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The Fratton Road

“You want a bag?”

“No, thank you–” Adam grabbed the egg & cress sandwich and bottled Frappuccino “–cheers!”

“Cheers,” the cashier responded with a broad smile.

In a black hoodie and black jeans, Adam turned around to head out of the 24-hour shop.

Within a few seconds, he was in his car, parked right in front of the shop.

As he ignited the engine and started to accelerate forward, he noticed an Asian-looking girl – maybe in her early twenties – sitting crossed-leg at the bus stop across the road. With arms wrapped around herself, she looked apprehensive to Adam.

Without thinking twice, he decided to approach her. “Hey, you alright?”

“Err – yeah, just waiting for the bus,” said the girl in an oversized grey sweater and blue boyfriend jeans.

Adam was a little taken aback at her reply. “Err, the buses stop running at 8 p.m.”

“OH -” She sounded perturbed.

Adam, being a good Samaritan, couldn’t help but ask, “Can I give you a lift?”

“Thank you for asking, but I really don’t wanna bother you. I’ll walk.”

“Where do you live?”

“Fratton Road. Just near St. Mary’s Church.”

“That’s pretty near and on my way home. I’ll drop you, no worries. Please get in. It’s quite windy and unusually cold for September.”

The girl hesitated for a few seconds, then got in the car.

“Are you new here?” Adam asked.

She chuckled. “Not really – I spent some good years of my childhood here, but I have certainly forgotten the bus timing. Are you driving home?”

“Yes, ever since I have moved to Portsmouth, I come to this shop almost every night after work,” said Adam, offering her his Frappuccino. “Coffee?”

A beautiful smile spread across her innocent face. “No, thank you.”

“My name is Adam. A pleasure to meet you.”

“I am Ayrah.”

Adam could feel strange energy around her. There was an undeniable pull towards her. He never felt something like this towards any girl before, let alone a stranger.

“So, what do you do, Ayrah?”

“Nothing much. Just a wandering soul.”

“Sounds fun,” he sneered.

She smiled. Contrasted against her smooth brown skin, her smile gleamed. But her apprehension was evident in the crease of her lovely brow.

“Have you moved back to Portsmouth?”

“Just told you, I am a wandering soul,” she said with a faint smile.

Adam felt embarrassed about talking and asking questions. “What is wrong with her?” he thought to himself.

He wanted to take the conversation further – wanted to turn this stranger into a connection – but chose to stay quiet.

Maybe she’s too disquieted to have a conversation. He responded to his own thoughts while opening his bottle of coffee.

To break the awkward silence, he reached for the volume dial on his car stereo where he had a tape running quietly. “You mind if I turn that up?

Ayrah stroked her brunette silky straight hair back from her forehead. “Not at all.”

He cranked the volume dial.

“That’s Bruno Mars. I love this song,” she said.

“Finally, something to talk about,” Adam thought. “I love it, too. What kind of music do you generally listen to?” He asked.

“There!” She pointed towards an old enchanted tree across St. Mary’s Church.

“Oh, we are here already.” He pulled over.

“Yeah, I’ll just cross the road,” she said, glaring at the darkness around the church.

“Is your house across the road? I can drop you there.”

“No, thank you. Our house was in Havant. This is where I was killed when I was 5.”

For a few seconds, Adam couldn’t believe what he just heard. “Sorry?”

“Thanks for the ride.” She opened the door and got out of the car.

Adam started to feel furious. “What kind of a joke is that?” he gave voice to his thoughts.

But his vexation started to turn into fright and panic when he saw her literally disappearing into the eerie and dingy garden area of the church.

All he could utter was the F word. His heart was beating so fast he thought it would pound out of his chest. He accelerated the car without wasting any second and drove as fast as he could.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in All Stories, Contemporary Fiction, Horror