The weekend quickly arrived, the sun shining through my windows at me while I drank my morning coffee. Brandy is rushing through the house, making sure she has everything packed for the trip. Zac and Brittany are at their place waiting for us to pick them up. They are strangely over excited about the trip. I guess I’m the only party pooper, I have zero interest in going. I don’t know, just rather be home than in some creepy abandoned town. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.
I take a long drink of the hot liquid, feeling it flow down my throat, reaching every inch of my insides. The air is a bit chilly this morning, the wind blowing in through my opened windows. The weather said it’s going to be around eighty degrees today, but who knows their always wrong. I know I know, I’m a bit negative about a lot of things, but who wouldn’t be. I mean look at the world, it’s a very negative place, I just see it the way it is.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table, staring out the window as the sun is still rising over the horizon. I have an old black t-shirt on, with a pair of faded blue jeans. My hair has gotten so long the brown strands poke me in the eyes, I don’t mind, I prefer my hair long anyway. The poking is a bit inconvenient though.
“Ready.” I hear Brandy shout from the bathroom.
I chug the remaining coffee in my mug, pushing off from the table. I sit my cup down under the coffee maker, ready for next time. I grab my car keys from the table, then head down the hall to grab my little duffel bag.
“Alright, let’s load up and head out then.” I say.
She smiles at me, then leans in and kisses my cheek, staring at me for a moment before picking up her bags and bounces out the front door. She seems extra cheery today, I should try to be happy, at least fake it for her. I don’t want to ruin it for everyone.
We head down the porch steps to my car in the drive way. I pop open the trunk and load up all the bags. She hops in the backseat, already expecting Zac to claim the front, which he will. He once picked Brandy up and literally put her in the backseat when she refused to move. It was pretty funny to watch.
I hop into the front and start the engine, backing up out of the drive. We head down the road about a half mile towards Zacs’ house, passing by the old failed businesses of our town. Nothing but gas stations manage to stay afloat here. We used to have a few actual stores, but they all closed out within a year of opening. Now they stand as empty reminders to anyone foolish enough to try again.
We pull up to the curb outside Zacs’ place, him and Brittany are outside waiting on his front steps. Zac and Brittany didn’t pack anything, guess they will just stop and buy what they need when they need it.
“What’s up fucker? You ready to rock and roll?” Zac asked excitedly.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” I state, faking a grin.
“Hey guys.” Brittany said, before droning on about something she heard on the news to Brandy.
We drive off down the road, pulling onto the highway leading away from town. Long empty stretches of highway, nothing but grass and corn fields to see. A tree here and there. The highway is poorly maintained, chunks of asphalt missing and cracked making the drive bumpy.
We go for about forty-five minutes before passing by a small town, the kind you would miss if you blinked.
“Hey Jack, the bridge with the big river is just outside this town, keep your eyes peeled, I want to take a picture there.” Brandy said.
“Gotcha.” I state, holding a thumbs up at her.
We pass through the town in a matter of seconds, only two houses were visible from the road. Shit, if she wants an abandoned town this could’ve been it. I let out a slight smile to myself at the thought.
Just on the other side of the town the bridge becomes visible up ahead. I pull to the side of the road at the far end of the bridge. We all pile out and walk onto the bridge, the waves of the river crash against the dirt walls holding it in place. We all pile in the center together. Brandy pulls out a small digital camera and places it on the railing of the bridge, pointing at us. She presses a button the runs over to us.
She grabs me around the waist and we all smile real big waiting for the flash. The bright light washes over us, capturing the moment. Brandy rushes back to the camera.
“Perfect.” She shouts, pumping her fist in the air.
I stare out at the river for a moment, the rushing water creating gusts of wind as the flow of water carries on down the canal. I take a deep breath, the smell like that of the ocean in the air. Real peaceful.
We make our way back to the car and pile in, continuing our journey. We drive another half hour before passing the giant statue. We don’t stop at this one, it’s so big you can see every inch of it as it overlooks the road. The statue is that of a giant angel, it’s placed in front of an old white church. A large cross is standing tall beside the angel, as if it is blessing travelers who pass by, or warning them.
The tall statue is grey and weathered from its many years standing there, but it’s majestic none the less, almost reassuring. Brandy snaps a quick picture of the looming figure as we pass, keeping the photo for a memory.
We continue on down the winding road, trees now cover most of the ditches and fields, creating a sort of forest look. The tall trees a bright green, full of summer life. The road becomes rougher and less maintained the further we go, we must be getting close to the abandoned town.
A dense fog begins to set in, making the drive slow down, I can’t see more than ten feet ahead.
“Do you know what makes fog?” Zac asked.
Brandy shakes her head at him.
“Well, from what I have read, fog is water droplets that have been condensed from cooling air. It is cooled so far to the point that it can’t hold all of the water vapor that it has in it. There’s your fact of the day.” He laughed.
Nifty I thought. I never really put much thought into fog, just that it’s there or that it’s not. I roll my window down letting the wind blow through the car, cooling me down. I’m always hot, it could be the dead of winter and I’m still baking in a tank top. I have an unnaturally high body temperature, or something.
The trees outside are engulfed in the fog, blocked from view. We pass by a small sign that says welcome to but the rest is spray painted out. A few bullet holes are in the sign as well, real reassuring of where we are.
“I think this is it coming up.” Brandy stated.
I narrow my eyes trying to see where I’m going.
“Oh, shit!” I shout, stomping my foot on the brakes.
We skid to a halt just before crashing through a barricade stating that the road is closed.
I let out a breath of tensed air. “Jeez, guess they don’t like tourists.” I state.