End of the road picture prompt

A picture prompt this time. What’s happening here?

highway ending in a field of grass

The scene gave new – and literal – meaning to the phrase ‘come to the end of the road’. He turned his back to the burnt-out car, not wanting to go there, not yet, and faced the dry grass of the endless fields. The weight in his chest anchored him to the crumbling asphalt. A sliver of solace was to be found in the silent brown landscape which had been his only company for days, weeks. While the landscape had unfolded around him, he had been able to nourish the glint of hope ignited by their assurances

‘Yes, we remember. The road, take the road,’ they had urged him. ‘Search there.’

At last he swung slowly about, lifted leaden legs and waded through the grass towards the car. From a few feet away, he forced himself to check the number plate, although his heart already knew.

He waited, pulse thumping, nausea rising. Took a step forward. Another. Until he reached the charred metal. He bent to the empty window frame, closed his eyes … opened them …

Turning away, he carried his frozen heart back to the highway …

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4 thoughts on “End of the road picture prompt”


    Roger had already hiked for many miles when he came upon the rusted, burnt out car resting among the overgrown brown grass on the side of the road.
    Pausing to look back at gathering cumulus clouds and the grassy vista interspersed with hillock-like rocky outcrops, he marvelled at the engineering feat that showed the raised highway supported by tall concrete pylons snaking among bushy trees.
    The SUV – or it might have once been a four-wheel drive vehicle – puzzled him.
    How come it had ended up in such a state – and what had happened to the occupants, he wondered.
    Turning towards the car, Roger wandered over for a closer look. It had obviously been there for some time.
    Nothing much was left, the inside totally destroyed and the paintwork a distant memory.
    He began to speculate. Perhaps the driver failed to take the bend, after all the bonnet was crumpled so it had obviously hit something.
    However, the car’s burnt out appearance was puzzling. The grass surrounding it was not blackened so it obviously had not caught fire where it now sat. Must have happened somewhere else and then the vehicle was taken there and dumped.
    Intrigued, Roger consulted his mobile phone for any possible media coverage that might throw light on the subject.
    Something caught his attention. Reports of a robbery a couple of months ago where a guard was shot and killed and the armed and masked bandits escaped in a grey SUV.
    Could this be the car? The robbery had occurred in the nearby town he had walked through a couple of hours ago and the paint remnants appeared to be grey in colour.
    Roger examined the vehicle more closely. Was that the remains of a face mask on the back seat? Hard to tell. Easier to identify was the pair of overalls which, although charred, had not been completely destroyed.
    The news report mentioned that the bandits had been wearing overalls. No sign of the money they had stolen, of course. Well, he didn’t expect there would be.
    Perhaps I should ring the local police, he thought and began dialling.
    “Hello, hello. I’ve come across this burnt out SUV in the country near your town. Any chance it might be related to that recent robbery I just read about?”
    “Where are you?” the constable on the other end of the phone inquired.
    “Couple of hours walk from you on the highway,” Roger said.
    “Really. That’s not very far. How could we have missed it when we were looking for the culprits.”
    “Don’t ask me. It’s pretty obvious. Mind you, I think it was torched somewhere else and then brought here and dumped.”
    “Thanks. Do you mind staying there until we send a car?” the constable asked.
    “Not at all,” replied Roger.
    He disconnected the call and settled down to wait for the arrival of the police.
    A figure appeared behind him, pistol in hand.
    “Who were you talking to just now,” it queried.
    “None of your business.”
    “It was the police, wasn’t it?”
    “Well, what if it was. Now, give me my share of the money if you want me to keep my mouth shut from now on,” Roger said, glaring at his colleague.

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