By Rowan Wasserman

It’s a state highway, 50 miles per hour and barely carrying three cars at a time. Tree-lined with evergreens so tall they block the sun. A line of stars follows the path of your car when you’re driving down it, marking the trail of exhaust you leave behind.

You weren’t there that night, thank god.

If you’d driven down the road that night, the sight would have shocked you. Really, it would shock anyone. Yes, shocking was easily the main word for this experience.

If you were driving down the road that night you would have seen several things.

#1: The gate of the big house hanging open

#2: A dark red trail, barely visible on the dark concrete road

#3: A dark and shaking shape shambling down the road, right on the yellow line

Maybe you’re new to the area and you don’t know about the big house. It’s fairly obvious that it’s owned by some rich people who love to waste money. It’s massive and covered in the obvious signs of wealth. Three stories, perfectly trimmed hedges, huge beautiful windows. The lights are always on in the big house.

It’s the kind of house you wonder why someone would want. Sure, it’s massive and nice looking, but it’s in the middle of nowhere next to a loud highway. There’re very few neighbors, and everyone there loves to avoid each other.

Every house on that peninsula is surrounded by a tall fence. Privacy, security, everyone has their reason. The big house has an eight-foot, wrought iron fence with pointed fence posts. It connects to a huge gate that arches into a rounded top. There’s a thick chain and padlock that keeps the gate closed. You never see that gate open. Even when the homeowners are coming and going, somehow the gate is never open.

That’s why #1 is so scary.

The trail of blood, because it is blood, of course it is, is immediately terrifying. Maybe you would assume it was from a car accident, or maybe just some roadkill. That would make sense on this highway, wouldn’t it?

But it’s not roadkill and it’s not an accident from earlier. The trail leads through the open gate to the front door of the big house. The trail ends at the yellow line where #3 is.

#3 is silhouetted against the flickering light of the single lamppost on the highway. The shape is human, shaking, struggling against whatever it’s carrying. Dragging.

Held down by the weight of its luggage, the closer you get, the louder its breath grows. You grow closer to it, and the shape is illuminated by your headlights. The source of the blood is quite obvious now.

The person on the yellow line, slowly moving towards you, eyes to the ground, is dripping with blood. And so is the body they drag behind them.

As your headlights land on them their downcast eyes raise and meet yours. Those bloodshot blue eyes would meet yours. The body drops as the figure takes a single step closer to you.

Author Rowan Wasserman:

Rowan is a creative writing/publishing student, currently in their freshman year. They’re excited to work with more magazines and see what their fellow students are publishing

Instagram: @rowanwasserman