Discover more from Newton’s Tales of the Macabre
The Road Revenant by Newton Webb
A Supernatural Horror Short Story: After a drunken David hits a pedestrian while trying to seduce Mia, their already bad night takes a deadly turn when their victim inexplicably refuses to stay dead.
Free Horror Stories
The Road Revenant by Newton Webb
Free Horror Stories
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HALLOWEEN SPECIAL: 78 horror stories, including ‘Tales of the Macabre, Vol. 1’, ‘Tales of the Macabre, Vol. 2’, ‘Festival of the Damned’, ‘The Horror at Hargrave Hall’, ‘Smoke in the Sewers’, ‘The Ballad of Barnacle Bill’, ‘The Morrígan’, ‘The Black Fog’, ‘The Heir Apparent’, ‘The Platinum Service’.
The Road Revenant
Thank you for joining us for the three AM Jazz Essentials on ‘All Hallows Eve’, the pagan Samhain, or as we call it Halloween, when the gates to the otherworld open. For our next naughty number, I give you Screamin’ Jay Hawkins “I Put a Spell on You.”
A jovial laugh filled the car as David reached over to slide his hands up Mia’s thigh. She could feel the sweat from his clammy hands through her jeans. ‘Eyes on the road, David.’
‘Oh piffle, I’ve barely even started,’ he mumbled incoherently. The throaty engine roared as they tore through the country lanes, the lights cleaving through the black. David’s glassy eyes were narrowed in an attempt to focus and he pursed his lips. ‘Go on, Daddy wants a sip of beer.’
Daddy has had more than enough. Mia ignored him, clinging to the grab handle and praying that another car didn’t come along the road.
She tried to block out the sound of Joe and Bethany making out in the back between howls of laughter. There was a clunk as an empty glass bottle fell over.
David flicked his huge blonde mop of hair back, and Mia felt him try again with his wandering hands. She slapped his wrist, causing him to yelp in pain.
That’ll wake him up.
‘What is this? Vaginal nimbyism?’ David protested, creating more peals of laughter from the back.
Mia ignored him as she concentrated on the road.
I should never have agreed to attend a Halloween party with this jackass. Unfortunately, his parents were friends of her family. They held him in high esteem and felt he would be a good addition to the Bertram-Smythe dynasty. His political ambitions matched her father's need for social status.
I should have got a taxi home, this is—
‘David, watch out!’ Mia screamed, as she saw a cloaked figure in a hat and a mask walking down the road towards them.
It was too late. David slammed on the brakes. The car slew round with an ear wrenching screech before, with a shuddering impact, it settled in a ditch. Mia was thrown against her seat belt and then against the window.
She sat, shell-shocked. All she could hear was the radio as the occupants of the car silently took in the severity of their situation. Then she shook herself, blinked and turned to look into the back, where Joe was prodding Bethany.
‘Bethany? Bethany?’ He slapped her face, but when his hand came away with blood on it, he took a sharp intake of breath.
‘Don’t hit someone with a head wound,’ Mia hissed.
‘Is everyone alright?’ David asked blearily. ‘We appear to have got into some japery.’
‘Shut up David,’ Mia said. ‘Let me look at Bethany.’ She leant over to check. Joe had shrunk away from the still form of his girlfriend. ‘She’s still breathing,’ Mia noted. ‘Hold her steady. We need to get her to a hospital as soon as we can but first we must find out who or what David just ran into.’
‘Oh, it was probably a deer,’ David suggested blithely. He shifted into reverse gear and revved with the accelerator and the car shifted slightly. ‘I think I can get her moving again.’
Mia slapped her thigh in frustration. ‘David, you really do have to see what you hit!’ it's your responsibility.
David tried to wave it off. ‘It’s fine Mia, they can just call an ambulance if they are—’
‘DAVID!’ Mia shrieked, glaring at him.
He blinked at her, then swore ferociously. ‘Absolutely not. We have to press on. I cannot be arrested, father would be furious.’
‘David, you can’t just—’ Mia tried, horrified at his blasé attitude to potential manslaughter.
‘—I wish I’d gone with Bethany. you're a dismal old sock.’ David spat.
Mia pulled out her phone to dial 999 when David yanked it out of her hand and stuffed it into his jacket pocket.
‘Nobody is calling anyone. Father will tidy this up. There is no need to cause a fuss.’ David gave a stern look at Mia, who was horrified. The car slowly crawled back onto the road. The engine was making an ominous ticking sound and one tyre had burst, but she was moving. David crowed with success. ‘Well, we're all awake now.’
You psychopath, you're still making jokes.
‘Joe’s house is closest. We’ll park in his garage and then dial an ambulance.’ David said. ‘It’s important we do right by Bethany.’
You fucking coward. You mean do right by yourself and not get in trouble?
The car drove at a sedate speed this time. The flopping sound of a burst tyre slapping against the tarmac sounded like a heartbeat, echoing round the car in a rhythmic pulse. After five minutes, Mia saw it.
‘I fucking see it.’ The car emergency stopped. She heard Bethany’s body slumping into the footwell. In front of them, standing in the middle of the road, was a figure in the same cloak, mask and hat. With the headlights on him, Mia could see it was a Guy Fawkes mask smeared with blood.
David honked the horn.
‘Must have been a themed Halloween party,’ he said.
The figure didn’t move.
David revved the engine and honked again.
The figure regarded them impassively through its mask.
‘Get out of the road, you blithering imbecile!’ He angrily gestured with his arm. ‘Go on, move, you half-witted dullard. You cretinous dolt!’
Mia watched as the figure slowly started to walk towards the car.
‘ What the hell is he doing?’ David honked once again, then held his hand down on the horn. The figure ignored him and continued to approach. ‘Right, fuck this.’ David accelerated towards the figure and performed an emergency stop in front of him.
‘David, Bethany is hurt in the back,’ Mia said, trying to encourage him to be careful.
The figure turned and walked round the car. It reached to open the driver's side door. David slammed the door lock and sped off, leaving the figure to watch them depart. ‘Probably on drugs. That is the problem with liberals.’
You did cocaine with Joe.
When they turned the corner, the figure was waiting, again in the middle of the road. Watching them.
‘Fuck this,’ David floored the accelerator and drove straight into the figure with a crunch. The car jerked as it rode over the body.
Terror filled Mia. David had just committed murder.
‘I want to get out,’ she whispered.
‘No, we're all going to Joe’s to sober up and get our stories straight. I'm not going to prison because some nerd from Anonym—’
As they followed the winding country lane round yet another bend, the figure was waiting for them, its mask cracked and bright red with fresh blood. David growled and drove straight into it. As he ploughed over the body, the car jumped. With the tyre already gone, he lost control and the car smashed into a tree. The engine died and the lights went out.
Mia’s body was once again hurled against her seatbelt.
She looked back. The figure was in the back seat of the car. Its mask was cracked and she could see the pulped face of a corpse behind it. It was regarding David coolly. She couldn’t see Bethany, but Joe…
She released the seatbelt and stumbled out of the car as David started ranting at the manifestation in his backseat. Mia stumbled across the verge and vomited into the hedge. She rolled onto her back in the cold, wet grass, panting with fear and weeping in the cold autumn air.
Joe was dead. His throat was a mess of blood and torn flesh.
As she looked at the car, the angry sounds of David suddenly were replaced by a gurgling. Then silence.
The figure emerged from the car and slowly walked towards her.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!’ she repeated as a mantra as she scooted backwards on her rear across the grass verge. She pressed herself against the needling hedgerow.
The sound of another car engine sounded. The headlights momentarily blinding her.
When she was no longer in the full beam of the highlights, she saw that the figure had disappeared. Mia cast her eyes round in terror.
Where is it?
The new car came to a sudden stop.
‘Are you okay, dear?’ An elderly couple emerged, faces filled with pity. The wife shone a pocket torch in her direction.
She couldn’t answer. She was frozen in place as tears ran down her face.
‘Can you move?’ the woman asked.
‘Let’s get you to a hospital. Is there anyone else?’
Mia shook her head, crying louder.
The man helped her to her feet and into their car.
Mia woke in a hospital bed with an IV drip in her arm and her neck in a brace. Propped up on pillows, she blinked through the mist of pain relief and saw, standing at the foot of the bed, the figure.
It watched her with its inscrutable gaze.
If you enjoyed this free short story, then please consider Tales of the Macabre, Vol. 1. My first collected works on Amazon containing sixteen short stories and novellas by Newton Webb.