There was a note stuck to the windshield of her car. It was short, sweet, and just terrifying enough to pray for a joke. In bold, choppy words it said, “This is important, don’t go home.”

The rain was like a physical weight, pushing down against the case she held above her head to provide at least a modicum of protection, until her arms began to sag and she relented, sprinting across the parking lot to her car. The perimeter lights provided just enough illumination to let her fumble about with her keys, but not quite enough to make them out when they fell to the ground, vanishing in an inch of water.


“Everything alright ma’am?”

She turned to find the beam of a torch playing across her chest. As the light picked out her ID badge the soldier lowered his torch and walked over.

“Need any help?” he asked, his youthful face cheery despite the rain.

“My keys,” she mumbled.

His torch made short work of finding them, handing them over without another word and disappearing once she was seated in the car, the water soaking into the seat beneath her. She started the engine, let it idle as the ancient blowers emitted a feeble waft of slightly-warm air and gripped the steering wheel with both hands, fighting back tears that only mixed with the water on her face.

“Goddamit John,” she finally said. “Why did you do it?”

The moisture in the air had begun to condense on the inside of the windscreen, turning the world beyond into a gauzy haze. Stuck into one of the windscreen wipers, a small white envelope was visible, pressed up against the glass.

A brief moment of rain and cold and she had brought it inside, the waxy envelope protecting the note inside. Her fingers made short work of the seal, putting out the single sheet of paper that had been hastily stuffed inside and even more hastily scrawled across.

“This is important, don’t go home.”

“What the…?” she said as a heavy rapping at the window caused her to jump in fright, the letter falling to the footwell between her feet. The saviour of her car keys was standing outside, his torch peering through the condensation.

“You okay ma’am?” he asked through the glass.

She nodded, turned the ignition and took off, before he even had a chance to make sure. She turned the old car through the parking lot, paused for the shortest amount of time possible at the gatehouse and was then free on the blacktop of the highway.

“Don’t go home.”

The words rattled around in her head, over and over, as if John himself was saying them to her. What had he done? Where had they taken him?

Prompt originally posted by Gravitiaxis on reddit and received 2 upvotes.

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