I glanced at the petrol again as I drove. I'd been following the A1 road for close to two and half hour and the little hand indicated the amount of petrol was near the end. I knew any moment the car would just stop and that would that. I'd half expected the road to be littered with abandoned cars, but I guess there weren't many with the petrol to go. The person who owned the car was either rich or had serious connections. I'd only encounted one hitch-hiker and made a point of ignoring them as they ran after, asking for a lift. I couldn't help someone else, charity starts at home and all that blah. Outside the sky was growing increasingly dark and I could feel the familiar anxiety setting in.
It annoyed me that despite everything I had this childish fear. I glared at the road before and pushed harder on the pedal. Then the car stopped and I was jolted forward.
“Ow..” I muttered pathetically as I reached to undo my belt. I'm pretty sure I have red marks on my neck and bruising across my chest from that. But based on the last sign I saw I was pretty close. Only twenty miles to go till Newcastle.
I reached to my side and felt the cold metal. What reason did I have to be scared of the dark? I had one serious weapon on me. I shivered against the cold wind and grabbed my backpack from the car and started walking. At least I had a straight shot and no chance of being run over.
When I saw the sign and buildings nearby I quickly turned and headed for them. I hadn't expected it to be so cold and I needed to find some kind of shelter for the night. The sign read Coxhoe, and like every place I'd been before, it was far too silent and abandoned. Not helping with the whole hating the dark issue. I went into the first house I saw and looked through the kitchen. Trying to breath shallow breathed through my mouth so as not to smell the clearly rotting stuff in the fridge. I managed to find a tin of beans and some other foods. Of course with no electricity I had to eat them cold, but it was better than slowly starving to death. With that done I headed upstairs and pulled the covers off one of the beds upstairs.
I curled up on the sofa downstairs and looked forward to another restless night. Despite the fact every house was empty, I could never bring myself to sleep in another's person bed. It felt wrong. I wished I still had the matches and candles, but they'd all been used up a long time ago. Despite myself I wished there was someone here. Even a complete stranger, just someone to talk to. Someone to distract me from this irrational fear.