This is a story that's kind of true. I say kind of because something similar happened to a friend of mine many years ago. I've just changed the settings.
And oh, this too, is a Frankly Spooking outtake.
The headlights of her car zig-zagged like a laser sword on the long winding and near-empty asphalted road. It soothed her. Varsha eased her grip on the wheel, never realizing how tense she was all the while. Maybe it was the soul music coming from the radio. She smiled and lowered her window. It felt good. She wondered why an empty highway in the night was always associated with all things sinister. The warm summer air told her a different story altogether.
She was about to glance in the rear view mirror when a car whizzed by, so close it almost threw her out of the way. She steadied the wheel.
“What the hell…” She muttered as she saw the car a few hundred meters ahead of her, tearing down the road in a mad rush. “Bloody rash drivers,” She thought and got a grip on herself.
She glanced at the radium in her wrist watch. 9.30 pm. She was just under an hour away from her destination. She was visiting her parents who lived in a nearby town. Wanting to avoid the weekend rush the following morning, she’d decided to tow the trip this night itself.
A few kilometers down the road, she spotted the same car that had rushed by her, slower now.
“Thank God, some sense prevailed,” She smiled. She was close now, almost ready to overtake. She was passing by the car, curious to see the face of the driver. An oncoming headlight on the opposite side of the double road helped her with that. She gasped.
It was a small boy at the wheel.
She turned to the road and drove past him, glancing every now and then at the diminishing car in the rear view mirror.
“What’s gotten into this fella? How did he get behind the wheel? Nobody stopped him?”
Her mind was now cart-wheeling with thoughts. Should I force-stop him and pull him over? What if he meets with an accident?
She was still buried in her thoughts when the car whizzed by again.
She pulled out her mobile and dialed 100. Busy tone. “Damn.”
She stepped on the gas and sped behind the little fellow. Within no time, he was out of sight. She was terrified of the consequences now. She even passed by a patrolling post by the highway, but it was closed, and there was no sight of a highway patrol jeep.
Swearing under her breath, she kept her eyes glued on the road and went faster. She was going round a bend when she heard it. A deafening explosion like sound. It was a bit muted by the chaotic breeze, but it eventually came to her ears. And then she saw it.
“Oh my God, oh my God…the car crashed.” Her pulse racing she pulled over.
Obviously, the car, out of control at that speed, had careened out of the highway and landed on its back in the fields. She got out and waved frantically at passing cars. Not a single one stopped. “What’s wrong with these guys? Nobody has a heart anymore?” She then looked toward the accident. There was a cloud of dust still hanging in the air as she finally ran down the bund-like slope by the highway that led to the fields. In the occasional passing head-light she could make out the wreckage. She knew the boy was dead. Nobody could survive this one. But stranger things had happened. Children’s softer bone density sometimes saved them from the worst accidents. She was all nerves, but luckily, her training in the NCC helped her keep a straight head, even at such times. She dialed 100 again. This time some blessed soul finally answered. Quickly barking off what happened, and after being assured that the highway police would soon be with her, she slowly approached the car to see about the boy.
She approached the car, crouched, and shone her phone’s light at the car.
There was nobody inside. She stared at the awful wreck for a second before she stood up and looked around. Was he thrown out? She noticed the windscreen had got smashed. It was possible. She scurried around looking for him.
“Aunty,” whimpered a voice behind her, making her jump out of her skin.
“You…you ok, huh?” She stepped toward him.
“Aunty,” the boy sobbed now. As she went near him, she sensed something was not ok. This couldn’t be. He looked fine. Not a scratch.
She stood in front of him, not sure what to ask. She bent down. “Why…why were you driving the car, son?”
The boy sobbed further. “Aunty..I need to get to my mother.”
“Where’s she?” Varsha asked, fearing the worst for the lady. Was she in some kind of trouble?
“Where’s your father?” She continued to ask. But he didn’t answer.
She wasn’t even sure why she was asking him all this. He needed medical attention. Maybe he was thrown out of the car, and landed on the soft fields. Maybe there were internal injuries.
He was about to answer when she said, “Ok, ok..don’t worry, child. We’ll get to your mother ok? But first we need to take you to the hospital. You..you need medical attention. Ok?”
The boy looked puzzled.
Varsha was about to open her mouth when her eyes fell on something to his left, a little behind him. She gingerly walked past him towards the object. It took her a few seconds to realize it was not an object.
It was the boy. Lying face down. But that was impossible. She crouched over the boy, who was motionless. She tried to shake him. Nothing. She felt his pulse. Nothing. Her mind was still in a swirl when he called out from behind her.
“I have to get to my mother, aunty. Please. I have to..I have to.” He kept saying.
She wanted to say something. She wanted to scream. She wanted to get away from this weird scene. But it was like time had halted. Her voice got stuck in her throat. She turned at the limp form again. This time it moved. And then with a loud gasp, the boy sputtered and coughed, and came to life.
Varsha watched in mute horror as he turned his face and slowly got up, holding his head. She then swung back sharply to look at the other boy. But he wasn’t there.
A few moments later, the cops and medics arrived and took charge quickly. A while later, they had contacted the boy’s mother and medics got into their act.
As the boy was whisked off in the ambulance, Varsha saw him looking at her.
She heaved a sigh and slid to the ground, too dazed to even analyze what just happened.