The Inevitable

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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A Porsche, brand new to Mr. Williams, unknown to the Irish market, imported from Germany, which puts the year at 1968, mid winter. It wasn't unknown for the Irish Moore lands to be engulfed in mist, as it was on this cold winters night. On this occasion it added to the excitement as Mr. Williams tested his new toy with his lady friend Joanna. Mr. Williams had intended to get lost with his lady friend, but he did not expect the events that would follow. A windy mud track divided the woods from the Moor's. It was an empty stretch of road, which tested the cars suspension and handling to the limit, as it did Mr. Williams driving ability. He was more than happy to comply and his driving ability was pushed to the limits as he turned with the road, which appeared six feet in front of the car out of the cold mist.

The headlights merely illuminated the smoke screen, visibility began to improve, but any unexpected turns were still unavoidable at this speed. Joanna urged him to slow down, and with an ulterior motive he eased off the gas. He was now a hero, as if she didn't expect him to respect her wishes and his plan worked as she began to reach across the gear stick. His eyes were taken off of the road, which coincided with an old oak tree stretched across the road that appeared out of the gentle mist. Each and every branch illuminated, it dwarfed the car, spookily over towering them both. It came into Mr. Williams's sight and his reflexes sent the car into a skid over the gravel and mud. The handbrake had spun the rear of the car round so that it was now parallel to the tree. The car was still in motion and a branched of tree had now reached out smashing the drivers window and presenting itself inches in front of Mr. William's eyes as the car stopped. The branch was prevented them from driving away. A little shaken, lacking the same confidence in his driving ability he looked across to Joanna who nervously smiled back. No words were passed; Mr. Williams just looked back at the branch and opened his door as far as he could before scrambling out. He started to snap the thick branch over his nee. In the corner of his eye a shadow appeared. He froze momentarily, as if it would go away if he didn't move or make any noise. He was filled with a cold sensation and the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. Without moving his eyeballs he tried to make out what the shadow was, or just to confirm his fears. A whistling breeze was the only thing to break the silence. The stillness that haunted the moment was very apparent and he hoped that Joanna would remain equally silent and still. She was however oblivious to his hopes and fears, she turned and asked: "˜what's wrong?' She was pulled back into her seat by some invisible force. She screamed. Mr. Williams turned his head. The screams turned to tears, and he looked towards the shadow. There was nothing there. The mist became thick fog, and neither confidant that what was there had gone as they looked at each other, each as if to reassure the other. There was no time for reassurance and Mr. Williams proceeded to snap the branch and scramble back into the car. Neither had witnessed the others story, but somehow the silence told them everything they needed to know and as they drove away everything was shared as they held hands. Mr. Williams, unsure himself muttered, "˜It will be OK', over and over, "˜it will be OK, it will be OK.' As if the more times he said it the more true it would become.

They were now lost, as Mr. Williams had intended, but whereas before they were lost in an adventure, they were now lost in a nightmare. The fog came up to the windscreen and he squinted to try and make out the path laid out by the road. They had in fact left the road and had found their way onto an old abandoned estate, and were winding there way up the driveway. Out of the mist came a house inevitably, however much to their complete surprise. They skidded to a halt just before the towering walls. They gaupped up at the uninhabited country estate. It was a very grand house, as their headlights illuminated through a broken window what appeared to be a dinning room. The table was laid out with shiny silver cutlery, with evidence of a meal that had been served up in all its glory and abandoned. The walls were lined with wooden panelling and a chandler hung with broken chains of crystals dangling and the candles burnt right down. It was like a celebration had been preserved and lay stagnant and dead. In his desperation Mr. Williams stepped out of the car in hope that it was inhabited. Joanna called out, "˜what are you stupid, no-ones going to live here'.

To which Mr. Williams replied, "˜we don't have any choice, we are lost, if the food on the dining table in tact, it seems likely that the phone is too'. He slammed the door shut and Joanna reached across to lock it. She watched as he disappeared into the mist a few feet from the car. She heard him knock, and the front door swing open, as the rusty hinges screeched. There was a distant, "˜Is anybody here', from which she deduced that he was inside the house, alone. The next few minutes were the most tense yet. It was as if she new that something was wrong, but she didn't know what. She waited nervously. Ten minutes passed. She knew that she was going to find out for herself what was wrong if she didn't move. If she moved she might find herself doing the obvious, which could lead her into a trap. If she stayed still whatever it was would know where she was. She left the decision to instinct and got out the car and left the door open. She approached the house cautiously looking back at the car as it was consumed by the mist. She heard a scream from above her. She didn't know if it was from one of the upper rooms, or from the roof. She ran towards the front door of the house as if she could somehow help. The door slammed shut, hitting her in the face. She was knocked to the floor, and she scrambled for the car on her hands and knees. She climbed in the door and climbed across to the drivers seat. The keys weren't in the ignition. She reached across and locked the door. She felt around on the floor for the keys. She found them and put them into the ignition, her hand shaking. She was relieved as the engine started first time. She looked up, the mist had cleared and she heard another scream and paused to consider weather she should go back. A rope appeared to be attached to the front of the car. She followed it with her eyes and it lead to a tangle of chains before going up to the roof. Determined to outsmart the inevitable she started to think about the consequences of her every move. There was a scratching sound on the roof of the car. The panic once again prevailed the inevitable, and she slammed down the clutch, forced the gear stick into reverse, and stamped down on the accelerator. Had she been looking forward she would have witnessed the rope attached to the front of the car pull tight, pulling the chain tight, the last link acting as a hoist. She looked forward to face what she was running from, and seeing the rope she stopped. Her headlights revealed the mystery of the scratching noise: Mr. William's feet, as he hung from a nuce, with the tip of his toes scrambling on the roof of the car as he desperately tried to support himself, unable to shout with the nuce around his neck. He was now however ten feet up, rising with every movement of the car, shaking in spasms. His arms were around his neck and his eyes were full of frustration and fear. There was yet another painful pause, as she stared in disbelief. She reached for the clutch once again, and a cold sharp metal object pressed hard against her larynx. A deep husky voice from behind her simply whispered the word, "˜watch', and the knife was pressed in even harder. She froze, shaking with fear and contemplated what Mr. Williams had been through in the events leading up this moment, and what she was about to go through. It couldn't be this easy. There must be some horrible twist. She watched in horror as Mr. Williams gave up hope and became still as the night. It was only now that Joanna realised how vulnerable she was. She was on her own and there was no hope. As she accepted her fait the being had decided that she seen enough, and the knife proceeded to pierce the skin further. Her jugular vein was slowly crushed, before giving in to the knife, as her neck was sliced open.

Some say that inevitability is defined by fait, others say it is defined by the human condition. For Joanna it was fait, for Mr. Williams it was the human condition.