Their first road trip together was the last.
Driving through the NH17 was as remarkable as everyone claimed it to be. The almost clean roads with almost enough green coupled with a cool breeze made it heavenly. Goa was just a few hours away and Mona couldn’t wait. It was almost dark and it was Vishal’s turn to drive.
Vishal did everything with a smile; you'd hardly ever see him frown. It was what Mona loved about him and she felt tremendously lucky just to be around him. She reached across and rubbed his arms and he again gifted her with his smile.
A piercing scream cut the air and Mona woke up with a jolt. It took her a second to realise she had dozed off. Vishal had hit the breaks and looked confused. There was no one on the road. She turned around frantically looking for the source of the scream. It was unlike any scream they heard before.
Mona got out of the car and there was nothing. No sign of life. Not a person, not an animal, just nothing but the blackness around them. Save for few lorries that passed by. Getting back to the car, Mona took the wheel. "You heard that too, right?" she asked.
"Of course I did."
Mona rubbed her eyes and held her head for a few seconds before speaking again, “Okay, it’s late. I think we should just stay at a highway hotel tonight”.
"You read my mind, sweetheart," he said.
She adjusted the rear view mirror and saw a pale lady with a plain white dress seated in the back seat, smiling.
Mona screamed and turned around to find the seat empty. There was no sign of anyone again. Vishal held her tight and tried to calm her down.
He offered to drive again and Mona agreed, still not completely sure what happened. They stopped at the first highway hotel and took a room on the first floor. It was a modest place with a decent bedspread and a small TV. "You might feel better after a shower," Vishal suggested. Mona was more than willing. She let the hot water from the shower run down her body. She felt a lot more relaxed, washing the long day away.
She came out in her bathrobe and found Vishal reading his book. She went close to him and kissed him on his cheek and then his lips. Her hair was dripping wet and it pretty much gave him an excuse to take his clothes off. They kissed with as much passion as the first time they met. He slid the bathrobe off and got on top of her. She felt his hot breath on her neck and moaned as he kissed her on her neck. His hands kept themselves busy with exploring her as much as they wanted to. Mona held him and enjoyed every minute of their beautiful lovemaking. She felt his hands on her hips, holding her. She realised a little late that she was holding his hands down on either side and there was no way he could have been holding her.
Her eyes widened. She screamed. Darkness fell.
Room service couldn't get the door to open in the morning; they had to break it down. Police found Vishal's naked, mutilated body on the bed. They also discovered the footage of a woman walking out of the highway hotel, with only a blood-dripping knife in her hand. Hair covered her face, partially hiding her wicked grin.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to any real person or events.
Cover photo credit: wired.com