What a Difference a Day Makes

Welcome to this weeks response to the Friday Picture prompt on The Writer’s Mess! With Halloween on the brain, and this weeks image being that of a full moon, it doesn’t take a genius to realise where this weeks prompt was heading.  Follow the story of our narrator, who get’s in a car accident the week of the full moon…

Getting in a car accident sucked.

Getting in a car accident and healing so fast that they thought they mixed up her scans with another patients, really sucked.

Getting in a car accident, and being in a coma for an indeterminate time, that sucked the most.

Losing track of time wasn’t that big of an issue for most people, but when you turned into a bloodthirsty monster on the full moon, keeping an accurate calendar was key.

She only realised that the moon was rising full, when her bones started to snap, startling the nurse who was taking her vitals.

They thought it was tetanus, and so they ignored her pleas for them to leave.

They all died. 

The doctors, the nurses, the other patients, all of them died in that hospital, because she had a brain injury and couldn’t remember the day of the week.

It was a massacre, plain and simple. 

It the morning she called the council, and explained what happened.

The hospital burned, the investigators were bribed to look the other way, and the survivors didn’t retain the title long.

She was tried, and found innocent in a court of law, despite the body count. 

The judge looked at her with sympathy as the verdict was delivered, because she would have to live with the weight of what she had done for the rest of her life.

She never lost track of her dates again.

One in a Million

I wrote this piece in two parts, part one on a good day where I was happy and in a good mood, and the second when I was not having a great day. I am sure you will be able to see where the switch happen. This is a tragic romance featuring a quirky young woman that meets the man of her dreams, plans to marry him, and well…the best laid plans.

Joey was her other half, and before Connie met him, she made fun of people who said such silly, sappy nonsense. She didn’t need another person to complete her, she was more than capable of being happy on her own.

She wasn’t looking for anyone when she met him. It was at a writing group at a bistro downtown, and at first she thought he was a bit pretentious. Well, actually, he was a bit pretentious, but over time she saw the rest of him too, and there were worse things to be overall.

Really, it wasn’t love at first sight. They didn’t even date for over a year, they were friends right up until she was trying to write the perfect love interest for her thinly veiled self insertion character, add she realized that she was making up him. She didn’t ask him out then though. It was another two months of self reflection, and self deprecation, and asking the question, why would he want someone like me, before she realized that the worst that could happen is he would say no. Maybe it would be awkward, maybe it would be unpleasant, but all in all, it was better than thinking about it all the time. When he said no, she would have her answer.

And then, and then he did the unexpected thing. He said yes, and Connie was flummoxed, but why would he say yes? The weird part was, at first almost nothing changed, they already met up outside of group, they did dinner, and went to movies, and it was humiliating to explain to your other friends, that you were mostly dating before, and the kissing was great, but you kind of expected the change to be a little more dramatic than that.

The sex didn’t really change it either… Okay, it did a little, but in a good way, but for the most part, they were still them. They still argued about which writing books were shit, and which were on point. They still both liked hot cocoa when writing over coffee, and he still ordered cake and shared it, even though it was mostly the allow her to eat 90% of a piece of cake when she couldn’t justify the expense on with her budget.

She didn’t fall in love all at once, it was by degrees, it was the cliché of all clichés, him catching her when she started to fall, that made her realize. He was watching, and he knew she wouldn’t be, and he was there, ready to catch her anyways rather than trying to get her to stop reading while she walked and she didn’t know why that sparked love to her, but it did. It was who he was, who they were, and it was a little ridiculous, but that was when she knew it.

She had never been happier than the day he asked her to marry him. She didn’t expect it, she wasn’t that girl. He had dragged her on a nature hike, she didn’t hike and when they got to the clearing she was hot and sweaty, and really, really, over trees. Actually, she thought that people were into trees were stupid, and didn’t get that they were just trees. It would be like bees making bees fly all over the place cause they were like into flowers, and she was explaining this entire premise to Joey when he smiled and said he loved her. Ya ya, she loved him too, and then he dropped to one knee, and asked and she said yes, but on one condition.

He looked worried, but agreed, not even asking the condition, and she leaned in and whispered in his ear. “You never make me go hiking again.” He looked stunned, and then they laughed, until they cried.

They were half way home, when he finally admitted it. “I should have gone with plan B.”

“What was plan B?” She was more than a bit curious.

“Well everyone said it was a bit on the nose.” He said with a flush. “It was in this bookstore-”

She stopped him there. “I need a list.”

“What?” He looked over, eyes wide.

“I need a list, of every idiot, who told you it was better to drag me on a nature hike instead of going to a book store so that I can beat them to death with my sweaty hiking boots.”

He looked a little dismayed, but she let out a laugh. “No, no, it was good, perfect. I might have expected it then. This, this was perfect, spontaneous, and since I will never do anything like it ever again, both unqiue and memorable” And well, he wanted to marry her.

She had grown up on Disney and princesses, and from the moment she was old enough to realize that life wasn’t like that, a prince doesn’t just pick you based on a song in the woods, she had never thought that someone would want to marry ME!

She was a train wreck, volleying between depression and anxiety like a yo-yo, except those truly horrendous days where thy teamed up to make her absolutely crazy, and he knew that. He had been her friend before they dated, and he knew that there were going to be times she was late because she couldn’t find her umbrella, and the forecast said rain, and when she finally showed umbrellaless she was going to be upset and distracted, because thats who she was, and that was the crazy ass person he wanted to marry.

If Connie was surprised, her parents were floored. Ya, it was a blow to the ego, but apparently even her Mom thought it was weird that this dude wanted to marry her.

So Joey and her started planning, keeping it small, potluck, taking the money that her parents gave them to put the down payment on a small house. They spent the months up the the wedding in renovations, living in drywall dust, and no kitchen, and it was great because this was it, and they were in love, and when they got back from the honeymoon, a single night at a non-budget hotel, they were gonna have a house that was done. She planted flowers in the front garden, her, who was well known in her hatred of gardening, because there was something about a home to begged for a little bit of flowers. Before she knew it, it was her wedding day.

The dress was her mother’s, tailored to fit, and free to boot. It was only their immediate family at the justice of the peace, the rest of the gang would show for the reception later at the hall. Connie stood there with her parents, and his, and his sisters and waited. And waited, and then everyone started calling him, and it was okay, because despite the looks on her parent’s faces, the lingering doubts, she knew he loved her, and he wouldn’t just not show up.

They were shuffled aside and she watched as six other couples get married while they waited. Finally his sister said she was going to go looking for him. She would keep her phone on, and they were call her to come back when he showed. Connie loved that she had said when, she understood.

When Connie saw his number on her phone, she rushed to answer it, and her heart fell when it was his sister, so much so that she didn’t register the tone until a few seconds had passed.

“Connie.” Her voice was hoarse, and wet and Connie felt dizzy hearing it.

“No.” Connie said, and her parents rushed to her side, sure she was being jilted.

“Connie, I. I’m so sorry. Con, he, he’s” His sister broke into sobs and she knew.

“Dead.” She finished and his parents and hers froze.

“They are sending someone. Con, he’s still in bed, he’s cold, I think, I think he died in his sleep.” Sh nodded numbly, and looked at her parents. “We need a cab to Joey’s” and She handed the phone to his parents, and a few moments later his mother began to wail.

It was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. It had been, and all she could think is that he never got that, never woke up to see this day.

She stood at the funeral, not quite a widow, and then she went back to their perfect house and sobbed. She couldn’t sleep in it, not even a single night. She sold it, against the advice of those around me to wait six months before making a big decision, and bought something smaller.

Two bedrooms instead of 4, no basement, no big backyard for the kids. Her Mom said she was making a mistake, she would regret it one day, but she wouldn’t. Joey was a fluke, one in a million, and she knew that as long as she lived she wouldn’t find anyone else like him.

Her writing improved with the pain, the tortured artist cliché was now her life, and she lived alone in that house, with her writing until she was with him again.

When is a Dream, not a Dream?

It’s been almost 20 years since Final Destination 2 came out, but I got stuck behind a log truck on the highway and it might as well have been yesterday. What happens if you can see the deaths of people before they happen, could you deal? Will Alex?

Alex wasn’t sure when it had started. After all, at first she wrote them all off as dreams. Can’t really blame her through, can you, it wasn’t the first time a person had ever dreamed of getting up and going to school and then it happened exactly the same way when they actually got up.

Cause, well, you know, people had routines, and your subconscious was weird like that. I mean, sometimes you dreamed that you lived in a castle, but your room was the same as your childhood room that you hadn’t lived in for a few centuries, but I digress.

So Alex, was dreaming things, and they were happening exactly as she dreamed them, and she didn’t really pick up on it because her life was so boring and mundane, and predictable that it kind of made sense she could tell what was coming next. She was a good girl, followed the rules, studied hard, and was well on her way to graduating top of her class.

She should have been more popular than she was, based on her looks and achievement, but well, Alex was a bit if a bitch. Most people had been been born with a filter that went between their brains and their mouths, but not Alex. What she thought came out, and with a dark sense of humor, and a little on the caustic side in terms of personality, she alienated most people quite quickly. I couldn’t blame her, people are pretty stupid.

Alex liked to pretend that she was completely fine with being relatively unknown. Ok, I admit, she actually was fine with it most of the time, because she wasn’t willing to make the effort to try and reign herself in, to be more liked. But like most of us, Alex had those moments of self doubt and anxiety that made her wonder why anyone liked her at all. She had a few friends, and a larger group of “friends” who mostly sat together to hold a table in an overcrowded cafeteria. In the summers they had pool parties, like with chips and swimming, not like they are in the movies. There were ten people there max, and there were no bikini’s or hook ups, or alcohol.

So, all in all Alex had a good, if not a little boring of a life. Her plan, was of course, like all high school students was to have a life later…You know, when she graduated and went away to university. She always felt like that she needed to have a little more room to grow, explore, and that wasn’t going to happen with her mother looking over her shoulder and catching every mistake before she made it.

So, Alex was trudging along, playing average high school girl when she had the dream that her science teacher had died, from tripping on a marble, falling down the stairs and breaking his neck. She woke up gasping, at the incredible vividness of it, she couldn’t shake the intensity of the dream, even as she walked through the front door of the school. The sound of the crack as his neck snapped echoed though her memories as she started her day.

Then she saw a cute boy, and poof it was gone. That is, it was gone until she was on her way to her last class and looked around to the strangest sense of deja vu. The class nerd, it was a small school, there was only really one person who met the criteria, was walking down the hallway with what looked like a kids toy. A peg board with a bunch of toggles on it. Andy, the class asshole, tripped him. I don’t really need to explain that one, do I?

Anyways, nerd went flying, toy went flying, and when it hit the ground, about a dozen marbles exploded out of it rolling across the floor, and down the hall. People mostly just watched, or I guess they didn’t watch, in that way that people become incredibly interested in their fingernails when they don’t want to have seen something. You didn’t want asshole Andy on your tail, and so reporting him, not an option.

Mr. Greier ran out of his classroom, demanding to know what was going on, and when he saw Andy heading towards the stairs he went after him. It was strange too, because Mr.Greier was usually way more mellow than that, but nerdy Steve was his favorite.

Alex watched, in what felt like slow motion, her dream unfold. She almost said something, but like, what could she say, no, don’t, a death marble. She would be a laughing stock. She wished he hadn’t been so afraid of being laughed at, when her eyes met Mr. Greier’s. She could see the shock, the horror unfolding as his foot slipped, as he was propelled back, and then his other foot met nothing but air. They both knew he was in trouble, and then he hit the railing and there was a moment of relief, before his eyes widened again and his momentum sent him over.

Everyone else seemed to be moving towards the stairs, but she was stuck, and this time she didn’t see the fall, or the landing, but even from her position at her locker she heard the resounding crack that would haunt her for the rest of her life. God, this one was so melodramatic, like this wouldn’t even be the worse thing she saw this month. The rest of her life, teenagers, what ca you do?

So Alex stood there, in shock, and the ambulance was called, and classes were canceled and counselors were brought in. They kept telling her it was understandable, it was terrifying to see witness such an event. She was one of the ones who got booked for multiple follow ups, because some kids just took that kind of thing harder than others. Alex was not an idiot though, and did not tell them the truth. That the reason she was so upset by the event was because dreamed it the night before.

Six weeks later, she didn’t tell them that the reason she was upset about watching those two men get in the car accident was because she dreamed it to, and did nothing to stop them from getting in their cars, even though she was on the scene early enough that she could have. Well, or at least she could have tried. Who knows if they would have listened.

Alex became haunted all right, not by the cracking noise, as she had predicted, but by death. Death followd her everywhere, and even if she changed her plans to avoid the bank the day the armed robber shot a bank security guard when she would usually be depositing her pay cheque, she still saw him die the night before while she slept.

She didn’t date, she didn’t go to college, Alex languished in her small town. Afraid of what horrors she would dream if she dare go somewhere as crime ridden as the a city. When the day dawned, the ten year anniversary of her special dreams, she felt burdened by the realization. When she lay down that night to sleep, and dreamed of herself, dying of a brain aneurysm in her sleep, she awoke relieved.

It was only 3am, but she went to the kitchen, grabbed a pen and paper, and wrote a hand written will. She continued writing, letters for her family, and for the few remaining friends that hadn’t bailed she got weird. She cited a sense of impending doom by the reasoning, I know its a little on the nose, but apparently its a thing.

She took a long shower, shaving her legs, grooming herself, making sure her eyebrows were just so. She saw the clock now say 7am, and she made sure to text her work to tell them she was on her way, just running a few minutes late. Sent another to her sister, asking if she would give her a call around 9am to discuss something semi-urgent.

She put on her best nightgown, the one from the dream, unlocked her front and back doors, and crawled back into bed. She willed herself back to sleep, eager for the nightmares to be over.

Love You, Forever

So this one was a weird prompt, and I will talk about it more in the notes afterwards. Its from the point of view of a guy who is pining for a girl whom he is in love with. Its a little creepy and a little dark…

I knew from the moment I first saw her face that she was girl for me. She reminded me of my first crush, Barbara Eden, and in the little pink dress she was wearing the girl could have doubled for Jeannie.

I wanted to talk to her so badly, but I knew I wasn’t her type of fella. I was just Kevin, and she was perfect. I watched her, every single day until the end of the school year. She would walk across the bleachers with her friends and I would watch from the other side of the field. She didn’t even know I existed.

I was sad when she left for the summer, but when she returned the next autumn she had somehow, inexplicably, become even more beautiful than she had been before. I knew then, that this was it for me, I would have to talk to her.

I got brave, and more importantly, I got closer. I stopped lurking under the south bleachers where I felt my most comfortable, and I stepped into the light. I went into the school and started trying to catch sight of her between classes. Second semester I was lucky, she took art, and I knew art. It was my greatest passion, and when she stepped into that room, for the first time with no friends at her sides I knew it was fate.

I took the seat next to hers, and for the entire semester it was just her and me at the corner table. I told her everything about me, my life, and my family, and my darling girl, she was such a great listener. She never stopped me never said I was rambling, never scoffed, or judged. She just sat doing her art with an attentive ear. I know she didn’t share anything back with me, but if I were that beautiful, I would be private too. She wouldn’t want weirdo’s overhearing something about her personal life.

I am sure there were people, other guys even that wanted to be closer to her. How couldn’t they want to, she was amazing. I had never met anyone like her before, and I knew I never would again. It felt worse this time when she left for the summer, and when she returned to school in the autumn I knew that I had to take my chance or lose her forever.

She was bound for higher education, early admissions had already yielded her three letters and the closest was a six hour drive from here. Meanwhile I knew that this town was it for me, there would be no college, no fancy ivy league, and my darling girl was smart enough to never come back to this backwater nothing.

I started getting closer now, saying hello in the halls, and while she didn’t acknowledge me, I knew she heard. She gave the slightest movement when I spoke, turned her head just so. She played it off as a shudder, but I knew that she was acknowledging me, but she knew her friends wouldn’t approve. She needed better friends, friends that would want her to be happy, cared for, not those backstabbing bitches that she had.

I found her crying at the beginning of second semester, Darla, her so called best friend had stopped speaking to her. Something about my dear sweet Jeannie not letting her cheat on a math test. I was enraged at the thought of someone making my darling girl feel worthless because she was smart, and not willing to bend to that idiot’s pressure.

When I saw Darla standing there, alone, at the top of the staircase it was so easy. One little shove and all of my darling girl’s problems went away. With the loss of Darla the others, traitors all of them, returned over night and my girl was happy. I was torn, I loved seeing her happy, but hated the spent all her time with them instead of me.

I tried to talk to her again, but she rebuffed me, didn’t even look at me. As the year passed I grew angrier and angrier. How dare she ignore me, didn’t she know I loved her, didn’t she know I only wanted what was best for her? I tried again and again to make her acknowledge me, speak to me, but I got nothing in response.

There was only one thing I could do, to keep her here, to keep her with me forever, and I knew what to do. I waited until she was alone, one day staying late for one of her clubs, and when she went to leave I opened the door to the basement. My darling girl, always so curious went towards it. When she was in and down the stairs I opened another door, further in, one not many people knew about, and she walked towards it with that bounding curiosity. When she was in, I closed the door, locking it behind her.

She screamed at first, begged me to let her out, but I didn’t. I let the loose bolt by the furnace do its work, the carbon monoxide slowly making her more and more drowsy. It was a small leak, so small that it took hours to have any effect, which is why this had to happen at night, when there was no chance of anyone opening the door.

When she was pliant, I rattled the grate in the wall, that led to an old bit old ducting that went up under the bleachers. Once she was in, she didn’t notice the grate going back on behind her.

She got to a point where the duct turned, and it was blocked, and she didn’t have the energy to try and clear her path. With one hand on my thigh, she slowly drifted off, and I knew that she would stay there, in the duct with me, forever.

So the prompt was to write a story from the POV of a ghost. Tried to drop some hints, but let me know if I pulled it off. Thanks,