Alberta yawned and took a mouthful of coffee; she grimaced at the icy cold liquid.
"My tea is still hot if you want some." Alberta glanced in the rear-view mirror at her passenger and smiled.
"No thanks, hun. I'm not a fan of tea" Alberta replied. France smiled back and poured herself another cup of tea from her flask. The girl in the front passenger seat snorted and snapped her head up.
"You weren't awake three seconds ago, Verdi. The snoring kinda gave you away!" giggled France. Alberta joined in the laughter for a second before turning her attention back to the road. It was a long and winding piece of tarmac almost on the edge of a cliff and she didn't want to tip them over anytime soon.
"Hey, look at this" said Verdi. She was pointing out the side window towards a girl standing at the side of the road. The poor thing looked frozen and was wearing nothing but a thin white dress.
"I'm going to see if she wants a ride" said Alberta. She pulled the car to one side, ignoring the yelp from the back seat.
"What if she's a serial killer? She might have a knife or something!" cried France. Alberta rolled her eyes and shook her head.
"She couldn't hide a tissue in that dress. Just chill out." The car slowed to a stop and Alberta jumped out, she jogged across to the girl and led her back before helping her into the back seat. France edged over until she was practically curled into a corner of the back seat, the girl in the white dress just stared out of the window.
"Are you lost, honey?" asked Alberta. She started the engine and pulled back onto the road. The girl didn't answer; she just kept staring out of the window.
"Where do you need to get to?" The girl finally turned towards the front and pointed between the front seats, Verdi turned and followed her finger. They were just turning a corner when a makeshift crash barrier came into sight and it was covered in roses, red and pink and yellow flowers were everywhere.
"Wow, must have been a pretty big crash there huh?" said Verdi. The girl burst into tears and the let loose a scream so loud that Alberta slammed on the brakes and clapped her hands over her ears.
"Where did she go?" cried France. Alberta turned in her seat and stared into the back where now only France sat.
"Go, Ally, just drive!" yelled Verdi. Alberta sped away from the roses and tried to take some deep breaths to stop her hands from shaking.
Two more corners took them to a small 24 hour café with a lonely petrol pump outside. They pulled in and almost sprinted into the café, Alberta scooped up three menus and they dropped into a booth near the window.
"What the Hell just happened?" whispered France.
"Phantom hitchhiker, I mean, I've heard of them but –"
"Look over there!" yelped Verdi. They jumped up from their booth and dashed across the room to the opposite wall. There was a large family portrait hanging on the wall, there was mum and dad and two daughters and the daughter on the left was the girl that had vanished from their car. Alberta called over a waitress and asked about the photo.
"Oh, that's Thora Rose and her family. She used to work here but they went over the cliff in their car a few weeks ago. You probably saw all the roses on your way here. Sad story" she explained. Alberta stared at the photo for a moment before turning back to the waitress.
"You can get your coffee now" said France, but Alberta shook her head.
"Forget the coffee. Excuse me Miss? Do you serve alcohol here?"