Always lock your doors

Posted this to Tumblr the other day, thought I’d share here for you guys. It’s short written by Asylum’s co-author, and (as with most of her shorts) it’s super creepy. Enjoy! (Spoiler-free, non-main cast)

Her mother always told her to lock her doors when she drove anywhere at night. Lisa supposed it made sense, at least when she was in the city, but she had to admit, she didn’t always follow the rule when she was out in the country. Who was going to jump in her car when she was at one of the far between stop signs?

Still, she usually locked her doors out of habit.

One night she was on her way back to her parents house, a decent drive through the countryside. She was on a good straight stretch, so she glanced down to make sure her boyfriend Jake hadn’t texted her yet.

Glancing back up, she barely had time to hit her brakes for the dark shadow in the road.

Another blink of an eye, and the shadow was gone.

Heart pounding, she slowly pressed the gas again. This time she kept her eyes glued to the road, trying to see where the shadow had gone.

What had it been? Too big for a raccoon or opossum, but too compact for a deer… Maybe a small deer, or a small bear… did they even have bear around here?

Movement to her right made her glance over, and she screamed, hands jerking the wheel.

The shadow chuckled, one hand grabbing the steering wheel to gently straighten out their path.

She couldn’t breathe. Her heart was in her throat as she tried to figure out what that thing was…

Lisa thought about pulling over, but she’d just be stuck on the side of the road with it –

“Just keep driving. You’re lucky, you know.” The thing said amiably, as if she wasn’t about to pass out, “Of all the things to hitch a ride, I’m a pretty good catch. I just like to hitchhike a bit, chat a little, then I’ll be on my merry little way and you can go on yours.”

Her breath was coming in gasps, the car starting to slow as she’d stopped pressing the gas pedal.

The creature sighed, still casually steering one handed. “Come on, it isn’t that bad. I haven’t done a thing at all to you.”

The gas pedal pressed beneath her foot without her applying any pressure. The car picked up speed, and the creature hummed happily.

The passenger side window rolled down and the creature’s other arm dangled out the window to enjoy the cool night air.

“It’s a beautiful night for a drive. You should enjoy it. After all. You’ll get home just fine. You should probably listen to your mother though – didn’t she tell you to keep your doors locked at night? No telling who you might pick up by accident with an open invitation like that.”

She swallowed hard. There was no way this was what her mother had meant when she’d told her to lock her doors at night. No way.

But her heart was slowly easing it’s way back into her chest. The longer they drove, the more silly it became that she was freaking out so badly when nothing was happening.

“Wh- what are you?” She finally asked.

The creature clucked it’s tongue – not that she knew if it even had one. “That’s a bit of a rude question you know.”

“Sorry.” The apology was out by habit before she realized what she was talking to. “You know, it’s rude to catch a ride without being invited along too.”

“Ah ah. I was invited. An unlocked door is an open invitation. If your mother didn’t tell you that, then consider this a free lesson. You’re welcome.” It sounded so pleased with itself.

“You do this a lot?”

It hummed as it thought. “Not really, no, I just happened to be in the mood tonight.”

She thought about asking what else might have ended up in her car, but decided against it, just in case.

They passed another ten minutes in the car like that – mostly silence, but the occasional question or comment. Until the creature finally sat up. “This is my stop, just tap the brakes if you please and I’ll be on my way. It’s been a lovely ride.”

It turned towards her as she tapped her brakes. “You have a wonderful rest of your night and get home safely – remember, lock your doors this time.”

That last had an undertone of menace and she swallowed hard. “Yes, I will. You have a nice night too.”

“Oh I will.” She could have sworn there was a flash of teeth, then there was nothing. Just her and an empty passenger seat.

Lisa hit the gas as she hit the automatic locks on her doors. She pressed the limits of the road, but didn’t press too hard in case she wrecked. She still got home in record time.

As she sat in her parents’ driveway, she took one deep breath, then two.

A buzz made her jump, but she smiled to see it was her boyfriend. He’d be calling soon as he got off work.

She leaned back in her seat, then unbuckled. She must have been pretty tired – of all the things to imagine, a shadowy hitchhiker was pretty far out there. Maybe she’d been watching too many horror movies lately.

Lisa rolled up her window, then realized the passenger window was still down. She frowned, the bottom of her stomach rolling.

She had imagined it – hadn’t she?


One thought on “Always lock your doors

  1. Good grief. This is scary AF. I also live near lots of lonely country roads with no lighting. I won’t be able to drive them for a while at night, that’s for sure! (The car doors lock automatically when I start the car, so hopefully I’m safe from this creepy shadowy hitchhiker! My hat is off to your co-writer. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

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