32 comments

Science Fiction

That's not me. The person with contorted legs barely visible by the now deflated air bags. That's not me. The person whose head hit against the passenger window leaving a circular crack in the glass of the passenger door like a red spider web. That's not me. The limp frame that can not move. That's not me!


The person slumped over the steering wheel, blood coated on olive skin like a new crimson overcoat. That' s not you. Moments ago when you were driving and we were singing. Before, when we had the radio blasting, vogueing to Top 40. Moments ago we were still on the road, not pushed into the guard rail. Moments ago I felt safe. Now, as I watch the smoke fill up in the car I feel anything but.


I felt the crush. The crush of metal, the scraping as we went into the barrier. The shriek you gave out before the car pushed up against it further. I try to move my hand over to yours but my arms don't budge. Every part of my body feels likes its covered in stone. I feel disconnected and detached from myself. Every nerve wants to twitch and spasm, I want to raise my voice so loud that I can break wine glasses miles away. But I am immobile.


My consciousness has run away – it has removed itself from this wreckage, pulled away from my body. I'm drawn outside of myself, I feel myself drift away - pearing down and hovering from a distance. My vantage point is outside of the car – as if I am standing by the other side of the guard rail. My entity deviating from my body; floating into the air like the smoke rising from the flames. I'm dissociated from the scene . Out of this bruised and beat up shield of flesh and skin, I am no longer here. I'm not here anymore.



Time stands still.



I can't tell if a few minutes or hours has passed before a women walks over to your side and bangs on the window. I can't hear her but I know she's screaming. But you fail to respond – finger tips still stretched over the silver dashboard. She keeps banging but I can hear nothing. Silence has surrounded me like vacant space. I call to her but she doesn't hear me. I feel invisible. I feel deaf, I feel mute, I feel frozen, I feel everything, I feel nothing. I hate her. I don't know her but I hate her. She did this. Her Red Dodge charging in your Freestar. She calls to you again. You don't answer. Wake up! She has no visible bruises. Wake up! We are left with nothing but ruin. Wake up! I want you to wake and tell me it's okay so I can merge back into my physical structure and hold you. I want you to hold me, to shake me awake. I want this to be over. I want to wake up. She reaches in her pocket and takes out her cell phone.



My thoughts are pacing and my breath is uneasy. Cars pass us by. I scream for them but there is no sound. I don't like this feeling. Two men in navy blue with badges that shimmer in the street light walk towards us. No, the timeline is off. First the ambulance came. Maybe they came together? Everything feels like it's happening quickly and not at all – at the same time but like a dream as well. I feel trapped. I feel like a stranger that's unwelcome to my own reality.


The girl is sobbing, hands entwined in reddish brown locks, her face looks mortified as she talks to the EMTs. They nod as they listen but their eyes are focused on the car. They try opening your door but quickly realize the guard rail is so embedded into the hood that they can only crack it ajar. The hood looks like crumpled paper. I don't hear the scrapping of the metal as they pull but I can imagine it. I can imagine this orchestra of tragedy composed of the ambulance and the patrol cars sirens, the scrapping of the metal, the sobbing of the other driver, the screaming that I'm trying to belt out. I imagine it all around around me.


With a crowbar and the jaws of life they yank your door open. One of them reaches for the seat belt and helps your limp frame out of it, holding you in his arms like he's cradling Swarovski crystals. He knows how to move through the air bags and shards of glass meticulously like a surgeon moving quickly and precise. He's a pro. How many times has he done this? How could he witness this over and over? I can't even get through it once.


He places you on the road and works on you. Light blue gloves on your chest as he pumps down. He begins to count. I lip read his words. One. Two. Three. Four. I didn't thank you enough for home cooked dinners. I should have danced with you every chance I got. Five. Six. Seven. All those times I chose to sleep in late or hang out with friends over having conversations with you. I have so much to learn from you. Our family history and what your life was before me. Eight. Nine. Ten. And I selfishly want to hear about how your life was changed for the better when you had me. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. You can't leave me. You can't Leave me. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen. When was the last time I told you I loved you? Are you proud of who I have become? Seventeen. An arm reaches out from the back of the car for me. They can't take my body away from yours. I will not leave your side. Eighteen. Nineteen. I'm not afraid to die, I am afraid to be without you. I'm afraid to lose you. I can't lose you! Twenty. Twenty-one. Twenty-two. I can't remain on an astral plane that you don't exist in. I will tug on and follow the red string of fate back to you. I wasn't the best daughter but I will be better. I will love better. I will be less selfish. You can't leave me. Twenty three. Twenty four. Twenty five. More hands reach for my body but I'm still not in that shell. I've become a hermit, leaving my space, waiting for you to join me on either this realm or the next.


I imagine that the string that connects us reflects our relationship. Though we squabble, though we sometimes throw words like Malatov cocktails, I will forever be where you are. However tattered, broken or strained our relationship is, the connecting force between us, the symbolic red string of fate will always bring me close to you. I will bargain with every deity – take my left arm – I only need one. Take years off my life in replace for more of yours. Take everything from me, if I can keep you close.


Your hand twitches.



He stops to smile. He leans his ear closer to your mouth and his fingers glides under the collar of your black turtleneck. They bring out the gurney. Relief feels like cold water on a summer's night.



You mumble my name. Its the only thing I hear. You call to me like a soothing lullaby. All the surrounding noises flooding - overwhelming me. I bring my focus to my body – still on asphalt by the guard rail. Two EMT s keep trying. Counting. One sighs and looks down. She moves her hand and places it on the others shoulder but he keeps pumping down on my chest. He doesn't stop. His counting is haunting - rough and raspy.


I didn't focus on myself this whole time. I dissociate myself from my own revival. It seems trivial to focus on me when I want only the best for you. The defibrillator makes a jolting sound as it charges up.


I wanted only for you to be happy. With ever cell in my body, I love you. I will always love you. My savings is under the ring divider in my jewelry box. It's okay. I feel something. It feels like deep breaths. I feel calm. Like tranquility fluttering around me. I keep hearing my name. Over and Over. Louder and Louder. Clear.



It's okay



Clear.



My eyes bolt opens as I gasp. The air tastes like rust and smoke. My head feels heavy and weighed down on the cold floor. The Autumn air feels raw on my open wounds.



“It's okay.” The male EMT crouched over me and said. “You're both okay.”



It's okay. It's safe to breath now. I feel at peace.



May 02, 2020 00:54

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32 comments

Josephine Alcott
05:58 May 03, 2020

This is amazingly heart-wrenching. You were able to slow down time while still include the character’s racing thoughts for an event that might have happened within the span of just several minutes. What made you decide to choose this prompt over the others? It definitely looked like one of the more difficult ones to interpret!

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Chloe Alistar
06:05 May 03, 2020

Jaden, your comment was so thoughtful and I am grateful for your critique! I wrote from a place of pain - trying to capture fragments of different repressed traumas into a fictional story proved challenging. I definitely had writers block and cursed a lot while hitting the back space many a times haha. I liked the other prompts, but something about this one made be think of trauma and how it makes someone feel out of their body in way that seems so foreign and I don't read a lot of stories that shows that perspective. So I thought that wo...

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Elliott Laurence
22:10 May 03, 2020

Chloe. Clever...how you claimed it was an 'orchestra of tragedy' and then described everything that made up the tragedy. Well written.

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Chloe Alistar
16:05 May 05, 2020

Thank you Elliot! I appreciate your comment and I love that you enjoyed that part. I was quite proud of that myself. Thank you so much! I look forward to reading more of your stories as well. Have a blessed day, always! :)

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Elliott Laurence
00:10 May 12, 2020

You, as well.

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Jessie Nice
17:33 Jun 17, 2020

This is the definitely one of my favourite pieces of writing on here, WOW

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Vrishni Maharaj
18:00 May 27, 2020

Amazing story! You are a great writer :)

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Naomi Bandy
17:03 May 12, 2020

This was amazing! I love how you had time stand still, and the way you showed instead of told.

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C.B. Smith
02:15 May 08, 2020

Your story felt so powerful and personal. I really felt it as I was reading. You should be very proud of what you wrote.

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19:09 May 07, 2020

This is amazing! It is sort of surreal and so well written that all the action is vivid. The way you slowed down time was a very creative and effective, and not something I have seen used before. It gave it a film like quality, which is hard to capture, but you managed it!

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Courtney Haynes
04:06 May 07, 2020

A very impressive take on this prompt. I loved every moment of it. So artful and yet so heart-wrenching. All the likes are well deserved.

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Chloe Alistar
13:32 May 07, 2020

Thank you so much Courtney! I appreciate it! I love that you loved it. Aww! That makes me feel so great. :) :) I look forward to reading your stories as well! Have a blessed day! :)

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Tina Laing
01:19 May 07, 2020

A very nice story.

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Chloe Alistar
13:32 May 07, 2020

Thank you so much Tina! I really appreciate it! I look forward to reading your stories as well! Have a blessed day! :)

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Tina Laing
15:09 Oct 09, 2020

You too!

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Ayden Spisak
23:29 May 06, 2020

Wow wow wow. This emotion. It made me feel like I was in the crash. My eyes are a bit watery haha! I love this story so much, amazing job!

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Chloe Alistar
23:51 May 06, 2020

AWW!! Thank you so much for your kind words and support Ayden. I absolutely loved that you were able to feel emotion from my story. That makes me so happy to hear. I look forward to reading your stories as well. I followed you, in advance :) Have a blessed day!

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Ayden Spisak
19:22 May 07, 2020

You are so welcome!! You're very talented! Thank you, I hope someday I can write as beautifully detailed as you! You too! :)

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Manan Suraiya
19:20 May 06, 2020

Hey Chloe! This was...marvellous. I love the unique interpretation you have rendered to the prompt. The slow building up, and the counting was haunting! Do read my story as well and give your feedback! I would highly appreciate it!

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Chloe Alistar
23:58 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much for your kind words! I love that you enjoyed the build up and the repetitive counting. I struggled a bit with finding what words I wanted to repeat throughout the story. I will absolutely read your stories, Manan! I look forward to it! Thank you again! Have a blessed day! :)

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Manan Suraiya
09:08 May 07, 2020

A suggestion: when you are writing the counters, write them on a separate line rather than along with the rest of the text. It has a different impact.

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Chloe Alistar
13:33 May 07, 2020

Hi Manan, thank you so much for the constructive critique. I will definitely keep that in my mind for the next stories. :)

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Zara Khan
18:24 May 06, 2020

I loved your take on this prompt. The first paragraph just really pulled me in and the whole story was well written!

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Chloe Alistar
18:59 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much Zara. I am so happy that you were pulled it. And thank you for such a nice comment. I appreciate it and I look forward to reading your work as well. Have a blessed day :)

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Alton Rook
14:25 May 06, 2020

This is beautiful. You definitely achieved what you were hoping for. The whole story had that cinematic feel f the background fading to dull voices, and the protagonist being the point of focus. I loved the way you ended it. Absolutely exhilarating. One of the best stories I've ever read. Also, I think it is 'Molotov'. Great job Chloe. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.

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Chloe Alistar
18:56 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment and I love your thorough critique. I'm glad that you thought I captured this - as I wanted it to feel so emotional to the audience. Yes, I did mean Molotov haha :) Oh my gosh! I love that you said it was one of the best you've read. I am blushing! You are so very kind! I look forward to reading more of your stories as well. Have a blessed day! :)

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Peace Nakiyemba
09:41 May 06, 2020

Very lovely story and an impressive take on the prompt. I truly loved it.

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Chloe Alistar
18:54 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind word and I am so happy that you loved it! That makes me so excited to hear. I look forward to reading more of your stories as well. Have a blessed day! :)

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Des Feller
19:18 May 05, 2020

That was amazing. The emotion you were able to create was incredible, and I congratulate you for all your successes.

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Chloe Alistar
03:12 May 06, 2020

Thank you so much! I appreciate your comment and love that you enjoyed the emotion I tried to capture! I look forward to reading more of your stories as well. Have a blessed day! :)

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Aqsa Malik
11:22 May 05, 2020

The way this is written is absolutely beautiful. The analogies were so poetic, and the imagery kept me engaged the whole way through. Such an amazing job!

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Chloe Alistar
16:06 May 05, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm very happy that you were engaged and enjoyed my story. Thank you so much for reading and sharing such kind words! I look forward to reading more of your stories as well. Have a blessed day! :)

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