About seven miles down the road she noticed the flashing lights in the rear view mirror from a state patrol car and she slowed to a crawl, then to a stop on the shoulder, her body still shaking from the aftershock. Her heart raced again, but for different reasons: here she was, flying out of town like a bat out of Hell, covered in now-invisible crusted silvery pus and feeling like some post-apocalyptic vampire slayer…
The trooper was busy, engaged in some activity in his vehicle, probably trying to find the license plate or something. Why do these things always take so long? Lucille wondered to herself, her heart still fluttering. He finally emerged and headed towards her, shining one of those heavy don’t-mess-with-me-or-I’ll-beam-you-in-the-head flashlights in the window.
A gravely voice rang out, “You were doin’ 115 in a 70. Whats’a hurry?” The trooper leaned in and studied her a moment before he said, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. You O.K. there, Miss?”
Lucille strained to find her voice but all that came out was a long sigh.
“I’m gonna have to write you up,” the trooper continued. “Where’re you coming from so fast this time of night?”
Lucille burst into tears, her voice small and distant whispered, “Nightshade.”
“Where?!” the trooper exclaimed, tightening his grip on the flashlight as he reeled backwards into his heels a bit.
“Nightshade. I came from Nightshade,” Lucille repeated.
The trooper seemed obviously taken aback. “Ain’t nobody been in Nightshade for over forty years! That town’s been dead longer than I’ve been alive. Not even a hole in the road nowadays. Why, you wouldn’t know there was ever a town there, just a burnt out ol’ tavern and a bunch of rubble,” he stared at her intently as he careened the light all throughout the car, illuminating everything in its path. He froze in his tracks.
“I’m trying to get to the casino,” Lucille whimpered.
“Hell, the casino’s been closed for twenty…” the trooper said as he backed away slowly, aghast. The tables turned, now he looked as if he had seen the ghost. But, then again, perhaps he had…