Fast Car – A Short Story

This week I decided to take another approach to talking about writing process. What good is talking theory if I provide no means of applying it? This week, I decided to write a short story and share it. If I have some short stories up here I can refer back to them as examples. Enjoy!

Music dribbles out of tinny speakers onto the patrons.

You’ve got a fast car.

They’re all frozen in place, awkwardly strained to look past their reflections in the floor-to-ceiling windows.

I want a ticket to anywhere.

A twenty-something in a peacoat strokes his patchy beard while he stares. His girlfriend tugs at her scarf. She cocks her head and her hand hesitates over her phone. “Should I take a picture?” is the guilty question she’s asking herself. Gravity seems to pull her face down and she pushes the phone away.

Starting from zero got nothing to lose.

I let myself look out to the parking lot again. Just past the “Exit Only” sign, the front end of a Civic straddles a teetering lamp post. Rain mingles with steam from the engine block.

Maybe we’ll make something.

The arc of granules rattled against the window on impact.

There’s a mist on the window distinctly darker than the raindrops.

Did they feel anything?

All we hear is distant sirens and the words: I got a plan to get us outta here.

“Should I go help?” Anna says. Her words are disjoint.

“I don’t… I dunno,” I say. The soft orange ambiance is interrupted by flashing red lights. A fire truck slows down on the opposite side of the street, passes, then comes back around and pulls into the parking lot.

Anna stands. She looks unsure of what to do, but something must be better than nothing, right?

“No, no, honey,” comes a booming, age-laden voice from behind me. I turn to see an older man shaking his head gently. “Let them do their work. It’ll be alright.”

You got a fast car.

Anna’s hand shakes a little as she holds the arm of the chair to set herself down. Her back faces the window and she doesn’t turn around again.

Is it fast enough so we can fly away?

I lift my phone but there are no notifications. I thought everyone heard the crash. They wanna know I’m okay, don’t they?

That’s just adrenaline, Anna would say. That’s your mind playing tricks on you.

We gotta make a decision.

It’s only just beyond the window that the world fell apart. Already, paramedics scramble to put it back together. A silhouette hangs off their gurney and disappears into the back of the ambulance.

Leave tonight or live and die this way.

“Did you wanna…” but Anna’s not listening and the only way back to my car is past the wreck, so I don’t finish the question. I come around to her side of the table and sit close. It’s better not having to look.

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. I’ll be here next week with another story or some analysis!

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