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Friday, August 17, 2012

An Eternity in My Car

Here's a little short story I wrote a long time ago. Hope you enjoy!

(Image taken from: carpefactum.typepad.com)










          “Did you know that was going to happen?”
My ex-girlfriend Mandy’s eyes were wide and her chest was heaving. If I didn’t hate her so much I probably would have been turned on.
            “No,” I told her, and I wasn’t lying. When I drove my car toward the brick wall outside the Smart Buy we both work at, my intentions were to crash into the wall, killing us both, not go through it, as if jumping through a portal.
            I looked into the rearview mirror and saw that the brick wall was behind us. In front of us was the parking lot. It didn’t make any sense. Everything was reversed.
            Mandy started crying. She made ugly U shapes with her mouth.
            “Oh, my God,” she said, rubbing her eyes with the sleeves of her sweatshirt, “You almost KILLED us, asshole!”
            “That was the whole point,” I shouted. I shoved open my door.
            Mandy got out of her side and slammed her door.
            “What the hell is wrong with you?” She yelled, pounding the top of my car.
            “Why’d you sleep with Scotty?” It was the best I could come up with.
            “You tried to kill me!”
            “I would have died, too, you know!”
            “You didn’t even tell me to put on my seat belt.”
            “What part of killing us both don’t you understand?”
            She scrunched up her face and shook her head.
            “You’re such a child. I never should have asked you to drive me home. That was dumb on my part.”
            She turned away and walked back toward the brick wall. She walked toward what I thought would be our closest moment ever. A moment where we’d both go splat together. A moment I could finally stop thinking about her cheating on me. It still stung, you know. I couldn’t get the image of them grinding against the lockers of the break room out of my head. I wanted to die and I still do. And Mandy’s walking away.
            “Hey, Mandy! Wait up.”
            “Leave me alone, asshole.”
            She touched the brick wall and jumped with a jolt.
            “Ow!” She sucked her finger.
            “What happened?”
            She gave me an icy stare.
            The wall looked normal enough to me so I touched it. A jolt shot through my finger.
            “Damn!”I said.
            “Why did you touch it?” she asked. “Didn’t you see what just happened to me?”
            “Yeah, but I just wanted to see.”
            “But didn’t you see that it hurt me?”
            “I just wanted to see.”
            Shaking out my burning hand, a chill crept up my shirt. My toes were icicles.
            Mandy hugged herself.
            I tried to put my arm around her but she side-stepped.
            “Don’t touch me! You tried to kill me.”
            “You broke my heart!”
            Mandy walked back to my car, her blond ponytails bobbing behind her. She stopped at my trunk and spun quickly.
            “You spent more time with your damn video games than you did with me.”
            “That’s not true,” I said.
            “Yes, it is, and I was lonely.”
            At that moment, with her curled lips and fierce voice, I wanted her. Five minutes ago, I wanted to send her to hell in a fast car, but now, I wanted nothing but forgiveness. Thus was the arc of our five year relationship—I love her, I hate her, I love her, I hate her, I love her. And that’s where we are right now.
I love her.
            I rushed over to her and she turned away.
            “You were such a jerk,” she said, looking at her sneakers.
            “But why did you have to sleep with Scotty? Why him?”
            “Would it have mattered if it was somebody else?”
            A harsh wind blew her hair.
            “Ma-ma-maybe,” I said, my teeth chattering.
            “Why did it get so cold all of a sudden?” Mandy asked. 
              A bright, red light, brighter than any light I had ever seen, shone in the distance past my headlights. A horizontal gash, around 6 feet tall, formed and split the parking lot in front of us.
            “You asshole, we ARE dead,” Mandy said, the light shining in her teeth.
            “No, wait, listen."
            Within the gash, there was the sound of something slurping. It was light, but it was there In fact, the light itself seemed to pant. Just then, a tongue snuck out of the slit and licked the rim of its nonexistent lips.
            Mandy screamed.
            “What IS that?” 
             But I didn’t know and I didn’t want to know. Apparently, she didn’t, either. I held Mandy. She let me.
            “Welcome,” a thick voice said from the slit. It sounded like a man impersonating a woman. I got goosebumps, “I have something to show you. Step inside.” And it opened its mouth wider. A tongue rolled on the cement like a red carpet.
            “Let’s get back in the car,” Mandy said, and I nodded.
            “I’m sorry I tried to kill you."
            She trembled. In her fear, she never looked so beautiful.
            “Gary,” she said, looking toward the wide open mouth before she opened her door.
            “Yes, Mandy?”
            “If this is death, promise me we never have to get out of your car.”
            “I promise,” I said, not thinking of the future.
            Once inside, Mandy put her head on my shoulder. I rubbed her hair.
            “I don’t care that you slept with Scotty,” I said, watching the mouth chomp in front of us. Its teeth were all canines.
            “I was lonely,” she said, not looking at it.
            It was okay. If we were dead and the mouth couldn’t come toward us, then we had an eternity in my car to apologize to each other. 
            It would be enough.

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