In The Air Tonight

Channel 12 reported the weather to be 106 degrees today. Today had to be the day mom decides to go to Grandma Mary’s house. I agree to go since I haven’t seen my grandmother since Thanksgiving. My back and legs stick to the leather seats of mom’s shiny black Mercedes Benz, due to the salty sweat running down my whole body. The tank top did me no justice. I tap mom on her shoulder and tell her to crank up the air conditioner, since the only thing blowing in the car is hot air from outside, and mom’s cigarette smoke.
“Hold on a sec” she says as she inhales some more of her death sentence.
“Can you put that thing out already and roll up the windows?” I get aggravated talking to her.
While fanning the leftover smoke away from my face I lean against the window and try to relax as the AC air travels through the stuffy car. A man in a red pickup truck next to us on the highway stares at me as he drives. My mom notices this and she speeds up. She turns on the radio and flies through every station but dislikes the topics they’re discussing and the songs they’re singing or rapping. Too “new school” for her taste. She decides to grab the Phil Collins CD out of her purse, given to her by my dad, and feeds the CD player.
The first song, “In the Air Tonight”, which happens to be my favorite, begins to play. The electric guitar and piano tie into one sound, one meaning, and one hell of an intro. The sun plays hide and go seek with the heavy clouds, but eventually, only the clouds are visible. The dark ones anyway. God plays bowling in the dark sky scoring a strike every time. Boom! The night sun appears and the daytime sun retires. “I can feel it…coming in the air tonight…oh Lord. And I’ve been waiting for this moment, for all my life…oh Lord.” Phil Collins sang. I listen as my head rests against the now cool leather seats, thanks to the air. We pass exit 20. Grandma lives on exit 25.
The rain pours gently before it gets heavy. It sounds like paintballs are being shot at the car. The road isn’t so visible anymore. “Well, I was there, and I saw what you did…I saw it with my own two eyes. So you can wipe off that grin. I know where you’ve been. It’s all been a pack of lies.” Phil continues. Mom begins to speed, since she’d been side swiped and cut off by many cars. This agitates her. She lights the second to last of her Newport’s. In the car, it smells like a grill with only coal burning. Her Betty Boop lighter is the only thing providing light in the darkness of the car.
Someone in a silver Honda Civic gives mom the finger for cutting her off. Mom brushes it off by laughing at the road rage. She turns up the volume as Phil goes into the second verse almost getting to my favorite part. “But I know the reason why you keep me silenced up…no you don’t fool me. Because the hurt doesn’t show, but the pain still grows, and it’s no stranger to you or me!” The drums take over as Phil begins to repeat the chorus. Bolts of lightning come sparingly and light the sky, and the road was now getting dangerous. Mom races a white van, and after she wins, she cuts in front of a beat up Mustang.
Exit 23.
“I can feel it coming in the air tonight…oh Lord, and I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life…oh Lord.” Faster and faster she goes, tightly gripping the steering wheel and her half finished cigarette between her fingers. The red pickup truck we’d seen earlier quickly moves in front of mom.
Exit 24.

This causes her to swerve near the silver highway railings. My grey seatbelt chokes me, and my face keeps smacking against the back of the front seat. Different cars begin to play highway hockey with us on the wet road and my heart races out of my chest. A black Chevy slams into the back doors of mom’s car, causing my legs to be crushed in the middle. More and more of my skin peels back as the metal scrapes it. Moms’ forehead slams into the windshield, causing it to look like a glass spider web, and she moans. Her airbag doesn’t pop up but mine does, smacking me in the face like a leather belt. My neck is black and blue and my knees are bloody. I clench my jaw tightly. A few tears escape my eyes. When it was all over, I look up at my mom and see that her face is bloody, and she’s not breathing.
Exit 25.





Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

JessRose said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 12:40 am
I really enjoy your ending. Its so simple, yet so dramatic. just "Exit 25." It stops us right in our tracks because its such short and abrupt sentence.
 
LadyShay replied...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 9:34 am
Thank you =)
 
novelista21 said...
Jul. 24, 2010 at 11:11 am
I love that you used the song to add suspense, and the use of "exit 25"   awesome work!
 
faeriesdescending44 said...
Jul. 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm
this is really good. you've got it in control with suspense, and I really like how you describe it.
 
jward24895 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 11:44 pm

The ending is so dramatic.

I really like it.

 
dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

wow! this is powerful.

just watch your tenses and stuff...kinda went all over the place.

 
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