Authors: Bijou Hunter
Copyright © 2016 Bijou Hunter
All rights reserved, including
the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the
products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely
For more information about this
book and author visit:
Cover Copyright © 2016 Bijou
Freckles, Tigger, Pooh, and Roo
for teaching me love
Mustang Sally for standing by
Aimie Grey for enduring my
Saucy Sarah for her patience
Darling Debbie for jumping on the
Naughty Nicole for making me
giggle at her fart rainbows
in a violent world with no escape…
promises her salvation…
threatens his survival…
love exist in the Lost Highway?
Miller survives a car accident only to become stranded in a place where
butchery is a way of life.
mysterious Quill saves her but proves to be no hero. Affection is an alien
concept to the experienced killer whose only concern is protecting his
Odessa hopes to survive, she’ll need to embrace the secret horrors of the Lost
y captor wears a skull mask.
I hang from his shoulder as my
consciousness comes and goes. The man treks through dense brush, leaving behind
my car and the Lost Highway. Despite my mind reeling from the pain, I remember
the crash. The way the car shuddered before flipping over. I can still hear the
metal grinding and feel the glass shattering around me. What I can’t recall is
how I went from the car to this man’s care.
A flash of his mask is all I
have until he lowers me onto the ground. My body is weightless. I can’t remain upright
until he props me against a tree.
I watch him silently move
around nearby. He opens a worn, brown knapsack and I see the flash of a blade
in his hand. My gaze lifts upward finding a world shrouded by massive trees.
Leaves flutter down around me, and I recall autumn arrived a few weeks back.
I’d decorated my house with the customary pumpkins on the front porch and
pinecone wreath on the door. My boyfriend John told me that I’d become
predictable. I thought immediately if I ever stopped being predictable, the
first thing I’d do was dump him.
The masked man’s footsteps are
soundless as he approaches me. Leaning down, he presses a water canister
against my lips.
“Drink,” he says none too
I struggle to swallow the warm
water he pours into my mouth. My lips feel alien, swollen and uncooperative. I
can’t keep up with the stream of liquid, and much of it splashes against my
The man shows no reaction to
the mess. He’s on the move again. Shoving the canteen in his backpack, he scans
the area with the eyes of an enraged beast. I sense someone is hunting us.
Not alone in the car when I
crashed, I’d picked up a hitchhiking woman. I’d wanted the company, and she
looked desperate. Was it her idea to take Route 201 rather than a well-used
road? Or had I been the one to suggest we try the notorious Lost Highway?
The masked man’s body goes
rigid as movement approaches from the woods. When I follow his gaze, I spot the
flash of white from an approaching figure.
My mind returns to the road
just before the crash. The woman’s name was Kim. She didn’t want to talk to me
but finally opened up about leaving behind a bad job and relationship.
“We’re not so different,” were
the last words I said to her before spotting the spikes in the road.
I tried to dodge them, but it
was too late. The car jerked once the tires blew. I’d nearly corrected the
swerving car when I heard the shot and a hole opened up in the engine. Kim
screamed, and I couldn’t control the vehicle.
The masked man stalks in my
direction before pausing. Hesitating, he looks away from me to where we were
heading. I think he might leave me for whoever is coming. His indecision
He barrels toward the tall,
burly man bursting from the brush. Bashing into each other, their battle lacks
finesse. The large men grapple for the second man’s weapon.
As they struggle, I recall
crawling out of the shattered car window. Kim was already on her feet, reaching
for her bag when an arrow tore through her hand.
Her scream woke me from my
daze. A primal urge to escape overtook my pain and confusion. I scrambled from
the car and looked at where Kim ran down the road. Leaving a blood trail behind
her, she screamed for help, but there are no police on the Lost Highway.
The men fight feet from me. I
don’t know who to root for, but I do know I’m in danger. Using the tree to
stand, I realize my right leg is torn open below the knee from an animal trap I
stepped in earlier.
Hobbling away from the men’s
struggle, I panic as the memories flood back.
Once I saw the wild men attack
a begging Kim, I ran into the woods. The dense brush hid me from those
predators, but the Lost Highway is teeming with threats.
As I run now, the masked man
yells for me to stop. I know his voice from when he found me in the animal
trap. I’d swung an ax at him. Dodging it easily, he told me to stop, or he
would kill me.
“Never touch me,” he said,
snatching the weapon from my grip.
Now he calls for me to stop,
but the other man says the same thing and laughs. This place has no heroes,
only monsters. They’ll both destroy me, just in different ways. I need to
I limp away from the battling
men. The sound of their frenzied grunts from violent blows follows me. I don’t
know who will win or if I can find safety in these blindingly, overgrown woods.
Despite my questions, I must try to survive.
My right leg feels dead,
dragging behind me. Wiping sweat and blood from my eyes, I reach up to the gash
on my hairline where the laughing woman hit me with a bat earlier. She watched
me fall and hit me again in the leg. Somehow, I dodged her next strike and
regained my footing.
After the crash, I fled the
dangerous road to find even more dangerous woods. I worry I’ve done the same
now by leaving behind two violent men in the hopes of discovering an end to the
When an arm wraps around my
waist and yanks me backward, I yelp in a ragged voice. Before I can identify my
attacker, I feel the rushing wind of a trap snapping shut where I’d once stood.
Staring at the device, I can’t
imagine surviving its bite. I turn to find the masked man without his mask.
He’s younger and more handsome that I’d guessed but no less fearsome. When he
frowns, I tremble at what he has in mind for me. What if he hurts me in the way
the other monsters will likely hurt Kim? Despite my terror, I gaze wondrously
at my hero.
“Thank you,” I say, lightheaded
from blood loss.
“Don’t run again.”
“I won’t,” I mumble just as my
legs give out.
The once masked man tosses me
over his shoulder and carries me back to where we rested earlier. I see what’s
left of the tall, burly man. With his face butchered, he forever smiles at the
canopy of trees blocking the sky.
he day is bright when I wake
How long have I been unconscious?
I find myself on a twin-sized
mattress resting on the floor of a white room. There’s no sign of the masked
My body refuses to move. Only
my eyes cooperate by scanning the small room. Bloody hand prints and writing
cover the walls. Most of the words are prayers for escape, mercy, or death. I
notice scratch marks on the battered door. Someone called this room their
prison. Now I am its current occupant.
I try to sit up, but my muscles
refuse to hold me. All I manage to do is roll on my back. Rust colored spots
cover the white ceiling. I wonder about the person once trapped in here.
long did they suffer before offered mercy?
Eventually, the door opens. I
hear the click of the lock first and the squeak of the hinges, but the masked
man’s approach is silent.
His face comes into view over
mine, and I realize he’s probably in his late twenties like me. Tanned skin
contrasts against his nearly black eyes and dark hair. I stare upon a face
simmering with violence. My death plays out in his eyes, yet I don’t dare look
“Hello,” I whisper.
“Can you sit?”
Shaking my head, I flinch when
his hand reaches for me. He takes me by the shoulders and yanks me upward.
Without any care, the man maneuvers me against the wall.
Next to the bed rests a small tray
with a chunk of bread next to a drink. He sets it on my lap. When I don’t move,
he roughly takes my hand and wraps my fingers around the cup.
“Drink,” he instructs.
The water stings my chapped,
battered lips. I drink down as much as I can manage, and my body awakens enough
for me to reach for the bread on the tray.
He steps back and stands in the
doorway. His gaze dissects me, leaving me exposed. He watches me eat, and
frowns when I choke after taking too big of a bite.
“What’s your name?” I ask after
finishing the chunk of bread.
“You’re Odessa Miller,” he
“Yes. How did you know that?”
The man walks from the room. I
stare at the open door and think of escape. If only I were physically able and
knew where I was and how to find safety. Without those three small factors
standing in my way, I would use the open door to my advantage.
Returning to the room, he drops
my suitcase and purse on the floor next to the bed.
I stare at my belongings, still
shocked by how little I possess in the entire world. Leaving John’s body
behind, I took only my used junker with a single suitcase in the trunk.
“How did you find them?” I ask
when he says nothing.
“They were on the road.”
“Do you know what happened to
the other woman?”
He nods but says nothing.
“Did you save me by bringing me
here?” I ask rather than inquiring if he plans to torture me as he did the
captive once held in this room.
He doesn’t answer my question.
I look around the room and then back at him. He only crosses his arms and
studies me for a long time.
“What happens now?” I ask,
leaning over until I’m on my side.
The man’s face remains set on
violence, but he doesn’t harm me before taking the tray and leaving me in the
I watch him go and think of how
he butchered the man in the woods. My mind returns to the crash and how I ran
until the laughing woman hit me with the bat. Her eyes crazed, she even tried
to bite me. That was how I gained the upper hand. With her focus on biting my
bleeding arm, I shoved the bat backward against her nose.
Now resting on my side in the
locked room, I stare at my forearm where her teeth grazed me. I recall how she
struggled to steal back the bat from me. We fought for the weapon until she
fell to the ground, and I stood over her. Our positions switched, I hadn’t
given a second thought to lowering the bat on her face. Panicked, I wanted to
live, and she stood in the way of my goal.
If the time comes to save my
life with this man, I wonder if I’ll react again so quickly and violently.