Crash

When the light turned green I took my foot off the brakes, put it on the gas, and started across the intersection. Jillian and Lillian screamed and I looked toward them. Just beyond them, through the car windows I saw blinding lights, getting brighter, rapidly getting closer. Between the lights was a wall of chrome. Beneath the lights were large black tires.

There was no noise. No sound of brakes. No screeching of tires. Just a wall of chrome, lights, and tires. Everything moved in slow motion as the lights, chrome and tires collided with the side of the car.

My daughter, Lillian, was in the back seat. The window beside her exploded, tiny shards of glass fired from a cannon, cut her face to ribbons. I watched parts of the door lurched toward her, its smooth surface became jagged, plastic and fiberglass cracked, splintered. Metal edges cut through the plastic, then tore into her.

Jillian, my wife, was next to me. She stared at the lights, and blur of metal outside. When the side of the car imploded, her head collided with the window, the glass shattered. Her face, the glass and the wall of chrome tried to occupy the same space. The chrome won, her face was gone. Her neck bent at a right angle, an impossible angle, and inches shorter than it had been a heartbeat before.

Glass was everywhere. It filled the air. Little needles stabbed me, my face, my shoulders, my arms. Everything turned red. I couldn’t see. I tried to call their names, Jillian and Lillian. I screamed their names, but there was no sound. I screamed their names again, and again. I couldn’t hear my screams. I couldn’t hear them. Everything turned red. And silent. Deathly quiet. It was a silence I’d never heard. No sound. No sound of any kind. No sound at all.

And then the red faded to black.

Calm.

Peaceful.

Empty.

Black.


It’s April 3nd, the third day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. This is the third of 26 pieces I’m writing in April. Today, the letter C. Tomorrow, the letter D. We get Sundays off. Tonight, something different. A clip from my Work In Progress, a work I call Heartsong. I hope you like it. Tune in tomorrow and we’ll both find out what I’m writing for the letter D.

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#DailyPicspiration – Week 132 : I Watched The Candles Burn

It took all day to draw the sketch and I still wasn’t happy with it. It left so much out. So many feelings, so many details. The color of her eyes, the texture of her hair. It left out all my feelings, my emotions. The excitement I felt, the way her eyes drew me in, I wanted to get lost in them. Lost, and never find my way back.

That first kiss. That day we stood beside her car, amid the morning rush of people getting breakfast on their way to work. That day I looked at her, into her eyes, oceans of hazel, and couldn’t look away. That day her fingers touched my cheek, and the world was gone. That day she leaned forward and her lips touched mine for the first time.

I’d tried for weeks to capture that moment, that breath, that heartbeat of my life. Sketch after sketch, day after day, failure after failure. I’d lost count of the hours of sleep I lost trying to capture that moment on a sheet of paper. The days I’d gone to work at night, wondering how I’d drive home the next day without falling asleep as I drove.

Still I tried. Another day of lost sleep. Another failure.

I closed my eyes, tried to imagine what I’d missed on the paper. What I’d failed to capture with my pencils. If I’d missed any details. Any moment. Anything at all.

I worked in the dark, the curtains closed, the lights off, my music playing. The only light came from the candles I’d set on the table. Candles nearly burned away, all that remained were small fragments of wax with wick. I watched them burn, the tiny flames flicker, the light they cast shift as the flames moved.

What had I missed? What had I done wrong?

How do you capture a feeling? How do you draw it? Bring it to life? Put it on paper?

I’d tried everything I knew. Every technique. Every skill I’d grown over the years. None of them worked, none of them did what I wanted, none of them showed that moment. That first kiss, burned into my memory forever.

As the candles burned, I pulled out another sheet of paper and once more drew my pencils. If I couldn’t capture that moment, perhaps I could do something simple. A simple sketch of the candles, before they burned away.

Lines appeared on the paper, shadows, reflections. How do you capture a full color, burning candle in shades of gray? How do you capture its color when you have no color? How do you capture the flickering flame in a static image?

One hour, then two. I stared at the sketch I’d made. Three candles, burning away to nothing. Flames clinging to wicks, light reflecting off glass. It was all there. Every detail. The way the candles made me feel was on that paper.

In only two hours, I’d done it.

In a simple sketch, in shades of gray. I looked at the sketch, then at the candles. They looked so different, though they were the same. I shook my head, I’d left so much detail out of the sketch. Missing shadows, missing wisps of smoke. It wasn’t a photograph. It was a sketch. A drawing.

And I knew, in that heartbeat, I knew how to bring the sketch of that first kiss to life.

I erased details here and there, removed background images, highlighted key details, her eyes, her lips. Nothing but the her, and the kiss mattered. The rest was secondary. The rest was detail, distraction, useless.

I looked at the finished sketch and knew I’d done it. I’d found the way. I’d captured that moment.

I watched the candles burn away, and waited for the door to open, and her to come home. So I could give her what I’d created. Share with her what I’d felt.

The moment she first kissed me.

The moment my heart sang.


This story created itself for my last Daily Picspiration story. Every two weeks, I write another story for Daily Picspiration. You can find these stories, and many other, created by many talented souls, at:

Daily Picspiration

Go. Read. Enjoy. And don’t be afraid to tell everyone there how you feel about the stories they’ve created.

Mark.