There was a dark object in the road. The object was fairly large and sprawled out. I had to swerve a little to avoid hitting whatever it was. Ali and I both shrieked, turning behind us to see whatever had been in the road, but it was too late. The object had vanished into the inky darkness behind us.
"What was that?" I asked in a hushed voice.
Ali was still peering into the night while I focused on the road. "I couldn't tell. It looked big. What do you think it was?"
"It looked like... a body." I was half joking and half unsure. What I saw had thrown me off guard. I wasn't sure what the thing could have been. "Maybe it was a dead cow."
"I think I saw an arm." Ali turned back towards the road. Her face betrayed her concern. "Maybe you should turn around."
But what if the killer is still out there? The unspoken question lingered in the air, something we both were wondering but were too afraid to say aloud. I swallowed hard. "Do you think it really was a man?"
"I don't know. It was sure something," Ali whispered.
I hesitated. "I probably should. If I was injured and left on the side of the road, I'd want someone to stop for me." The road was one way, so we took a quick right utrn and looped around, turning onto the same dark road as before. This time, the car was silent. We'd turned off the radio and didn't dare speak, searching desperately for the large form we had seen before.
We passed the object again, this time screeching to a halt a few yards away. It nearly blended into the darkness and we squinted through the windows of my car to try to make out what the bundle possibly could be. "I can't see," Ali said in a low voice.
I pulled my car into park in the middle of the road and we looked at our hands for a moment, quiet. We both knew what had to be done. We needed to make sure the bundle wasn't a dead or injured person. If we couldn't see what it was from the safety of my vehicle, then we knew we had to get out of the car and approach the object... in person.
"Okay, let's get out and go look," I finally said, grasping my cellphone in my palm. Somehow, carrying my phone always makes me feel safer. If someone tried to kill or kidnap us, I could call for help. Possibly.
A look of terror crossed over Ali's face. "You go look," she gasped.
"I'm the driver. If someone came after me, you'd be stuck in the passenger seat anyways. Logically, you're the one who should go look so I could be ready to take off when you jump in."
After a few moments of debate, we decided to go together. Side by side, our arms brushing each other for comfort, Ali and I left the security of my car and stepped into the cool night air. We could hardly make out the silhouette of the object in the darkness. Trembling, we crept closer until we could clearly see the shape of the arm, limp and grotesque under the light of the moon.
"Can you tell what it is?" Ali whispered.
I took another step closer and then burst into laughter. I could hear the sound of my voice- nervous, relieved, embarrassed. Ali began to laugh as well. The body wasn't a body at all. It wasn't a dead man or even a dead cow. It was only a large black trash bag full of clothes. The bag must have been run over at some point, flattening it slightly and cuasing a few of the items of clothing to spill out. This would explain the limp "arm."
Despite the fact that there was no dead body after all, Ali and I hurried to scramble back into my warm, safe car. After all, the night was still pitch black and eerily silent. Monsters and spooks of all kinds seemed to be lurking in the shadows, waiting to attack. Ali and I chattered nervously the rest of the way home, both feeling a little sheepish. Something as silly as a trash bag had frightened the living daylights out of us.
But hey... it could have been an actual body. It's possible. Improbable, but possible.
This story was a dramatic telling of a true story.