Extract From Chapter Two
Novel - CHOSEN
written by Raven2angel
4th January 1984
As the speeding Ford Orion careered haphazardly along the deserted country road, its headlights pierced the heavy darkness of the night, revealing the thick coating of powdery ice which covered the hedgerows on each side of the tarmac. It was the early hours of the morning and the temperature had dropped well below freezing.
The driver was aware of how dangerous driving conditions were, especially at the speed he was going. He had already hit a couple of invisible patches of black ice, which had nearly cost him control of the vehicle. The car had swerved across the road into the empty oncoming traffic lane and his heart had thumped madly as dark blue saloon had started to slide to the right. He had come very close to running off the road before swiftly correcting the Orion's deviation and bringing it back under control, shakily steering the car back over the luminous broken white lines that divided the two lanes. But even when the Orion wasn't skidding on ice, its path wavered erratically, because the man behind the wheel was finding it difficult to concentrate. His mind wasn't on the journey, but on what waited at the end of it
Thank God there's no one else using this road tonight, he thought, knowing that his lack of concentration and control could easily be the cause of an accident where he might injure or kill another motorist and their passengers. That was the last thing he wanted to do, therefore he was relieved that he hadn't seen another vehicle since he had taken a side road off the B124 outside the village of Millingford, fourteen miles behind him. The next populated area was twelve miles ahead.
He was glad that he was reasonably far from civilisation. It was the deserted seclusion of this route that had made it so appealing to him. A year ago, the local authority had built a new, more direct road between the two nearest villages. Which left this one, mainly only used by farm vehicles and perhaps the occasional lost tourist. At the best of times, traffic out here was minimal, and at this hour of the morning, it was negligible. Finding a small amount of comfort in that knowledge, he forged on recklessly; rapidly racing the Orion into the middle of nowhere, and nowhere was exactly where the driver wanted to be. But unfortunately, he was still aware that if by some chance he wanted to be somewhere else, that he wouldn’t be able to stop this insane journey. That choice was another matter that was not under his control. Forces much more powerful than he was, were at work, and he wasn’t strong enough to fight them. He'd already tried, and failed.
He had no choice but continue on to his destination, which lay two miles further along the road. At the thought of arriving there, his stomach suddenly lurched and started to tie itself in knots. His tongue went dry and seemed to swell against his teeth. It felt like a layer of sandpaper in his mouth. He trembled as his grip on the steering wheel, already vice like, tightened further, making his hands ache and his knuckles rise into hard white peaks.
He knew there was no going back now… and as he steered the car onwards, a desperate sob of fear escaped his parched mouth. The sound sent a wave of irrepressible shivers through his body; they seemed to emanate from deep within his core, as if he were freezing from the inside out. However, his shivers were nowhere near as chilling as his thoughts. He couldn't stop visualising journey's end, and it terrified him. Don't think about it, he told himself, you're just scaring yourself silly. Nevertheless, he couldn't seem to take his own advice. His destiny waited ahead, and he conceded, that the quicker he met it face to face, the better. He wanted it over and done with. With that revelation forefront in his mind, he increased pressure on the accelerator and began to repeat the mantra he had been saying over and over again since he had hit this lonely stretch of road.
"God forgive me... God forgive me."
He became conscious of how pungently the interior of the car stank of whisky. The open bottle, now devoid of most of its contents, lay on its side on the front passenger seat. What remained of the amber liquid, rolled like a tide to the movement of the Orion. The bottle had been full when he had started the journey, but once he had travelled a few miles outside of Hanson's Green, he had opened it to drink a few mouthfuls. He might have been drinking water for all the effect it had on him and was disappointed that he didn’t feel any calmer, hadn't had his courage boosted, and worst of all, it certainly hadn't dulled his senses. He had prayed that his thoughts would be numbed a little. But even if they had been, he knew he wouldn't have been swayed from following through on this pre-ordained madness. He would still be behind the wheel, dangerously courting the higher numbers of the speedometer. But maybe it would have made the task easier to deal with. Perhaps if he had drank more...
But the whisky had not been intended for that purpose. That's why the car was now permeated with the stink of it. He had poured it over the upholstery, and had included his own seat in the dousing. Beneath him, he could feel where his trousers were wetly sticking to his buttocks and thighs.
He suddenly started to feel nauseated by the overpowering smell. His stomach churned. But it wasn't just the stench of the whisky that made him feel ill; it was thoughts of the reason why he had drenched the interior. Fire... Fuel for the Fire... Not far now…
Fear began to eat away at him again. He was trembling violently and his vision was obstructed by his terrified emotional state. One of his shaking hands briefly left the wheel to wipe the tears from his eyes, and then descended to rub the snot from under his nose. When his hand returned to grip the wheel he ignored the presence of the slimy mucus he had just smeared across it. He wracked out another sob, God forgive me, and then cranked down the driver’s window, allowing the cold night air to whistle into the car. Keeping his eyes on the road, he pushed his head nearer to the gap and drew in a few deep breaths. It was nice, felt good. It was a small pleasure that would last him a lifetime.
The car was closing rapidly on its destination, speeding through the night like a demonic beast with glaring eyes. Advantageously, there was no one around to see it. The Reverend Wilson was glad about that and kept the Orion on course. Only one more mile until he reached a sharp bend in the road. And then the tree...
He hoped there would be fire, he prayed for fire. Then suddenly started to panic. What if there’s no fire? There has to be fire! Has to be... God forgive me...there has to be fire! Please Lord, if you can hear me, please let my sin die in the flames…
A memory from earlier crept into his mind. He heard her mocking voice in his head,
"He doesn't even know you exist..."
Wilson’s aggravated answer burst the silence of the car's interior, he roared with wavering conviction,
Even as he shouted it, he wasn’t sure who he was trying to convince more, his tormentor, or himself.
His persecutor refrained from replying to the outburst, almost as if it didn’t find his comment worthy of argument. A stealthy silence fell, and it was only broken when another sob escaped the driver. He took a brief moment to get his composure back, gulping down a deep breath of air before desperately trying to dispel his own doubts by quietly repeating his last statement.
"He does...I know he does."
The Reverend expected his tormentor to continue baiting him, but the voice, with its dirty work now done, was apparently gone. Unfortunately the memory of the words she had said, and everything that she had told him earlier, wasn’t. It had been only a couple of hours ago, but it was because of the secret that the girl had relayed to him that his life had gone to Hell. One awful secret and a treacherous memory were the reasons he found himself in his current situation.
He remembered the fire.
It had been the scorching of his soul that had been the start of this, and so it was fitting that it would also be the end of it.
Extract From Chapter 2 Of The Novel "CHOSEN"
© Raven2angel 2010