Red and purple the sky rose above them as they flew through the night. The car’s engine groaning, angrily complaining at its mistreatment on this cold day. Between them nothing was spoken, nothing needed to be said. It had all been so amazing. He looked over at his lover, and she smiled back. How much she loved him! Up ahead, lights flashed, red and blue, mocking the brilliance of the dawn. Yelling in frustration, he viciously yanked the wheel, and she screamed, gripping the handle above the window.
The silver VW shuddered angrily, but it spun round, and after much swerving, he somehow moved them onto the road again. They headed back the way they came, away from the terror now behind them. A small road appeared on the left, and he swung the car between the two oaks on either side of the entrance, barely missing them.
The lights in the rear view got closer, moving faster. Speaking words of encouragement to the car, he pressed the accelerator closer to the floor. She gripped the handle tighter, and started muttering “please” under her breath, over and over. The VW responded, garnering energy from somewhere deep inside of it, and the car leapt forward down the poorly paved side road. The lights behind them faded somewhat, getting lost among the dark trees. The sky brightened further.
“Get out the map!” he said suddenly, breaking the moment.
“The map. The map, “ she repeated, looking around herself wildly. “Where is the map?”
She pulled the old, ripped paper out of its hiding place and desperately searched for their position with her finger. Not knowing where they had been along the road when they had turned off it was a problem. She racked her memory for a sign that might have told them where they were.
“Charlton,” he told her without looking over, “the last sign on the road said we were two miles from Charlton.”
She couldn’t see it on the map. She turned it over, ripping it some more in the process, and scanned the list for the town.
“Its not on here!” she cried weakly, hysteria creeping into her voice.
“Its okay,” he soothed, glancing into the rearview mirror. She looked at him, tears creeping up on her despite her best efforts to keep them down. His eyes were clear, green and pure, and focused completely on the road in front of them. The dark hair on his head was flat, some sticking to the sweat that gathered on his forehead. He did not look scared, or even uncertain. As she stared at him, she found her own nerves calming. She trusted him. Even if he failed.
His sudden sharp intake of breath caused her to look forward. Fog enveloped them within seconds. The gray mass soon hid everything from view, and he was forced to slow down. He drove without sight now, relying on the feel of the road through the car, his eyes locked on the barely visible line of tar on his left. They rocked painfully with each pothole, but he knew he couldn’t chance slowing down any further. She closed her eyes and thought about fog. They were much too low for it to be cloud, so what did it mean?
Water. They had to be near water.
She remembered that the map had a lake on it. She had crumpled it on her lap, but now she opened it again, and drew a line from the lake to the highway they had been on. She found the turn. It was the only turn. The road ran straight into the lake. Trying to remember all the twists and turns they’d made, she traced their movements. Oh my God.
“Stop!” she screamed. He looked over, his concentration broken. He hit the brakes. The car stalled, and the wheel locked. It didn’t matter.
The car ran through the wooden barrier at the road’s end, its momentum too powerful to be stopped. The few saplings in their way crashed against the front before the ground abruptly disappeared from beneath the car. The lake sat in a bowl some ten feet below, and the car sailed over it for instants that seemed like years. Then it plummeted into the mercury waters, sending up massive waves.
Abruptly, all was still. In the twilight gray of morning, the silver of the VW matched the silver of the lake, like an ice cube dropped into vodka. Slowly, very slowly, they sank down beneath the churning waves, and he gripped her hand. She grabbed his collar and pulled him to her. Red and blue lights reflected for an instant in the mirror, then were lost.
His green eyes claimed hers as the water rose. She didn’t remember hitting the bottom of the lake. She could barely see him in the vague glow of the dashboard, but she could always see his eyes. The most beautiful eyes in the world.