Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 05 - "The Flathead Experiment"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews


Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2008-11-07 - Updated: 2008-11-07 - 495 words - Complete

A few minutes later, Shades’ radio reception began to waver, making bizarre, eerie sounds in his headphones.

And right in the middle of the Markett’s Out of Limits, which sounded way too much like the theme from The Twilight Zone for his taste, at least under the circumstances. He didn’t have to listen to too much of this before he was forced to pull off onto a dirt road. Having decided that catching the weather wasn’t worth this irritating, and rather unnerving phenomenon, he switched to cassette mode. Then, with visions of weird hitchhikers dancing in his head, he quickly got back out onto the highway again.

On one hand, he was glad his headphones still worked, but on the other, he was alarmed at the radio reception. The fact that he could hear the tape just fine made him doubt anything was wrong with his radio. What that left was the signal itself, some kind of interference, and Shades had never heard of a mere storm causing something like this.

On top of that, he couldn’t take his mind off those two hitchhikers, and what may or may not have been another one in that parking lot. This was getting really weird, and the ideas that kept creeping into his thoughts felt more like the kinds of stories he had read since he was in grade school. Except that he was now experiencing it. Adding to his growing unease was the realization that he was past the half-way point, and he hadn’t encountered a single car since he left Kalispell. Even on a stormy night like this, there should still be a few people traveling such a major highway. Truckers, if no one else.

His suspicions about the shadow in the parking lot were heightened by the sight of another hitchhiker, standing next to a road sign. And, much to Shades’ dismay, he looked exactly like the previous two.

For portions of the highway’s winding path, he passed in and out of lake vistas, with rocky walls on one, sometimes both, sides— what he ordinarily thought of, even after all these years, as beautiful and relaxing scenery for his long commutes— yet this was the first time he had ever thought about how spooky this way could look without a soul around, illuminated only by his lone headlight and occasional flickers of lightning. No streetlights, no buildings, not even other cars for long ways at a time on this deserted stretch of mountain highway. As well as how much of the outlying communities was hidden from the road. He resolved that if he saw even one more hitchhiker the rest of the way, he was calling for help first thing when he got home.

In the meantime, he told himself that he was just psyching himself out, and for a moment he almost started muttering Chris Nimrod’s mantra about there being a rational explanation for everything.
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