Archive for October 1st, 2011

1st October
2011
written by amber

The Accident

“Oh, my god! I can’t believe that just happened.”

I couldn’t move for a few minutes, just sat there absorbing the enormity of the accident, the screeching of the brakes, the impact, the car rolling into the ditch and landing, miraculously upright. And me – miraculously unhurt.

The moment it hit me that I was fine, I remembered that I wasn’t alone. The girl I’d picked up beside the road, the young pretty girl who’d asked me to drive her home. “Be careful,” she’d said, “there’s a lot of moose on this stretch of road.”

But I’d been feeling happy from an evening at the bar, and I’d driven this road a hundred times without a problem, so I ignored her whining and pressed the accelerator so I could get her home more quickly. When I’d picked her up I thought she’d be a lot more fun. She’d reminded me of a girl I used to date.

“Please slow down,” she begged. “My mother always worries so much when I’m out late at night.”

I thought that maybe she shouldn’t be hitch-hiking if she was so damn concerned about her mother worrying, but I didn’t say that, just drove faster. Her house was around the next bend, but before we got there, something stepped onto the road in front of us. Huge, dark, slow. Impossible to avoid.

So I hit it.

Afterwards, I undid my seatbelt and checked the seat beside me, where the roof of the car was crushed low. The seatbelt was still buckled but there was no sign of the girl. I couldn’t find her outside the car either.

Perhaps I’d been out of it after the accident for longer than it seemed. Perhaps she’d been okay, just like me. Perhaps she’d gone home.

I walked around the bend and up to the house. And she was there, on the porch, hugging her mother and crying.

“Thank god you’re okay,” I said, but they ignored me. The girl was talking in a high-pitched, nearly hysterical voice. “It was the same, it was the same,” she told her mother.

The woman stroked her hair. “I don’t know why you feel you have to do this every year. You’re just torturing yourself. It’ll always be the same.”

“No, this time I got him to wear his seatbelt. Maybe next year I can get him to slow down.”

“You can change the details, but not the outcome, Mindy. You hit the moose again, didn’t you?”

She cried, my Mindy cried, and I remembered everything about her and us as she wept, “We hit the moose and Eric died,just like he did five years ago.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story written every day and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

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