The HitcherA few weeks ago, we posted a contest in which readers could watch a clip from the recent remake of The Hitcher, and then write a fictional account of how the scene might end. The prize at stake: a T-shirt and nice stack of horror DVDs. We now have the results of this contest and, since it was a creative endeavor, we thought we’d share the winning entry, along with a couple of runners-up we thought deserved a mention.

We appreciate the effort that many of you put in to these contest entries, and congratulations to the winner! We like rewarding creativity, and you can be sure that there will be more contests of this general variety in the future…

Here is the original prompt, off which the contestants riffed:

The sun is scorching and sweat is dripping from your skin. You managed to escape the psychopath hitchhiker after he tried to kill you and your friend — but you couldn’t save the family he slaughtered.

Drenched in blood you arrive at a rest-stop diner. Your friend stays in the car with the father of the family, who is clinging to life. You rush inside the diner looking for help, but how do you explain?! You need a moment to catch your breath, and you run into the bathroom. The blinds are broken and through the window you see it: You see the hitcher’s blood-red, dust-covered truck. How did he find you? Your heart starts to race, your knees are shaking. You turn to rush out when you see a shadow under the door. Is it him?! Does he know you’re in there? You’re trapped. Should you scream?

What would you do next?

The prize pack goes to Miranda R. for this little beauty:

While the urge to powder one’s nose and have a quick wash up while someone is critically hemorrhaging in your car may be understandable, perhaps it is not the best use of one’s time (or the passenger’s waning supply of red blood cells). I can imagine fainting in the diner, vomiting in the diner, rambling incoherently in the diner, but I honestly cannot fathom taking a quick potty break before mentioning, "Oh, and could someone call an ambulance and the blood bank?"

However, once my poor decision making skills have lead me into the predicament described, what would I do? Hmmm.

First, I’d look for air freshener. A little blast of air freshener to the face works wonders for blurring the vision (don’t ask, I don’t want to talk about it). If there was no air freshener, I’d take the porcelain tank lid off the tank (if the toilet had a tank), and wield it as a weapon. If it was a tankless, I’d search for a metal garbage can, or try to unscrew the coat hook from one of the stalls, just so I’d have something to use to defend myself if necessary.

Then, I’d find a way to open the door from a distance (tie something to the handle), and peek out, to see who was in the hall.

If it was the Psycho Hitcher, I’d gird my loins, start screaming as much info as possible, and attack.

If the coast was clear, I’d make a b-line to the nearest phone, and tell the restaurant staff to gather all the patrons together in the center of the restaurant, (I might say something like: "We saw a man try to kill someone, and now he’s after us. He’s armed, almost certainly crazy, and he’s here!", so people would have some understanding as to the level of danger).

At this point, it would be helpful to discover if anyone else in the restaurant was armed. If we’re down south, chances are pretty good. Maybe a group of brave souls would be willing to make a run out to the car to retrieve my friend and the dying guy.

Hopefully, my companion had the brains to park close to the door. But somehow, I doubt it.

Jolanda deserves a mention for taking the time to write:

What would I do?

Well, lets see: I’m in the bathroom and I need to get out. Staying is no option. So I would use the Celtic way: Get undressed, hold the clothes and run outside screaming my ass off. With my looks…. it would definitely scare the hell out if the hitcher, believe me.

If nobody was near, I would get into the diner, get sugar, run outside and put it in his car gastank. Then run to my car to see if anyone is still there. If so, fine. My screaming would have alerted others in the diner, to say nothing of my appearance. And at least someone would react. Always have hope. If there wasn’t anyone in the car then I’d have to write another scenario.

But first get dressed.

And a persona I can only identify as "Al" gets a nod for this darker turn:

I would start by going into a stall and lock it from the inside. I would crawl under the wall to the next stall and do the same. Then I would break the window with a trash can in the bathroom. I would them climb out and press myself up against the wall outside. That way, he would hear the window breaking and assume that I went out of it and ran off.

Or, maybe he’ll think that I ran back to the car. So he’ll start to leave the bathroom, but probably second guessing himself, he starts kicking in the stalls. But, I’m not there. So, as he leaves the bathroom, I climb back in through the window. I peek out of the door to see him leaving the diner. I would then slowly sneak behind the diner counter. There, I would probably find the body of the waitress, dead. Her throat slashed. A blood pool around her. I would then hear screaming coming from outside. I look around and all I can find useful is a steak knife, so I grab it. I crawl from behind the counter and slowly walk outside. I look around. Nothing. I see the car, but it’s empty.

I look over and I see that his truck is still there. Where is my friend and the father? Why hasn’t he left yet? I quickly run over to the truck. I look inside and see the bloody corpse of the father, laying in the seat. Dead. I squat down near the front tire. I hold my hand over my mouth so I won’t scream, or vomit. I stand to my feet, just as he walks back to the car. I squat down again. All I can see is his dirt covered boots from under the truck, as he walks back to the diner. I then use the steak knife to flatten two of the tires on his truck. He walks back to the car. It’s now my time to strike. But as I leave the truck, I hear the car engine starting. What? Wait a minute? I see him getting into the car with my friend in the backseat. My friend screams while beating on the window as the car drives off. I run after them, but I can’t catch up. The car disappears down the road. I have survived, but now, I’m stranded at the diner. I now have no vehicle. I am alone.

Thanks to all our entrants. Read CHUD: Get free shit and compliments.