." -- Alice.
"yes, i agree with the other 2 reviewers. i like the way you write, it flows well, but this story has been done before. you need to write an original story which flows out of your emotions and head." -- sunny, dc, usa.
"yes, i agree with neither of the reviewers. This was the worst piece of writing i've ever read. Give up writing. You suck." -- paul.
"Not trying to be rude or anything but it sounds like a short story I read out of the book......" -- Jordan.
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© 2005 Liz Quinlan
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