He didnt’ like that title, that had being bestowed on him, by the obsessive followers and fans. That was his nickname. A childish, foolish, name. But an indication of his skill, and ease of movement on the ball. In the games that mattered. To a man they thought the highest of him.
He had to grateful to him, he was told, by his family, wife, and team management. Without them, he was nothing. As the windscreen wipers cleared away the belting rain,on the bleak darkened road, he began to question, if he really needed them. These fans. These people who never gave him any peace. Always having to be polite and civil. Forcing smiles, when all he wanted to do was get away from them, from the noise, the adoration. Silence was what he craved the most. That’s what brought him to this place, these long solitary drives, in the middle of the night. An opportunity to think, to consider and reflect.
Did he even want….. the impact was sudden. A brief sight of something, bouncing off the windscreen, and then the sudden struggling with the wheel, to regain control. He brought the car to a juddering halt. The only sound, his heavy, rapid breathing, and the rain, heavy and noisy against the car. He checked himself, and calmed his mind slightly. His heart beating fast, and that familiar sickly chemical concoction in his stomach, that he felt every time he had to deal with the overbearing fans. He exited the vehicle to search for whatever had come into contact with it. The pouring rain, quickly soaking his clothing. The wind wild and raging. He brought his collar up, on his expensive leather coat, to protect himself, as much as he could. Most probably some type of animal, he assumed. Perhaps a scampering dear, or fox, or maybe a badger, as he did glance some colour, on whatever hit his car.
Too cold, and wet to be hanging about. With no sign of any animal, he assumed they too, would be shaken, but not stirred. Laughing to himself, at his humours aside to agent 007. He returned to the car, and in the darkness he headed along the empty highway. Unsure why he glanced in the mirror, he just felt, maybe sensed a cool breeze, a presence. A sense of unease. A un-nerving feeling of being watched. His body ran cold. Goosebumps appearing rapidly on his body. The figure of the small young girl, with her once pretty face, battered with bloodstained scars, briefly glanced at him, from the rear seat. He hit the brakes hard, and for the second time, in a short time, the car same to a standstill. He turned around rapidly in his seat, to see what he thought he saw. To his relief, there was nothing but an empty rear seat, of his 70’s mustang car. A collectors car now. Rare and highly valued. A favourite of the movie stars of the 70’s. Steve McQueen, and of course, Starkey and Hutch. He checked the floor of the dark interior, cursing himself, for neglecting to fix the interior lighting, but promising himself to get it done as soon as possible.
Again his breathing was rapid, heart beating fast. The only sound that of the wild raging wind, and the heavy rain. He cursed himself a second time, for neglecting to fix the radio. In the darkness, he pushed his foot hard to the floor, and the black car skidded and swerved,as it responded to the powerful engine. With a screech of the tires, he was on his way. Of course there was nothing in the car with him, how could there be ? But he still felt quiet nervous, and longed to be back in the city, and it’s busyness. Even back among his overbearing fans, and increasingly irritating wife.
‘ Why ? ‘, the question came out of nowhere. Softly at first. As he drove at increasing speed down the dark empty road, the bends illuminated by the strong headlights. Again he checked the rear view, there she was again, this bloodstained and battered face of the young girl, holding a small teddy bear. The temperature of in the car, became very cold.
‘ Why did you do it , look at me now ‘, the voice become stronger, a low brutal growl, demonic like.
He drove faster, and faster. Screeching round the bends. The sound of the rain, and howling wind, overpowering. The back seat interior of the car, lit up in dark red flames,. The little girl sat among them, peacefully watching him. Then she was gone. He double checked the rear view. There was no more dark flames. The rain eased, and the wind became more subdued. His body was shaking, perspiration dripping from his forehead. The interior temperature of the car returned to normal. The sudden music sounds from the once dead radio, made him jump.
He slowed the car down, and relaxed his tight grip on the steering wheel, as the lights of the city, came into view. That evenings drive had given him quiet a lot to think about, on his drive back into the city. It was well after midnight when he hit the empty city streets, aside from the usual night people. The drunks, prostitutes, and the others up to no good. He stopped outside the precinct and slowly entered and approached the counter.
The rough looking desk Sargent, eyed him up slowly.
‘ I have a confession to make…..’