By: David K. Montoya
Ben had been driving for hours; he was on his way back home and currently heading on I-15 toward Vegas. Ben had gotten word the other day that a close friend from college had been killed in a freak car accident. It had been over six years since his last visit. He had never been a family person. Ben’s plan was to stay for only a few days before heading back to Aspen, swearing to himself that he would never go back, unless it was a matter of great importance.
Which this was; the person responsible for his success was dead, and he felt that it was his duty to honor Bobby’s memory at the wake on Friday.
He had gotten word of the accident on Tuesday afternoon, just as he was finishing up a lecture. His assistant handed him a small piece of paper, just as he was stepping down from the podium. Ben opened the small folded piece of notepad paper, but he did not read it right away.
A few hours later, as he was pulling a set of keys from his pocket, Ben remembered the note. Finally opening the letter, it read:
Mark called. He said that Bobby had been killed in a car accident.
Within a couple of hours Benjamin was on the road, heading back to his hometown in California.
“Twelve forty-four in the morning,” Ben said to himself as he looked at his wristwatch. “I should be in Barstow by at least three.”
As he traveled down the darkened road, Reyes started to become uneasy with the spine-chilling silence. Trying to take his mind away from the eerie feeling he now had, the man’s eyes landed on the radio.
Without hesitation, Ben turned on the radio and started to thumb through the stations trying to find something that would come in. Eventually, he came across a station playing Orson Wells’ original radio play “The War of the Worlds”.
“That will do,” he said.
Only a few miles farther up the road, the signal began to break up. Ben attempted to readjust the dial, but eventually gave up and turned off the radio altogether.
“Stupid piece of shit,” Ben shouted, while slamming his fist up against the radio.
No sooner did he start to feel better, when the sensation of fright returned. Ben attempted to talk himself out of it by blaming it on the darkness. Darkness was something of which the young man never liked.
Searching his thoughts more, Reyes questioned himself, as to why being alone in the dark bothered him so.
Then it came to him...
“Benjamin Reyes, come here this instant!” Ben’s father demanded.
Young Ben did not like that tone in his father’s voice; he knew that his dad had been drinking, and he also knew it was not safe to make him call twice. So he quickly said, “Coming, Poppa.”
The boy peeked around the corner and saw the old man sitting in his recliner. He could make out that the man was waving his belt back and forth. Ben knew he was in some sort of trouble.
“Poppa, what did I do wrong?” Ben asked as he walked up to his father.
“Nothing, son, I just wanted you to come here.” He replied, with a slight smile.
1 2 3 4