Blame it on the Crossroads

Blame it on the Crossroads

Crossroads… one of the worst places to be at. How I hated indecisive people! And yet, here I was. Never had I deliberated over my short-lived romantic conquests so far. I knew all men were the same. But Jonathan seemed different. He hadn’t tried to grope me. Not even once. This time, I was smitten. Or… was I in love? But I’d only met him today, after a week-long chat on Tinder. As if to take the drama one notch higher, another crossroad loomed in sight. A literal one…

“Which way?” I asked Jonathan.

“What does the GPS say?” Jonathan scratched his head. I shook mine. Our phones flashed ‘no network’. We’d strayed too far into the countryside, hiking along this trail for hours, just as I’d planned. 

As dusk crept in, I wondered if I needed the plan anymore. 

“Let’s rest for a while, we can ask for directions if someone passes us,” Jonathan walked towards the lone hawthorn tree in the small green patch at the intersection. I obliged.

“Where the roads cross is neither one road or the other…” Jonathan droned in a faraway voice, “Let me tell you a story. The English people believe that crossroads are a threshold to the world of spirits – neither here nor there. Of course, the centuries-old tradition of burying people who died of suicide and criminal-execution at crossroads helps fan the flames.”

I looked around for signs of a grave.

Jonathan sensed it and laughed, “They always drove a stake through the heart of the dead, so their souls wouldn’t drift around for vengeance. But rumour has it that a murderer who was once buried at a crossroad here in Lincolnshire still haunts the place. They say a tree has grown out of his wooden stake… a hawthorn tree.”

“Are you trying to scare me now?” I smirked.

Jonathan smiled his crooked smile, “They say he was very handsome. He’d charm young women with his words and then kill them in desolate moors. A psychopath… but he didn’t go running after women, they came to him.”

“You sure know a lot about him.”

“I have a thing for these legends. Besides, I share his name too. I bet this psychopath killing men at crossroads these days is trying to pull a Jonathan. They say it’s a man, but I’m sure it’s a woman,” he grinned.

I didn’t smile back. My heart raced. 

Did he know? But how? I’d evaded the police for so long, and he was just a… Was he with the police? 

Nah, I hated being at crossroads. There was only one way to find out. It’d be a shame though, I liked him.

—–

The newspapers carried a report the next day: Serial Killer on loose! 6 dead in 3 months. Jonathan Nash, 32, travel-blogger, is the latest to be found dead at Boston crossroad, Lincolnshire, last night. His throat was slit with a pocket knife.

Travel-blogger? He’d told the truth!

If only he hadn’t acted smart!

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