Last week, Shannon left us wanting more, and this week I welcome Mr. Michael Carnell back to The Story Circle, the better to provide it. Michael first appeared as the anchor-writer for A Line Runs Round the World earlier this year, and I’m pleased as punch he’s back!
If you missed Shannon’s beginning, click here first.
Put your hands together for Sully, Part Two:
The sound of the engine and the feel of the car moving again brought a bit of comfort, but not enough to allow Sully to relax. She wanted to go faster, to get away from whatever it was behind her, but she didn’t know what she would do if she saw a blue light. Would she stop? She didn’t think the highway patrol could be of any help to her, but wouldn’t she have to stop anyway? And if she did stop, what would she say? How could she explain what she was running from?
And with that the doubt started to creep in. What exactly was it that she was running from? And where was she running to? Sully felt the need to get help, but whom was she seeking out? When she had jumped in her Jaguar and sped away from the hotel she was frantic. She had to get away from that box. But now, although she wasn’t any where near calming down, she wasn’t so sure of what she was doing either. As her headlights pushed on down the road she thought about that box.
She had found the old wooden box in a junk store that was trying to be an antique shop. Noah’s Ark they called themselves. One of those little places you come across in the mountains that is aiming for cute and quaint but in reality is a bit shabby and tacky. Made of some faintly red wood, the lid of the box had been closed tight so she couldn’t look inside before she bought it. But, she had liked the vines and leaves and garden motif decorating the outside so had paid for it and its mystery. That mystery. She should have known then not to take in something without knowing its story.
A dear ran across the highway, and she saw it just in time to brake and swerve. Her front tire caught the edge of the pavement yanking the steering wheel in her hands and she over-corrected before she could think, spinning the car around at least 180 degrees. At least. She sighed – and took the car out of gear. Which way was she pointing? The night offered no help. She couldn’t be sure if the Jag was aimed back the way she came now, or was she back on her path away? The deer, no a buck, stood off by the side of the road and stared at her. It was a large buck with an impressive rack. Sully shook her head with doubt about her direction and resisted the urge to cry. The buck looked back at her and tilted his head to one side.
Suddenly it came to her. Sully remembered which direction the creature had been running to cross the road. That was all she needed. She put the car back into gear and took off.
But on the back of her neck the doubt was still there. Sully knew the direction she was running from but she didn’t know the destination she was running towards. She had left the box, that box, back on the bed in the hotel room. All she really understood was that she had to get away from it and get help. Get help to correct whatever she had done by opening the box. By breaking the seal.
She looked in the rearview mirror but saw nothing. With a shock she realized that she really saw nothing – not the stars, not the night sky, not any reflections or hints of light. She checked both side mirrors and a chill went down her spine. They too were completely black. Her headlights were clear on the road ahead, but behind her there seem to be nothing at all. Or maybe worse that nothing, there was a lack of everything.
It was then that she felt the first wave of nausea sweep over her.