The dark clouded sky seemed to dance above Clementine as the shadowed car sped down the abandoned highway. She wished she could become a cloud and drift away from the ropes that bound her, drift away from her cruel world, but she was as much a part of the earth as the car that contained her.
There were other children in the van too. Other hostages. But she couldn’t bear to look at them. She couldn’t look around at anything in the car around her. She could only look at the clouds and the cities and the mountains outside. How she longed to go outside. How she longed to smell the sweet air of the forest.
The car smelled like bleach. It had other chemical smells, but she couldn’t identify them. She didn’t want to know either. And it was cold. Her fingers were numb. So were her toes. The only thing she could hear was the low hum of the engine as the car drove farther and farther from the safety of her home. Before, many of the others had been screaming. But the men driving the car threatened them. All were silent.
Clementine didn't know where she was going. She hardly understood anything. But her heart pounded in her chest. Her mouth tasted sour. She felt like crying, but she was too drained to do much of anything. She leaned against the window, and hoped with all her might someone would see her. Notice her. Help her. But there was no one outside except for the street lights and the dashing lines of the desolate highway road.
They were going so fast. So far. She didn't know how many hours had passed. It could have been minutes. It could have been midnight. Nothing was recognizable to her outside. It was all road to her. Endless, hopeless road.
Would she stay there forever? Sitting in a dark van driving down the moonlit streets for as long as she lived? Longer? Would her skeleton rest where she lay? Would she ever see her family again?
Bands of red light crept up along the horizon. Dawn. Her dreary eyes shut, and the last thing she saw before sleep stole her was the everlasting highway.
She didn't know if she would wake up.
But maybe it didn't matter. She wasn't sure life had anything left to offer her except for the dark van and the highway with no bounds.
With no end.
With no light.
The highway of darkness.