Yesterday’s Drive

"The Long Road Home." Photo by Katarina Hrazdina.

The last thing that I want to be doing on Halloween night is babysitting my little brother. However, according to my parents, there is no way for me to get out of this. I have been threatened to be grounded, have my phone taken away, lose my allowance, never see my friends again; pretty much any privileges I have under the sun will be lost if I refuse. 

I’m supposed to be at my friend’s house right now for a party, but I’m here instead, sitting on my own couch and watching the Charlie Brown Halloween special with my brother. I look over to him and notice that he isn’t even paying attention to the TV, so I roll my eyes and hit the power button on the remote.

“Hey!” he whines, looking up from his paper and crayons to the black TV screen, “Why’d you do that?”

“You’re not even watching it, Henry, so who cares?” I stand up and walk into the kitchen, half-heartedly doing the dishes that my parents told me to do.

“But I was listening, Abby,” he groans.

“How about you just go to bed,” I say, wiping off a plate with a washcloth. 

“I didn’t even get to go trick or treating.”

“I can buy you candy tomorrow, just go to sleep,” I roll my eyes again.

“But I wanted to go–”

I throw my washcloth in the sink and turn to face him. “And I wanted to go to my friend’s party, so I guess Halloween didn’t work out for either of us.” Henry looks at me for a second longer before storming off into his room. Finally, I can have some peace and quiet. 

I walk to the living room to pick up some of the popcorn and snacks I was eating, when I notice the drawing Henry was working on. I pick it up, seeing that he drew a picture of me when we were sitting on the couch, but chills run down my spine as I get a closer look.

There’s someone sitting next to me.

It is only the two of us here, and there was definitely nobody on the couch next to me other than him, but the worst part is that the person he drew, the little girl, looks familiar. 

She has the same black hair I remember, but in this drawing, she has blood all over her face and body, and she is wearing a white dress. I cover my mouth out of shock as memories of yesterday come back to me.

I run to my brother’s room, carrying the drawing as I knock on his door. “What?” a sad voice responds.

I open the door to see him sitting on his bed, reading a comic. “You drew this?” I ask. “Of me when we were watching TV?”

“Yes,” he says slowly, like he’s confused as to why I’m so distraught. “Why?”

“Who is…” I turn the picture around, pointing to the drawing of the girl next to me. “This?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you mean, what do I mean?” I laugh nervously. “Who is that girl?”

“She was sitting right next to you,” he responds, looking at me like I’m the crazy one. “Did you not see her?”

My eyes widen and my mouth falls open before I begin running through the house, frantically throwing open the doors to every room we have, searching for any sign of her being here. “Abby, what’s wrong?” Henry shouts to me from his room.

“Nothing!” I shout back as I pull back the shower curtains in our bathroom. “Just stay in your room!” 

After checking every room and confirming that nobody is here, I walk back into the living room, attempting to stabilize my shaking hands. Suddenly, the TV turns on all by itself, and I jump at the sound of it, releasing a small shriek. 

At first, the TV is still playing Charlie Brown, but then it switches to a news channel. “Seven year old Adelaide Miller was reported dead this morning after a hit and run took place last night. Police are still searching for the person responsible.”

My breath quickens as I feel guilt in my throat, choking me. The screen then shows a familiar face, one that will be ingrained into my brain for the rest of my life, the same face that is drawn on the piece of paper in my hands. I run to the couch and grab the remote, quickly turning the TV off. 

I spin in a circle, surveying the room once more, feeling like I’m somehow not alone. After a moment of complete silence, I jump at the sound of my doorbell. I quickly walk to the door, dropping the drawing my brother made on the floor. I glance out the window first, seeing a bunch of kids in costumes. I roll my eyes and open the door only an inch as I peek part of my head out.

“Trick or treat!” the group yells in unison.

“I don’t have any candy, kids, that’s why the porch light is off,” I say before slamming the door shut. When I turn back around, I notice that the drawing I dropped on the floor is gone, and chills run up my spine.

I slowly round the corner into my kitchen, when I notice a piece of paper stuck to the fridge that was never there before. I walk closer to get a better look.

It’s the drawing.

It looks the same as it once did, only this time, I have blood all over me, and the little girl does not. I slowly back away, knocking into my kitchen island when the doorbell rings again. I let out a frustrated groan. I speed walk to the door, tearing it open.

“I said I didn’t have any–” I stop talking when I see there isn’t anyone at the door. I poke my head out, looking to the right and left of my porch, only to realize that nobody is there. 

“Trick or treat,” a voice says behind me.

I quickly spin around, coming face to face with the little girl, the one that was pronounced dead, the one I am responsible for killing. 

The last thing I see is the little girl smile, and the last thing I hear is my screams. 

About Ally Sapienza 396 Articles

Ally Sapienza is a senior at Clayton A. Bouton  High School. Her story, “Check Again,” came in second in the 2022 Voorheesville Short Story Contest. That story can be found here.

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