Jenny kissed Tom in the truck passionately, and their heated passion filled the cramped space, steaming up the windows. She made little noises as they kissed, until finally Tom started to put his hand up her shirt and she pulled back, falling back against the passenger door.
“What are you doing?” she protested, staring at him in the darkness.
“Aww, come on,” Tom said. “Don’t be a prude.”
“What? Do you really think we came up here just to look at the moon?” She glowered at him. “Fine, be that way. Might as well not just sit here in silence.”
Tom lit a cigarette and turned on the radio. There was the sound of a man talking, hurriedly but trying to maintain a calm tone and sound matter-of-fact:
“We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement. Police have just learned that a patient has escaped from the institution for the criminally insane on Black Briar Hill and is heading down the mountain toward the city. The fugitive is described as 6 foot 3, with long black hair, and should be considered extremely dangerous. The police commissioner is advising everyone to stay, lock doors and windows, and be on the lookout for any suspicious characters in their neighborhood.”
And then the broadcast was over, and The Eagles were in the truck with the two high-schoolers, singing about the hotel you could check out of any time you’d like but never leave.
“Oh my God!” cried Jenny, flicking one of her long curly blonde locks at Tom. “That’s terrifying! That’s not far from here, just a ways up the mountain. We should get out of here Tommy! Just to be safe! I’m so scared!”
“s’okay baby.” Tom blew smoke from his Malboro into the cab. “I’ll protect you.” He pitched the cigarette out the window and leaned in to kiss the innocent young girl.
The two necked passionately, as the smouldering cigarette lit the scrub brush it had landed in. The flames spread, engulfing all the vegetation on the hill. Just as Tom started to round second base Jenny pushed him aside and looked out the windshield to see the inferno spreading before them.
“Oh my god, Tom! Look! What did you do? What did you do!?”
The teenagers jumped out of the truck, slamming the doors behind them, not knowing why.
“What do we do, Tom, what do we do?” Jenny screamed.
“Shut up!” Tom said, grabbing her shoulders and shaking her. “Just shut up!”
The fire raged on beneath the light of the nearly-full moon. The two turned to look down the hill into the raging blaze, and saw within it a dark shape emerging, flames leaping off of it; the dark figure of a man with long black hair and holding something down at his side, something bouncing against his knee as he climbed the burning slope.
It was a human head.
They turned and ran, and the burning man followed.