pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Dead in Car Mystery

12:15 Mailbox.  I take out the mail, then add my netflicks and put the flag up.  This happens like clockwork, six days a week, since 1976, when I bought the farm.  Sometimes, I drive back up the hill, then think, "Did I put the flag up?" Which inevitably leads to me driving back down the driveway and checking.  Mixed bag results insure that I keep checking if I did not "watch" myself lift the flag.

Some days, I pull forward to get away from the mailbox, then reverse past the end of the drive, turn in and drive on up to put the car in the garage.  But I've learned that day after day of that, without ever letting the thing rev up over 2000 on the dial is bad.  After having to replace the battery, every second day or so, I tootle off up the hill, turn into the driveway for the Sunny Slope Church, pull around on the gravel road past the stop sign far enough out to actually be able to see around the road sign before making my complete stop and pulling out.

Enough times to make me extra cautious, this normally deserted corner has had someone approaching above the speed limit so that I've at least gotten scared that I might get hit.

This time, as soon as I crest the hill, I see a car with the driver sitting still looking down at his/her lap, front just inches off the paving,   I focus on the unmoving driver.  As my car passes the intersection to reach the church drive, I turn my head to keep the driver in sight.

No movement.  I circle the trees and grass in front of the church, pass the bench under the biggest oak, pause long enough to look to be sure nobody is hiding their approach to the corner behind the leafy bushes that keep the road out of sight to the east, then pull up beside the stopped car.

The driver still has not moved.  Most people will at least look up if a car circles their vehicle and drives up beside them on an otherwise isolated road.  Not this person, however.  I scribble the license plate number on the Lockridge flier along the top of the free paper I'd laid in the passenger's seat: CCR 059.

Carefully, I note the driver's deets: reddish, curly hair, shoulder lenght, 40-50's?  I know I'm bad with ages.  I assume female, but it is not a sure thing from that view.   Finding my first dead human body not half a mile from my home has not made it onto my bucket list.

I roll the passenge's window down and call out.  She looks up.  "I couldn't tell if you were hurt, or not."  I'm thinking about Pete, who used to live a few miles west of this spot.  He got out of his dump truck nearly to his house, meeting someone heading east.  He collapsed and died, right there.  He could have been hit and killed, but that's not what happened.  Unless this unknown lady is really a local I happen to never have run into (although arriving in the area in '76, I know most of the locals who have not just moved in...) she would not know why stopped vehicle on that particular road might make one jump to an ominous conclusion.

"I'm just checking my phone messages," lifing her hand so I can see it.

I suggest she pull into the Sunny Slope Church driveway, assuring her that it will not be in use until Sunday morning or Wednesday evening.

As I pulled onto the paving and headed toward the hill leading home, I saw in my side mirror that she did.

Tags: real life drama

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