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E - Everyone

Someone in the back seat

by Freddy

This piece of prose fiction had been written around September-October of 2013. In my Creative Writing classes we had watched, read and listened to several scary urban legends. The task was to re-write and develop one of the urban stories, which counted around 150-250 words to 1000 words. I had several to choose from, and eventually picked this one.

This was the time when I was still green in terms of professional writing or writing in general (or a hobby). I'd appreciate some feedback. Several words and phrases were changed before posting this, but still, I am sure there's plenty to improve.



Once upon a time, a young woman was invited to a usual, every Friday night party, organized by her friends. She didn’t drink much, contrarily she drank only little amount of Tequilla mixed with coke, hence she knew, she had to return back home to her husband and her kids. She left the bar fairly late at night, and sauntered towards her car.

It was an oak brown Chevrolet Caprice wagon from 1988 with stereotypical wooden inserts on its outer sides. Typical and vastly popular car that almost every family in early 90s used to own. She opened the door gently, and got into her estate car.

She glanced upon the rear-view mirror to examine her facial appearance. She was a pleasantly looking female with dark, loosely fluttering hair. Her big, sexually appealing eyes looked like amber from the sea. She wore a navy colored coat with sandy brown collars inserts. Below, she had his favourite pants on her that perfectly fitted with sandy inserts on the coat. She couldn’t look older than thirty years old.

She opened the car compartment and stored her little handbag inside. She closed it afterwards, and was ready to jive. She switched the key ignition, turned the front lights and radio on. She put on the back gear, and slowly retreated back until she was ready to drive away from the parking lot. She turned the gear, and got onto the route back home.

She was driving down the deserted highway. After few minutes of her journey, the weather started changing. One of the car windows didn’t shut ideally, so the air passing through tiny chink caused unpleasant whistling. This had caused slight dread inside her. She’s been passing throughout the local forest. As she’s been driving forward, trees were getting narrow as they created some kind of vault above. They appeared to mirror an image from a typical thriller. The sky darkened even more, and began to rain. Storm from Northern East was on its way.

She turned on the wipers on, when she perceived first droplets on the windscreen. She started to feel more frightened, due to scary noises coming from the forest. All of sudden, the radio station changed to different. The music she was listening to interrupted a radio bulletin announcing that lunatic mental patient had escaped from the secure wing of local penitentiary unit. She also heard that he murdered his wife and two children with a cleaver.

She didn’t get the rest of the message, thus the signal was lost. Her car drove over something, and jumped slightly. She thought that it was some pothole on the road, so she stepped out of the vehicle to search briefly for any scratches or things alike. She sauntered towards the rear of the car, and this what she spotted froze the blood in her vines.

She noticed a German Shepard, fully covered in blood. Dog was still barely breathing, while his eyes were starring at the woman. She wandered her look further at the dog, and spotted a bloody, steel cleaver stuck in his body, in position where the humps were. Droplets of rain were still hitting her face. Thunder hit was hearable to her, as she rapidly turned around and got into her car and drove off from this area. Unfortunately, she didn’t notice the sign on the dog’s collar that said “Police Department”.

Further in her way, she began to have car problems. It was slowing down from time to time, and she scented a smell of the burning. She decided to pull over next to secluded and tranquil farm complex.

This was an abandoned farm of Ugly Nick, as local folks used to call it. The legend says, that Ugly Nick was a recluse living away from the society. Perhaps, when his wife had died from cancer a decade ago, he became even more lonesome, and never seen to public. He hasn’t got any siblings, nor any descendants.

The whole area appeared to be very odd, and strange for a random sightseer, even if it was a hitchhiker. The old, wooden barn had visible signs from scratching and recent fire that has been lit by local teenage settlers to nuisance farmer’s life. The stony sty, with a hole ripped in the roof. Few chicken coops with doors that had hinges not oiled properly, and all the time they’ve been opened, the screeching noise been heard. However, the main source of this scary noise was coming from the rocking chair that was placed next to the house’s doors, on the porch. Leafless trees located around, described this place as one of the stereotypical districts from horror movies. Their spreading branches made her heart beat stronger and stronger. The thick fog covering whole lawn was terrifying.

All of sudden, she heard the penetrating noise of unoiled hinges and doors starting to open. Inn the threshold stood nobody else but Ugly Nick himself. He wasn’t older than forty years old, but he seemed very aged at his age. He had a large and visible scar on his left cheek, starting right from his temple, which ends next to his mouth. His face had lots of spots, pimples, wrinkles and large amount of dirt on it. He was a tall guy, around 6ft 5”. He had worn a navy flannel shirt, but one of its sleeves looked as if it was torn off. His gray dungarees was all soaked and wet, as well as the upper part of his body. He made first step, and she saw massive brown military boots stepping into the mood.

She was still inside the car, when the Ugly Nick closed to her. She extended her hand towards the grip used for rolling windows down to do such action. Abruptly, the farmer grasped by the car’s door handle in attempt to open it, and began to stutter severely. He was pointing at her dangerously. He dropped the torch on the floor, so the light illuminated his face from beyond and all the incorrectness on his face was clearly visible.

She, being incredible scared and terrified of the Ugly Nick’s actions and stutter, switched the engine on and escaped from the farm as soon as she could. As she did so, he finally spoke his words he’d been trying to say: “THERE’S SOMEONE IN THE BACKSEAT!”

Any thoughts?

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802 Reviews

Points: 18884
Reviews: 802

Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:11 am
Dracula wrote a review...

Hello! I love myths. I'm not sure about urban ones but I guess I'll find out. ;)
I'll start with the nitpicks first, and there really aren't many at all.

One of the car windows didn’t shut ideally, so the air passing through tiny chink caused unpleasant whistling.

I know what you're saying, but I don't think ideally is the right word. Properly?

All of sudden, the radio station changed to different.

Changed to a different station*

Dog was still barely breathing

The dog*

Woah. That was very creepy, especially the part with the dog. But it had great descriptions and I think you did a very good job on this. So well done!

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1238 Reviews

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Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:26 pm
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there Freddy! Niteowl here to review this retelling.

First, a couple small errors.

Below, she had his favourite pants on her that perfectly fitted with sandy inserts on the coat.

Did you mean her favourite pants? I spent a while trying to figure out who "he" was. Also I think "matched" makes more sense than "fitted".

She sauntered towards the rear of the car, and this what she spotted froze the blood in herveins.

"Sauntered" seems like an odd word to use here. It suggests a calm and relaxed walk...probably not how one would move if they're concerned about their car.

There's quite a few language errors, but in the interest of time, I'll move on to some larger issues. Honestly, I feel like this feels more like a typical horror movie than an urban legend. Everything seems so ridiculously improbable, when the whole idea of urban legends is that they could happen nearly anywhere to anyone. An alligator could totally come up your toilet. Someone could totally kidnap you in a mall parking lot with an ether-soaked rag. You get the picture.

In order, the things that ruin my suspension of disbelief
-Tequila and Coke. Disgusting, and no one I know touches tequila unless they want to get wasted. Maybe a beer would make more sense?
-Her physical description. It sounds weird and makes her feel like less of an "everywoman", which again is a big part of the appeal of these legends.
-Radio stations don't change on their own
-I'm pretty sure police dogs tend to have a vest with big letters.
-So this woman had no reaction to the dying dog, just got back in her car? I think including more of her thoughts and feelings would help this feel more realistic.
-No woman in the history of the world would stop in a secluded area in a thunderstorm at night voluntarily. Even if my car was smoking, if it was still moving, I would go to a more well-lit area. Besides, wouldn't the whole thing seem a thousand times scarier if it happened somewhere more "safe?"

Overall, it's interesting, but feels a little typical. I'd consider making the thing seem more plausible and making the woman feel more realistic. Keep writing! :)

Freddy says...

Thank you for the feedback and constructive criticism.

It meant to be 'her,' not 'his.' An unfortunate typo. Great eye! :)

I didn't know this fact about Tequila. I guess I can recall some of my friends talking about this, and I decided to use it in this 'fairy tale.'

I like the fact that you actually took time to explain my errors in great details. It really helped me, and I will remember that for the future.

As to this stereotypical story-line, it had to be written this way. I know it's a huge cliche, but that was the task.


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85 Reviews

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Reviews: 85

Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:54 pm
RavenLord says...

That was really creepy. There were a lot of errors, but the rest of it was ok, proof-reading wise. You described Ugly Nick really well, as well as that poor German Shepherd. I hope he lives, even if the poor animal is a minor character in the whole scheme. I just hate when animals die or get hurt. I'd like it if you made the whole thing into a book, because it's really good. Just saying!

Freddy says...

Thanks, pal. I'm glad you responded. I have improved in writing, since this story was written. I didn't change it, because I wanted to see how much I sucked at start, and see the progress.

Anyhow, I don't think I would make this thing into a book. This is not my style, plus, I'm already working on one novel.


RavenLord says...

Ok, just a suggestion.

In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening