“It’s another lonely evening, in another lonely town…”

I sing softly to AC/DC while raindrops amplify on my car’s window frame as my windshield wipers go in the same motion over and over again. Repetition. Life is a cycle of existential dread but I shall not succumb to just complaining. I was going to do something. This was a runaway. A temporary one. One day I woke up and had enough. I was just going to go. No plan, a few hundred dollars in my pocket and sunglasses on. I drove past houses and wondered how hidden things are. Emotions, thoughts and circumstance. Everything looks fine, especially fine from the outside but are they really? Maybe I’m just too young and too scared.

It was kind of nice – taking a break at a gas station and sitting in my car with my black coffee as the rain turned into a light storm. I was never a fan of bitter things, but I was feeling all the darkness so maybe this could warm me up or match it.

“Misery loves company.”

My soul left my body as I jerked, almost spilling my coffee. An UPIMC appeared. Unidentified. Person (perhaps a ghost)  In. My. Car. A young lady with orange eyes and a bob sat next to me. She looked translucent and her features, sleepy.

“You might just be as lonely as Peter working at the gas station.” I was probably just dreaming – but it felt so real. There was something in this coffee, all right.

“Oh, great.” I started laughing. I needed a laugh. Then I started crying. Great.

“We don’t need to talk. I just need a break from my tedious ghost peers.”

“The depth of loneliness is haunting. I don’t know why I’m talking to you when my mind is saying run but my gut is strangely comfortable. I can’t fit with my human peers so we are as good as friends. Come along to this grand journey to nowhere.”

I played that song again and started the engine.

“I’m going to ride on, ride on.”

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Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

I liked this story Tan Swee Ling. There are little hints, like the black coffee, (dark things to come) I loved the line “Misery loves company.”
Lots going on here, but it’s all leading the reader on. Good tale, I liked it.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

I thought for a moment there was going to be a romantic ending with Peter at the gas station.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
1 year ago

I love the UPIMC! It had me intrigued from the start and really made me chuckle when I found out what it was. And I loved the way you set the scene with AC/DC, the raindrops and wipers; it definitely gave a great impression of the loneliness and repetition.

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Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

Tan Swee Ling, you’ve kept the tension well balanced throughout and you hooked the readers from the start. Really great story!

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