Rain fell ferociously from the sky in thick sheets of liquid glass; individual drops mauled the windshield of Brent’s decidedly un-pimp 1992 Toyota Corolla like deadly strikes from a wild beast, leaving jagged streaks of moisture in their wake. Instinctively, he hunched over his steering wheel in a fruitless attempt to improve his visibility. He had long since turned off the radio because the weather had become so treacherous that every note emanating from the speakers sounded like a death threat in his ears. Brent glanced in his rearview mirror and saw nothing but darkness behind him. Ahead of him, the asphalt was a reflective oil slick. He longed for taillights to appear on the horizon ahead, but his longing was met by nothing but an uncertain path and blinding wet. His headlights illuminated each drop of rain as it flashed by, taunting him; mocking his ill-fated decision to storm out of his family’s cabin mere minutes earlier.
Time passed. He pressed forward into the treachery. His stewing was interrupted when the thick curtain of rain became perforated by dime-sized balls of ice. The sound inside the car was deafening. He attempted to keep driving, but, within seconds, fear had motivated him to pull to the side of the abandoned road. As he pulled his car into the weeds and muck, anger seeped from every pore of his body. He stopped the car, threw it into park and punched the button that would engage his hazard lights. He gripped the steering wheel with both hands, as if wrestling a steer to the ground, and heaved his body forward and backward in the seat, letting out a long, guttural growl. Finally satisfied with his fit, he placed his forehead on the steering wheel and panted like an overheated dog.
The sound of hail battering his car rang in his ears like gunshots. He lifted his head from the steering wheel and leaned back against the seat, eyes closed. After a few moments, he tilted his head from one side to the other, in a half-hearted attempt to relieve the tension in his neck and shoulders. When his head arrived back to center, his eyes fixed on something he thought he saw moving just beyond the horizon of his headlights. He squinted. Something was definitely moving, against the force of the rain. Brent extended the fingers of his left hand and pulled the switch to turn his bright lights, instantly illuminating the onslaught of rain and hail that battered his vehicle.
He leaned forward, “What is that?” He spoke the question aloud, despite being alone in the car. He felt his heart catch in his throat as he gripped the wheel and leaned out over the dashboard as far as his seatbelt would allow.
Tylie Eaves is the CEO and Founder of Vertu Marketing LLC and Vertu Publishing. She is a wife, mother, author, speaker, coach and research analyst who strives to carpe the crap out of every diem.