Wrong exit

You must have taken the wrong exit.

The last glimmer of sunlight winks out as the road meets the woods.

The pavement becomes gravel.

The road narrows as the trees grow around you. Your headlights illuminate one row of trees around you, nothing else.

The gravel becomes dirt.

The skeletal trees now vanish into the blackness overhead. They grow more dense. A tunnel.

The trees end abruptly, ending at a still, featureless lake and a corrugated metal causeway.

The causeway stretches out into nothingness. The darkness consumes your lights before reaching the other side.

The bridge shakes and groans like old bones under your wheels. With no sight of the far bank, your lights flicker and die. They come back on. You slam on the brakes.

A little girl, no more than five, stands feet from your front bumper, staring ahead with her back to you. One tiny hand grips a faded teddy bear, stuffing falling out of its belly. She slowly turns around.

The blood running from her empty eye sockets stain her grin red.

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