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Friendship Urban Fantasy Drama

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this… thing.

It didn’t start off as much. When I was about three I had this dream about a dog and saw the same one the next day; normal kid stuff you can write off, y’know? Then it started to get a little weirder, like knowing my sister was going to fall off the slide at the park or knowing what my cousins had gotten me for my birthday before they had even come to my party. By the time I told my parents I knew they were going to separate before they had even decided, they all knew something was up.

See, I’m what the kids call a clairvoyant. The future shows me everything I need to know without any special effort on my part. I don’t look into some crystal ball or read some boring tea leaves: I just fall asleep and the visions come right to me! I can’t see much further out than a week and I can’t see anyone else’s future, though, so it’s not like my ability is worth anything to anyone else. I’m not a psychic, a medium, a seer, or a fortune teller - those are all party tricks that would be much more useful than mine if they were actually real. They aren’t. As far as I can tell, my power is the only one that truly exists.

Don’t get me wrong - I looked for others for a long time. I placed ads but people posted them online and laughed them off as the ramblings of a crazy person. I went to college and got close to a few people who seemed like they could have the same talent I do, but after further investigation none of them were using anything more than regular old intuition. I even tried to run around in metaphysical circles and use crystals to, I don’t know, call good energy to me and open up my third eye? I tried to look for someone - anyone - in my dreams. It didn’t work. Nothing ever worked.

So… I gave up.

Don’t feel sad! It’s not like it’s so terrible being the only one with any kind of real power in this world. I have to say, it makes me feel pretty special. If I really applied myself, I could probably be a great tactician! The problem with that is that my options have become limited in these last few years. I don’t sleep that great. I can’t seem to change anything I see - believe me, I’ve tried - and it’s made getting jobs pretty damn difficult. Oh - and I can’t be surprised because whatever someone wants to show me I’ve already seen.

As anyone can probably guess, I’m functionally useless. Society isn’t very interested in people like me even if I can see things before they happen. Is it really that big of a surprise that I turned to crime?

Oh right, haha. I didn’t start with that? Yep, I’m a criminal! Best getaway driver in the petty theft biz. It wasn’t easy to get this gig, considering I never really learned how to drive beforehand, but it was still easier than getting hired somewhere. I just followed my dreams - literally in my case - to walk right into a robbery in progress and offer my services! I’m sure their surprise was overwhelming when I started saying exactly what they were saying as they said it, but they didn’t really argue with me after that. In fact, they don’t really argue with me at all. What I say goes - they learned that the hard way. My dreams know everything.

It’s exactly because they are never wrong that I am sitting where I am at this moment. This car isn’t familiar to me, but I recognized it easily as soon as it parked in front of the library I waited at. It’s silver and the front bumper is coming off on the driver’s side. The stickers and decals surrounding the bike rack on the back all share the same theme - ‘Never Give Up’, one proclaims, while another is some hokey ‘Honk if you love world peace!’ freebie I’d seen given out here before. Cute. After today, I’m certain those who know me will call the first one ironic.

They’d be wrong, of course. I’m not giving up - I’m charging into destiny at full speed! I saw it in my dreams, and I already know it’s useless trying to do anything other than what they show me. What option do I have aside from following this through? Sure, my stomach is doing flips when I open the unlocked door to sit in the driver’s seat, but what choice do I have? If my dreams say I’m supposed to die today, then I’m simply supposed to die today. No use arguing or running away.

I reach under the seat and push my chair back so it isn’t so cramped in here. Some kind of paper crumples underneath me. Should I read it? - No, I didn’t read it in the dream. I just follow what I did in them, unclip the cover from the steering column, and begin to hotwire the car. Outside the window, nobody is looking at me; in fact, nobody has even noticed anything is wrong. Perfect.

The car comes to life. I sit back up but neglect to pull the seatbelt on since obviously I don’t need it. I just ease it out of the parking space and start on my journey. Two lefts, a right, then downhill. That’s all I have to focus on.

Still…. Can’t I be forgiven for my mind wandering? I’m a dead man driving after all. Besides, this car is so interesting! It’s old and when I turn it on I’m blasted with cold air and a foul smell I can’t place. There’s a pink stain on the steering wheel; lipstick, I realize, after my hand grazes it. The engine groans and the brakes shriek with every stop sign. There’s a pale blue helmet with more atrociously optimistic stickers on it in the back seat. I almost feel bad. Whoever owns this car must be very young, at most a college student. I doubt they would be able to afford a new one. If I knew how it all would end, I’d leave a note or some cash or something in here for the owner.

I’m past the last turn. Deep breaths, now, there’s no need to worry. Everything will be exactly as it’s supposed to be! I can take as much time as I want. The yellow and white cookie cutter houses are inching away behind me. A dog barks at me from behind a fence and strains against its chain. A girl is riding her bike down the road directly behind me. She doesn’t have a helmet. Damn it - why don’t parents watch their kids? I look back to the helmet behind me in the seat. I should… No. I can’t. This is what’s supposed to happen. If I tempt fate too much, it will only be worse. My hand still reaches back there and touches the straps, but I don’t know why I’m doing that. It’s not as if I can simply will it to her.

She isn’t letting up as we approach the hill. Can this kid just… stop? Who rides on a car like this anyway? I pick up speed and honk the horn right as I coast over the crest of the hill and she falls out of the mirror’s vision.

I look back to the road in front of me. The sunlight is pouring into the valley, lighting up the trees on the hill and bouncing off of the tin roofs. This isn’t so bad, is it? There are far less beautiful sights to be completely blinded by. I breathe out one last time and brace myself.

There’s a thunk on the door next to me. My eyes shoot back open - it’s the girl, struggling to keep up. She’s older than I thought initially, with red lipstick, and - oh. Oh, no. She’s motioning for me to roll the window down, what should I do? This didn’t happen. I press the button and shout out “Sorry!”, and speed up as much as I can to lose her. She falls behind the car, legs still struggling to keep up, and I shout it again.

The bottom reaches me.

Nothing happens.

I breezed through an intersection, obviously, that happened, but - where was the truck? I swerve to narrowly avoid a parked car and jam on the brakes. As I skid to a stop halfway down the road, the girl on the bike catches up to me.

“You - you fucking idiot!” She’s shouting as I’m shoving open the car door. I hit the ground on my knees and tip over the rest of the way. What the fuck just happened? “Did you not read the note or did you just want to die?”

The note? She’s standing over me when I look up to her, and I try to speak but the syllables I sputter out don’t form any words. She’s got her hand on her hip and keys in the other and she’s clearly expecting an answer, but what can I say?

She sighs and reaches beneath the driver’s seat, holding up the crumpled piece of paper. “I know you felt that. I saw that you were taller than me.”

I finally manage to speak. “How?”

“Hey, I get it, I know this seems crazy, but - even though you stole my car, I didn’t want anything to happen to you. Or my car, Jesus.” She must have seen the look on my face as I move to sit down on the road. Did she know I was supposed to die? Why did she follow me? Why did she leave a note? Her arms cross over her chest as she squats down in front of me. I can see her much more clearly now, the fuzzy edges of her long dark hair coming into view for the first time as if she were becoming more real somehow. She looks… dare I say sympathetic? “I can see the future too, dumbass.”

My stomach drops. “You saw it.”

“Yeah. And might I say, bold move to keep going through with it, Weirdo.”

“But - it didn’t happen?”

“Nope.”

“How? How did you - that’s never -”

“Listen.” She leans in to me, keeping her face only inches from mine. Her eyes are as dark as her hair, unwavering and unblinking. “The future changes with every step I take to make it. I don’t know if yours doesn’t work the same way or something like that, but I do know that you could have stopped at any time once I stepped in. Get therapy, dude.” She stands up, waltzes back to her bike, and leads it back to the car.

“What’s your name?” I blurt out. She doesn’t respond while putting the bike on the rack. “Am I going to see you again?”

“Depends.” She isn’t smiling when she looks back at me, but she isn’t frowning, either. “Stay out of trouble and maybe we’ll cross paths again.”

Before I could get another word in edgewise, she closes the car door and starts off. I watch it glide through a sunbeam and disappear from view.

My body is still quaking while I put my head to my knees. Birds and bugs chirp up above. A few blocks away, children bounce a ball against the pavement. A car hovers at the intersection behind me and continues on its merry way.

Hm. I guess this really isn’t like I’d planned, is it? I can’t really sit around and block traffic, so back to my feet it is. It’s a marvelous evening. What should I do?

Maybe I’ll surprise me.

September 30, 2021 02:26

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2 comments

Tommie Michele
04:47 Oct 12, 2021

I love this story! The voice you give your narrator is funny and interesting, and your words all flow nicely together. I like your dialogue a lot--you have the perfect amount of it, and it's not stiff or forced. Your beginning and end lines are nice, as well; I was scrolling through stories, looking for something interesting to read, and your first line is what pulled me in. Nice work! --Tommie Michele

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16:15 Oct 12, 2021

Thank you so much!!! I wass really trying to go for a story with a strong character voice, so I'm glad that worked and that you enjoyed it!

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