944 at 9:44 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Power, speed, night, rain. The tree. That singletree was waiting for me in the field.

It was 9:40 at night, and I waslate. Thoughts of schoolwork crowded my mind, and I was tired. I remember thesmell of the cool air on that misty May night; so clean, so crisp, so dangerous.I coasted in my '89 944 that was blacker than the deepest abyss of the ocean,more powerful than 200 stallions, and much faster than any 17-year-old should beallowed to drive. Down Main Street I went, over the bridge, past the policestation, the post office and the bank. It was now 9:41.

I loved that car.The power I felt behind that wheel. My control of that engine underneath my feet.Like a huge monster contained in a small jar, straining to escape, I flew pastthe park and the firehouse. Down the narrow winding roads and the general store.The clock flashed, and the time was now 9:42.

I shifted into fourth, andthe speedometer rose faster than the meniscus of an alcoholic's shot glass. Theengine roared as the demon under my hood dispersed its power. Down 517 I went,past Farmersville Road and Beaver Street. Past the new development, and my oldelementary school. Adrenaline rushed through my body. The feeling ofinvincibility seeped into my mind. It was now 9:43, and the night's last minuteof happiness slowly ticked away.

That single tree knew I was coming. Itcould hear me tearing down the road from miles away. Just like the tree, I saw itbefore it happened. The turn was sharp, and the road covered with a sheet ofliquid glass. It was now 9:44 and time stopped. My reality had become a brokenclock, displaying time in slow motion. One second was distorted into a decade.One blink became an eternity of blindness. My one mistake became a lifetime ofregret. The terrifying roller-coaster ride twisted my body. Loop after loop, dropafter drop, barrel roll after barrel roll, or so it seemed.

My sense ofdirection was gone. Screeching tires penetrated my ears like gruesomeshrills of a torture victim.

There is no word in the universe that candescribe that sound. That atrocious sound. The sound of a boy's dream beingdriven directly into a tree.

Glass shattered, going everywhere and fallingon me like snowflakes. The 3,000 pounds of metal compacted into a clump, like asnowball made by a child.

Trapped. The doors were jammed. There I was,trapped and panicking. Trying to get out, not knowing if I was right-side up orupside down. Not knowing where I was. Not knowing if I were alive. Thoughtsflashed through my mind of family and friends.

I began to climb out thesunroof, but hesitated. I looked at the clock, just in time to see it change to9:45. I heaved my body out of the devastated dream and looked at my surroundings:A field with a playground, a beautiful pond and one tree. One tree in thehundreds of acres of that field. I sat there looking at my Porsche and thenever-ending field.

Why not three feet to the left? Or three feet tothe right? I was confused. I was so stupid. Why not slow down? I thought for manyminutes. Then I continued thinking as the minutes became hours. I looked backinto my dream, through the window that was no longer there, and the clock was9:46. Time was still in slow motion, and those hours spent wondering were merelyseconds. Seconds that were spent absorbing the moment, and realizing what hadjust happened to me, and how my life had changed.

I don't remember theride to the hospital, or talking to the cops. I don't remember lying in thehospital bed, or the ride home. I don't even remember going upstairs and gettingunder my covers, or that night of sleep.

A ray of light warmed my facethe next morning, and I rolled over. I opened my eyes and couldn't avoid noticingmy clock. The blurred, lemon-lime green lines were glowing 9:44.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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type_trap61 said...
Sept. 7, 2009 at 11:57 am
This is an awesome story. the ending really sent shivers up my spine.
 
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