A streak of lightning pierced the sky as Maggie wound her way down Highway B across the edge of Bradford’s Ravine, her daughter strapped into the rear car seat. Angry storm clouds gathered overhead, wispy layers of ebony cotton along a backdrop of pregnant and bloated shadows, prepared to unleash a thunderous fury of rain and hail. Maggie gripped the wheel and prayed to escape the impending rage. Home was but a few miles away.
As she rounded the curve near the Bradford overlook, a second streak of lightning assaulted a ridge behind a row of trees. Its flare revealed the bony fingers of oaks rising up from the ridge floor and fog swirled in a smoky haze illuminated by cracking flashes. As lightning flashed along the countryside, the car inched its way along the ribbon of road that hugged the cliff above the ravine.
Then a torrent of rain flooded the roadside and the car hydroplaned causing Maggie to make her fatal mistake. Panicked, she hit the brakes and sent the car into a spin. After whipping around violently, it drifted off the cliff. A long moment of silence preceded the clamor of scraping metal, followed by tumbling, a rumble and then a crash as it smashed on the rocks at the base of Bradford’s Ravine.
As Maggie lay there bleeding, a scream erupted from across the landscape, but the bone-chilling sound barely registered. Maggie had turned her dying gaze to her lifeless baby sleeping in the back seat.
It was a hot and humid Friday night as the day’s heat shimmered in waves from baking asphalt on Highway B. A low, melodic thumping crystallized into the hard-driving bass of Death Metal pouring from a red Camaro’s speakers. Its two passengers shouted to a song as the driver absentmindedly navigated the roadway. Gravel from the shoulder sprayed from beneath his tires as the driver jerked the wheel back onto the pavement. The curves along the ravine were tight and the drop on the right, over a mile deep with nothing but trees to break a fall. Yet, the two passengers felt impervious to the perils of misdriven automobiles and sped on, shouting along to the blaring music.
It’s hard to say how it started, but by the time the two knew what was happening, it was too late. The car was spinning on its way over the cliff that lead down into deep ravine. The process seemed to take an eternity and their last living moments were suspended in time. The driver panicked and hit the brakes, another deadly mistake. Spinning and tumbling, trees flashed and metal twisted.
When the car came to a stop, it was suspended on an overhang 200 feet above the ravine floor. Injured but breathing, two hearts pounded in their chests while the car rocked precariously on its perch. For a moment, there was hope they would survive. All that was needed was a rope or something to secure themselves and initiate the hard climb back up the cliff face.
Unfortunately, a car passed by overhead and hit the gravel along the road. This started a chain reaction with deadly consequences. The gravel collided with a stone, which fell onto sand and launched a shower of rock and dirt over the cliff side. The shower fell on a boulder which had been ready to fall for decades. Fate chose this moment to loosen its holdings and when it began to slide, several surrounding boulders followed. As the mountainside rained down upon the car, the boys looked up and drew their final gasp. The boulder hit the car and sent it over the side.
There was silence for a long time. Nobody knew they were there. The only witness to their demise were the other tangled wrecks that had experienced the same fate. They littered the ravine floor by the dozens.
Then a scream erupted from the darkness. More victims had arrived and someone down there was glad.
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