“Oh God, oh God, oh God, what do you want?” I screamed as I saw the man rising from the floor of my back seat. “Please, please, don’t hurt me.”
“Keep driving,” he said. “I’ll tell you when to stop.”
His voice was deep and dark, like gale winds in a forest and his face was covered with a mask. He wore a black coat and gloves and he had a gun pointed at my head.
I glanced at the dashboard clock - three a.m. On a country road forty minutes from the nearest town. Pitch dark and no other cars on the road. How did this sonofabitch get in my car? And when? At the party when the valet took my car and parked it? He must have unlocked all the doors. Now I’m going to die. Oh God, I’m going to die!
“What do you want? I’ll give you all my money, my ATM card and password. I’ll take you wherever you want to go. Just please, don’t hurt me.”
“Drive,” he said “and shut up. If you keep talking, I can’t hear Simon. You better be quiet so I can hear my instructions.”
Simon? Who the hell was Simon? Was another person in the car? On the floor? I looked in the rear view mirror, trying to see the back seat, but all I saw was the man in the mask.
“Who’s Simon?” I whispered.
“Shut up, shut up, shut up,” he screamed. “Simon’s gonna tell me what to do. So shut up, SHUT UP.”
We drove on. Could I reach a town before he went crazy?
The man in the back seat was quiet. Seeing him in the mirror, sitting back nodding his head, I thought perhaps he was listening to a voice coming from within, the voice that would seal my fate. Suddenly, he lurched forward, close to my ear, his breath smelling of Kit Kats.
“Simon says, stop the car.”
This story evolved from a prompt in a flash fiction workshop at our local public library in 2015. Usually, I submit poetry, but I can't concentrate these days, spending a lot of energy trying to figure out how and why the August 12 demonstration in Charlottesville became a riot and a young woman was killed that day.