Monday, January 9, 2012

The Drive [flash fiction]

She tugged on the seatbelt but it wouldn't come loose. The car careened backwards down the hill. She hit the brakes so hard she thought she broke her foot. "Change gears, change gears!" The words echoed in her head over and over.

She slammed into first gear and floored the gas. No good. The car was moving too fast. What happened? It was all so quick. One minute she was climbing into the car, the next she was sliding down the hill.

It was a nice day for a drive and she loved her scarlet red, completely restored Triumph Spitfire. Top down, radio blasting, carving through the winding mountain roads; perfect day. What had gone wrong?

She had stopped at an overlook to take some pictures, first of the scenery then of her car with the mountain backdrop. She spent a few more minutes just enjoying the sun and the views. Back in the car, she fired up the engine - that's when it happened; just as she shifted into reverse to pull out of the parking spot.

Someone had appeared out of nowhere and rammed into the front of her car, forcing it backwards down the hill. No time to react, no time to do anything but try to stop the car. "Think, THINK!" she screamed at herself but nothing came to mind.

She tried the seatbelt again. No good. She was going to die. "I'm going to die and my mother thinks I hate her." They hadn't spoken for a week, not since her mother had hung up on her after a long argument about her fiance, Darrell Jackson, and his being listed as her beneficiary on the life insurance they were paying for.

"I need to tell her," tears rolled down her cheek. "I need to tell her I do love her. Doesn't matter that she thinks I shouldn't marry Darrell. I know she loves me. I need to tell her."

She noticed the ground was leveling out. Unfortunately the car was still rolling quickly. Repeatedly jabbing the brake did nothing, the pedal went to the floor. Something had gone wrong, horribly wrong. She twisted around in the car looking for something, some way to help slow the car. Her hand fell to the console and saw the stick for the emergency brake. Could it help? She grabbed it and pulled upward as hard as she could.

The car started to slow, little by little. "I'm going to live!" she screamed to the sky. "I'm going to live!" She was so thankful there hadn't been any trees on the way down. They might have slowed her descent but they also might have killed her.

Once the car finally slowed to a stop, she stepped out on wobbly legs and looked upward. What or who had hit her? She stared at the top of the hill. She could barely make out a car and someone standing beside it. Who was it? Did she know them? Was this an accident?

Taking her time she climbed the hill, rolling the questions around in her mind. As she drew closer she noticed someone standing beside a pickup truck. Had someone seen her go off the road and called a tow truck?

"Hello - can you help me?" she shouted as she waved excitedly. "Can you hear me?" As she got closer she could see the man had his arm extended. She squinted and thought she recognized him. "Darrell? Is that you?"

A shot rang out. Now it was her turn to careen down the hill.

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Try number two at flash fiction. I don't like this one as well as my first but thought I'd share it anyway. Feel free to leave some constructive criticism. ;-)

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