I Drove with Death

I drove with Death straight through the night past caution signs and rest stops poised for the lost. We never stopped, only filled the Jersey Turnpike with exhaust, like blood through living veins. The night was dark but darker still was she, her black cloak draping the passenger's seat and licking the window for release.

"Where is it we're going?" I asked, but she did not reply. She did not even glance my way. The silence was louder than I had ever heard it, as if the volume on the radio had been turned completely up and only static filled the airwaves. I thought, "Surely I could go mad in this."

"I've stayed with you," I tried to reason with her. "I could have left you long ago." But it was only my anger that tapped my ears to boiling red, only the deprivation of reason that kept me going further and further into darkness.

Before I knew it, I was passing a hundred miles per hour with the rubber sole of my sneaker nearly dripping hot like candle wax onto the floormat. I could not see a thing. The road signs had seemingly disappeared. The world as I knew it had disappeared. I turned the knob for the high beams but they would not give. Click-click. Click-click. Nothing. My fingers turned frantic as if those lights would gain me clarity and salvation. Click-click. Click-click-and the headlights shown bright ahead, seeping into the fog. It was then I saw them, the carcasses lining either side of the highway, creatures I had never seen before. "My God," I spilled forth, and choking on the foul air, gasped for each breath like a fish slapping the hot boards of a dock.

"What of your god?" Death snapped as one by one a new creature fell from nothing, their bones splitting on the concrete. I turned my eyes toward Death, who did not flinch one bit, but remained stoic, unaffected.

"Are you doing this?" I panicked. But silence, once again.

"Answer me!" I screamed in desperation. "I've seen you look at others. But you've never once glanced my way. Why am I so different? Why won't you look at me?"

"Child," she spoke. The word felt like the cleanest sword piercing straight through my stomach; a pain almost pleasant in its severity. "Can't you see? I do not need to look your way because you have never once taken your eyes off of me. You are mine. There is nothing I need do."