So basically, this story revolves around two characters: Jeff and Duncan. They start the story in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California. If you need a physical description or background of either one of them, pm me and I`ll reply as soon as I can. This is the first story I`ve ever written in the third-person so I`m sorry if it`s a little bit… weird? It just looks to me that this way you can fit two different character`s thoughts in the same time, where as in the first-person you can`t.
P.S – I don`t own anything you can recognize, not even Zzyzx Road. Zzyzx Road is a real place, out in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California, though I`m pretty sure it isn`t anything like how I describe it.
"We`re in the middle of nowhere." Jeff muttered as he kicked the car tire out of pure rage and frustration. He turned around to stare at the driver, "I swear to God, Duncan, I`m never riding with you again."
Duncan sighed as he sat down on a rock sighed as he sat down on a rock lying right next to his Audi, "It`s not my fault. You know that I don`t normally drive for that long. And anyway, what do you really expect me to do about it Jeff? The car`s broken."
"Of course this is isn`t your fault." Jeff muttered leaning against the black Audi while trying to check his mobile phone for reception, groaning when he found none. "The middle of nowhere." he repeated, shaking his head.
"Well," Duncan said, settling himself near the front passenger tire, getting off the rock and nearly scraping his knee in the process, "maybe we can use this time to do something productive."
"Like what? There`s no mobile reception out here, I already checked, and plus it`s getting dark. They`re expecting us to be in Las Vegas and we`re…" he looked around the landscape for more dramatic effect, then down at Duncan, "…in the middle of nowhere."
"I get it." Duncan told him irritably. "It`s the middle of nowhere. I thought that maybe we could go over the boxing match we`re having tomorrow night?"
"I expected to be at the hotel downing vodka and playing pool tonight, but no. I`m just stuck out here with you in the middle of nowhere." Jeff said, pushing himself off of the car and standing up his entire length.
"Will you stop saying 'the middle of nowhere' this and that?! You`re pissing me off Jeff!" Duncan snapped at him. "And besides, it`s not like you`re my idea of fun time either you know?" Duncan muttered with sarcasm slipping off of his tongue like acid. "The match?" he asked as a second thought looking up at Jeff.
"We`ve been over the god damn match fifty times already in the car. I don`t want to sit out here and talk about that damned match any more." Jeff`s response was.
"Okay fine. So what do you suggest then?" Duncan asked raising an eyebrow.
Jeff shrugged and said, "Oh I don`t know. How about the car not being broken?"
"Well can you fix it?" his companion asked him, hope flaring through his green eyes.
"I`m a professional boxer not a mechanic Duncan. So no, I don`t know how to fix it." Jeff said looking over the Audi.
"Me neither. And I can't call anyone. So what else do you suggest?" Duncan replied, getting off of the rock and running his tongue over his lip ring, something he frequently did when he got nervous.
Jeff sighed and looked around yet again, "Maybe we should walk? Try to find somewhere we can at least phone from?"
"To where Jeff? We`re probably fifty miles away from human civilization. I don`t really feel like running myself to death only to get hit by some idiot doing eighty on the Interstate."
"I thought you said we were fifty miles away from life you idiot." Jeff muttered, though the comment went by unnoticed by Duncan, who was trying his luck at trying to find reception, to no avail of course. "I saw a sign." Jeff told him, grabbing his shoulder to make him face him. "Where there`s a sign, there`s usually something."
Duncan stared up at Jeff who was just slightly taller than him, "Yeah. That`s probably the reason why there`s no sign anywhere near your head."
"Oh, you`re so funny Duncan. So are we walking or what?" Jeff said, pushing himself off of the hood of the car where he had sat down halfway throughout the conversation.
"I, for one, think that we should stay put." Duncan replied, shaking his head to further his point. "Someone`s bound to come along and help us out eventually."
"Okay then." Jeff said smirking, knowing exactly what to do to get Duncan on his side. "They`ll probably murder you, you know, like in all of those horror movies you like to watch. It was nice knowing you, Dunky." He shoved his hands into his black leather jacket pockets and started to walk off, whistling to add even more dramatic effect.
Duncan shot a nervous look at the interstate then said, "Wait up, Jeff." He grabbed a bag out of the back of the car and followed the other boxer.
"What's that bag for?" Jeff asked him, curiosity getting the better of him.
Duncan chuckled and said, "First aid kit."
"All right then, my fellow courageous companion on this terrible and dangerous quest." Jeff said, still smirking.
"Hey, if you get bit by a snake or something, you'll be glad I grabbed it." Duncan snapped.
"Maybe you should have grabbed a flashlight." Jeff muttered already beginning to walk.
Duncan smirked and dug his hands through the bag. "Here." He handed Jeff a flashlight, switching it on to illuminate the path in front of them.
"Dork," Jeff muttered kicking sand everywhere except in his and Duncan`s faces.
"What's your point?" Duncan replied, raising a pierced eyebrow.
Jeff turned the light on. "Nothing. I`m just saying."
Keeping the light on the edge of the road before them, the pair walked away from the car and into the falling darkness. "Are you sure you saw a sign?" Duncan asked, after twenty minutes, losing any hope that he might have still had by that point.
"Well, I might have been wrong," Jeff admitted. "I mean, it could have been a mirage or maybe the long term effect of drugs and alcohol."
"And you're telling me this right now? We should go back," Duncan said. "We've wasted enough time slogging through the desert, looking for a god damn fucked up sign."
"Maybe you're right," Jeff said, sighing as he allowed the flashlight to slip down and shine across the ground in front of them, seeing his friend`s valuable point. "Wait. What is that?"
Duncan had turned away and was studying the deserted road. "What is what?" he asked, not bothering to turn around, almost sure that it was just a false alarm.
Jeff took a couple of steps forward and kicked something hard, the clanging noise causing Duncan to turn and glare at him. "That."
Duncan shot an annoyed look at the night sky, then stalked after Jeff, who was shining his flashlight at a sign half buried in the sand. "Looks like a sign," Duncan pointed out the obvious.
Jeff nodded and said, "Here, hold the light. I'm going to see if I can clear it off."
Duncan took the light and shone it down on the sign while Jeff eased it up out of the sand. He held it for a long moment in the light, a frown on his face. "What does it say?" Duncan asked, peeking over Jeff`s shoulder. Jeff turned the sign so that his companion could read it. "Zzyzx Road? What do you suppose that means?"
"Someone ran out of letters when making this sign?" said Jeff with a shrug.
"I'm in Hell," Duncan said. "That's the only explanation."
Jeff mused. "Wouldn't it have been easier to put 'Hell' on the sign, then?"
"Definitely Hell," Duncan said. He handed the flashlight back, then turned to stare down the road. Somewhere along the way, they'd managed to lose the main highway. He wasn't sure when it had happened; just a moment ago, he'd been looking at the slow trickle of traffic flowing by, but now, the main road was nowhere to be found. "It's so quiet."
"I expected screaming," Jeff said. "You know, if it's Hell and all."
"As soon as I'm done going insane, you'll get your screaming," Duncan promised.
"Oh, so you aren't done yet?" Jeff replied with a smirk.
"Not even close. Maybe we should walk back to the car. Where's the road, anyway?" His companion replied.
Jeff swung the flashlight back the way they'd come. "It's right… Uh… there?"
Duncan nodded. "That's what I thought."
"That's a little weird," Jeff muttered, moving away from the sign to the dusty road that ran past them. "It was a highway a minute ago, wasn't it?"
"Maybe it's shut down because someone spilled toxic waste on it and we're slowly dying," Duncan offered.
"Or someone slipped some mushrooms into your Pepsi and we're hallucinating," Jeff said, earning him a sharp look from the younger boxer. "What? Not me! But I wouldn't put it past that idiot Alex."
"Why would Alex even slip anything into my drinks?" Duncan asked.
"Because Mike told him to?" said Jeff with a shrug. "Anyway, it's moot, right? We're out in the middle of nowhere with no working phone, no way back to the car and a road sign. What do you suggest we do?"
"Damn it," Duncan sighed.
"I say we walk down this road and see where it goes," Jeff continued, as though Duncan hadn't spoken. "It must lead somewhere. We can probably borrow a phone to call the car company, and then we can get back on the road. Just a little hiccup, which will be a great story to tell the guys tomorrow at breakfast."
Duncan shook his head. "Do you not watch horror movies? We're in the middle of the freaking desert. If we go down that road, we'll probably be eaten by inbred cannibals."
"I don't know why you're worried. You're too stringy to be eaten by inbred cannibals, Duncan. Not to mention, you'd probably cause them lots of intestinal distress." Jeff replied grabbing his companion`s shoulders.
"…thanks?" Duncan said, not entirely sure what else to say in the current situation.
Jeff grinned. "Come on. We're already a mile or more away from the car. What's the harm in walking two or three more?"
Duncan eyed him. "Were you doing crack at the last rest stop or something?"
"Not that I recall, no. Why?" Jeff asked.
"Because…" Duncan said, then paused, squinting down the dirt road past the sign. "What is that?"
Jeff turned around. "I don't see anything."
"There's a light," Duncan said. "You don't see it?"
"Maybe you're the one doing crack." Jeff said at the supposedly drug-free man.
"I'm not," Duncan muttered. "You honestly don't see it?"
"No?" Jeff said, then squinted. "Hmm, wait. Maybe?"
"Are you asking me or telling me?" Duncan replied scratching his head.
"I don't know," Jeff said. "I think I see something, but it could be the glare from your stellar personality."
"You are so funny," Duncan said. "I don't like this, Jeff. Where did that light come from?"
"Relax. It's probably someone's house and they just turned on the light. It hasn't been dark all that long, Duncan."
Jeff followed Duncan`s uneasy gaze toward the light. "Maybe we should walk that way. What do you think?" Duncan was silent, his eyes on the light in the distance. "Duncan? Hey, Duncan." Jeff nudged the other man.
"What?" Duncan said, shaking his head and snapping out of his current trance.
"You seemed pretty spaced out for a minute there," Jeff said. "I am seriously starting to wonder why I let you drive this leg."
"Because you were tired," Duncan said, his eyes never leaving the light. "And possibly a little hung over from last night's oversized frat party."
"Well, that would explain why I might be hallucinating, but not why you would be."
Duncan finally looked at his friend. "No, it doesn't. So that must be real, then. And that makes it even more dangerous than it already is."
"It's just a light, Duncan."
"It's always just a something, Jeff," the other snapped. "Just a dog turns into Cujo. Just a car turns into Christine. Just a light turns into evil aliens who want to steal our bodies and probe us!"
"Uh," Jericho said, edging away slowly. "Did you sleep last night, buddy? And why do you even read Stephen King? It`s just a horror story that psychologically damages your brain."
"No it doesn`t," Duncan said. "And I didn`t sleep `cause there was too much noise in the hotel, so I stayed up to watch old movies."
"Then maybe we're dead."
"How do you get that from me not sleeping?"
"Easy," Jeff said. "I'm napping in the car, sleeping off the drunk. You're driving on nothing but Pepsi, which is pure sugar and caffeine. They fail you and you fall asleep, thus crashing the car and killing us."
"Pepsi never fails me," Duncan insisted.
"Well, maybe you had a stroke? Went into a diabetic coma? Swerved to miss a passing giraffe?"
Duncan`s eye twitched. "A… passing…. giraffe?"
Jeff shrugged. "It could happen."
"Maybe if we were in Africa."
"Or near a zoo."
"Which we're not," Duncan said. "We're not near anything but that." He indicated the light. "And I don't like it. I want to find the main road and get back to the car."
"Why?" Jeff said. "It's not like it's going anywhere."
"Unless the police tow it. Then we could be stranded out here until someone killed us and let the sun bleach our bones."
Jeff smirked. "You watch too many movies, Duncan. Anyway, they've got light, so that means they're bound to have a phone too, right?"
"How do you figure?"
"Because they have light. It`s simple logic."
"What does that have to do with them having a phone, Jeff?"
Jeff said, "I already told you; simple logic. I'm assuming if you have lights, you have a phone. I mean, you have both, right?"
"Yes, I do. I also live in a huge freaking city called Chicago and not out in the middle of the desert."
"Good point." Jeff stared at the light, a bemused expression on his face. "I suppose there's only one way to find out." He took a step, but Duncan grabbed his arm.
"Are you crazy?" Duncan demanded. "We know absolutely nothing about the light. We don't even know if it belongs to people or aliens."
"Pretty sure it belongs to people, Duncan," Jeff said with a chuckle.
"Don't laugh!" Duncan said. "It may sound stupid, but every single horror movie ever starts with someone making a huge mistake like this, and I do not want to die tonight, thanks."
"Quit being such a wimp," Jeff said, kicking sand impatiently. "I'm sure they're harmless, whoever the fuck they are."
Duncan smirked and said very deliberately, "Famous. Last. Words, Jeff."
"Whatever," Jeff said. "Are you coming or what?" And with that, he stepped onto the faint dirt road that they could make out in the dim moonlight.
"You're a fucking idiot," Duncan sighed, as he followed Jeff down the road. "And so am I."