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Out of Control

In that hairsbreadth of time before the car skidded out of control, James realised alcohol had blunted his reactions. Clare screamed, her screams mingling with the sounds of grinding metal and splintering wood were the last James heard as he was catapulted into oblivion.

Silence, darkness. The driver’s door was jammed. Manoeuvring himself over Clare hanging like a rag doll out of the half-opened passenger door, he felt for a pulse. Nothing!

Only an hour before they had been dancing at a party. She had offered him a lift. He’d insisted on driving. Now he realised he’d caused her death. What quirk of fate had left him seemingly unscathed. Nobody’d seen them leave. What good to ruin his life? The decision made he hurried to the hotel, slipped in unnoticed. Exhausted he lay down. Immediately Clare appeared, silhouetted against the window, terrified, screaming!

"It wasn’t my fault, the road was wet!" he pleaded. She disappeared, still screaming. Would that scream haunt him forever?

Morning. He went down to breakfast. A couple at the next table were talking.

"Skidded on the bend - killed instantly!"

He meant Clare.

"And the passenger?" the women asked.

"In intensive care. The driver, James Smith was staying here, poor chap, sitting at that table yesterday," the waitress said. He pointed to where James was sitting.

"It’s a mistake, I wasn’t killed!" James shook the man’s shoulder. No response! The awful truth dawned. He screamed. No one heard but himself, as his screams went echoing through eternity!

Story by:

Gene Catherall

submitted at 10:31am

6 April 2009