It was pitch black. The headlights on his blue sedan were the only lights he could see, and the last car passed him in an hour ago. Robert Westfield was not going anywhere, just driving. Just driving on the road to damnation…
Five hours ago, Robert was at his office, working late. He was stressed from a big project to him by his boss, an important project that would decide the fate of the company. As he drove, Robert thought back to the details before he got to this point. He had gathered up his papers, getting ready to leave. Normally, he would use the elevator to get down to the parking garage, but it was closed for repairs today. This lead him to the stairs, passed the secretary’s desk.
The secretary was a fat, grump of a woman, named Ruby Johnson, and the lapdog of the boss. He hated her, and lamented the elevator’s closing. The woman surprised him by smiling at him, something he has never seen in his ten years at the company. “Good night, Robert.” Robert remained silent and went down the stairs. The stairs took forever, like a descent into hell. The stairs gave him time with himself.
Thoughts of the project were pushed back in favor of the strange actions of Ruby. Maybe he was descending into hell “or madness at least…” The thoughts were halted by the door to the parking garage.
The door was creaky and hard to open, especially for Robert, who was weaker than he wanted to be. He got to his blue sedan, the cheapest car he could find. The radio was out, seats tattered, “But at least it works…” And he left the garage.
“Everything was wrong…” The highway went on and on into the ebony darkness and Robert now felt anxious. He wanted to know what was happening. He felt dead, a rotting corpse that still showed signs of life. Everything previously present in his life was not a factor. “My ex-wife…My daughter…My work…It’s so distant.” His own thoughts haunted him, stung him. More memories came flooding back. Robert had stopped to get gas before getting on the highway. Even then, the area was a ghost town. The cashier was strange, and he acted hostile towards Robert. They were normally great friends, confiding their secrets with each other. Before pulling out, a hitchhiker in the form of a young girl with a backpack on asked him for a ride. Robert politely declined.
“Company, that’s what I need! I wished this damn radio would work. I need to hear someone’s voice!” As if God or whoever was doing this read his mind, the radio burst back into the living world. “Weather tomorrow will be pouring rain, so bring your umbrella folks…In other news, an accident on highway 65 have resulted in the deaths of 40-year old…”
Static interrupted the broadcast, as Robert stood there, mouth agape. That radio hasn’t worked in 15 years. He bought the car with it broken. Worse, the news report made Robert really think he was dead. He was on highway 65, and he was 40-years old. “But, it said deaths. Who was the other person?” Robert was now sure of one thing: he was in hell, and there would be no going home to rest.
Robert’s head was pounding, and checked his glove compartment for some Tylenol. There was none, just like he expected. It was hell after all. Accepting the fact that he was dead, Robert ran several things though his head. First, Robert thought about going backwards, but dismissed it as soon as he thought of it. Next, Robert thought of driving through the desert.
He kept this in his back mind pocket, and lastly thought of stopping. Robert seriously considered doing this, and did stop the car. Sitting in his car for a few moments, he reached for the door. The handle broke off, and Robert couldn’t get the door open. Robert broke the window with his briefcase and climbed out. The radio crackled back on, with an ominous message Robert failed to hear. “Don’t go outside folks, there’s going to be a foot of snow in certain areeeeeeee.” Then static.
Looking behind him was equally as unimpressive as looking towards the front. “Both sides look the same…” Robert walked further from his car, even though he was afraid of leaving the light. He went to the edge of highway, kneeling down to feel the desert sand. As he examined the sand, the lights on his car went out. Sweating bullets, Robert quickly forgot the path back to his car. Robert took a couple of steps away from the desert. Suddenly, a spotlight centered on Robert. It lit up a wide radius, revealing his car was no longer there. The secretary Ruby Johnson stepped out from the black void.
“Hello, Robert.” Ruby still had on the purple leopard print dress from the office, and wondered what she was doing her. “You forgot to say good night to me before leaving Robby.” Ruby laughed a cutesy, childlike laugh, which disturbed Robert. She has never used a nickname to reference him, let alone laugh. “Why don’t you like me Robby? I’m always so nice to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.” Her voice turned demonic, as she transformed into a hideous demon, devoid of any human qualities. Robert could not explain what he saw, but it lacked a face and was blob-like.
The spotlight shut off, and he was back in his blue sedan. Before he could catch his breath, the gas station cashier appeared in the seat next to him. “Hard day at work Robert? Tell me about it. You can tell me anything. You can trusttttttttttttttttttt mmeeeeeeeeeeee!” The cashier suddenly disappeared, his echoing laugh still ringing in Robert’s ears. A knock at his window startled him. It was the hitchhiker. She was naked and crying. “You did this to me Robert. I should have never ridden with you, you sick bastard!”
Robert was thrown out his car by an unknown force and landed on his back. Sitting up, he saw his ex-wife and daughter. They were sobbing uncontrollably, and Robert resented himself for not being there with his daughter. Robert went to speak, but no words came out. Nothing he would say would fix anything. This night was all a mistake. His life was a mistake, and there would be no rectifying anything. He was dead, and he definitely knew it. The rest of his memories came flooding back.
He had picked up that hitchhiker. His stress made him irrational and his mind sick. He tried to do horrible things to that girl, which got him slapped. Losing control of the car, he crashed into a ditch, killing them both.
Suddenly, being alone wasn’t so bad. Robert was back to driving on the highway. Robert deserved it. Robert was stuck driving, in what would be his own Infinite Journey with his thoughts and guilt remaining with him in hell.