This is my story this month of April for Storybook Corner hosted by Adam Ickes. Each story is supposed to be 300-500 words in length and inspired by the photo prompt given that month by Adam. http://adamickes.workpress.com/2014/04/21/storybook-corner-prompt-april/
FULL STOP by P.S. Joshi
As I barreled down Macklyn Road on my way home, I felt dead tired as usual. I’d worked my tail off putting in overtime at my hardware store in Rayford. I don’t get paid spit as I’m my own boss. Sometimes I wish I was back at Rigbee’s, the big chain store in Cincinnati. The pay was poor but I had regular hours.
Our home is an old remodeled farmhouse at the end of Benson Road that crosses Macklyn. For some doggone reason a fool in the past had the county put a stop sign where the two dirt roads intersect. I figure the guy had influence or it would never have happened. The only purposes the sign serves is to collect money for the county and as a target for hunters in the area. The thing’s like a sieve.
I stopped as it would be just my luck a sheriff’s patrol would be out to check that night. The county uses every excuse it can find to squeeze a few extra bucks out of us. My high beams were on as it was black out as printer’s ink. All at once they caught and held somebody standing along side the road.
I slowed to a crawl and thought, “Should I offer help?” The guy looked like hell: torn clothes, blood smears on his face, missing teeth. I stopped and spoke out my open window.
“What’s the matter buddy? Need help?”
He looked dazed. “Where…where am I? I don’t understand. Where’s my wife? She was sitting right beside me in the car. I can’t find her. She might be hurt and I can’t find her.”
“Get in buddy and I’ll take you into town to the sheriff’s office. They’ll send out a search party.”
“I…I don’t know. I hate to leave with her laying out there some place. She could be dying.”
“Get in buddy. You’ll never find her on your own.”
Reluctantly he opened the passenger-side door and climbed in. He looked even worse up close. It was a hot night and I’d shut off the air-conditioner but felt a chill.
I decided to try and make conversation. “You from around here?”
“Yeah. We live in the old farm house at the end of Benson Road.”
“Buddy you can’t live there. That’s where my wife and I live. We’ve lived there for five years. It was the old McDermott place.”
He studied my face. “But I’m Mack McDermott. That’s impossible! I know where we live!”
I stiffened. I’d just remembered what I’d been told in town. The McDermott’s had died in a terrible car crash six years before.
I turned to look at my passenger. The seat was empty.
At home, my wife look worried. “Jack,” she said, “What’s the matter? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Still shaky, now sweating, I swallowed hard. “You’ll never believe me.”