The lights went out and the world plunged back into darkness again. The car accelerated at such a rate, Sylvie was thrown into her backpack caught between her and the seat. She struggled to untangle herself and then reached for the seat belt.
“You won’t need a seat belt.” The driver was a male and in the confined space of the car his vice sounded different to what it had out in the open. Sylvie’s eyes, traumatised by the bright light couldn’t get a proper fix on the features of the driver. He was just there. Driving like the devil incarnate.
“I’m not sure I trust your driving.”
“At this stage, I don’t think you have much of a choice.”
Despite the speed and the lack of vision, the car seemed to glide over the rough, mostly barren landscape. Sylvie braced herself, waiting to be jolted or jarred but there was nothing. It was like being in a plane, in an artificially pressured space, speeding effortlessly above everything.
She sneezed, once and then twice and remembered the proliferation of ragweed seeds imbedded in her hoodie. It would be impolite to sit in the stranger’s car picking them off and dropping them on the floor. Plus Sylvie wasn’t convinced that at any moment the faceless driver wouldn’t jam on the brakes sending her through the windscreen. The sneezing reminded her though of what he had said as he’d somehow dragged her into the car.
“What did you mean about the ragweed?”
“Round here they believe ragweed gives desperate confidence in desperate situations.”
Sylvie ran her hand over the tiny prickle-like seeds.
“Where I come from they’re a noxious weed.”
“Well Dorothy, this ‘aint Kansas any more.”
“You’ve got that right –I don’t think a bucket of water would take care of those… things.” Sylvie shuddered, feeling as though something had walked across her grave. “I was told I’d meet the escort in The Dead Zone. I expected you’d be waiting.”
“I was busy.”
“So was I.”
“Do you think you can be on time next time?”
“Maybe I wasn’t late. Maybe you were early.”
“I’m always one time.”
“You got some cheek.”
“You can talk. How much finer could you have cut it.”
“If my memory serves me correctly it was me who saved you out there.”
“I was holding my own. Me and the dog.”
Sylvie turned to pat the dog how sat in the middle of the back seat.
“Yeah well, I’m not dead. So thanks. I was always curious if the warnings on those cannisters were for real.”
He turned to her for the first time, as the moon came out from behind the clouds and Sylvie saw for the first time that he wasn’t just good looking, he was devastatingly handsome. The sort of man she believed only existed in the wildest of her fantasties.
“And just for your information, I’m not planning on making this a regular gig.”
This installment incorporates Paul Servini’s challenge (a devastatingly beautiful man)