By Matt McCain

 A dense layer of fog covered the long countryside road—the layer so thick, Deborah Peacock was unable to see more than five feet in front of her from the pavement level perspective she had. Her body ached in pain, but she continued crawling down the road, trying to get away.

Much of the skin on the left side of her face had been burned off, and most of the fingers on her right hand were nothing more than bloody stumps. Blood also covered her middle-aged face in grisly fashion. A terrible pain encaptivated her back, bringing her to tears as she crawled, but she kept on, hoping to find help.

The neglectful mother of four was many things—many of the more offensive insults in the English dictionary suited her well, but on that fateful summer night on that rural road, she was a survivor—the only one.

The road was dark with nothing more than a few streetlights sporadically spread out to guide her along the empty stretch of pavement. By the time she reached the half-hour mark of crawling, thoughts of stopping to catch her breath had emerged but never came to fruition. All she wanted to do was get as far away from the campsite as she could.

Along with the massive wounds throughout her body, thoughts of witnessing her boyfriend Scott being savagely murdered also brought Deborah to tears. While she’d been with many men over her lifetime, Scott stood out among the rest, almost to the point where she was willing to finally settle down and enter the final stages of her life with ease.

Now, that those ideas were no longer possible, she felt lost as the chill of the night sent shivers down her bloody spine. But, thoughts of Scott weren’t the only thing on her mind. Thoughts of her attacker also peered in and out as she crawled.

She was sure the random attacker—who had stalked them for days on end—was dead, but that didn’t really make her feel better. She was still alone on an isolated countryside road with no signs of life, and the idea of another attacker looming somewhere in the nearby woods couldn’t be ruled out, either.

But, despite her questionable reputation, she did have incredible strength—she proved it by splitting her attackers head in two with an ax, but she wasn’t immortal by any means. Just like everyone else, she had a breaking point, and she reached it moments after killing her attacker.

The massive wound from where her left cheek had been cut off burned with agonizing pain. She did everything she could to try and ignore the hurt she felt across her body, but nothing was able to keep her mind at ease. She was severely hurt and needed help, or else she would bleed to death from the unseen wounds that riddled her legs and back—a light emerged in front of her. She stopped moving.

Deborah blinked, making sure it wasn’t some type of hallucination from blood loss. At first, the light was so dim, she assumed it was another street light in the distance. A couple of seconds later, she realized it was a car.

“Oh, thank God!” she shouted as she desperately waved her hand in the air. “Help me! Help me!”

The car didn’t slow down.

In fact, it seemed to gain speed, if anything.

Knowing full well this might be her only chance of rescue, Deborah rolled onto her back in an attempt to get on her feet. Pain ripped through her body as all her weight fell onto the massive wound on her back, forcing her to let out a horrific scream.

The car sped closer.

Her heart started to pound, but she placed her fingerless hand on the cold pavement and began lifting herself up. Unsure why she wasn’t able to feel her right foot as she tried putting weight on it, Deborah looked down only to see a large piece of the foot was hacked off. She started to sob.

The car got closer as the HID bulbs cut through the fog with exceptional precision.

She pushed herself off the ground as her sobs turned to screams of agony and desperation. The more weight she applied to her mangled foot, the more she slowed down. The crippling pain from the missing skin on her face and severed fingers were minor compared to the ruthless burning coming from the lower half of her right leg and foot.

The car passed the last streetlight in front of her and closed in on her position.

She placed all her body weight onto both feet and stood up. Red veins filled her eyes as screams engulfed her voice, but once she balanced herself, she waved her hands up and stepped out onto the road.

“Hey! Stop! Stop!”

The car didn’t slow down.

She stepped into the middle of the street, waving her bloody nob of a hand up and down. “Stop, please! Please!”

The headlights lit up her face in a ghostly white fashion. She began jumping up and down. “Stop! Please! Sto—”

The car slammed into her head-on, killing her instantly. Blood splashed across the windshield a fraction of a second after impact, forcing the driver to jam on the breaks and bring the car to a screeching stop. Her body rolled off the mangled hood of the vehicle and landed on the pavement with a loud thump.

The driver put the car in park and got out quickly, unsure of what he hit due to the dense fog and broken headlight from the impact. Blood dripped off the hood as a large pool expanded in front of the vehicle. The remaining headlight shined through the fog, lighting up much of the pavement in front of the vehicle and allowed the driver to see what he hit.

The driver dropped to his knees as numbness overcame him.

“Mom…? Mom!”

Bio: Matt McCain is the author of a dozen books. Nearly half of them have reached the top #10 on Amazon Kindle Unlimited including Just Under Nine, Horror Night and The Dogs of War trilogy. He currently lives in Hooksett, NH.

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Publishing Editor for The Yard: Crime Blog.

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