Sobbing on the Shoulder

The cold wind whistled through the girl’s hair as she slammed off her music and opened the door to the car with a disgruntled little sigh.   Ellie shivered a little as she stepped out and waved her phone in the air for a signal, glancing disparagingly at the flat front tire of her little Subaru hatchback.  Back a little ways over the road she could see the glimmer of broken glass on the pavement in the faint moonlight that seeped through the treetops, and pulling an impatient little face she walked onto the bit of road ahead of her lit up by her headlights and glanced down again at her phone. 

Still no signal. 

Off the shoulder on the right a benighted squirrel smirked at her, rolling its puny, shining round eyeballs and turning to scamper up a tree, its claws rasping on the bark.  She smiled at it hesitantly for a moment, trying to build up the gumption to decide to try and change the tire herself.  It was hardly likely that anyone else would drive by at this hour of night, and if they did she wasn’t quite sure about stopping a random stranger to ask for help anyways.  She was starting to wish she didn’t work at a restaurant quite so far from her parents’ subdivision and didn’t get back quite so late.

But she could do it.  Ellie heaved a reluctant sigh and looked down at her small white hands. 


She flipped the phone flashlight on and walked towards the trunk.  She had just laid her finger on the fob when something caught the light on the road behind her – it was the busted glass strewn across the pavement, but something was mixed in with it, just tinting it… red?  She peered over to take a closer look and then turned away and decided against it.  Whatever it was she’d rather not know. 

A slight but distinct click behind her made her jump and glance around hurriedly.   Slowly, Ellie made her way back to the front door of the Subaru, her back to the car, gazing around warily.  She felt the handle in her grasp and jumped in hastily, locking all the doors behind her and shivering slightly.

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