The evening started off pretty well. My folks were babysitting the wee ones (good timing as they were all coming down from a Halloween induced sugar-high) so I had taken them round and left them fed, jammies-on and teeth-brushed. I headed home in the car via the local Co-op, where I procured a post-party bottle of wine.
The car didn’t beep-beep as expected when I pressed the key fob on my way out of the shop… because I had left it unlocked, on a dimly lit street and adjacent to a gloomy alleyway. I casually glanced in the back seat to check for unsavoury types – I’m unclear on the exact rules but I think anything other than a casual glance can have very serious consequences… All clear.
I had to leave the village and head across the Eaglesham Moor to get home. About half a mile along the road the petrol light came on. And started flashing. In normal circumstances this means I have about 15 miles worth of petrol. I don’t know what that is in driving-over-a-moor-on-Halloween-weekend years…
Around this time I glimpsed movement in the rear view mirror – something moving quickly across the back of the car. It was about the right vague shape and speed to be the back windscreen wiper, except I didn’t remember it being on. Obviously it would have been simple to just flick the lever and know for sure that it was the wiper. Or know for sure that it wasn’t. I decided I’d prefer not to know.
This was starting to feel quite familiar. A feeling of familiarity which grew as my head shrank down inside my furry hood (because furry hoods are very effective against large sharp bits of steel). I was in the opening sequence of a c-list slasher movie.
It was with huge relief that I got to the end of the moor and onto better lit roads… Until the first car I met flashed urgently at me. Jesus! I hadn’t heard anything that sounded like a severed human head being thumped onto the car roof (and right about then almost any noise would have sounded like a severed human head being thumped onto the car roof) but clearly I was about to…
Or possibly my fellow traveller was annoyed that in my hood dwelling anxiety I had left my full beams on.
So, apologies to all the teenage horror movie characters I have ever described as unbelievably stupid for partying in the haunted house, or snogging under the bridge where the twins died all those years ago, or driving over the dark country road alone with low petrol… I’d like to retract the ‘unbelievably’, please.