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A few months ago, I got my driver's license. Both my parents can drive, but since they're constantly plagued by work and other duties, me gaining the ability to drive has become a huge help to other members of my family. Y'know, dropping my little sister off at the mall every now and again, taking my cousins to the mall to help them pick out Christmas gifts, that sorta thing. As the resident taximan of my family, one of my most frequent tasks is to transport my grandmother to the supermarket for food and other necessities.

My grandmother is the oldest living member of my family.  Ever since my grandpa died a few years back, it's been a lot harder for her to go about her daily life.  As a result, lots of family members find themselves pitching in to help her; in my case, my job is to take her out to the food store.

My grandmother lives in a gated community, inhabited specifically by retired people who need a calm place to settle down.  She moved there shortly after my grandpa died, I guess as a means to try and make things easier for her.  It's a single floor house, which is good considering that she had difficulty climbing stairs, even when my grandpa was alive to help her.  There's only one road in and out from the community, and it's a pretty desolate exit off the main interstate.  It's a long stretch of highway, but it takes us to where we need to go, so I guess overall, it's pretty useful.

It was the same as it always was last week, when my mother instructed me to take my grandmother out to the food store to stock up for the week.  I got in my car and set out towards the community, internally wishing I could get home before it got too dark out.

My wish did not come true.  It was already dark out when I pulled into the driveway.  She must've been waiting close to the door, because she came outside almost as soon as I had pulled in.  I reached my hand across the console and pushed the passenger door open.  She grasped the door handle feebly, pushing it to the side as she slid into the easily accessible seat.

"Hey," I said casually, "to the food store, right?"

"M-hm," she nodded, "I need to get enough for this week, at least."

"Got it.  Shouldn't take too long.  We'll be back before you know it." 

With that, I glanced over my shoulder as I pulled out of the driveway and started carefully off towards the inevitable stretch of highway.

That night, the highway seemed to stretch on a lot longer than I previously remembered.  It was only my car on the road; not another soul in sight.  Hell, other times there would even be the occasional hitchhiker or an extremely dedicated community service group dotting the sides of the highway, but there was nobody at all.  Suddenly, I noticed headlights in my rearview mirror.  I couldn't make out what kind of car it was, but it looked like it was trying to pass us.  I was never prone to road rage, so I slowed down to allow the car to make the pass.  It was a dark brown Chevy, but I couldn't tell the model.  Once it passed us, I noticed that the car's trunk was slightly ajar.  It would bounce open every couple seconds as the car continued along the road.  In the end, my curiosity overtook me, and I leaned forward in my seat, squinting to try and make out what was forcing the trunk open.

That's when I saw it.  I jerked back into my seat instantly.  My face turned sickeningly pale and my hands grew clammy against the steering wheel.  Having noticed my attention towards the car, my grandmother attempted to see for herself.  Unfortunately, or fortunately in this case, her eyesight had been deteriorating recently.

"Say," she exclaimed, "do you think that guy knows his trunk's open?"

"I-I'm sure he does.  Probably s-storing something big."

After a half hour at the store, I drove her back to the community.  There was no other car on the road that time.  It was just us until we arrived at the community's gated entrance.

I never mentioned that night again.  For all my grandmother knew, it was another routine trip for groceries.  I never mentioned that car with the open trunk ever again, and I never mentioned the crumpled body that I saw, crudely shoved into the back of the car, its fingerless hand positioned just so that it caused the trunk to remain open.

Written by Parlour
Content is available under CC BY-SA