By JP BROWN
Out on Route 66 it might be cold and black and dark at night as you are cruising down the highway. The hours behind the wheel become long and tedious in the long black night with only the headlights shining on the old white line on the tarmac and the midnight radio playing a lonesome tune. Then suddenly, out of nowhere; a lonesome hitchhiker appears. A girl young, innocent and vulnerable thumbing a ride to nowhere. You stop the car slowly and come to halt at the side of the road. You ask where she’s going. She says “Out West.” And she gets in in. She is friendly and seems like good company for the trip so you let it all slide as you drive along down the highway with her by your side and make small talk for a while. She keeps on talking about a long forgotten kin and home. The radio is playing ‘oh, Carol’ and you asked her if she likes it. She says it is fine. You drive on for many mile without saying much and her silence at times becomes eerie and uncomforting. Her dark eyes and hair seemed to reflect the eternal want and sadness in her soul. Still the mighty machine roars on towards the driver’s destiny. At times her silence becomes almost unbearable. You want to stop for a leak and the truth be told; the little girl is getting creepy as hell. You pull up the car slowly and gently and tell her you will just be a minute. She just smiles her almost creepy smile in acknowledgement and lets you get on with your business. You take your time about it, and when you came back to the car she is nowhere in sight. You look over at the empty landscape and no soul is to be seen for many a mile. She had simply vanished in the dark, black night the same way that she had come. You call and call again into the night but the blackness carries a silence like death. No breeze stirs the darkness yet you feel a chill run down your spine. You scurry back to your seat behind the wheel and start the engine up in an awful hurry. The car roars and you step on the accelerator and drive on with speed down the dark highway. The girl, the solitude and the darkness had been too much. Many people had warned you that this might happen out on Route 66. ‘You might just lose your soul out there,’ some had said. Was this stretch of highway haunted after all? Was it the road to Hell…?