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The Red Pickup Truck

The Date

By William WardPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Top Story - August 2022

Mary sat in the passenger seat of the pickup truck waiting for Tom to get back. He had told her to wait in the truck for him. They were parked in a dirty old junkyard that Tom had come to look for a part for his new (well, new to him) 1962 Chevy pickup truck that he had bought just the week before. It was a beautiful cherry red and in pretty good condition even if it was 3 years old now. The interior was almost flawless and Tom had scrubbed and cleaned the vehicle so it would look its best for their date. Tom had left the keys in the ignition so Mary reached over and turned the key just enough to let the radio play. She scanned the dial looking for a good rock-n-roll station hoping to hear another great song by The Beatles. She loved their music, it was different than most music being done in the U.S. these days and she also liked the new look they brought with them from England.

After going thru the whole AM band she could hear nothing but static so she switched off the ignition and sat waiting, getting bored. Since they were supposedly on a date she thought they were going to the drive-in hamburger stand to get a burger and fries and then going to the movies afterward. Instead, Tom had driven directly here and here she sat starting to get irritated for being kept waiting.

While waiting Mary observed a young man, an employee of the junkyard no doubt, come along the row of junked vehicles apparently looking for a specific one. He found what he was looking for and proceeded to start removing engine parts that they could sell. She noticed that he turned his head and looked at this pristine red pickup sitting there with a curious look on his face. Shaking his head he turned back and resumed his task.

Mary looked down at her new dress she had bought earlier in the day and she smiled knowing that she cut quite a figure in that new dress. It was a dusty rose color and went well with the cherry red of the truck. She knew Tom liked it from the way his jaw dropped when he had picked her up at her house. He had opened her door for her as a gentleman should and when she was stepping up into the truck he gave a low whistle of appreciation. This made her smile again as she sat there thinking about it.

Mary looked around to see if she could spot Tom anywhere so she could signal him to come on. She could not see him anywhere. If she had to get out of this truck and go find him he would have some tall making up to do when they did get this date going. Fuming she reached for the door handle and pulled. Nothing happened, it would not open. She jerked up on it very hard not caring if she broke it or not but still….nothing. Scooting over to the driver’s door she pulled up on the handle but the door remained shut. Now she was scared, not sure what to do.

As she sat there thinking about the situation there was a crackling sound from the dash. As she watched there appeared cracks in the dash like those that happen when the interior of the vehicle was exposed to direct sun for long periods. The cracks kept advancing and now cracks were spider-webbing through the glass of the windshield. The handles that she had so recently tried to use to open her doors faded into nothingness. The steering wheel also disappeared and now the glass on the passenger side of the windshield fell away to expose a large hole in the glass. Mary was extremely frightened and did not understand what was happening. Looking down at her dress again she saw that the material of the dress was degrading before her eyes until it appeared to have been left in the open for many years. Looking out the also broken side window to the side view mirror and seeing her shocked face with her eyes growing wide with fright she saw that her face looked pale and drawn and was covered with blood………..

Joel finished removing the requested parts from this old Ford he had been dismantling. As he turned once more to look at the old rusted red Chevy pickup truck he could have sworn he saw a pale face staring back at him from inside the cab of the truck. He once more marveled at how the setting sun shone off the front window where a huge hole was how it looked like blood was splashed all over the glass and the hood of the truck. Just an optical illusion he knew but still………

Mary watched with tears in her eyes as the junkyard and all the old junk cars around her faded from sight. She then remembered how her date night that had taken place 50 years ago had ended with a horrific crash as they were leaving the junkyard. They had not seen the Greyhound bus that was barreling down the street.

Mary longed to join her parents and other friends that had gone on to their afterlife but after all…….Tom had told her to stay in the truck.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (4)

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  • Kelly Sibley 6 months ago

    Nice twist well done.

  • Adan Menabout a year ago

    Pretty good, I kinda saw the ending coming but well written and love how detailed you are. Keep them coming.

  • Alice Donenfeld-Vernouxabout a year ago

    Nice twist but doesn't quite work. If Tom had told her to stay in the truck and left,he must have come back to drive or how had they gotten in the path of the bus while leaving the junkyard? Good story but needs to be fixed like having the bus crash into the junkyard or something.

  • Tewahwayabout a year ago

    Definitely a cool twist. I wasn't sure where it was going when reality started to sink in, but it definitely played out in an interesting way. It leads me to wonder if Mary's stuck in some sort of "purgatorial loop", living out this scene until she can move on and leave the car. Perhaps she's doomed to always be there, to suffer in that car for eternity...

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