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The Good Samaritan
By Meredith Loughran
Word count: 492
“Help! Please help!” a woman called from the side of the road, waving her arms frantically. The wind and rain soaking her hair into a matted mess.
Paul almost drove past her. Almost. He never picked up strangers or hitchhikers. You just never knew the type of person you were going to encounter.
He had heard about carjackers who stages a damsel in distress on the side of the road. When the sucker stops a few big dudes pop out of the bushes and bang, you’re dead or stranded without a car and your wallet.
Something told him to stop though. She seemed harmless. Young - maybe in her late 20s. It’s the middle of the night - her parents must be worried. A quick glance and he could see she had the flat tire, the spare and the jack lying next to the car.
Mental note: teach my daughters how to change a tire.
He briefly glanced at his watch. There was time still. No rush to get home. Everyone would be sleeping for a few more hours. Putting the car in park, he switched off the headlights but left the engine running. If someone was going to jack him he didn’t want them breaking windows. It’s better to get away with your life, right? Besides, his insurance didn’t cover glass.
As soon as he opened the door the rain seemed to pound harder.
“Hi,” he yelled, trying to be heard over the downpour, “I’m Paul. What’s going on?”
“I’ve got a flat!” she yelled back. I keep slipping so I can’t get the lug nuts loose.”
Oh, he thought, so she does know how to change a tire. “Let me see what I can do,” he hollered back, grabbing the tire iron from her.
She nodded and he could see her shivering from the cold rain.
“You know,” he started, looking to make sure there was no traffic that he had to worry about, “you have to be careful, being out on your own this late at night. There’s usually lonely truckers and drunks. You just never know what type of person’s gonna stop.”
“Yeah. My dad says the same thing all the time.”
He stood up and swung the tire iron, hitting her straight across the throat, effectively crushing her windpipe and breaking her neck. She fell on her back, her head in an awkward tilt. Fascinated he watched her eyes go from surprise to shock to…nothing. Lights out.
“You really should have listened to your father,” he murmured. He looked at his watch again. There’s still time. Looking around and spotting no traffic, he lifted the girl and put her in the trunk of his car - right next to the shovel, pickaxe and his first victim.
“Two for one tonight.”
He got back in the car and drove toward the mountains to his favorite cabin in the woods, excited about the latest additions to his trophy collection.
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