TITLE: Other People's Things
GENRE: Literary, Adult
I hate this song. I push through to the next station on the radio. Too late, that song burrows into my brain and the whiny woman’s voice belts out inane lyrics over and over in my head. Great. Late as usual, but with any luck I'll avoid the biggest snarls of traffic. Here comes the rain. Please, no, I can’t be late for this meeting again; it sours the whole tone that already hovers around collective reproach.
Damn, my coffee burns as I take a sip. Still too hot. The rough patch on my tongue tickles as it rubs across the roof of my mouth.
Brake lights blossom in my windshield. Rain magnifies bulbous spots, red glare. What's going on? A dark shape cuts across the corner of my eye. Is that a man? I stomp on the brake pedal. I can’t stop. Everything slows, but God, I can’t stop. My car keeps careening forward.
The front-end slams into his body, a dull thud shakes the steering wheel. A face flashes by, and the body tumbles up and over. I’m still moving, the world blurs in the blood-smeared windshield. Circular cracks grow. Coffee falls across my lap, my legs burn. I strike another car. The airbag pops, punches my face while the seatbelt grabs my shoulders and wrenches them back. Spinning around fast, shards of glass fly at me from all directions, scratching my face and hands. My fingers stay locked in a rigid grip on the useless steering wheel.