Day Trippers

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September 18th 2013  |  3  |  Category: Adventure , Drama , Fiction , Horror , Suspense , Thriller  |  Author: Barry.Murphy  |  8681 views

Pictures, Susan loved to take pictures, landscape, portraits, still life. She would always have her camera to hand, just encase she would miss that sunset, an oddly contorted tree with a barbed wire fence assimilated into it or the moon reflecting on the dark water of the lake, she was a dreamer at heart. Dan has always loved this about her, her ability to see more in a picture then must people. Dan he was more of a practical guy with a “If you don’t judge a book by its cover how are you going to know what it’s about” attitude to life.

It was Saturday morning in mid-July, Dan was woke by a feverish bouncing and reluctantly opened his eyes. The morning sun was beaming through the bedroom window, Susan silhouette danced in the sun light, the bed room curtains were fully drawn there was no hiding. She was wide awake and straddling him on the bed bouncing with excitement. “Come on babe it time to get up, it beautiful out” his first reply was “What time is it?” the only response give was “It’s go time” With that she had jumped from his hips and was gone to the kitchen” Dan knew this meant only one thing, Susan loved road trip. It didn’t really matter where, anywhere and nowhere. He followed zombielike to the kitchen where breakfast was waiting with a strong cup of black coffee.
The roads were quite that Saturday morning as they made their way down the country, sticking mostly to the smaller secondary roads for a greater sense of adventure. Driving down roads enclosed by tall heavily leafed trees, the sun light flashed speckles of light trough the shadows of the dense foliage. Susan was holding her camera recording the passing scenery and landmarks and occasionally pointing it at Dan, she whould ask questions or giving a brief commentary of where they hasd pasted or where they were heading. They had stopped at a few places as they made their way down the country. Susan would take some pictures and Dan would enjoy a quick smoke, much to the disapproval of Susan.
They arrived in Dungarvan in Waterford just before lunch and both were feeling hungry. “I think it’s time for some grub hone, what you thinking?” Dan said. Susan perked up in her seat “Let’s head down towards the harbor, I’m sure there is somewhere we can sit out” They headed through town and toward the sea and found a small café with tables outside, they ordered some food and sat watching the boats bobbing their way out to the Irish Sea. A light breeze was blowing in from the open water as they finished eating their lunch. Susan was now wrapped in the protective warming embrace of Dan, he kissed her cheek and asked “Where do you want to go now?” She turned her heads and look into Dan’s eyes and with a playful smile said “I’d be happy to stay here in your arms till sunset” smiling they both looked at each other “but let’s get one more coffee and hit the road again” Dan laughed and kissed Sue softly on the forehead and said “I pop in and get us one more, same again?” Susan replied “Please babe” Dan went back into the café and got two more coffees an Americana for him and a latte and caramel for Sue. As Dan was paying for the coffee he noticed Susan was speaking to a man who looked like he had just came from one of the fishing boats. By the time he walk back outside the man had gone. “Who was that you were speaking too Sue?” “He was a fisherman, I think! I asked him if he knew of any old ruins around that would be good for some photographs” Susan said. “He told me of old Affane Church, it’s only down the road about 15 minutes’ drive. Sound like it could be very interesting place to take few a photos” Dan laughed “Ha the tourist board at work again, we can have these in the car on the drive so, lets saddle up Missy”
They arrived at Affane Church; from the road you could see the top of the old steeple barely emerging above the trees of the surrounding woods. There wasn’t much of anything around the area except for one or two small farms they had passed. Susan and Dan got out of the car and stood beside an old grey stone wall, just behind which they could see among the over grown grass and briers where some old headstones, some still standing others fallen and broken. “Great an old grave yard; you never told me there was an old grave yard” Dan said, Susan laughed “Don’t be silly, there is nothing to be worried about, sure amn’t I here to protect you” Susan said playfully mocking Dan. Susan had her camera out and started taking pictures. Dan looked at her shaking his head. The place was silent there was not a sound heard from the surrounding area except for the birds in the trees. They started to make their way towards the old church through the grave yard. Susan’s watchful eye held fast to the camera. Dan clumsily made his way over fallen headstones and briers; he was tippy toeing over graves trying his best not to stand on any. Suddenly there came a flapping and rustling sound high in the trees and a murder of black crows shout out from the trees with a loud CAW, CAW, CAW Dan and Susan jumped with a fright and Dan let out a loud “JUESUS” Susan panned her camera from him up the what little blue sky she could see through the dense covering of the tress just catching the crows as the vanished overhead. Susan and Dan looked at each other silently for a moment and then both exhaled quietly laughing together.
They came to a small opening in the trees and headed trough, the old church stood in front of them. The roof had fallen in long ago and all windows and doors were gone. Dark green Ivy crawled up the sides and you could see the top of a tree grown from inside the main building. The main doorway to the church was at the base of the steeple; it was dark and uninviting. Dan turned to Susan and with a half-smile on his face said “Behold the old church. Let’s take some pictures so we can hit the road” Susan smiles at him “Someone’s is in a hurry” she raised her camera, took a few pictures and switched it to video. While recording he began to narrate “Here we are today at Affane Church in gorgeous Waterford on this lovely summers day. It’s me Susan…” she turned the camera and pointed it at herself and gave an over exaggerated goofy smile and a wave “Hello” she turned the camera back around “And this is my hunky fearless boyfriend Dan, say hi Dan” Dan look into the camera waved and comically saying “Hi everybody” Susan continued “We here looking around this old 19th century ruined church and spooky gave yard” She paned the camera around slowly taken in the church and surround woods, then moved onto the a few of the fallen gravestones. Dan stayed near the front of the church sitting up on a broken piece of wall waiting for Susan to finish up. There was a rushing of some leaves from the side of the church, then, thud and a crack. “Susan, you ok?” silence, “Susan” there was no answer, Dan jumps to his feet and ran to the side of the church where she had been “ Come on Sue, stop messing around, where did you go” again silence, he shouted again “Susan” this time you can hear the worry in his voice. He made his way around the church. Susan’s unconscious body was lying on the ground face down. “Susan” his voice trembling. Dan quickly ran towards her. There was a rustling from the bushes behind him. Then, thud, Dan was struck from behind, all he saw was a flash of white light then all is black.
Dan began to come around, his body aching and his head throbbing with pain. There was blood around his neck and the top of his t-shirt, whatever or whoever hit him, hit him hard. He sat on the part of a broken grave stone, dazed; his mind blank his vision still not focused, he was not sure where he was or what had just happen. He started becoming more lucid, he senses were tuning back into his surroundings. He raised his left hand to rub the back of his neck but at the same time lost his balance and he propped himself up with his right, he swung his left arm back around and saw the blood on his palm of his hand. He stood up with a dart and looked around where he was standing. There on the ground a few feet in front of him was Susan’s camera. With the rush of blood to the brain from standing up too fast it all came flooding back to him, like a movie on fast forward. “Susan’s not here, how long was I out, oh god Susan” he taught as he began to panic. “SUSAN” he shouted.
Deep breaths, Deep breaths he began to calm a little. “How long has it been since I was knocked out” he bent down and grabbed the camera. The screen still worked, he hit onto the playback option and opened the last video file. He quickly forwarded to the nearly the end, he stopped when he saw the camera drop to the ground. He watched the last minute and could his voices shout for Susan on the video, then he heard a thud. “That must have been when I was hit” then he saw something that terrified him. Coming into the shout were the legs of someone walking towards the camera, heavy looking black boots and what looked like green work pant of overhauls! They past again this time Susan unconscious body was dragged slowly past. Then the soul of the boot came crashing into the front of the camera and the screen was black, the time index on the screen stopped at 15.55, Dan look at his watch it was 16.20. He was knocked out for nearly 25 minutes.

Dan examined the ground were the camera had been, he could make out drag makes heading in a direction leading back behind the old church into the woods. He grabbed an old part of an iron railing from one of the grave surrounds, it was a long bar with a spear like head at the top. He quickly ran behind the church and disappeared into the woods. His heart was beating faster than it had ever done; adrenal coursed through his veins. All he could think about was his beloved Susan her smile, her eyes, her glowing face. He watched the ground and could see marks resembling the dragging marks on the ground back at the church, he ran, and there on the ground one of Susan’s shoes, he picked it up and clenched it in one hand. A tear rolled down his check, “Susan oh God, No time for that, I must keep going” he ran. Dan reached the edge of the woods and was now standing at the edge oa a large field, this in turn was boarded by trees and bushes on all sides. He quickly and franticly scanned all sides of the field for something anything thing to give him a clue. Finally in the distance at the opposite end of the field he caught sight of a faint movement, something though a small gap. He moved quickly, staying along the edges of the field by the trees and bushes so not to been seen. All he could think over and over was “Oh God let her be ok, please God. I’m coming Sue”
Reaching the end of the field Dan quietly crawled into the bushes to see what lay beyond. There about 200 meters down on the left in the next field was an old small cottage “This has to be where Susan was taken” he though. Dan figured it would be easier to go back into the first field and go around, hopefully finding a way through to the back of the cottage so as not to be seen. He quietly crept along the hedges, ripping his clothes, cutting and scratching the skin of his arms and face on thorns and briars. He eventually found his way through to the back of the cottage, which was just beside the row of trees and hedges. There were two small dark windows on this side and he cautiously crept closer and crouched down below one of the windows. Dan stayed there for a moment listening, he could hear some movement inside but was unsure, “I have to take a look” he taught, He counted to five while he mustered the courage; he move slowly to peer in the window. There was movement inside too dark to be sure who or what was in there, it looked to be a kitchen area there was a large table in the middle of the floor with something moving on top, “Susan, it has to be” his thoughts were clear. He clenched the iron bars in his hand that he had picked up in the grave yard. The front door of the cottage opened and he could see a dark figure of someone leaving. There was a heavy slam as the door closed again; he could hear the sound of the footsteps from the other side of the cottage. Dan quietly moved to the end of the wall to see if he could spot where the person was going; they walked up to the top of the field and through the gap in the hedge into the next field.
Dan ran to the front door of the cottage and gentle as he could pushed it open, it was dark inside the windows let in very little light, then the an unnerving smell hit him, it was sweet and coppery metallic; his heart sank. He hurried to the table in the middle of the floor, It was Susan she had a gag and blindfold on and was strapped to the table. “Shh, Sue it’s me, I’ll get you out of here” there was a muffled sound of crying as Susan broke down. Dan put the metal piece of railing he was carrying on the edge of the tale and pulled the tear soaked blindfold from her face, Susan’s eyes lit up with some much joy when she saw Dan, he kissed her as he pulled the gab from her mouth. “Shh I get you out”. Susan was in such a panic she couldn’t speak. He loosened the straps the held her to the table, Susan sat up on the table like spring release throwing her arms around Dan and squeezed him with all the strength she had left. “It’s ok we’re going to get out of here I promise” Dan pulled Susan’s shoe from his pocket looked at her feet “Now Cinderella I have your slipper” Suddenly her eyes opened wide with shock, “What is it Sus, what..” he whispered. A shadow passed across her face and the sound of footsteps came from outside. Susan jumped down from table and got behinde Dan. The door began to open, Dan quickly grabbed the piece of metal railing in his hand and as the door opened fully he ran at toward it like a man possessed, he plunged the sharp spear like end deep into the person hitting them just below the shoulder on the right side, the man screamed in pain. This knocked him to the ground landing on his back; Dan lost his balance and landed on top of him. The man was middle aged man, heavy set dressed in dark green overalls, now one side looking black as blood spurted from his wound, a scarf and hat hiding hid his face. Dan picked himself up off the ground and looked down at the surprised eye staring back up at him. “Now Susan lets go” Dan clenched his fist and with all his strength drove a punch down across the man face. Susan ran outside “You son of bitch” she screamed and in a rage with all her strenght she kicked him in the groin. Dan grabbed her “Run”
They ran through the fields holding hands Susan gripped Dan’s hand with all her strength, neither of them looked back. “It’s ok Sue we’ll get back to the car and get the hell out of here”. They got to the wood dodging and ducking their way through the trees and bushes. They could see the church finally, Dan remembered Susan’s camera was lying on the ground and picked it up as they past. “Let’s get to the car” Susan said. Dan hit the unlock button on the remote for the car alarm, BEEP. The grabbed the handles to the doors of the car as if it was the only thing to slow them down. They jumped in and Dan started the car and planted his foot on the accelerator the rev counter jumped and the wheels spun looking for grip. They took off down the road as Susan pulled her bag from under the seat and took her phone out. “Stop the car Dan we have to call the Gardai” Dan looked puzzled “The Guards!” Dan slowed the car down and came to a stop. Susan had dialled 112 and an operator answered. Susan quickly explained as calmly as she could “Gardai and an Ambulance are on route to you now Miss, please stay where you are and wait in the car” Susan put the phone on her lap and her head in her hands , she began to cry. “I thought that was it, I thought he was going to kill me” Dan now began to be overcome with emotion and tears began to trickle down his face. They leaned over and put their arms around each other, both squeezed hard as if to test if each other were real. “I thought I’d lost you Sue”
They sat and waited in car for the Gardai to arrive; they could see a jeep coming in the distance. It appeared to stop up the road from them with it headlights on. “I don’t think that’s the Gardai” Susan said. They could hear the engine of the jeep revving up, “It’s him” Dan’s said in a low voice. The jeep started to come towards them, Dan threw the car into reverse, the jeep was nearly on them. In the rear view mirror the flashing light of a Garda car appeared on the horizon. The jeep hit the front of the car throwing Susan and Dan back hard in their seats, Dan’s arm slip on the steering wheel and the car turned to the side, the front of jeep was now at Dan’s right shoulder pushing his car sideways down the road. The sound of the crunching metal and the tyres screeching on the road surface echoed in there car. A Garda car siren was blaring and the noise was getting closer, Susan started screaming hysterically. “Stop the vehicle, now” a Garda shouted over a loud speaker “Stop the vehicle” Dan slammed the car into first gear and stamped onto the accelerator, the car roared to life and slid across the front of the jeep as it did the cars backend was swung around by the front jeep. Dan and Susan’s car veered off the road and landed sideway in a ditch, the jeep slammed into a tree on the opposite side of the road, the drive slumped over onto the steering wheel with the horn now whining loudly. The Gardai and paramedics ran to both cars, “Are you two ok?” Susan and Dan looked at each other, Dan raised his hand to Susan’s cheek and softy brushed her hair back from her face. They were badly shaken up but alive and together; the driver of the jeep was pronounced dead at the scene his body slumpped over in the front seat of the jeep.

By Barry Murphy


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3 Responses to Day Trippers

  1. Barry says:

    Thanks Ekta glad you liked it.

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