Presentation on theme: "By: Savannah Trouten, Joey Cassell, and Kendalyn Millsap 10/31/11."— Presentation transcript:
By: Savannah Trouten, Joey Cassell, and Kendalyn Millsap 10/31/11
The sun was bright and shining down with a feverish glow on the windshield of my convertible. “I wish the sun wasn’t creating such a glare on the windshield.”, I had said. Charlotte and I were going on a cross country trip together to celebrate the end of our senior year. We’d been saving up since last summer. Our destination: sunny San Diego. But as some of you might have already guessed, we never got there. In fact, we never got any further than Phoenix, Arizona. I pulled in with a sharp turn to a dilapidated gas station and got out, slamming the door shut behind me. “Charlotte? After we pay, can you pump the gas for me? We’re almost on ‘E’.” The bell above the door rang joyfully and our shoes squeaked on the freshly waxed floor as I entered the gas station. The cashier behind the counter and looked at me in a way that made me shudder. I approached the counter carefully, struggling not to slip on the wax, and before I could ask how much gas was, Charlotte came in and said, “The wires were cut. The car won’t start.” I looked at Charlotte and then back at the cashier and said, “On second thought, do you have a mechanic?” “Around back”, he muttered. “Steve isn’t busy, I don’t think.” He said this passively, showing he had no interest in helping us, so we pushed the car around back ourselves. How rude, I’d thought. The mechanic, Steve, was a few inches taller than us, lean, with fair hair hanging over one eye. He was finishing waxing a car when he noticed us. “Need some help?” he called. “Yes. I think our wires have been cut, the car won’t start. Guess some rats got to it and chewed it apart.” I said. Charlotte collapsed against me with exhaustion, and I could feel her weighing down on me.
“Well, lets take a look at it.” Steve said warmly and looked under the hood. He picked and prodded at the parts underneath. “Yep. You’re missing the electrical wires. Should get it fixed in a bit. So what’s your name?” he said as he walked into the garage. We followed him. “I’m Melinda and this is Charlotte.” I said a bit more naïve than I’d anticipated. After shuffling through several boxes, he found what he was looking for and hooked it into our car. I asked how much it would cost, and he told us it was free. “Nothing like helping out a couple of girls in a fix. No charge!” he had said. Steve started up our car and off we went. After hours of driving. We broke down again. Charlotte cursed and got out of the car to see what it was this time. Nearby, I heard shuffling. Probably a lizard or something, I told myself. The sun began to set, bleeding reds and oranges across the desert sand. I was exhausted and hungry. “What time is it?” I asked Charlotte. “What?” she called back. “The time. What time is it?” I called out the window of our red convertible. There was no response, so I used what was left of my mechanical energy to get out of the car to meet up with Charlotte. “Charlotte?” I called as I rounded the car. Still no response. Was she alright? When I caught up with her, I noticed Charlotte was watching movement in a patch of long, dried out grass (about 5.5 feet high) a few feet away from us. But this time, it wasn’t a lizard. Then, a man that was a little taller than Charlotte and I in a black leather coat and a fedora emerged from the dead grass. I could tell perfectly well that he was trying to keep his eyes hidden and, quite frankly, I didn’t care that I couldn’t see them. I didn’t want to. And although, I felt them staring at me menacingly, fiercely piercing straight through me. But, regrettably, I could see his smile. It made me cringe. His left hand was hidden under his jacket pocket and I could see that he was holding something. I was scared to know what it could be.
Despite my impulse to run, I stayed glued to my spot. Almost as if he’d put Charlotte and I under a spell. I glanced at Charlotte, who had the same exasperated look on her face as I did. Almost as quickly as it had come, our trance was lifted and Charlotte and I bolted. Before when we had been standing motionless, our potential energy was very high. Now, it was our kinetic energy that was spiked to its full potential. There wasn’t a town for miles. What a place to get stuck; in the middle of nowhere. The thermal energy was getting to Charlotte and she was beginning to slow down. I was slowing myself, but our follower jogged steadily, gaining more and more on our heels. Now, Charlotte was barely moving at all. I have to go back for her, I thought, still running. I skidded to a stop and turned around, but she pushed me on. “Don’t worry! I can handle him!” Charlotte was a black belt, so I trusted her when she said she could handle it, but still I was reluctant to go and hide. “Go!”, she yelled. She gave me a reassuring smile and I ran into a thicket of desert weeds and hid silently. Soon after I hid, the man caught up with Charlotte and grabbed her from behind. She struggled and turned sharply, kicking him in the gut to his knees. She must have thought he was out for the count, because she reared back to punch him square in the face to knock him out. He had expected it, and ducked when Charlotte swung. As she stumbled and lost her balance, he rammed her hard in the back of her head with both fists. “Charlotte! Watch out!” I yelled, but she didn’t hear me in time. She crashed to the sand and lay motionless and I feared the worst. I glanced at the man, unsure if he’d heard me or not. At that moment, he pulled a silver switchblade from his left pocket. “Get away from her, you creep!”, I screamed helplessly, unsure of what to do. He looked up at me and we made eye contact. His eyes. I had seen them before. Those cold, furiously dancing pale blue eyes. And as my eyes became locked to his, he ran for me. Soon the sun’s radiant energy would expire for the day and I’d be running in the dark of night from a mad man.
By the time I had reached the town, I couldn’t breathe. I wasn’t sure for how long I’d been running or exactly were I was. All I knew was that the full moon was the only thing I’d had for light the whole way I’d ran. I think I lost him, I thought. By now, my body was throbbing with pain. I hoped that Charlotte wasn’t in pain. I hoped that she was safe. If he isn’t here, I thought, I hope to goodness he isn’t with Charlotte. I kept up my pace until I found a little police station that reminded me some of the one from Andy Griffith. But inside, it was nothing like that of Andy Taylor’s southern police station. It was run down; papers everywhere, file doors wide open to the world, and the deputy was asleep in a chair in the corner of the room. The only good thing about this police station was that in had air conditioning. Running around all day with sun’s nuclear energy beating down on you made you appreciate the A.C. unit a lot more. The sheriff looked up blankly at me as I burst frantically through the door. “May I help you?”, he said, completely emotionless. I hate it when people act that way. The deputy woke and went to the coffee pot (which ran on electrical energy) and filled his cup, completely ignoring the fact that there was a seventeen year old girl that didn’t have enough breath left in her to gasp her story out in his presence. “I…I need help…Please..”, I stammered breathlessly, feeling as though I’d pass out. “What’s your report?”, the officer asked blandly. I couldn’t tell mine and Charlotte’s story without trembling violently. My hand began to get clammy and my breath still hadn’t returned to me. I sat in a chair near the officer and gasped out my story. The deputy lit a cigarette passively, the chemical energy igniting on as he switched the gear on his lighter and touched it to the end. I tried to settle myself then, because I could clearly see that calming people down when they’re upset wasn’t either one of the officer’s strong suits. Then, a third officer, a woman with soft brown eyes, came and sat in front of me and said soothingly, “It’s ok. Calm down, sweety. Now, tell me what happened.” I read her ID badge; Officer Beth McKinley. She patted my hand to calm me down and looked at the two other policemen, dismissing them with her eyes. As they left, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry. Those two aren’t any help what so ever. Now that they’re gone, tell me what’s wrong.” So I did. I told her my name and about Charlotte and the trip and how we had stopped for gas when our car became broken down. I told her about Steve, who had fixed the problem and how we had broken down again and how the man had followed us and attacked Charlotte. “She be in big trouble. She’s hurt. Badly hurt. Heaven knows she could be-- ” Seeing how much it troubled me, she nodded, telling me I didn’t have to finish that sentence.
“Officer McKinley, you have to believe me.”, I said desperately. “Well, Melinda, I can see your quite distraught about this. I’ll see about a search team in the morning, but for tonight, we will just have to wait.” “In the morning!?”, I exclaimed with a look of disbelief on my face. “We cant wait until morning! Charlotte could be out there dying in the middle of the desert and you want to wait to send a search party for her in the morning!?” I was angry now, and if you want to know the truth, I was about to start bawling. Hadn’t I been through enough without this woman telling me that I’d have to wait until morning to find my friend who could very well be dead. She wasn’t taking me seriously. I’m sure she had the best intentions, but that wasn’t helping me. She told me to spend the rest of night at the station. Despite my predictions, I had no trouble sleeping. Even the fact the I had fallen asleep in a rickety wooden chair didn’t keep me awake. I was exhausted. I woke to Officer McKinley, shaking my shoulder lightly and telling me that the search party had found nothing. Not even the car. Nothing. I thanked her for trying, but I really wanted to tell her that they hadn’t even tried. So I was off on my own. As I walked out of the police station, the sun’s light hurt my eyes a little. I walked on my own for about an hour. I could feel his eyes drilling into me. Watching me. I found the car, which confirmed that the police hadn’t ventured this far to find Charlotte. But she wasn’t were the assailant left her when he came for me. I felt his eyes again, the icy stare of a lunatic. “I know your here! Come out, you coward! Where is Charlotte!? What do you want from us!?”, I exclaimed bravely. I didn’t care what he did to me for saying what I had; I just wanted my best friend back. He emerged from a family of dead weeds that were much taller than he was. He didn’t respond to my outburst, but he moved closer to me. As he came to stop about four feet from me, he smiled that demonic smile. He didn’t speak.
“Answer me!”, I yelled ferociously. When he didn’t, my rage for him emerged. I ran for him and tackled him to the ground. Obviously, he didn't expect that because he fell down on flat on his back. His hat sprang from his head as he fell, his cover blown. He lay motionless for a moment, stunned. I stood and walked up cautiously to see his face. “STEVE?!” It was the mechanic that had fixed my car. He was the deranged man that had been following us for all this time. He must have rigged the car to break down out here so he could get to us! Then he spoke in a grungy voice that he hadn’t used before. “Yes?”, he said mockingly. He stood again, but made no move to attack. I reached into my pocket for my cell phone, and stealthily called the police. I heard them pick up, but Steve didn’t seem to realize had done anything. “Hello?” I heard a female voice pick up. It was Officer McKinley’s voice. “Where’s Charlotte?”, I asked him, loud enough for the policewoman to hear me. He spoke up. “I don’t know…” he said, cocking one eyebrow and smirking arrogantly. “Yes you do! Tell me where she is”, I demanded. “Melinda, I assure you that your friend is quite alright. Other than sustaining a few minor bruises from our scuffle yesterday evening, I have done no harm to her. No, it is not Charlotte’s safety you should fear for. It’s your own safety I would worry for.” He went paces around me then, circling me and looking at me. “What?! Were you a raven in another life!? Stop circling me and tell me where my friend is!”,I demanded again, raising my voice. He stopped then and moved back. “Melinda, is that blood on your wrist?” he said, with false consideration lining his voice. I stepped away from him and looked down. My wrist did have blood on it. I’d scratched it on a branch when I was running last night. That had been right before I had entered the police station. The scratch was on the inside of my arm. It wasn’t visible from Steve’s vantage point and I knew he hadn’t seen it when he had circled me. He had looked deep into my eyes while he did so, never once looking at my wrist. How could he have known about it? Unless he was watching me the whole time! I thought, my eyes widening. “You were watching me the whole time, weren’t you?” I said my thoughts pensively, my voice trembling. At that moment, the police came, blue and red flashing lights giving me a jolt. He lifted his arms surrender and was carried away into the squad car. He looked back at me with a menacing smile. I realized he had spoken loud enough for Officer McKinley to hear him. Wait a minute, I thought, he wanted the police to find us.
The officers were surprised about Steve. I knew they thought I was lying. Now to find Charlotte. It took me and the search team about an hour to find her. She was lying in the shade of a big cactus about a mile and a half from where I’d left her. Charlotte was too stubborn to move, so I and a couple of big, muscular search team members picked her up and tried our best to carry her to the car. I helped her lay down in the back seat of the ambulance. I didn’t trust was Steve said about not harming her. We were taking her to the hospital to get a check over by a doctor. I could tell she didn’t feel well. I opened the door and plopped into the front seat, ready to follow the ambulance. “Oh, I forgot! Steve messed it up so it wouldn’t run!”, I remembered as I pulled my keys from my purse. I stuck the key in the ignition hole anyways, hoping it might start. The car roared to life. Steve must have fixed it last night! He must have! The car wouldn’t start yesterday!, I thought, growing more and more paranoid. I drove to the Phoenix Urgent Care Center and waited as Charlotte was examined. The doctor gave her the okay almost two hours later. She walked out of the office and into the waiting room looking much better. We returned to the car and drove to a hotel. It was getting dark and both Charlotte and I were all but exhausted.
The next morning Charlotte and I woke up early. We decided we go ahead and head out before anything else weird happened in this town. We checked out and walked out to the car. “…In other news; a deranged man escaped from the county jail early this morning by the name of Steve Benson. He was picked up yesterday for the assault of two young female vacationers. Authorities say he followed the two friends and even proceeded to attack— ”. My eyes grew wide as I turned the radio off. At that moment, the car jolted and stopped again. Charlotte cursed loudly and said, “Not again!!” The tan truck behind us stopped too. I immediately got out. The tan door opened. You’ll never guess who it was. “Need some help?”, Steve said the same way he had when we had first met. “STOP FOLLOWING US!” Charlotte screamed. He ran towards us. I notice something glinting brightly in his hand. Something metal. “He has a knife!” Charlotte heard me say this and instinctually began running with me not far behind her. The Law of Conservation of Energy along with the adrenaline propelled us forward with sickening speed. I tried my best to think of something to do. I began to feel a twinge of déjà vu. My heart pounded so hard in my head, I could have sworn that Steve could hear it, too. Suddenly, Charlotte had a slip of the foot and she buckled over, screaming with pain as she fell. I rocketed even faster and dropped by Charlotte’s side. “I think I broke my ankle!” She moaned as she looked past me a t Steve, who was miraculously gaining on us.
The next minutes seemed to play out like a slow motion scene from an action movie. I stood in a desperate attempt to drag Charlotte to her feet. I had to get her away from that psychopath that wanted our lives. I hooked my arms under hers, and pulled. I pulled her an myself from the danger that was running towards us with an open blade. But I wasn’t fast enough. He was there standing in front of us ready to strike. With a shock of panic, I pushed Charlotte out of the way, darting away with her. He stabbed at the nothingness where we had been as we tumbled through the Arizona sand. In a lash of frustration, he leered at me and growled in a low pitch that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. He pounced for Charlotte, who had rolled some distance away fro me and like a panther, zeroed in on his target. I ran and rammed my shoulder into his side and grabbed blindly for the blade. He stumbled away and recoiled from me, Proceeding to raise the blade above our heads. “Charlotte”, I managed to choke out, “call the police!” I felt a sharp pain just below my left shoulder. Then another in my side. I felt the dark liquid running down and I screamed a scream so loud, it could have woken the dead. I fell to my knees, grasping my wounds. I fell hard on my shoulder. The last thing I remember before I blacked out was Charlotte screaming, bright flashing lights, men shouting to each other and rushing to my side, and the psychotic laughter of my killer. I woke to find myself not on sand, but concrete. I could hear the sound of water dripping. Why on Earth am I here? And where is here? As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the walls had padding on them. Another figure sat in the middle of the room. Past him was another padded wall with a small window in it. I’m in a mental hospital?! I had to see who the figure was, so I ran around him to see his face. It was Steve. He just sat there with a neurotic grin plastered to his face. He reminded me of the Joker from Batman; mad and pitifully desperate to do something negatively significant. Maybe it was his smile alone that gave me that sense. Who can really tell? I walked to the door and went through. A warden walked right through me. He turned and hovered a hand in the air around my neck. “It’s cold..” He shrugged it off and kept walking. He hadn’t seen me. I cover my mouth and shook my head in disbelief.
I woke with a start. I realized I was in a hospital bed and sat up a little. There were bandages on my shoulder wrist and side. I was swore all over. Every bone in my body hurt and seemed to throb. Too bad the whole thing wasn’t a nightmare. I looked to my right to see my friends, Matt, Candice, and Charlotte smiling back. I heard my mother’s voice drifting in from outside the door. She was talking to the doctor. “What happened”, I asked. “I did as you told me and called the police while you and Steve fought. They got there when you passed out. They took Steve to a mental hospital.” (my eyes widened at this; you have to remember; I had just woken up from a nightmare in which Steve was in a mental hospital!) “And they transferred you here. We’re back home. Candice began to cry and she hugged me. “I’m so glad your ok!” and before I knew it, I was caught up it a mountain of hugs and Candice’s tears. When they all let go, I wanted to break the tension. “You guys will never believe the nightmare I just woke up from…”.