The Ditch – the story

What actually happens in The Ditch?

We start in the idyllic English countryside – beautiful meadows and fields, trees swaying gently in the breeze, birds flying overhead. It’s this natural harmony and tranquillity which is shattered by the appearance of a car, racing along the only road running through this landscape. The car is zooming along at top speed, its engine roaring, the tyres screeching on the bends. The birds scatter.

The car is being driven by Donna. Donna looks scared. She’s on the run – we don’t know what she’s running from, or to, but her mobile phone keeps going off and it’s the same man ringing her every time. She ignores each call, but every time that phone goes she seems a little more anxious, pushes the car to go a little faster. But there’s something about Donna that draws our attention. Is it her face, which looks lived-in, as if it’s seen some of the worst things life can show a woman? Is it the way she keeps glancing to the side at a bottle of booze sticking out of her bag on the passenger seat? No, there’s something else. She takes her hand off the steering wheel and… ah, that’s what it is. She’s pregnant. Not very far gone, but enough to show.

The car slows down. Donna’s come to a fork in the road. She doesn’t know, or doesn’t remember, which way to go. She looks left and right, but these roads look the same to her. The phone starts ringing again – she grabs it, and swears at the caller. Then she throws the phone down in a fury, revs up the engine, and chooses a road apparently at random. The car picks up speed again.

Now she’s going down a road she doesn’t recognise, a narrower road, rough and gravelly, bordered by trees which tower overhead like giants watching her. Donna looks at that bottle. She wants a drink. She needs a drink. Oh, but she’s not allowed… the baby… Damn it, she can’t manage without.

As she looks up from the bottle, her face turns to horror. What the hell? What’s that woman doing there? How can she have got there? And why doesn’t she move? Get out of the way! Get out… too late.

As the story develops, see how Donna’s situation worsens as the choices she makes lead her to abandon maternal concern in favour of self-preservation and, ultimately, wickedness… and the consequences of those choices as supernatural forces intervene and take a terrible revenge.

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