Directed into Silence


As the tires of Austin's 1995 Cadillac sped down the road into the thick fog, he knew he'd taken a wrong turn. Austin Reyes' destination was Helmsley, a small rural town just miles from Arizona. But now, he had a feeling that he was no where near where he wanted to be. It was really his mistake for having picked up a hitchhiker and been so gullible for believing his directions. The hiker told him to go straight then take the first left. Well, that first left was a dirt road, certainly not leading to any big town.

A new scene. That was what he needed. The accident had almost killed him, the crash had destroyed him and his body had been so badly damaged a new start was what he needed. He didn’t remember very much about it. He knew that he had messed up on the drive home, the alcohol in his system had altered his senses and he lost his footing on the accelerator. He remembered the trees rushing towards him and then nothing. Life after that seemed hazy and grey, almost like he was in a dream.

The nightmares that followed the accident were startlingly real. Faces and places he recognised but couldn’t quite remember the names of. Everything seemed faded and time seemed to pass in an almost stop start way, like something from a clockwork animation. It was funny but Austin never felt quite the same afterwards, almost like he was living in another reality. A change of scene was exactly what he needed.

Austin's current scenery was trees, the odd building, mostly boarded up and the fog thick enough to cut with a knife. As he descended deeper and deeper into the fog, it felt as if he was driving into the abyss. Austin spotted a sign up ahead. Having to slow down in order for his eyes to peer through the fog he saw that the sign consisted of crumbling damp wood and a, once silver, rusted plate with big letters engraved. The letters read "Welcome to Greenvale."

Maybe I should turn back? That thought plagued Austin's mind. When he peered out of his back window, there were no gaps through the fog. It was like a sheet of snow on the window whereas the view straight ahead looked a little more positive and a little less intimidating to make his way through. Austin pressed down the gas and drove ahead. On the left, he noticed a small narrow house. It looked grey and was covered in black ash.

As Austin's Cadillac rolled deeper and deeper into Greenvale, he knew something was wrong. He had passed two rows of buildings and what looked like a church. They were all abandoned and a lot were covered in ash. There were no people, no cars, nothing. There was nothing except empty buildings and ash. Inky and soft, like downy fur and it coated everything that wasn’t blanketed by the fluffy white vapours. The fog faded gradually but was still clearly evident. Austin pushed down on the brake and got out of the car. The coldness in the air pinched his cheeks. He was sure that he had never been there before but there was something about the buildings that surrounded him now that was so familiar, so hauntingly familiar.





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