Audiobook Mystery

Prompt: Erica is taking a work related road trip when something strange happens with the mystery audibook she is listening to.

Erica had a death grip on the steering wheel, her heart pounding as she navigated the unfamiliar streets.

The morning had started normally enough though the announcement that her fellow editor would be unable to attend the writing conference with her had been a shock. It had forced her to leave a half a day early since they’d planned to share driving duty during the ten hour trip.

But at least she’d had the audiobook version of the mystery novel she’d been reading so she hadn’t been worried about the lack of company.

Then the events in the book had started to really happen. She’d followed out of the diner where she’d stopped for a late lunch, exactly what happened to the protagonist in the book.

Erica hadn’t even pieced it together at first, had tried to shake off the idea that she’d been followed (couldn’t it have just been a coincidence that the man had left right on her heels and then made a few of the same turns?) but then she heard the line that changed everything.

Just as Erica pulled into an empty lot so she could test the ‘he’s following me’ theory by changing directions the narrator said, “Monica made a sharp right into the lot and then back out on the street in the opposite direction to see if her pursuer would follow. He didn’t miss a beat.”

Erica’s eyes flashed up to her rear view mirror and gasped when the SUV followed. It was happening just like the book and it continued to do so, the narrator either one step ahead or one step behind her every move.

She tried to punch her stereo off (what if the audiobook was somehow why she was being followed in the first place?) but no matter how many times she hit the button it wouldn’t turn off.

“Monica panicked as the SUV got closer and closer to her back bumper but then he backed off. She breathed a sigh of relief and on the exhale he rammed her so hard her car fell off the shoulder of the road. She didn’t have time to turn the wheel before she hit the tree.”

Erica’s head hit her window and she sat in a daze. Her airbags deployed and her hood smoked but the audiobook just kept playing.

“When Monica was able to focus her eyes she wished she hadn’t. The masked figure was right outside her window, a gun aimed at her head.”

Hours later when Erica’s body was found the only sign that it wasn’t a simple road accident was the audiobook case propped on the dash.

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