Understanding

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Sally turned her car engine off and lit up a cigarette. She took a long, deep drag and slowly exhaled. Her face, though barely visible in the darkness of the night and dim street lamps, was flushed white. Her hands trembled as she put the cigarette to her lips again.

What the fuck just happened?

Flashes of what she witnessed barely ten minutes ago went through her mind. The screeching tires. The bright headlights. The broken glass. The sound of a person flying headfirst through the windshield… it was all so surreal.

When Sally saw the accident, she didn’t know what to do; so she drove away as fast as she could. As she sped off into the night, from her rear view mirror she saw people stopping their cars, getting out and crowding the accident scene.

Busybodies. Everybody thinks they can help. What are they going to do besides cause an obstruction on the road?

After driving far enough, Sally pulled up at the side of a street stopped for a smoke to clear her head. The sound of thunder boomed in the distance. The sky begin to drizzle and she felt water splash onto her cheeks.

She didn’t think too much of it until the rain got heavier and extinguished her cigarette. Fuck. Sally reached for her handbag for another cigarette to light up when she realized it wasn’t on the seat next to her. It must’ve fallen under the seat.

She bent down towards the passenger side of the car and felt around with her hands for her handbag. She managed to find it but for some reason it was stuck under the glove compartment – which was strangely much closer to the car floor than she remembered. That is odd.

Sally felt around in the dark, trying to dislodge the bag from whatever kept it trapped. After splashing about long enough in the puddle of water in the passenger’s side of the car she gave up and sat back up.

Rain was now pouring into her car, quickly soaking the carpets and the seats. How the hell is so much water coming in? Sally wiped the rain from her face and decided to get out of the car to find some shelter.

When she tried opening the driver side door, she realized it was stuck. She tried opening it again a few more times after making sure that her doors were unlocked. When it didn’t budge, she gave up and climbed over to the passenger side instead – not before she hit her head on the car roof – where the door was stuck too.

As she sat and nursed the bump on her head, she noticed the rain hadn’t stopped pouring into her vehicle.

It was then she looked forward and noticed that she had no more windshield. Sally put her hand through where her windshield used to be just to make sure her eyes weren’t deceiving her. Yep, no more windshield. Shit. Well, at least I can get out of my car now.

Sally gathered herself and carefully climbed out the front of her car and stood under a porch canopy of a closed café. It was then, even in the dim light, she realized what a total wreck her vehicle was. Her headlights were shattered. The front of her car smashed into an unrecognizable mess. Her tires were busted. The fender was missing. How the fuck did I even manage to drive here?

She felt the top of her head throb in pain. Bringing her hand up to put pressure on the bump, she noticed that blood was flowing down her arm – the source of the blood her own head. If only I didn’t try to climb to the passenger side seat…

Sally was confused. What was going on? Did I just wake up in a dream? I saw the eighteen-wheeler jump the light… the poor girl in the sedan couldn’t brake in time and collided head on with the truck… she never stood a chance…

I never stood a chance.

Sally passed out, overwhelmed by the sudden revelation, loss of blood, or both; and crumbled to the ground.

So… this is what it feels like to be on the other side of the crash.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: A dark, quiet evening in an old, spooky city.

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