(author chooses to be anonymous)

Quick reached under the faded car seat, and removed the dust-covered bag with her medical equipment, bottles still intact these forty years. Moving to the driver's side she tried the ignition, but the long out of use Packard failed to turn its motor over.

Too much to expect she considered. I'll have to find another way home. Elizabeth Quick felt a sudden pang of worry. Would her sons, Eric an Monty, still be angry at her flight? Would her family retain the resentment over her marriage?

I've been away so long now, I wonder what changes I'll see. She mulled this over as she made the trek to property's edge. The estate and the seclusion it offered was difficult to take leave from, but she must. Carrying the leather bag, the heavy cape covering her shoulders, she moved through the weed-covered soil.

Then the gate rose before her; the gate to life. No fence--just a rusty, well-worn gate. The hinges' noise startled her as she passed through and, like a rubber band, it swung shut tight behind her. Slamming sanctuary closed.

The path was not visible. Elizabeth looked skyward wondering if she would reach home in time. Winding her way northward, through the smells of the fog-laden bog, she moved. Until reaching the abrupt end of the swamp. The dirt turned to gravel, crunching under her feet and Elizabeth realized she was now on a road.

Cut between large willow trees the road seemed to offer something human from another time. She felt out of place. Her reverie was broken, suddenly, as bright white lights illuminated what lay ahead in the night as the car behind her screeched to a halt.

Frozen in the headlights she stared. The form inside could not be seen, but she sensed a frightening reality.

A window lowered and a voice called out, "You OK? Wanna lift? Hop in?"

Staring at the empty space, Elizabeth considered her options, pulled the door open and settled herself in the passenger seat beside the driver.

Pulling her legs close to the seat she turned to look at the man behind the wheel as he released the brake to restart his travels. She examined the rugged arrogant face, the large frame covering the seat. The hooded eyes.

Long dormant, Elizabeth’s senses stirred in her. Quivering, she cringed. Then the involuntary movements struck. The rapid breath, the dry mouth, the wetness seeping from her. It had been so long, so very long since she had known any pleasure.

"Wayne have some fun?" the driver asked in a leering voice. "Wayne enjoy a nice hard time?" he added sarcastically.

Elizabeth turned her head to see the face he showed. The look of superiority, of 'I am a god' cast a harsh spell. She gave him the smile of a thousand years. The smile of seduction.

The brakes were hit hard, the car halted in quiet isolation. The silence she knew was broken by the sound of a metal zipper being lowered. "Do a good job! Real good, ya hear?"

No one was even remotely near enough to hear the scream that filled the night.

The next day they found Frank Edwards completely void of fluids, a sunken shell in an empty car.

John Beauchamp told his wife, "Damnedest thing I ever saw. Bit right off. Doc said teeth marks were real heavy. And not a drop of blood. Empty, all neat too. Like someone drained him good. Of course, Frank wasn't no winner, either. Damnedest thing."


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