by Adriana Noir
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1421161
For the 5/1 Writer's Cramp Contest prompt describing the scene of a car wreck.
|I don't remember how I got here, nor do I contemplate escaping. All that matters is right here, right now-this moment, this black cocoon of nothingness. I am numb.|
Through the darkness, distant voices beckon me. They wash over me like the warm torrents of rain cascading over my face. The sharp, staccato tones hold an urgency I cannot fathom. The sound yanks me from the battered haze of oblivion. Though I know I'm not alone here, it is still dark, pitch black, like the bowels of a bottomless well. I am scared.
Out of nowhere, the pain hits me. Unforgiving, it strikes, unleashing itself over my body with a vengeance. The fiery sensation unfurls, coiling around my legs like a serpent bent on suffocating its prey. Unable to move, unable to cry, I lay trapped as my tears mingle with the warm rain. I want to go back to being numb.
The voices grow louder. That fleeting sense of hope vanishes as the noise of a million furious hornets kicks up with sudden fury. Startled, my body tenses. I tremble within. Terror usurps pain's brief reign over my body as the world around me starts to vibrate. The ground shakes and rattles as if it will fall out from under me at any moment. The noise is terrible. I want to cover my ears, to scream, to run ... to hide.
Intermittent flashes of light break through the darkness. Teasing glimpses of red, white, and blue flash against the bleak backdrop in a sporadic, patriotic dance. The white grows stronger, steadier, until it consumes my vision. Though blinding and terrifying, it is beautiful. It is such a welcome sight over the blackness. I am awed.
Millions of diamonds glisten in the newfound light. They cast cheerful pyramids, breathtaking rainbow prisms of light. Transfixed, I watch, thinking of faeries. Tinkerbelle. The thought jars me with sudden force and I think of my sister, who I affectionately call Tinkerbella. I wonder where she is. She promised she would always be there if I needed her. I think of my mother and her sparkling green eyes. I would give anything to be ensconced in the comfort of her arms, to smell her sweet jasmine scent. That one second would make everything alright. Dad, with his warm brown eyes ... I wish I could feel his gruff whiskers press against my cheek. My heart aches. I am bereft of the ones I need most.
The illusion of diamonds fade. They are not jewels cast around my paralyzed form, but shards of broken glass. Jagged shards of icy blue-cold, unlike the steady rain saturating my body in this immobile hell. Beyond them lies a terrifying sight. An unholy gnarled sculpture of twisted metal. It reaches with sharp talons all around me, some of which penetrate my flesh. I am impaled by candy apple red and dull, iron gray claws.
The light overtakes me again. Through the blinding spotlight, figures start to emerge. The hazy forms take on a gradual human shape. They appear wide in girth and cloaked in darkness with glowing yellow stripes. I realize they are the source of the voices, the only thing breaking this staggering feeling of isolation. Rescuers, they are my hope, my salvation. I am relieved.
One of them leans through a gaping hole in the mangled metal. Trying hard to focus, I feast my eyes upon the man's face. Beneath the wide brim of his plastic hardhat, piercing blue eyes lock with mine. They are so full of compassion and concern that I want to weep. His handsome features contort into a slight grimace of empathy, as if he shares my pain. Tiny droplets of rain cling to his dark, golden goatee. He reaches around me with a quiet grunt of exertion. I hope he does not cut himself on the vicious metal twisted around me like a cage. Strong arms wrap around my body. The scent of his cologne envelops me as he pulls me free of my prison. Sagging into him, I close my eyes. Gratitude floods my battered, weary body. I am overcome.
With the gentle care of a mother laying her child down to sleep, he places me on the concrete. His hands move over my body in a frantic effort to assess my injuries. Others join in. A mass crowd presses forward, faces strained as they stand in the pouring rain. I see a scattered assembly of police cars, an ambulance, and a lone fire truck. What remains of my car is unrecognizable. It looks like a twisted and torn tin can. I am going to need a new car.
Frantic voices shout above and around me. I think for a moment that the handsome paramedic is shaking me, as my body lifts and convulses. It takes me a moment to realize he is trying to help and shocking my body with portable paddles like the ones the doctors on ER always use. I hold my breath. This is no television episode; this is my life. I feel as if I am drowning, as if my lungs are filled with water. All traces of pain, confusion and fear leave me. I am weightless.
The paramedics shout. I watch them work on my body. The one that pulled me from the car is visibly shaken, insisting that they try again. When an older man tells him there is nothing left to be done, his head hangs in defeat. For a moment, I feel his sorrow, his overwhelming sense of guilt. My feet glide over the broken glass, metal shards, and chunks of plastic blanketing the ground. Wanting to comfort him, I run a light hand over his cheek. He pauses and looks around, as if he felt the ghostly reassurance of comfort. I don't know if he'll hear me or not, but wanting to repay the kindness of a stranger, I offer a reassuring whisper before stepping into the light.