Choose Your Own Nuthouse
You turn off the radio, thoroughly creeped out, and sit in your car by the side of the road as the night settles around you.
After turning on your hazard lights, you get out to stretch your legs and have a smoke to settle your rattled nerves. The cigarette lights with the comforting, familiar crackle and you pull the first drag deep into your lungs. The smoke warms and calms you. You are in flavor country.
While you lean against the idling car, eyes closed, puffing contentedly on your smoke, you tell yourself that you’d just been driving too long. Your mind was playing tricks. Of course, other signals would bleed through into an otherwise empty frequency. It was the distortion that created the sound of your name.
Overactive imagination. Too much time on the road. Too long without a blissful cigarette to even out your mind and body.
You are snapped out of your reverie by a voice calling you from down the road. You look. There, way down the highway. A man (or so it seems – it’s hard to tell in the tricky twilight) is approaching. He calls out again.
“Hey buddy! Can I get a lift to Lake Doomhole?”
From where you are he looks very old. He has long white hair, a matching beard of impressive length and bushiness. You watch him for a moment, thinking.