“Go ahead and scream.  As loud as you want.  No one will hear you,” the woman driving the car said to her passenger.

A piercing scream emerged from the back seat.  It gained in volume and lasted as long as the screamer had breath to fuel it.  After a deep breath, another scream emerged, but lived a shorter life than the first.  Like machine gun fire, the screams came fast, one after the other.  They transformed into moans of futility or spent energy followed by uncontrollable crying.  Then, sniffling and silence.  Abruptly, another loud yell of rage burst forth from the backseat.

The driver smiled about that last outburst.

Each one is so different.  No real pattern to their screaming and moaning.  Some start out moaning and end with screaming.  Some start out talking trying to persuade and end up screaming.  No real pattern, thought the woman, as she drove along the single lane country road.

Though she was confined by the locked seatbelt, the passenger began to thrash her body around in the backseat.

“Throw a tantrum.  It’s OK to throw a snit-fit, too.  It won’t bother me,” said the driver as she looked in the rearview mirror at her passenger.  “We’re almost there.”

In response came angry words which sparked more angry words for being in this situation.  The passenger kicked, stomped and thrashed like someone possessed by a demon.

“Why?  Why?”  She screamed out.  Then, fell back sobbing again.

They were traveling deep in the backroad countryside of which most residents of the nearby city were unaware.  The driver turned off the paved road onto a bumpy dirt road leading into a secluded wooded area.  She parked the car and turned to the teary-eyed woman slumped powerless in the backseat.

“Anything more you want to say before we get out of the car?”

Her passenger raised her head to gaze at the driver.  Tears streaked her reddened face.  She dabbed a tissue to her dripping nose, then loudly blew her nose before speaking.

“What more can I say?  I’ve “said” enough.  Same old shit.  Just at a higher volume.”

“Then you’re ready for the next step,” the dry-eyed driver said with a neutral face and straightforward tone of voice.

“Which is?” asked with a hopeful voice, yet a pensive smile.

“Forgiving yourself and changing your past,” said the driver, as though reading a standard procedures manual.

“Oh, right.  I forgot,” said the passenger who turned to gaze out of the car window at the forest that surrounded the car.

The driver got out of the car and helped her client out of the backseat.  She gave her a bottle of water to sip and walked to the trunk of the car.

“Doctor, I really want this to work,” the client said as she stood unsure what to do next.  The doctor opened the car trunk and motioned her patient to come over to look inside.  As she walked over, she said, “You’re my last hope.  I’ve tried almost everything else.  Will it work for me?”

Page one excerpt from Road Noise Short Stories To Thrill and Chill  2016 © Belinda A. Allen

Return to Story List            

Return to Home