#6 Into the Skid

by Matthew Harrah

Julia’s head hurt. No wonder. Her forehead had cracked and cobwebbed the windshield. She was nauseous. The radio sounded miles away. She coughed violently. Blood droplets misted onto the steering wheel. Blinking didn’t cure her double vision. Julia assessed the situation.

She remembered swerving to miss a pothole, then fishtailing when she tapped her brakes. The snowdrift approached rapidly. She braced for impact, trying to divert most of the damage to the side of the car away from the vital parts. The snowdrift looked deceptively shallow, yet it swallowed Julia’s car whole manifesting her worst fear of being buried alive and cognizant. She shut the engine off, hoping she hadn’t inhaled lethal amounts of carbon monoxide. Her phone was dead in the console thanks to hours of social networking.

Light trickled in as snow swept off the windshield. Had she left the windshield wipers on? No. Everything was off to conserve the battery. A scraping sound came from outside. Someone must have witnessed her accident. Help was on the way. Her anxious breathing fogged up the windows. She wiped a path through the condensation to get a better look at her savior.

Her startled gasp stole what little fresh air remained.

“He’s not really there. I’m hallucinating from the fumes and probable concussion. I’ll shut my eyes and when I open them up he’ll be gone.”

Her eyes opened to a hooded figure still looming over her car scraping the windshield with a scythe.

Julia locked the car doors.

12 comments:

JRVogt said...

Love the last line!

Sam Knight said...

Nice! I love the idea of death coming to the 'rescue'.

Flutterby said...

Ooh, creepy but cool!

Dean Clayton Edwards said...

cool :) Not seen Death with his scythe for a while.

Daren Despot said...

excellent, it's like a greek tragedy, with things getting worse with each sentence. and what a grand finish.

janso said...

Surprise ending, but a good one. Nice work.

Bruce Roush said...

It takes a really fertile mind to come up with such a neat twist for the ending.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Really well done. Great imagery and an awesome ending.

Brandi Haile said...

I like this one. It's amazing to me how short my attention span can be sometimes, even with stories that are less than 250 words. The way you described the events, held my attention.I agree with Jrvogt, leaver of the first comment...I love the last line. It was dark yet fun. I love it when writing or art can make me feel more than one emotion simultaneously. Good job.

stacy said...

Gah. I hope AAA showed up soon!

I love this. Fun with a dark twist.

Rachael Dunlop said...

Nicely done. The opening paragraph was really strong, but I felt the second paragraph needed editing a little. There were parts of the action that weren't clear, like the 'seemed deceptively shallow' part. I couldn't picture how that would be - there is no way to gauge the size of a drift, what would make it appear shallow? Likewise I wasn't sure if she twisted the car or herself to minimise damage. I also think you need to make the timeline switches a little more emphatic (now, then, back to now).

However, that's a lot of nitpicking for one paragraph! The rest was clean and clear, and the ending very chilling (pun fully intended) indeed.

Laura Howe said...

Cool twist. After reading the last line I laughed thinking 'yay, like that's gonna help with him.' Great job.