I Was Driving To Phoenix!

The highway from Indio, California to Phoenix, Arizona is a lonely one. Endless miles of desert with only an occasional hitchhiker. It was on that particular morning that I saw the two of them. She was a tall, rather plain sort of woman and her German Sheppard. Not standing alongside the road, but right in the middle of the road, right on the yellow line. She had long blonde hair and wore blue jeans and a blue t-shirt.

Her dog was sitting and the leash was held in her hand, as she took off her dark sunglasses when I came to a stop. Her german shepherd was large enough to ensure she would be safe in anyone's car, I said to myself as she walked to the passenger side door and opened it. As she opened the door and leaned down, she asked, "How far are you going sir? I sure could use a ride. We both could, because its a hot morning." I told her I was driving all the way to Phoenix.

She smiled and said, "Great. and she opened the rear door and put her dog in, shut the door and got into the front seat as my A/C gave her some relief. After a few minutes of silence, I asked her what her name was and she replied, "My name is Kathy and my dog's name is Amigo which means friend." She said in a friendly voice. I smiled, nodded and then asked how long she had been waiting for a ride.

She thought for a moment and then said, "We never have to wait long for a ride." and then she became silent again. I looked in the mirror at Amigo and I saw kindness in his eyes. Curiosity got the best of me finally and I asked, "Who dropped you off in the middle of nowhere? I don't mean to pry, but I didn't see any roads or houses near the place I picked you both up?

She turned to me and looked right into my eyes and said, "It's a long story, but since you asked. We caught a ride from a man in a green GMC pickup truck and I put Amigo in the back. I was headed back to Phoenix to see my mom who had been sick for some time. I guess I shouldn't have accepted the ride, but it was a hot day, so very hot. He seemed nice at first, making me laugh at the jokes he told now and then.

But suddenly, he struck me in the face with his fist for no reason. I felt and heard my nose break as I cried out, hearing Amigos frantically barking, hitting the back window of his truck. He kept hitting me again and again, Oh my God so many times as blood ran down my face soaking my shirt. I could hear his echoed laughter, a sound, I will never forget as he slammed on the brakes and my head hit his truck's dashboard.

He was a big man, heavy set and I couldn't defend myself. Then I heard two gun shots and the sounds of breaking glass as Amigo yelped and then, only silence. Suddenly, I felt him ripping away my t-shirt, then my bra, as I felt his hands groping me. I begged him to stop, but he only laughed more." she said in tears. All the while I listened, I was in shock at the story she was telling me. I never heard his truck door open.

I never heard him get out, but suddenly my door was pulled open and he yanked me out. I fell onto the hot desert sand. Then he began beating me again so hard and so many times I couldn't see. I could feel him yanking on my jeans, then my panties and I guess you can imagine the rest. "The last thing I remember was his cold, cold voice telling me that I didn't deserve to live and then hearing his gun going off again." she said in a sad voice.

The expression on my face was that of shock and disbelief. All I could say was, "But you and Amigo survived." She took off her dark sunglasses and with sad black and blue eyes replied, "No, we died. I wasn't even buried, before he drove off and my spirit, "Our spirits" are doomed to hitchhike this highway forever." she said. Suddenly, they both vanished before my eyes.

2004 Raymond Cook (All rights reserved)