The driving instructor clambered out of the driver-side door and into the pouring rain. It’d been a miserable day weather-wise, but this was taking the biscuit. It was almost vindictively bad. The rain lashed down with such ferocity that it bounced back up off the cobbled stones of the narrow street, allowing it to attack the instructor from any angle it chose. He started to jog around the front of the car, stopping briefly to look up and wave to his approaching student, before the two of them rushed for his vehicle’s refuge, endeavouring to endure the elements for as little time as possible. The pair of them entered the car and slammed the doors behind them.
“Horrible day for it, eh, lad?” Sighed the driving instructor jovially, over the metronomic vrrrp vrrrp of the struggling windscreen wipers and the dull thudding of rain hitting the car’s roof and windows. The student nodded, lowered the hood of his jacket and ran a hand through his short, soaking wet hair. The instructor reached into the glovebox, pulled out a cloth with one hand, removed his spectacles with the other and proceeded to wipe them clean. “Right then,” He continued, replacing his glasses and conjuring a notepad and pen from his inner jacket pocket. “And you are…” His eyes scanned down his list of dates, times and names.
“Dickhead.” Said the student. “Silly Dickhead.”
“Ah yes, there you are.” Declared the instructor triumphantly, scribbling something down next to one of the names. “Right then, Silly. Do you go by Silly? Or is it Sil?”
“Silly’s fine.” Mumbled Silly.
“First lesson is it, Silly?”
“No, I have driven before. Just need refreshing before my test, really.”
“Ah perfect. On you go then.” The car was already running, so Silly placed his hands at ten to two on the wheel, pressed his foot down on the clutch, put the car in first and found the biting point. He removed the handbrake with a dull clunk and began to inch slowly down the street towards the main road. “Remember to check your mirrors, Silly.” Said the instructor.
“Oh right, sorry.” Replied Silly. He obeyed.
“You’ll soon get back into the swing of it, son.” Chuckled the instructor reassuringly. Water flooded the windscreen as the wipers vrrrp vrrrped in vein, while more rain bounced off the roof and windows, adding to the growing cacophony as the car growled further and further down the bumpy, cobbled street. “Right then.” Repeated the instructor. “We’ll be going left when we get to the road, so whenever the coast’s clear, remember your mirrors again… And… Indicate.” Again, Silly obeyed, but in his haste he flicked the right indicator on instead of the left.
“Sorry!” He spluttered.
“It’s alright, son. Take your time. Bit rusty, eh?”
“Yeah.” Replied Silly, turning on the left indicator. As the car trundled on to meet the main road, Silly checked his mirrors, looked up and down the road, squinting through the downpour to check that the coast was indeed clear and then turned to the left.
“Second gear now.” Said the instructor kindly as the indicator clicked itself off. Silly pressed down on the clutch, moved up to second gear and started to accelerate. Vrrrp vrrrp. “That’s the ticket.” Said the instructor. “Now when we come up to these traffic lights here, we’ll be going right, please.”
“OK.” Silly moved into the right lane as he approached the lights, which remained green. He checked his mirrors and began to turn…
“Indicate!” Said the instructor sternly.
“Sorry! Sorry!” Said Silly, flicking the indicator on just in time for it to click itself back off as he completed the turn.
“It’s alright son, it’ll soon come flooding back.” Chuckled the instructor. “Now if you just want to check your mirrors and indicate, please.”
Silly looked for a turning, but there was none. There was only straight road ahead. “Do you want me to pull over?” He asked.
“Check your mirrors and indicate.” Reiterated the instructor. Vrrrp vrrrp went the windscreen wipers as rain continued to pound upon the vehicle’s roof.
“But I’m not turning! There’s nowhere to-”
“Indicate!” Growled the instructor. “Indicate!”
“But…” Silly turned to protest to the instructor just in time to see the man’s glasses fall onto the passenger side floor. The instructor’s eyes retreated backwards into his shrivelling, greying skull. Vrrrp vrrrp. The roof of the car groaned and strained under the pressure of the rain. The instructor looked at Silly with a manic smile, his tongue lolling out at an odd angle from his mouth. He then bit it clean off, sending it wriggling down the side of the passenger seat. “JESUS CHRIST!” Screamed Silly.
“INDICATE!” Gurgled the tongueless instructor. A droplet landed hard on Silly’s head, prompting him to look up. Thick drops of rain were shooting through the roof of the car like bullets and water came pouring in through the holes, flooding the car quickly. Vrrrp vrrrp. “INDICATE, SILLY DICKHEAD! INDICATE!” Vrrrp vrrrp. Silly looked ahead and had to swerve out of the path of an oncoming bus, then he allowed himself a glance back over to the passenger seat. The abomination had begun climbing and squelching over the sodden central divide towards him. His mouth was twisted into a mad, bloody grin and he held a skeletal arm outstretched towards Silly. “INDICATE!” Came the instructor’s guttural scream. “INDICATE!”
He sat bolt upright in bed, sweat soaking through his pyjamas. Immediately he ran a hand through his hair, but it was quite dry, if a bit sweaty. He stared into the darkness for a moment, breathing heavily and adjusting back to reality. From his right, he could hear the thudding of heavy rain against the bedroom window.
“What’s wrong?” Groaned his wife’s voice.
“Nothing.” He gasped. “Nothing. Just a bad dream, that’s all.” He heard a click and his wife’s bedside lamp turned on, filling the room with warm light. She propped herself up against the back of the bed and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Awh. Well it was only a dream.” She yawned. “It’s over now.”
“It was just so… Real.” He said, his breathing slowing. “I was in a car. I was having a driving lesson and the instructor… He kept shouting Indicate, indicate! And the rain… His tongue…”
His wife opened her eyes, sat up and regarded him thoughtfully. “Maybe it’s from… Weren’t you telling me about that bloke earlier… The handsome one… When you were driving home…”
Without warning, the window shattered as I came swinging handsomely into the room. They both cried out and shielded their faces with their arms from the shower of water and glass. “Yeah that’s right!” I yelled, as lightning streaked down in the distance behind me. “Remember me, you silly dickhead? The bloke you almost knocked down earlier while I was crossing the road?”
“I… I don’t…” His eyes widened as he struggled to get his words out. I took a step forwards, crunching shards of broken glass under my foot.
“Well I’m in your dreams now, mate. That’s right, I control every dream you have.” I took another step and bent down, so that we were almost nose to nose. “And if I… EVER…” I jabbed him the chest with my finger. “…SEE…” And again. “…YOU…” And with every word. “… TURN… WITHOUT… INDICATING… AGAIN…” I smiled. Still handsomely. “Well, you’ll be taking another driving lesson, won’t you. You silly dickhead.”
“I… I’m sorry…” He stammered. “… I didn’t… Didn’t mean…”
“I know you didn’t mean it.” I said sympathetically. “But that road’s a fucking ball ache quite frankly mate and…” I sighed. “And I’m just sick of it now.” I turned and stepped onto the window ledge.
“Who… Who are you?” Asked his wife.
I turned back from the ledge to address the room once more. “I am the Pedestrian Vigilante.” I replied. “And anyone…” I paused for effect. “… Anyone who doesn’t indicate before turning will henceforth be taking a driving lesson with my favourite instructor.”
“I will, Pedestrian Vigilante!” Cried the silly dickhead. “I promise to show more courtesy to other road users in future! I swear I will!” His wife smiled, a single joyful tear rolling down her cheek.
“And so will I! So will all of us, Pedestrian Vigilante!” She shouted. I smiled, then turned and flew handsomely away into the night as the couple stood and applauded. The roads will be just a little bit safer tomorrow, I thought to myself as I glided through the trees. Those two at least have been converted. They’ve seen the light, but my job is not yet done. There’ll be plenty more bad dreams tonight.
So here’s my plea to you, the reader and particularly those of you in or around the Leeds area: Don’t be a silly dickhead. Save yourself the hassle. Save yourself the hassle of a horrible dream. Have yourself an excellent, refreshing and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
More short stories and poems