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Kevin Pantoja

About 750 pages
Shannon’s Ride
By Kevin Pantoja

A blinding light blasted her in the face as she held her thumb out. Damp, shivering and
desperate, Shannon felt nervous as the massive red truck came to a halt in front of her. The
passenger door swung open, revealing a husky driver in his dirty trucker’s cap, flannel shirt that
was about two sizes too small and scraggly beard. A mixture of gasoline and beer stung
Shannon’s nostrils as soon as she got close to him.
“Hey, miss. Need any help?” asked the driver. Shannon froze for a few seconds, letting
the heavy rain drench her. It was now or never. Either get in or return to the party where she left
Ethan. Ethan and that whore.
“Yes,” was all Shannon could muster as she took the big step into the truck. She sat down
and clutched her light pink purse in her lap. It didn’t contain much except several makeup items,
her wallet and, most importantly, a pocket knife. Although one glance in the side mirror told her
the makeup might be just as vital.
“The name’s Hank,” said the driver as he reached to his side. Shannon flinched, but he
was just grabbing some napkins. “Looks like you could use one of these,” he said as he handed it
to her. Hank tried to awkwardly comfort her, giving her two pats on the back. “Pretty girls like
you don’t need to be crying over nothing.”
Shannon shuffled in her seat and looked at him out of the corner of her eye. Pretty girl?
Is he just trying to get into my pants? Is every guy like Ethan? She let out a nervous laugh before
responding, “I was at this party with my friends. Some of them got rowdy and I wanted to leave.
When I found my boyfriend, he was in a bedroom with another girl, who had her shirt off.”

Hank clicked his teeth, which greatly annoyed Shannon for reasons she didn’t quite
understand. He responded, “I don’t know nothing about this boyfriend of yours but don’t you
think this could be some kind of mistake? Maybe there was a good, non-cheating reason why her
shirt was off."
Put off by his use of a double negative, more than she usually would be, and even more
so by his suggestion, Shannon gave him an offended look. Is this creep serious? “There is no
good explanation for it. He’s a scumbag and that’s that. Drop it.”
Hank shifted uncomfortably in his seat and asked, “So, uh, where am I taking you?”
I know nothing about this guy, I can’t bring him to my house. “Could you just drop me
off at my best friend’s house on Harvey Ave.? My parents aren’t home, but her dad’s the sheriff
and he’s home tonight.”
Hank’s niceties dropped now that she gave him attitude and conveniently brought up the
sheriff. They drove in silence for a short while, but Shannon could swear Hank was ogling her.
His eyes shifted each time she saw them in the stained rearview mirror. She knew that she was
vulnerable in her short white skirt that, by this point, was see through thanks to the rain. Hank
took a sharp left, causing Shannon to panic.
“Uh, excuse me, but this isn’t the way to Harvey Ave.”
Hank seemed irritated and mumbled something about a shortcut. Oh, my god. He’s going
to kidnap me. Shannon fidgeted with her purse. As they neared a quiet, solitary area, the truck
slowed down. It came to a full stop and Shannon clenched up.
Hank said, “Goddamn piece of junk just died. Hold on,” He exited the truck and went
around to the back. Shannon stared into the darkness. Nothing but the road and woods
surrounded her, with no other cars in sight. He’s going to kill me, isn’t he?

Shannon leaned towards the window to listen better. She heard his footsteps coming up to
her side. She made out his silhouette in the mirror and saw an object in his hand. He swung her
door open and instantly, Shannon pulled her knife from her purse and jabbed it into his neck. He
fell backwards with blood just squirting out of his neck as if it were a burst pipe. When he hit the
ground, the object in his hand fell loose. Shannon stepped out of the truck and looked down,
seeing not a weapon, but his cell phone, which was in the middle of a call for roadside
“Hello? Sir?” said the voice from the phone as Shannon ran off into the darkness.

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