My mouth was dry and my tongue was stuck to the side of my cheek. On top of that wonderful sensation I realized the left side of my forehead was throbbing and even though I distinctly remembered putting on shoes that morning my toes were cold. I blinked my eyes open and was greeted with a slanted view of the world around me, literally. The aching in my temple was caused by the car window pressed against it and judging by the cracks in the safety glass it wasn’t any better off.
Looking down I found my right shoe was missing and my left foot was trapped underneath the brake pedal. That one wasn’t cold it was numb and possibly bleeding. I wiggled my toes on my left foot but didn’t feel any squishing which was a good sign. Absently I began to wonder where the other person in the accident was, not that car crashes were old hat to me but I was pretty sure someone should have been along exchange insurance or something. My right hand fumbled for the keys in the ignition and switched them into the off position and blinked my eyes again to try jumpstart my brain.
The windshield was a field of cracked green glass blocking out most of the world beyond and the passenger side window was a bit too far out of my vision. I began to realize that something was wrong and the memory of recent days started to flood back to me. The past few hours leading up to the accident came into crystal sharp focus, every minute, every scream, every staggering blood corpse hungering for the flesh of the living and now here I was stuck in a wrecked car.
My hands went to the seatbelt latch and once released I slumped against the door near the steering wheel which was covered in a deflated airbag. The view outside my window was the side of another car; I got the distinct impression that if exchanging insurance was in order this would have been a pretty big claim to process. Tucking myself into a ball I could feel the pins and needles setting in on my left foot. I counted myself lucky for it not being still attached and intact. A flitting thought of taking off that shoe to match made me smile but instead I decided to look for missing footwear.
I used the steering wheel as leverage and was able to pull myself to a standing positioned stretched out across the front seat. There was another stroke of luck when I found my errant shoe wedged in the headrest for the passenger seat and I took a moment to put it on even though my sock was still missing. I had heard about people getting hit by cars and having articles of clothing fall off but I had never thought it would happen inside a car too.
To be honest I was getting a little worried about my streak of luck running out once I got out of the car, presuming that happened. Now that I was stretched out across the seat and had both shoes I realized there was the front end of another car resting on the passenger door stopping just short of the window. There was no way I was going to be able to open it and I was beginning to curse myself for getting automatic windows.
In a moment of inspiration I slipped the keys back into the ignition and tried the starter. Not even a clicking sound greeted me. The battery was dead and refused to return, selfish bastard. Nothing in my car was worth keeping beyond the keys, in a desperate time they could work as a weapon and if nothing else I decided to hold onto them to get back into my apartment. First things first I needed to get out of this car, figure out where the hell I was and then go from there. If my luck held I would be able to get a look at my surroundings once I was free.
Up front there wasn’t any hope for an exit so I crawled over into the backseat and felt the car shift a bit. I was glad I turned off the car, if it was still in drive I probably would have found out quickly how much weight the frame could take. Those high tech crumble panels the dealer had flaunted didn’t really make me feel safe now. The rear driver window is blocked as well but I can see the passenger side is clear. Propping myself up using the back of the front seat as a brace I tried the handle and pushed it open just enough to slip an arm through before hitting the bumper of the other car.
My only option now is to try to break a window. As I shifted to look out the passenger side window a bit better I slipped. Arms flailing my left hand hooked a strap as I recovered my balance and a muscle running from the palm of my hand all the way to my elbow feels like it was just twanged like a guitar string but the curses I’m about to let loose dry out in my already parched mouth. Another wonderful selling point the dealership pushed about this lovely automobile was the fold down backseats with access to the trunk. I switched to my right hand and yanked the correct direction on the strap, there is a quiet click and the seat begins to fold down.
I never thought the inside of a car trunk would look so amazing. Bracing my hands on the sides of the inviting portal a sharp pain in my left forearm almost made me fall again. I shifted more weight onto my right hand and began to pull myself through. My trunk was mostly empty with only a few scattered items that wouldn’t help me in a normal emergency let alone a world shattering one. The one thing I did retrieve was the tire iron which had made me think of the trunk in the first place. Now all I had to do was open it.
Today is the final day of the challenge. Or it was yesterday, I’m not really clear on that BUT what I am clear on is that thanks to this event I have written roughly 30 short -very short in some cases- stories. It has helped me rekindle my love of writing and I’ve even gained enough confidence to start submitting short stories to magazines.
I plan on continuing to write & post, though slightly longer pieces. Maybe a series, possibly a side project for fun.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy.