I watched the dirt swirling past the car and felt the wind in my hair as we sped down the dark dusty road into the bush. All 7 of us were squeezed in like sardines, we didn’t care, we were all half tanked already and it made for more fun going around corners, and being a Friday night in the middle of summer, we were just out to have fun.
My friend Sean swigged down the bourbon one handed while holding a smoke in the same hand he was steering with, he was looking at me and grinning like a Cheshire cat so “Oi’d” him “watch the road, bloody roos out there you idiot” laughing at the same time, never ever appreciating how much danger we could all possibly be in at that time “yeah a’right, keep calm, im good” as he looked back the oncoming trees seemed to get close, all of a sudden he hit the anchors sending us all flying forward and sideways all at once. “SHIT” was all I think I heard…
When the dust settled we all gathered ourselves out of the coupe, some slapping Sean as they went past him “nice one maaate, pass the bottle ya pisshead!” he was quite pleased with his skid skills, drifting the big heavy old coupe between two huge gums with headlights aimed right at the old hut where loads of others had already gathered. “I smacked him as I went past him “you bloody fool, could have killed us all!” still grinning he grabbed and squeezed me and said “you’re still breathing aren’t ya Mai, quit complaining or you can walk home”. I should have started walking then, instead yelling back “stuff you” and tried to push him away; he just stood fast and slowly let me go.
I left the grinning idiot to his mates and started walking into the hut, I noticed that the group before us already had the fire pit going and they had loud music which was echoing back and forth against the mud brick walls. There were people swaying to the music in some kind of hypnotised trance so I grabbed a drink and went outside to find a hay bale to sit on, and then it hit me, it was cold, very cold.
I don’t know how long I sat there for, I maybe had 5 smokes in that time and thought to myself how quiet it was, I reasoned with myself it was probably the change in songs and it would start again at any time, but it didn’t, so I lit another smoke and continued to sit there, no one had even come out to see me, so I put my cig out and got up, my breathe was visible and I was freezing so I thought I’d go sit by the fire pit and get warm. All reasonable ideas I thought.
I got to the hut doors, which were in darkness, no car lights, I turned to see why it was so dark but couldn’t see anything, someonemust have cut the headlights to save the battery so I went inside.
At first I couldn’t see anything, no fire, no people, no music, no nothing, it was pitch black in there, and then I realised, shit, I must have gone into the wrong hut, so I turned around to walk back out and as I did, I was sure id heard some one call for me so I spun around to look, it was then the clouds shifted from the moon, it was full and bright and shining right on Seans car.
My heart sunk, there in front of me was the coupe, twisted in two directions, I could see steam rising from where the radiator must have been, and eerily still, it was so silent. So, if I am standing here, where are they? I ran to the car looking in the wreckage for anyone, there was no one there and this is where I think I started to panic.
Trying to get my head around it all I checked myself, was I injured? I couldn’t see anything, I must be ok, im standing here, I could see my breath, I must be alright? But where was Sean,
where were his friends, oh god, maybe they were playing a joke on me, im the party pooper of sorts so maybe they were hiding and getting ready to scare me, so I called out “OK, HAHA, very funny guys, great joke! You can come out now!” But no one came out, no one was laughing, it was just me, the wreck, the trees and the eerie moonlight.
I really didn’t know what to do, so I dragged the hay bale up near the car in case they had gone to get help, I thought sitting there would be the best thing to do, I was sure they would come back for me, they wouldn’t just leave me here, would they? I lit another smoke and waited; the clouds rolling across the moon, fading the light back and forth, it was so peaceful as I sat and watched.
I think I must have fallen asleep because as I woke the moon had moved, so must have slept an hour or so, or so I thought, I saw the light shining back over the car wreck, but this time it was different, something was very wrong here, cars don’t rust that quick do they? And then I heard voices coming toward me calling my name “YES! They’ve come back for me! Bout bloody time” so I got up and ran to where I heard them, but no one was there, great, now im hearing things too… so I went back to my spot, lay down and feeling like I was never going to get out of here; cried myself to sleep.
The piercing light woke me again, but this time it wasn’t the moon, it was the brightness of many headlights, all aimed at me, I heard someone yell “Is that her, I think i can see her, quick, grab the gear!” So I get up thinking they are here to rescue me, to tell me where Sean and the others are, I didn’t know who they were and they didn’t come to see if I was ok.
Then I heard him, I recognised his voice above all the others, it was Sean… and he was crying “yes, it was right there, that’s where we found her after the acco, I held onto her as long as I could”.
Published: December 2, 2017