Pretty Red Ribbons

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Her fingers clicked on the tiny keys as the steering wheel unsteadily wobbled. The Saturday sun was shining down on the highway, and the pretty girls in the car were laughing as the music blared. It was just another fun day of gossip, of frolicking, of what being sixteen should be like. But it wasn’t. At least it was until all three heads arose at the sound of a long beep. Screams just barely managed to claw their way out of the girls’ throats, scratching the tender tissue as they were released. The steering wheel didn’t veer away in time, the girl’s fingers didn’t drop the phone in time, the car didn’t stop in time. Bodies lurched forward, foreheads smacking against the glass, blood running in pretty red ribbons down the windshield, shrieks still sounding as another car came speeding towards them, this time snapping two necks in the process of impact.

It wasn’t even five minutes later when the attractive teenage girl looked around the car, shaking like a rickety bridge in the hurricane winds as her wide, bloody green eyes took in the scene around her. The two girls she called her best friends were growing cold, the smell of death seeping out into the world as two more young lives were claimed. The girl’s throat ruptured as another scream bellowed into the air. Her tears mixed with blood, creating a cocktail of rigorous woe as the pretty red ribbons formed a rivulet down her dented skin. The ambulances came, and the girl was still howling at the mercy of fate and reality as the world continued to spin. The Jaws Of Life came, opened her door, gently unwrapping her body from the wreckage, as the girl continued her lamentation.

The helicopter blades beat above her encased head, and IV’s were stabbed into her arms, morphine trickling into her already sleepy veins. But the morphine didn’t ease any pain. There wasn’t any pain in the girl’s body to ease. There was only regret, only despondency and desolation as the girl was airlifted to the nearest hospital, where there her parents would be called, her best friends would be declared dead, and her recovery would take place. As she was flown away, her body was lulling under, but her mind was still sharp with the image of the pretty red ribbons of blood rolling down the glass.

Back at the scene, where the other girls were being lifted from the rubble, where other drivers were dead in their derelict cars, where a toddler sat in a backseat, asking mommy and daddy to wake up as the newborn baby girl seated next to him stared blankly ahead, her body strangely cold and blue eyes oddly motionless as she lay trapped in her car seat. The police officers examined the car the teenage girls had been in, shaking their heads as one of them held up a fractured cell phone, the new message sign frizzing up like a static television show, replaying the image again and again. The bystanders couldn’t seem to believe that this was reality, that this was really happening, that this was what life meant sometimes. The bystanders silently thanked their lucky stars that this wasn’t them, promising that never again they would text at the wheel, but it was futile. Half of them less than a month later were texting at the wheel again, breaking their promise that they needed to keep, just couldn’t maintain.

No matter if they believed it or not, no matter if you believe it or not, this happens. This takes place, life being seized like it was nothing more than a bottle of nail polish in a convenience store. This happens. Pretty red ribbons of blood run down windshields, and you may not live to see if it’s yours. So put down the phone, keep your eyes on the road, and believe in reality. Because it could strike, it could happen to you. Don’t think it won’t. Believe.





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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

colliganc said...
Oct. 8, 2009 at 8:08 pm
This story had a great message to all teens on texting while behind the wheel. More people are dying today from people being careless and not paying attention. They do not realize that bystanders are affected too. You showed good description in your piece for example were you said " Her tears mixed with blood, creating a cocktail of rigorous woe as the pretty red ribbons formed a rivulent down her dented skin." Your words in the story painted a picture in my mind. You did not just tell... (more »)
 
TheseEyesThatSeeTheWorld This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 9, 2009 at 6:05 pm
Thank you!
I really wanted to send a message, so made the words as real as possible.
 
solot said...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm
This is a good message that should be sent to any teenager texting and driving. I have been in the situation where my mom was in a car accident and it is very scary and nerve racking. However when you are writing try not to use contractions such as when you said, "There wasn't any pain in the girl's body to ease.", or "But the morphine didn't ease any pain." Overall it was a good piece and I will try to look for more of your writing.
 
TheseEyesThatSeeTheWorld This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Thank you! I have many pieces on my profile page. Check them out if you want to.
 
BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 31, 2009 at 6:03 pm
texting and driving is just plain dumb and about as dangerous as driving drunk. Fantastic piece; keep writing =]
 
TheseEyesThatSeeTheWorld This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm
thank you!
 
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