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Don't Take the Highway

by LJM368


Autumn pulled up to the cemetery, her motorcycle's wheels crunching on the gravel road. She turned it off and shoved the key into the pocket of her leather jacket. After depositing her helmet on the seat she adjusted the bag on her back and began the walk through the gravestone-littered field to her mother's plot. Once a week, every week, she came her to pay her respects to her long gone mother. By now she knew every name on every gravestone she passed. The one she knew best was Abigail Parker, 1994-2007. It made her sad to think that Abigail had only had thirteen years of life. After losing her mother at such a young age, Autumn had come to appreciate life. Sometimes it made her reckless, always living life to the extreme, but it also made her a better person. She was kinder than she might have been otherwise. But sometimes she was also suspicious. She didn't trust people as much as she used to, mostly because she had always blamed the doctors for not being able to save her mother. She felt as if humanity had betrayed her.

Now as Autumn was about to pass Abigail's grave she saw there was someone there. Dressed in black skinny jeans and combat boots, a gray hoodie pulled up so Autumn couldn't see her face, she stood perfectly still, watching the grave.

Not wanting to disturb her Autumn skirted around a different way, but she felt eyes trained on the back of her head. She glanced over her shoulder briefly but the figure was still staring at the grave. She shook her head and proceeded to her mother's grave.

She reached into her backpack and pulled out this weeks bouquet, rose and tulips, her mother's favorite flowers. She set them on the ground and turned to go, not wanting to linger. The silent figure was starting to make her nervous. She walked through the maze of graves quickly, wanting to get back to her motorcycle. Then she heard the figure speak.

"I warned her you know. Abigail."

Autumn paused, eyes flitting around the cemetery. They were the only two there, so she knew the stranger was speaking to her. "Uh, warned her about what?" Autumn silently hoped the person wouldn't reply, but she did.

"I told her not to go to that party. There was a fire and she never got out. She didn't heed my warning, and she died that night."

Autumn blinked. She had seen the gravestone a hundred times but never known how Abigail Parker had died. "Oh," she said, not quite sure what else to say.

The figure suddenly turned to her and she saw her face. Black hair framed her pale, almost white, skin and brilliantly green eyes shone like emeralds out of the shadows of the hoody. "Don't take the highway on the way home, Autumn Summers."

Autumn's eyes widened. "How do you know my name?" she asked, backing up a few steps.

"Don't take the highway." She said again, her eyes flashing. Autumn took another step back, then turned and ran. Her heart pounded as she winded through the gravestones, trying to put as much distance as possible between her and the creeper..

She reached her motorcycle and climbed on quickly, jamming the helmet onto her head. She took one glance at the distant figure, who stood in the same place as before, then drove away. Her mind reeled and she unconsciously took the same route as she did every week. Half a mile up the back road, then turn onto Highway 65.

She began to calm down as she turned onto the highway. The woman back there was just some sort of crazy person, probably harmless, just trying to freak her out.

Autumn got in the right lane and started to pass a semi on her left. The woods on the right sped past and she had finally relaxed when a brown blur jumped in front of her. She slammed on the brakes, screaming, "What the hell!"The deer shot past her and she breathed a sigh of relief. Crashing into a deer on a motorcycle was not a good idea.

It continued to cross the road and her mind suddenly clicked into panic again. The deer was crossing in front of the semi and somehow Autumn had ended up in its blind spot.

The semi started to swerve into her and she screamed, knowing she didn't have enough time to get out of the way. The back of the huge truck smashed into her and her last thought was of the strange woman's words.

She didn't heed my warning and she died that night.

Don't take the highway.


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Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:13 pm
ArcticMonkey wrote a review...



Hello, LJM! Here to review this story~

This was certainly chilling and in this piece you've managed to create a very eerie atmosphere to everything, which is great! It really leaves a haunting vibe, I thought that it was pretty well written and everything flowed quite well too :). For a certainly SHORT story, this was good, I'd like to see more of it though!

After losing her mother at such a young age, Autumn had come to appreciate life.

Show vs tell. Rather than saying she had come to appreciate life, show it. I know this might be a bit hard because it's a short story, but maybe talk about her life and maybe some crazy experiences she's been on after her mother passed away.

Okay so the majority of this was well written, but I think a lot of the sentences did start with 'she' and that starts to make it a bit boring to read when it's repeated like that. In any case really, repetition can get quite boring, unfortunately it's especially in prose too. So try and start your sentences with something different, so that it's not all she she she. This will vary your sentences quite a bit and give more opportunities to use some different language.

After depositing her helmet on the seat she adjusted the bag on her back and began the walk through the gravestone-littered field to her mother's plot.

This bit seemed rather cold-hearted, like she doesn't care about the other gravestones in the cemetery, but then she goes on to talk about how she remembers all the names. It's a bit contradicting.

Something I'd like to see more of id a description of the grave yard, before she encounters the strange woman. I mean, a graveyard would be quite a cool thing to describe, obviously it's not a nice place ;_; but I can imagine some really lovely yet eerie, chilling descriptions being put here. It will set the scene and build up an atmosphere even more.

I don't think that her reaction to this strange woman talking to her was big enough. I mean, this is a woman she doesn't know and she still ends up talking to her. I think you could have two options here. One being that she completely freaks out and doesn't even bother to give the woman a chance (less likely), or actually listens to the woman.. I mean the woman knew her mum right, and I think she'd like to know as much about her mum's death as possible.

Lastly,
Crashing into a deer on a motorcycle was not a good idea.

I'm not too keen on this sentence because it just seems like you're stating the obvious a bit.

All in all, this was a really good story with a chilling end! As it's rather short, I'd like to see some more descriptions of things such as the graveyard and the old woman- who happens to look like the MC- WAIT. Ooh, I see what you did there, or not. See your story just has so many levels! I hope this review helped, please PM me with any questions you have or if you'd like another review on anything.

Just keep writing!
-Arc x




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Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:19 pm
thewriterinside wrote a review...



I really enjoyed this peace, and I definitely got chills at the end. I agree with the others, though. It really was too short, and felt very rushed. I think that if you add more details, flesh it out a little bit, and develop your characters a little more, it could really be a hit. I would’ve liked more details about Autumn and her life; I didn’t really feel like I connected to her. I did feel sorry for her, but something felt missing. Maybe it would help if you spent more time with your character, and worked on her a little more. Overall, great piece.




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Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:10 am
lilyb9 wrote a review...



Hi LJM368

Even though this story was pretty short I actually enjoyed the eeriness surrounding it. As others have said, I believe that if this story was a little longer and you extended the suspense a little, it would prove to be a extremely interesting piece.

There wasn't many at all, but there was a few grammatical errors that need fixing.

Keep writing :D.

Lily.




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Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:37 pm
TheClosetKidnapper wrote a review...



Hi, LJM368!

This is an excellent piece, even if a bit too short as Ignorance has already said. It has a lot of potential and would excel if you were to elaborate here and there. The aspect of time in a fictional piece is equally as important to the piece as it is difficult to create. As an author, you have the utmost freedom--so long as you stick within grammatical boundaries, of course--when it comes to style and content; but you have to be extremely careful when exercising that freedom. Especially when it comes to time.

To slow things down, perhaps go into further detail of how Autumn's mother died. You write that Autumn blames the doctors for not being able to save her mother, but that leaves a lot of unanswered questions about the death. While the mystery is somewhat intriguing, it might help you and the reader out if you were to define the death a little more.

You can also have Autumn stay at the grave a bit longer. She goes there each week to pay her respects, but all she does is pull out a bouquet of flowers and turn to leave. If she loves her mother as much as the writing suggests or at the very least respects her that much, wouldn't she have a few thoughts or happenings to share with her at the grave?

Other than that, I truly love the ending of this piece in italics. It was a perfect way to conclude a piece like this, even if abruptly. Your grammar was pretty good and, as stated before, content was excellent.

I hope this helps. Keep writing!
~ Rocky




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Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:09 pm
Iggy wrote a review...



Hi there! Iggy here to review your work.

My biggest nitpick is the length. For something that sounds so promising, it really was way too short. Autumn arrvies at the graveyard. Bam! Mysterious figure. Mysterious figure warns her of danger. Bam! She runs. Bam! She gets killed. Over like that, at the snap of a finger. Much, much too short. Where are the details?

It was an excellent story idea and it would have been so much better had it included imagery and length. Especially Autumn's death, that came way too fast. She doesn't just hop on the highway and get killed right that instant, no - it has to drag out more. I felt like the entire piece was rushed, like you were anxious to get it posted, and you shouldn't do that. Take your time, let the words flow out of you! Give us readers much more to chew on.

That's pretty much my biggest nitpick. Grammar was pretty good and the story idea was, again, brilliant. Please consider rewriting this and link me if you ever do! Keep on writing.

~ Iggy.





You know what the big problem is in telling fantasy and reality apart? They're both ridiculous.
— The 12th Doctor