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"Middle of Nowhere"
Wally Kolodzieski

The car had been completely silent for the last hour and a half. At one point she was going to ask him if they had enough gas, but decided not to. She was afraid he was going to yell at her again. They had been arguing. Arguing over the silliest thing. Well, to Shelly it was not silly. Shelly was pestering him, saying he had too much to drink. He said he didn't. But you know women. Nag, nag, nag, nag, and nag!

"Alfie--" Shelly began, then thought better of continuing. She slumped her head against the window, and looked out. Looked out at those dark, creepy woods. Alfie turned the wheel to stay on the windy road, and she bumped her head against the glass. "Ouch!"

"What?" Alfie asked her, looking at the road.

"I hit my head off the glass from that turn ba--"

"No, what?" Alfie asked, this time giving her a quick glance. "You were gonna say something."

"Oh," Shelly said. He waved his hand up in the air, gesturing for her to go on. "Well, I'm sorry about arguing with you before. I was just worried, that's all." Alfie pursed his lips together and silently cursed. He wasn't paying attention to her, anymore. But she didn't know. "You know I could be a bitch sometimes, bu--"

"Fuck," Alfie said loud and clear. This time she did stop talking and look at him.

"What? What's wrong?"

Their little 1984 Ford stopped moving, and the engine cut off. Inside the car, Alfie bashed his head on the steering wheel three or four times, purposely. Shelly was telling him that he should've been paying attention to the fuel gauge, and there it went. Another argument.

The wind picked up, blowing leaves off of the trees, and making them sway back and forth from their trunks. No cars passed on the road. It was a two-lane road. Twisty and turny in every which way. The speed limit was 25, but most people actually went slower. The road was like a snake. They had been on it for close to an hour--to Shelly it felt more like FOREVER! but it wasn't.

"What are we going to do?" Shelly asked after they had stopped fighting.

"Not much to do....'Cept maybe, wait for a car to drive by and flag it down. Goddamn!"

For the next hour they waited--Shelly, half-dozing off into outer space, and Alfie cursing the whole time--until Alfie couldn't take it any longer, and stepped out of the car. He didn't realize how cold it was until he was actually outside. He wondered how the temperature dropped so quickly. He thought, but that did no good. It gave him a headache. He lit up a cigarette.

Shelly had fallen asleep. She snored very loudly; Alfie could hear her from outside. Alfie turned around. Thought: What the hell just hit me? A rock lie by his right foot.

He looked around, actually shaking in his boots. He didn't know it, but he was sweating bullets. His spine tingled with coldness as if someone had just rubbed ice all up and down his back for the last five minutes. He gulped back.

"Hello?" he called out. "Is..s-someone out there? We ran out of gas, and were wondering if someone could help us out...." He walked to the edge of the forest.

An owl hooted from a tree making him jump, and then flew in front of his face making him scream. When he realized it was only an owl he laughed. A chuckle of laughter. A trembling, chuckle of laughter.

He pushed aside a tree branch that got in his way, and peered inside the forest. Bats rustled in the trees every now and then, startling him every time. He heard something else, a....(CRACK OF A BODY IN HALF!) snapping sound. Kind of like a twig being stepped on. He turned all around, saw nothing, and before he did see something, walked out of those dark woods. It spooked the shit out of him, raising gooseflesh on his neck and arms, and making it hard to breath.

He walked back to the car. But stopped dead in the middle of the road. He tried to yell, but no words would come out. The passenger side door was flung open. Shelly was missing.

He did not know how long he stood in the middle of the road. His jaw was dropped. He was in the middle of nowhere with no car, no wife to (SCREAM AT!) bond with. He was stuck. She left, he thought. She left me, because I yelled at her. No, she wouldn't...Would she?

That was when he heard a scream. Very low, indeed, but he had no doubts he had heard a scream. It sounded like it was coming from the opposite direction in which he had just come. He ran towards the scream, which was accompanied by two more, then nothing.

He flew throughout the woods--his hands and neck being cut up by picker and thorn bushes. He cried her name out as he ran....but he got no response. He tripped over a root, and went tumbling down, his face getting caked with mud. He got up, and ran some more.

He saw what seemed to be flames coming from about two-hundred yards away. He kept on running in that direction. He had to stop, however. He was breathing like he had just ran a marathon; his heart pounding out of his chest. He fell over, right plop down on his ass.

There, he spotted Shelly's sweater covered in blood and torn to shreds. Faint whimpers slipped past his lips. He held it to his nose, and sniffed. It could have been the last time he ever smelled her, it seemed. His whole body was shaking badly like a smoker who had just quit two days ago. His face was damp with sweat and caked with mud.

He threw the sweater down on the ground, and ran to the direction of the fire. Before he took off again, he noticed another patch of blood, this time staining the grass.

A moment later he arrived to where the fire was. He wished he hadn't. There, his beloved(BITCHY!) wife hung from a tree and set afire. Her face, what was left of it anyways, was cut open, and blood caked on like the mud Alfie had caked on his face from his fall. She was stripped of all her clothing, underwear and all. Her breasts were slit. The fuming aroma of burning flesh flared to Alfie's nose.

Alfie couldn't bear the sight, and looked around for the sick sonofabitch who did it to her. Nowhere in sight, of course.

Alfie wept into his hands, and thought It's all my fault. If I didn't fight with her....somehow, I don't know, we'd be together right now. We would, I just know it. Why couldn't it have been me? Why?

Alfie spun around to a cracking noise as an axe came straight at him. It connected with him, and stuck in his shoulder. He let out a shrill cry and looked at the face who did this to him and his wife. Whomever had done this mayhem was no human. Alfie only got a brief glance before he passed out, but he knew it wasn't human.

It had the face of a wild bore, horns and all stuck from its head. And the body of a man, besides the hairy arms it had. It snarled at Alfie before he passed out, and eventually died from blood loss. The Pig-Man chopped up his dead body, along with Shelly's, then dragged them to a different location. He put all of the body parts in a small cave. Inside the cave, there were all other chopped up bodies lying around.

Alfie and Shelly had just interfered with its territory. They had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now....huh, now, they paid for it....


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