Fear Road A novel

Randy Thompson walks Fear Road in Mississippi. As he meets hitchhikers, they tell him of The Road Killer, who threatens everyone who gets in his way.

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1. Fear Road-1975

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The first time Randy thought of the hitchhikers was about reading about the death of Sandra Hill. She had hitchhiked along Interstate 55; she was a native Tennessee woman who hated her parents giving her strict rules. Meeting truckers, and other weird people, was something that hadn't bothered her. Randy knew that women were prone to dying if they were alone. He remembered Jane Farrow, his first girlfriend, was smiling as they went to The Tennessee border, and had dinner at ​The Harrison Bird Restaurant​ in the cold December night in 1973. When she had died in a car accident in August of 1974, Randy took her death hard. She was only thirty. At thirty-three, Randy knew that the terror of Fear Road would take more victims. The spirit of Watergate in June of 1972, loomed over the country; the spirit of death felt alien to Randy, as if he was having an out-of-body experience. Randy knew that Fear Road had its share of killers that roamed the country picking off victims without any kind of conscious. He had determined not to deal with the dread that overcame him as he knew what was missing from his life: a wife. Randy knew that the idea of seeing other women on dates was hard; he was eager to make sure death hadn't come his way, as news of The Road Killer's movement, hadn't bothered him...yet. He waved down a man in a black van. "Can you take me to Tennessee?", he asked him. The man, who was twenty-five, nodded. "Sure, man. There's a lot of bad vibes around here since President Nixon resigned in August of 1974. Besides, no one trusts the Government; no one can trust them because of Nixon's anger over the Kennedy family". Randy shook his head. He knew evil had come to America; evil thrived across all of the fifty states, as the American flags blew in the southerly wind. Randy shook his head. He opened the passenger-side door. He smiled, as he closed the door. Then he put on his seat belt, then waited.

"I'm Jessie Lowell".  

"Randy". 

"Got work in Tennessee?", Jessie asked him.

"Yeah, I work solving unknown crimes like The Road Killer", he answered him. 

"The Road Killer. Is he like The Zodiac Killer?", Jessie said.

"Yes, and no. No one caught him".

"So, do you drive your truck across the country?".

"Got to pay the bills. Keeps Jill and the kids happy in Mississippi". He smiled at Randy. Ten minutes' later, Randy saw the sign that read: STATE ROUTE 22​. He stared at it. 

"Here we are, man", Jessie said. 

"Thank you. Good bye!", Randy said.

"Good bye!", Jessie said. Randy took off his seat belt, then opened the door. Then he opened the felt the grey stones on the harsh road on his feet; he then walked towards the city of Tennessee...and felt like a stranger going towards a city which hated travellers.

****

By ten-thirty five AM, the morning mist arrived in Tennessee. It was something Randy hated. He saw ​Robertson's Diner​. He opened the back door. Several cars were parked in ​Bradley's Car Park​. He had long, black hair, brown eyes, and tall. He wore a black shirt, black flares, a black belt, grey socks, and black shoes on his feet. He saw a woman  dressed in a blue dress. She smiled at him.

"Help you?", she asked him.

"Yes, I'd like scrambled eggs on toast, and a coffee, please". He sat down on a spare seat. Then he paid her a twenty dollar bill. She gave him a ten dollar bill.

"Thank you", he said. And she smiled. 

****

The Road Killer smoked a cigarette. 

He heard about the news on the radio about the death of Sandra Hill, Thelma Gordon, and Jill Klein, over the last decade or so. He hadn't imagined that the women were easy to die. They had fought-hard. He had used a sharp knife in his right hand; he used a hammer as well. He breathed in deeply. The falling snow hindered his plans over the holiday period. He was too eager to kill. The energy of the deaths fuelled his conscious behaviour. He stared at the Mississippi border; he was feeling his heart beat faster and faster as he saw a broken down car. Three teenagers were worried.

"Can I help you?", he asked them.

"Yeah, man. The engine broke. It'll be harder to drive back into town. I'm Matt Archer. This is my girlfriend, Amy Harris. And Margaret Sheppard". The Road Killer feigned a happy grin.

"John Anson. I work in Tennessee, and Mississippi. I drive all over the country". The last part was true. It was a good cover story in case everyone was too nosey attempting to get more information about him; the driving was a rush. He smoked a cigarette.

"The engine's blown. It needs to be repaired. Bad luck! Maybe two hundred, three hundred dollars, I suggest". He hadn't fake the dire situation. It was bad. I'd say you need to call the towing company in Tennessee...and it's going to be an expensive day for all of you I'm afraid". Matt nodded. He headed to a pay phone that was nearby...and made the call to the towers.

****

Randy gazed at the people around him. When his meal was served, as well as his coffee, he wanted to believe in the idea that the Road Killer would be easily found. He savoured his meal, and hoped that he would decide to catch him before it was too late. 

****

Jamie Irvine glanced at the snowy road. She was eager to think that the Road Killer was someone who wasn't going to harm her; she wasn't going to believe in the notion that death would come for her as she hitchhiked across America. She stared at the Mississippi sign. And, as she waved her right, middle, finger out to get a ride, she was certain that death would come for her sooner rather than later. And, as she waited patiently, she knew that the nightmares of the past year was behind her.

****

 

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