October 26, 2008
It’s ten o’clock. Twenty-year-old Isaac Caldwell has just gotten off from a seven hour shift at the local Cracker Barrel. Cooking for seven hours had left his hands aching and smelling like the country cookin’ he had been preparing all day.

He gets into his black Honda Accord and starts it up. He turns the air conditioning all the way into red and jerks the other knob all the way to the little “4” on the dial. A blast of air, as frigid as the cold December night outside, slams into his face. He quickly turns the air back down and pulls his jacket tighter against his body.
“Better wait for the air to heat up,” he mumbles to himself.
He reaches over and grabs the cold, hard box in the cup holder, and presses the big center button on its face. Light! A bright flash and the names of hundreds of artists shine in his face from the screen on his mp3 player. He scrolls down to his favorite band, “Dream Theater.” He liked their dramatic but soothing music. He sets it to play his favorite album and finally gets on his way.

Isaac has been looking forward to tonight all day. Tonight, he gets to pick up Anna, his best friend and girlfriend of almost five years, from work. After what seemed like an eternity, he pulls into the cracked parking lot of Wendy’s, and parks his car. He gets out and hastily walks towards the doors of the restaurant as if he were running to free his loved one from a prison. When he steps inside, he is greeted by a warm hug from the woman he came for. A flood of memories rushes over him as he sees her magnificent brown eyes. Her beautiful, curly, brown hair, bouncing up and down. Her cute face all scrunched up in a smile, showing her well-kept, straight teeth. Then, her smell. The smell of incense. It brought forth memories of times spent together. Times of pure happiness.
He steps back from her hug and asks, “Are you ready to go, sweety?” She nods her head “yes” and starts to walk to the door.
Isaac grabs her hand and pulls her back and says, “It’s cold out there. Take my coat.”
He shrugs off his warm leather jacket and hands it to Anna. She puts it on and Isaac laughs at her jokingly as her tiny frame is swallowed-up by the large jacket. As they step outside, Isaac is smacked by a cold gust of wind. His t-shirt and jeans do little to protect him from the freezing wind, but he can take it. He would rather Anna be warm. When they get into the warm car, Isaac looks in the mirror and sighs in frustration. The wind had messed up his hair. And he could be nothing less than presentable when he was with his girlfriend. He pulled out a comb from his glove box and began trying to mend the messy mop of curly brown hair. Anna laughed as he squinted his intensely, blue eyes in concentration as he got as much hair as he could back into place around his large, head. Somewhat content with his work, Isaac pulled out of the parking lot and began to ask Anna about her day. Isaac listened intently to her as he focused all of his other senses on delivering the extremely important girl next to him home, safe from the reckless drivers that could, otherwise, harm her.

Finally, they reach the road that leads to her neighborhood. Now Isaac could relax and devote more of his attention to the girl next to him. Now feeling at ease, Isaac turns his head and gives Anna a big smile. The split second he turns his head, the interior of the car lights up with the light of another car. The next thing Isaac knows is the pain of the steering wheel slamming into his sternum like a dull knife. He hears the crunching and grinding of metal on metal, and the crunching of something more organic when his head hits the steering wheel.

Then, nothing. Darkness envelopes him. A shadowy silence. A deafening silence. And the feeling of being completely alone. “Surely this is a dream,” he thought. “Soon I will wake up from this nightmare to the sound of my alarm clock telling me to get up for school.”

But it was not the siren of an alarm clock that he awoke to. It was the sirens of police cars, and ambulances. Isaac tries to see what is going on, but he can’t move his head. It felt like a railroad spike had been driven into it. As his senses start to come back, Isaac realizes that he is no longer in his car. He is, in fact, lying on the cold pavement of a road. Curious as to where he is, Isaac begins to try to move his head around to get a better view of where he is. But then, a bright light blinds him, making his already splitting headache, unbearable. A man, a cop, crouching near him, asks Isaac if he is alright.
“Yeah, I’m alright,” Isaac manages to groan.
“Where am I? What happened?” Isaac asks after collecting his thoughts.
“Sir,” the cop says, “you have just been in a head-on collision with a drunk-driver.”

Not fully comprehending what he had just been told, Isaac was about to ask the man to repeat himself when, suddenly, a thought erupts into his mind.
“Anna!” he screams, sitting up.
Searing, red-hot pain shoots through his spine and into his skull, blurring his vision and every other sense of reality. Once the pain subsided, Isaac managed to turn his head just enough to see his once sleek vehicle, now torn to shreds. The front bumper pushed all of the way to the front doors. The windshield, once whole and crystal clear, was now strewn about the crash site. The steering wheel had been bent all of the way up from the impact with Isaac’s chest. Isaac’s eyes looked over hopefully at the passenger side of the car. The frame had faltered against the impact. Its twisted metal pointed inward towards the passenger seat. He looked at the dashboard. Crimson blood ran down its foe-leather surface. But there was no sign of Anna. Isaac gazed frantically around until he saw her. She was being wheeled away on a stretcher into an ambulance. Her once lively features were still. Her pale face was a lifeless portrait of what it had been. He saw no spark of vitality in her features.

He let his head fall back into place on the cold pavement. The cold darkness seeped into his vision as the ambulance drove away. Once again he was enveloped in its loathsome embrace. Thoughts crept into his mind from the darkness. Dark thoughts. Thoughts of hopelessness.

“It was your fault,” the dark entity of doubt whispered.

“You killed her.”

“It’s all your fault.”

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Smiles said...
Oct. 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm
Amazing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Great job :)
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