SLYONE

        I dropped my sister off at her apartment last evening as I usually do each Saturday. However, on this night something rather…well, unusual occurred on my way home. With the lateness of the evening, I typically take the back roads to and from her apartment avoiding the highways. The path takes me through a large industrial park that exits into the main road leading to my subdivision. I drove along the curving roads in the darkness with only the whisper of my thoughts to keep me company. I left the radio silent. I don’t know why.

Once inside the park I had only a couple of minutes left before I would be home. The path through the park leads through a maze of curves and which-ways and as I entered them, another car sped through the yellow light behind me. They rode my bumper hoping I would drive faster.

       Of course, I didn’t.

       As a matter of fact, I decreased my speed.

       I could hear their radio blaring an old rock tune I couldn’t name, though it was familiar. The driver anxiously flashed their headlights and honked. Then, they whipped around me and flew by in the opposing lane of traffic. I gave them a polite hand gesture. That’s when I saw her.

       The brief glow of my headlights caught the image of a young woman in the back of the car, bound and gagged. All I could see was that she was blonde and tied by the wrists. I saw her for only a moment, yet our eyes locked instantly. It was as if her face was screaming, Help me!

       I immediately focused on the license plate–SLYONE, it read. I began to increase my speed as my mind was racing with scenarios. I picked up my cell phone and dialed 9-1-1, hit the speakerphone button, and tossed it into the passenger’s seat. I sped up hoping to keep pace with the car. The call went to hold for an operator, of course, because thats what happens in horror movies. The driver realized that I was following him and sped faster and faster around the winding roads, so fast it was difficult for my 4-cylinder SUV to keep pace. I was losing him and was certain that should I fail to match his pace, the police would never make it in time to save woman.

       “9-1-1 Emergency. What is the nature of your call,” said the voice over the roaring of my engine.

       “Hello?!” I shouted.

       “9-1-1 Emergency. How can I…”

       “There’s a woman in trouble,” I yelled. “Someone has her trapped in the back of their car. She’s, like, tied up. I need to get to the police. The license plate is S-L-Y-O-N-E. I’m on…”

       I slammed the brakes screeching to a halt when I saw that the driver had stopped in the middle of the road blocking both lanes of traffic. The car door stood opened with the radio pounding out classic rock. He stood there with his head down, hands crossed in front of him, patiently waiting for me.

       “Hello? Sir? Where are you?…”

       “Come…come quick,” was all I could whisper.

       There was something unnatural about him. I slowly reached over and flipped my high beams on to widen my line of view and once I did his head snapped upright. His eyes opened. They were blood red and empty of conscience. His skin was pale and peeling, as if he were an onion that had been left in the sun too long. I could see the woman looking up at me through the back window of the car, face wet with tears, blood dripping from her brow.

       He uncrossed his hands and began walking toward my car. I had nothing  no weapons of any kind. He walked around to my window and peered at me forcing my stomach to turn with panic. He reached up with a long, sharp claw and began to scratch a single line into the glass. The soft squeal pierced my ears, like fingernails on a chalkboard. He opened his mouth and smiled presenting his jagged, stained teeth.

       He reared his fist back and as I prepared for him to punch out my window, shots rang out from behind me. Two hit him in the head causing him to stumble back. After he re-positioned his skull, he roared at the officer who still had his gun drawn. His jaws appeared to come unhinged with anger. Another shot hit him in the neck. As the officer slowly advanced, the creature backed away never taking its eyes from him. Two more shots to the thing let me know that bullets were just pissing it off.

       I saw my chance and took it. It had stopped directly in front of my car. I threw my SUV in low and slammed on the gas. Massive wings exploded from its back as it soared into the air disappearing into the night. I crashed into the front side of its car.

       I watched as it flew away into the moonlight unsure of what had happened to us. The officer pulled the woman from the car and placed her into the safety of his cruiser as other officers arrived at the scene. The woman, as well as my car, only had small surface wounds, nothing time wouldn’t heal.

       “What was it?” I asked the officer, who appeared to be more shaken than I was.

       “I was going to ask you the same thing,” he replied.

       After he took my statement he asked one of the officers to follow me the rest of the way home.

       I’m not sure what it was or if it will return.

       But I know it loves Billy Squier…

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