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The Whims of the Wind

Rain beat down mercilessly on the windshield of Jason’s Mazda Miata. His windshield wipers provided only a little help as they flickered back and forth, screeching against the window with each swipe. Lightning flashed across the night sky, brightening it for a moment before it plunged back into darkness. Moments later, thunder rumbled menacingly.

Though he could barely see the road in front of him, Jason knew all too well that on the edge of the treacherous two lane road was a fatal drop.

The road meandered fickly around bend after bend unsure of direction other than up- always up. At each turn, Jason half expected to see the headlights of an oncoming semi barreling down the hill towards him.

His cell phone told him the date- June 8th,, 2008. Nothing, not even the rain, was going to stop him today.

His tiny car thumped over something on the road and an object on the dash clattered to the floor. He checked to make sure the road was clear before he bent down to pick it up.

His right arm hung limp from his side, so he reached across his body and grasped the object with his left hand. He gently propped it up again on the dash and returned his eyes to the road.
It was a white frame. His eyes strayed away from the road only a moment as he glanced at the photograph it held. A woman dressed in an elegant black dress dominated the picture. Just behind her, a younger version of himself stood tautly. He was wearing the light blue shirt she had picked out specifically for the occasion. He’d hated it then. Her smile made his rigid expression look out of place. She’d always made him look out of place.

It had only lasted a year, the marriage, before it crashed.
He smiled to himself and spoke to the undersized golden retriever who sat in the front seat beside him. “Beautiful isn’t she?” The dog whined and laid its head down on its paws.

Another flash of lighting lit up the sky as Jason braked around a curve. He wasn’t far now.

Jason quickly glanced back at the backseat. The flowers were still there. The first was a coreopsis, brilliant yellow in color and surprisingly masculine for a flower. Next to it lay a disheveled light blue anemone. Both of them lay pale in comparison to the last flower, a rose that was such a dark shade of red that it was almost black. Sharp thorns descended ominously down the side of it.

Flashing lights pulled him out of his reverie as a car skidded wildly around the bend ahead. For a moment he was blinded by the bright light. He couldn’t breathe; his heart pounded in his chest. He slammed on the breaks and swerved as close as he could to the stone precipice that rose up beside the road. He couldn’t escape; he was trapped. He closing his eyes and shielded his face with his one good arm, bracing himself for the impact. But it never came. He hardly exhaled as the car passed safely by.

Jason took a deep breath to calm himself and massaged his temple lightly. He needed to pull himself together.

The golden retriever, sensing the tenseness in the air, sat up and whined. It nuzzled Jason’s arm. The steering wheel jerked, but his deft hand soon righted his course.
If only his hands had been that quick before.

Jason slowed as the rock walls began to look all too familiar. Moments later, he pulled over to the side of the road and opened his door. He was greeted by a rumble of thunder as the rain spilled over even more violently than it had before.

He’d made it.

He would never forget this place or that moment. Today marked the one year anniversary of when it happened. The blinding lights, the blaring horn: It was all forever emblazed in his memory. How could he forget? He relived it night after night.

The metal railing along the side of the road meant to keep cars from careening of the cliff was still peeled back into intimidating shreds of shrapnel. No one had taken the time to fix it.

His gaze swept over the cliff side, and he recognized the spot where he had landed painfully on his right shoulder after being thrown through the car window by the force of the impact.

The pain had been almost blinding. Lights had exploded in his vision, and he’d heard nothing except the piercing noise of the blasting car horn replaying over and over again in his head. It was the same noise he still heard in his dream. It had been too late.

Even with his vision blurred, he remembered seeing his black and golden Cadillac flip twice on its side before careening through the protective railing and off of the cliff. He’d reached towards it, willing it to stop, but he couldn’t. He wasn’t strong enough.

He should have been in it.

But he wasn’t, and now, a year later, Jason stood at the edge of the same road with rain pouring down on him, washing his dark, unkempt hair into his eyes. The Golden Retriever paced nervously back and forth behind him. Jason gritted his teeth and he bit his lip hard. Rain coursed down his through his hair and into his bitter-filled eyes only to stream out onto his hard jaw line.

It should have been him.

He dropped the golden coreopsis first. It flipped twice before the wind grabbed hold of it, mercilessly battered it into the side of the cliff. The anemone was swept away from the cliff. Its soft petals were violently pulled to shreds by the wind. Finally, he gripped the black rose tightly, unwilling to let it go. Its thorns bit into his skin, but he barely noticed. Sometimes it is the beautiful things in life that are the most painful. He hesitated and for just a brief second the wind died down. It was almost as if they understood how much this moment meant to him and were giving him time. He tossed the rose off of the cliff and watched as it fluttered and spun, dancing at the whims of the wind away into the darkness until it disappeared from sight.



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This article has 10 comments. Post your own now!

IMSteelThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm
Beautifully written, pure jubliaton in writing.  I love it.  I don't really have any criticisms, besides some few gramatical errors.  Keep writing my friend.  Please read and critique my story, The Voyages of the Waved Albatross.  Thanks!
 
CammyS said...
Dec. 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm
Wow. This was an amazing piece- tense and exciting, as well as tinged with sadness. Keep it up!
 
CJJunior said...
Nov. 26, 2012 at 10:08 am
I love the way this peice is structured; how the exposition seems to be part of the story itself. Also, I love your language: simple, yet powerful. I did have to read the paragraph where he looks at his wife's photo twice, but other than that it was a lovely peice of writing.
 
Shadowcreeper said...
Nov. 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm
That was incredible! keep it up!
 
MorganDepp said...
Nov. 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm
Wow. Incredible and beautiful. Amazing job.
 
Snowflakes said...
Nov. 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm
Wow. This was brillaint to read. I love the symbolism of the flowers, and especially loved the description of a flower being 'masculine' - I think it helped the tense scene that was taking place. And the last paragraph? That was so emotional, and brilliant to read. 
This was amazing to read; so well done :) 
 
MayaS. said...
Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:05 pm
That was just incredible writing! My favorite part was the paragraph about the photo: "a younger version of himself stood tautly" and "She'd always made him look out of place." That part just broke my heart. My only comment is that Jason at the end is the same as Jason at the beginning. Other than that, it was so so poignant.
 
paige14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm
This is fantastic!!!! I especially liked how it was revealed bit by bit through the story what exactly happened. The only thing that I did not like was the sentence about the cell phone towards the beginning, it made me think that he was checking his phone was driving on this dangerous road. And also I don't think that since he was so paranoid about crashing again that he would let go of the steering wheel twice. But those are just little things. I really liked the characterisation of Jason ... (more »)
 
jettabugThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm
WOW, you're a great writer!! I really enjoyed this story. There's only a few things I'd like to address: 1. You have NO grammar/spelling errors, which is quite uncommon for the people of TeenInk. (No offense; I love y'all!) Also, you actually know how to use a semi-colon (;) correctly. Great job! 2. Don't call the poor puppy an "it". Save that for the houseplants. 3. I don't understand why they wouldn't have amputated the man's arm. 4. I also don... (more »)
 
Atl.Braves03This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm
Yeah, the flowers are symbolic of the three things he lost- the car, his arm, and his wife. And I'd be honored if you added me to that list. I'm not sure I'm deserving though. Thanks for the compliments! Writers need to be encouraged every once in a while :)
 
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