Friday, August 9, 2013

Wordless encounter

I've been in the car for many extended periods lately and because of this I've had a lot of time to think about life whilst my hands rest on the steering wheel. The other day I had an idea for a short story. It's slightly derivative, I am aware, and I don't plan on necessarily doing anything with it. But I decided I wanted to share it somewhere.

She saw him at a glance. He drove past her in his flashy, overly blue and noticeably economy-sized car and in that instant she knew there was something. It wasn't something they shared necessarily, but something it was.

You know how in that moment of first noticing a something or a someone you find intriguing? How you almost feel as though you've come to know it inside and out? They say not to judge a book by its cover, but it's impossible not to do just that. You look, you perceive, you assume. We all know what happens when you assume.

Well she assumed. As he drove past her, the car in front of her screeched to a stop. Her senses were lagging, she was consumed in her own foggy daydreams. He had disappeared, though, so what was left of the daydream was slowly dissolving.

But as she began to speed up, there he was again. With a tinted back window, a few cars ahead, moving at a steady pace. He still had no idea. His lane began to slow; he merged in front of her. Her mind raced.

Unsure of how to act, but convinced something needed to be done lest she reluctantly admit defeat, she decided to work with the tools at her fingertips.

Turn on the brights. That's sure to get his attention. She flicked them on and they blinded her for an instant. She tried again, but no reaction other than her own wincing at the sight of the reflected headlights on his practically highlighter blue back bumper. Why isn't he realizing what's going on?

She resigned herself for a moment. This is ridiculous.

She merged out of the lane, now on his right, moving at a slightly faster speed. Then with an effort towards nonchalance, she glanced over past his empty passenger seat, to the driver whom she had set her literal and figurative sights on.

He wasn't oblivious.

He looked back at her, boldly but kindly. He smiled, but only for a moment. After all, the eyes can only flick away from the road for so long before they must return to the task at hand.

She kept at his pace, tried not to seem deliberate. She ignored the obvious question in her head: How do I keep myself from looking deliberate when I'm deliberately moving a steel vehicle down a freeway?

As she spent time conversing with herself in her mind, he managed to move his car behind hers. He flicked his own bright headlights on and off and when she didn't notice, honked his horn.

Startled, she broke, expecting that there was something dangerous to evade. Rather than prevent an accident as was her intention, she managed to cause one of her own.

The girl and the boy in their respective cars stopped traffic. Everyone looked around with bewildered eyes, unsure of what to do as most looky-loos are. It was just a rear-ending, no cause for alarm.

As they pulled over, however, the rubberneckers glued their eyes to the sight, not for the damage or to see the arrival of tow trucks and police cars. Rather to watch the girl and the boy as they stood still, exposed to the elements, at the side of the freeway, staring at each other, not saying a word.

The End

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