As soon as Jill sat in the driver’s seat, the feelings of alarm crept up her spine, making the hair stand up on the base of her neck. The cold, darkened parking garage, eerily quiet, sent shivers down her spine. She saw nothing, heard nothing, but something obviously signaled alarm to her senses. The garage smelled of grease, and rubber tires, nothing to be alarmed about.
As she turned the key in the ignition, she looked in the rear view mirror. She could see the row of cars behind her, all dark and quiet. Her sense of alarm grew stronger.
Jill steered her car around the circles of the garage to descend from the third floor, while she continued to look for reasons for her fright.
“I’ve been watching too many Halloween movies,” she said aloud.
“Just my imagination,” she mused.
Suddenly, she felt something bump into the back of her driver’s seat. Startled, she looked in the rear view mirror.
”Scott!” She slammed on the brakes, causing the car behind her to swerve and honk as they sped around her. The next car also blared its horn as it went to the other lane to avoid smashing into her.
Scott chuckled as he pressed a cold gun barrel against her neck.
“Now, now, my precious,” he sneered, as he pulled the hammer back. She heard the click and swallowed hard, but no spit existed in her dry mouth. She trembled and looked back at the road ahead.
“W-what do you want, Scott?” Her voice quivered as she stammered. Her mind was racing. What would he do to her? Their divorce was almost final. She had not asked for much. What else could he possibly want?
“That’s simple, Jill. I want you dead.”
“Why? I’m no longer in your life. As soon as the divorce is final, you can have all the women you wish. I no longer care. Now get out of my car. My dad’s waiting for me.”
“No, no, that’s now how this is going to play out. Not this time. Your daddy’s not going to rescue you this time. You’ve been a thorn in my side for years. But now, I finally have it all figured out.”
“W-what do you mean?”
“Do you remember that life insurance policy we took out right after we were married? The one that names me as beneficiary in the event of your death? If we are divorced, the policy is null and void. Remember?”
“Scott..that policy can be changed. We don’t have to end it this way.”
“It’s too late now. Now, put this car into drive and go where I tell you.”
Jill began driving, following his directions. She tried to remain calm. Fear was making her stomach burn with pain.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“You know that sandpit out on Phillip’s Road? Where we used to skinny dip when we were kids? There’s a cliff on one side. You’re going to have a nasty accident, Jill. In fact, your body may never be discovered. They say that sandpit is so deep that no one has ever found the bottom. This car will sink to the bottom, wherever that is, and you’ll be buried at sea. Isn’t that neat?” Scott chuckled at his joke, and then pressed the gun to Jill’s neck.
Jill prayed quietly as she drew closer to the sand pit. .
“So why can’t we change the policy, Scott? Why do I have to die?”
“Because, if you are dead, the children’s share of the insurance money will come to me as well. If you are alive, I get nothing.”
“Scott. We can change the policy, cash it in. I can get money from the business and pay it to you. We don’t have to do this.” Jill’s tears ran down her cheek and dripped off the end of her chin.
Jill slowed the car and turned right, as Scott demanded. Her mind was racing, trying to find a way out of this situation. She thought about crashing the car into a tree. But that might not hurt him enough to knock him out. Her seat belt was fastened though. Maybe that would work. She had to act now.
Suddenly, she turned the steering wheel sharply, and stomped on the gas pedal. The car bounced through the ditch and headed toward a huge oak tree growing on the other side of the ditch.
Scott yelled “You lying bitch! Damn you!” and swung the pistol at the side of Jill’s head. She ducked and the strike missed.
The car struck the tree at a high rate of speed. She heard a snap as her left wrist broke, and felt a sharp pain.
Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. She felt the pressure of the car seat slam against her from behind, and Scott’s body flew over her head in frame by frame slow motion as he crashed through the windshield. At that point, she lost consciousness.
The light beamed down upon her hospital bed as she awoke. A nurse stood over her, checking her IV. Across the room, her dad sat in a chair, tears running down his cheeks. He glanced up, saw her watching him, and came to stand by her bed. He grabbed the hand without an IV and kissed it.
“Oh my God, Jill. I thought you were dying. Thank you, Sweet Jesus!” John sobbed, and patted her hand. She winced, her broken wrist was tender, even with the cast protecting it.
“You’re in the hospital, dear. The kids are waiting outside in the waiting room.”
“I’m sorry, dear. Scott didn’t make it. What on earth were you doing out to the sandpit?”
The memory of the night came flooding back to Jill.
“Just tying up some loose ends, Dad. But it’s all over, now.” She hugged her dad and smiled. “Everything will be ok now.”
Dixie Barnes has been writing short stories since she was ten years old, when she wrote a story about a family moving by covered wagon to
. She loves writing young adult fiction,
historical fiction, poetry, and essays.
She has written a cookbook “Down Home Cookin – Favorite Recipes” and has
two novels in progress. She worked as
assistant editor for her local newspaper during the 1980s. She lives in Oregon
with her husband and two dogs. Her three
living children and nine grandchildren all live within fifteen miles. She claims photography, arts and crafts, and
computers as her hobbies. Clyde, Kansas