An original story by Jeff Mariotte, with sound design by Mark Duggan.
Jeff Mariotte knows the road home. Or maybe not.
Once, while reeling from personal loss, he left a holiday party and began a long, lonely drive back to an empty house.
Listen to the story:
As he set out, he found the hum of tires on familiar pavement was a measure more comforting than the Christmas songs on the radio.
But somewhere past the turn he’d taken a hundred times before, the familiar route became alien territory.
At first, a ruined farmhouse, not at all familiar.
Then, a hairpin where before lay a straightaway.
Soon, low hills swelled where flats once stretched.
Jeff Mariotte didn’t make a wrong turn, but he’d lost the road home.
“I pulled off, killed the engine, got out. I looked back toward the farmhouse, but it was gone. Swallowed by darkness. Or never there at all.
I could turn around, head back to the highway. Or I could keep going. This road would end sometime. Somewhere.
It had to.
About Jeff Mariotte: Jeff was born in Illinois, but with a father who worked for the Department of Defense, grew up in places like Paris, Germany, San Diego and Arizona. He is a graduate of San Jose State University. He’s been senior editor for several publishers and owns a comic book store with his wife. His writing has appeared in several sci-fi and horror anthologies.