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The Watcher | III

A Melanie Black mini-series

· The watcher- A Melanie Black series

She followed the satanic semi driver for what seemed like an eternity before the scumbag finally pulled off the highway. The sun was setting; soon everything would be a thousand times trickier for her. Dusk threatens the blackness that follows behind it, no matter how much a person wished it didn’t. And it’s in this darkness that the cruellest of us find camouflage, cloaking crime within its creases of time left only to be discovered with the earth’s next illuminated rotation. 

Her car crept behind him in an effort to mask her presence while keeping at least fifty feet back from the backend of the trailer. The last effing thing she needed was for this creep to notice that she’d been tailing him from point A to point B - wherever the hell that was. 

Ensuring her doors were locked, she pulled into a parking spot in a lot adjacent to the building he’d pulled in front of. Instead of her windshield being pointed directly at the face of his cab, she relied on her rear-view mirror. Her scope was a lot more limited but fingers crossed, pray to the Gods, whatever it takes, she could see everything she needed to in order to take this motherfucker down. How exactly wasn’t completely worked out yet in her mind. Her imagination had been running wild with ideas over the course of their little road trip out to this mystery destination. In one daydream, she saw herself rushing him from behind with a knife and plunging into his side, making him drop to the ground long enough to tie him with the zip ties she used to keep her trunk shut on the road. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, time to get a new car… when she found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, she’d get right fucking on that. She might need to total this one first by using it as a massive piece of warfare. In another one of her mental images, she witnessed herself revving her engine and flat out running over the bastard as soon as he stepped out of the cab. He was a big dude, so this might be the force she needed to take him out but then what? She’d be stranded at the scene of the crime she’d just committed. Plus, she’d really like to take a look in the back of that truck before any violence took place. She needed to set eyes on the woman she knew to be back there; dead or alive. It was the only way she could guarantee justification for the murder/manslaughter she’d follow up with. 

But, what if by some miracle, the woman was alive in there? What would she do then (besides the obvious rescue and release)? Would she still kill him? Rough him up just enough to know he can’t get away with shit like this? Could this be a rare example of a time she’d actually consider calling the cops to have them handle the situation? She just didn’t know… She’d probably figure it out in the heat of the moment she told herself and turned her attention back to her rearview mirror. Shit, where’d he go. There was no longer a large stump of a figure in the driver’s seat; she’d distracted her own damn self with her stupid little game of pretend the outcome. Shifting left and right while bobbing her head up and down, she tried to glimpse him. She must have looked like a boxer in an invisible ring with an equally invisible opponent. Ducking, teetering to and fro, constantly playing defense but apparently unready to throw any jabs herself. As she leaned hard to the right in hopes to use her passenger-side mirror, there came a loud knock at her window. Her head whipped over to her driver-side following the sound. There slouching down in front of her was the man she’d been stalking. The man she knew was holding a woman hostage on his over-the-road job. Now fucking what? Smile? Roll her window down? No, absolutely don’t do that. So she did what came naturally and glared at him while shouting through the tempered glass loud enough to break through the other side. 

“Can I help you?” The words sounded defensive in themselves but add the bitchy tone to it and it sounded more like a personal attack. She couldn’t care less what this a-hole thought about her message or its presentation. As long as she kept a pulse, he could think or feel however he wanted to do about her. 

“I was actually coming to ask you the same thing.” His eyes leered into her car discreetly surveying its interior for possible threats no doubt. “I noticed you followed me off the highway and into this part of town which I thought was odd enough for a young woman like yourself. But then I saw you pull into this abandoned old office building and thought to ask if you might be having car problems. There’s a full service station just up the road. If you’d like I could draw you a map to the place- I know this area like the back of my hand.” He was clearly pausing for a response...any response… a noise, a word, a nod. But nothing came to her. She sat there blinking hard in his direction trying to wade through the pile of bullshit he’d just unloaded on her. So he was familiar with the area… why was that? From his years as a trucker? Or maybe it was more personal to him? He grew up here, dumps all kinds of women’s bodies here? The options seemed unending. 

“Ah yeah, thanks. I’m fine though. I was trying to find a spot to pull over and make a call and just kind of followed you out here since I have no idea where I’m going. So thanks for that and thanks for checking in but I better get back to my friend on the phone. He’ll be worried if I don’t call him back.” She was one smooth operator when it came to acting on the fly. Then again she was used to having to come up with stories on the spot, it was part of her history as a recovering addict. She lifted her eyes, meeting his directly for the first time since the confrontation began. He was staring into her soul, she could feel him digging around in there trying to uproot the tiniest bit of doubt in my story. “I accidentally hung up on him when you scared the shit out of me by police pounding on my window.” She added dryly. 

“Hm. Well that’s interesting because it looked like you were doing a dance in here you were moving around so much… it kinda looked like you were trying to see something or somebody in your mirrors. In fact, I don’t even remember you having a phone in your hand when I approached. You sure you’re ok ma’am? If you’re tweaking out on something, there’s no judgement here. I’ve had plenty of experience there… all I ask is that you stay off the road a while to let the high wear off before driving again.” He could tell by her blank response that she wasn’t going to answer him let alone commit to anything he was asking as a “concerned citizen” to do, so he continued. “You wouldn’t want to get hurt would you? Or get anyone else hurt in that case? All it takes is one second, one bad decision,  and BOOM… you're lying in a ditch on the side of a rarely traveled road dead as a doornail. There’s a high chance no one would even find you… maybe not ever.” 

He was threatening her now, she wasn’t some idiot that fell off the bumpkin truck yesterday. The prick had the nerve to call her out on what he thought might really be going on here by threatening her life. Luckily for him she wasn’t in the least prepared to take him on so she forced a fake smile to her lips and nodded in agreement. 

“Maybe it’s best to just sleep it off. I think I’ll just head over to my friend’s house now to crash out for a bit.”

His eyes drove deeper into her. He could tell she was lying. “And which direction might that be in? I’d hate for you to get lost along the way and have that accident after all. You know if you’re really unfamiliar with the area, I have a state-of-the-art navigation system in my truck. Why don't you come with me and we’ll map out where you need to go.” She made no movement to respond. She’d frozen in disbelief and frustration. This guy just won’t give up. Let it go, man. Let it go like the little blonde chick on Frozen says. She saw his hand reach for and clasp down on her exterior door handle. Jesus Christ, she was going to have to get violent with this guy. Her mind was reeling so fast trying to think about what to do next that she hadn’t even noticed another vehicle pull in. But he did. 

A door opened and banged shut before the car had enough time to fully shift into Park it seemed. A pasty looking white guy with raven black hair was walking slowly over to them. He had large dark aviators covering his eyes but she could see his pronounced cheekbones and jawline peeking out from underneath them. 

“Hey guys. What’s going on? I’ve been trying to call you back Teri, you just disappeared on me there. You ok?” The stranger knew her name. He also knew the lie she’d told the murderous trucker too….what in the actual fuck was going on here? She stared back at him deciding in a split second that he was a lifeline sent there to help. How - she didn’t know but at the very moment she didn’t care. Slowly her driver’s side window slid down whining all the way. For some unknown reason she felt safer now that this other guy was there. Stupid thing too… he could have been the murderer’s buddy somehow listening in on their exchange but something deep within her promised her that wasn’t the case. 

The truck driver, who was clearly taken off guard, stepped sideways showing off his impressive height and overindulgent weight. He was a massive bastard. “This your friend pal? I think she’s trippin’ out or something. I found her here in this abandoned building lot not making a whole lot of sense… and she’s definitely not a friendly thing now is she?” His head turned back to look at her when he said that last comment. But it appeared another surprise was in order because before he could turn his head back to look at the new arrival, his face thudded against the metal frame of her car, blood trickling down the backside of his neck. 

It appears our new little friend with the dark sunglasses had a shovel hiding on the other side of his vehicle just waiting for an opportune time to whack a mole. This time the mole was a killer with a body locked up just fifty feet away. But who the fuck are you?