The Passenger (Crime draft)

I don’t really write crime although I would like to. I don’t read a lot of it either so this is quite a challenge I have set myself. Anyway, bare bones of a short story which I am sure will go through various edits and rewrites.

—-

I take the slip road onto the motorway, checking my rear view and side mirrors as I merge into the first lane. A song is on the radio that I don’t recognize. The bass line is slow and heavy, it’s annoying me so I turn it off. I need to concentrate.  The road isn’t that busy so I indicate and move into the middle lane as I press down onto the accelerator. Keeping one eye on the road and one on my mirrors I consider my next move. If I get this wrong it could be all over. I’m speeding, pushing 95 mph but the rest of the traffic is going at a similar pace so I know this won’t arouse suspicion. I ease off anyway.

The young woman next to me is silent and staring out of the passenger window. I asked her to keep calm and thankfully she obeyed my orders. I hate giving orders. I’m not very good at it but it’s a big part of my job. I glance over to her again and see that she is crying. She isn’t sobbing, just crying quietly and occasionally sniffing. I extend my arm and offer her a tissue from my chest pocket but she ignores me.

We drive further north, passing Birmingham and a few hours later we crawl past Manchester. A red light starts flashing on my dashboard telling me that I need to stop for petrol urgently. It is a risk. Cursing myself for not thinking this through I turn off at the next services. Luckily I can pay at the pump so I can keep my eye on the girl. She can’t run anyway, not with her ankles tied together.

I need not worry though as she doesn’t try to escape. For the past four hours she has been frozen in the same position and not even turned to look out of the windscreen. I’m almost disappointed that she has lost her fighting spirit, she’s not the girl I used to know.

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