Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Fiction Challenge, episode one

The uncontrollable shaking in her leg forced her consciousness.  The searing pain in her head, the pounding, all too familiar.

The shakes spread further up her leg until her entire body was trembling.  As much as she willed it, she could not make it stop.  The wave of nausea hit like a freight train and forced her bloodshot eyes open. 

It was so bright. 

So bright.

As the world slowly came into focus, she realized she was still in the car. 

She had driven.

Again.

Her body wretched and she fumbled for the door handle frantically.  Holding back what she knew would come, she grabbed and grabbed at the door.  Finally finding the handle, the door flew open and her body purged itself onto the street. 

Again and again.  The cold winter air chilled her and the shakes started again.

Goddammit, the voice in her head screamed.  What did you do? 

She was parked crooked against the curb of his street.  The familiar houses lining the drive, the idyllic setting, the perfectly landscaped yards.  The Christmas lights peeking from rooftops covered with just a dusting of snow.  The street where she should live.  The life she should have.

Steam rose up from the mess she had made and she knew. 

Glanced up and saw the house.  The house that she’d driven by too many times to count.  The house that she watched, wondering what life inside those walls might be like.  The house that contained the man that she loved. 

The house that also contained his wife and his little girl. 

He moved on. 

She sat there shaking, wishing for another chance.  Wishing that he would have given her one more shot to make it right.  She knew what she had done was wrong.  She knew that it wasn’t his fault for being angry.  She knew she didn’t deserve him.  The human heart can only suffer so much, and what she had done to him was unimaginable.

He was right to leave.

The wretching started again.  This time, it brought tears.

He moved on.  He left her.  Built a life.

She hadn’t. 

If anything, it had only gotten worse.  Here she was, on this cold December morning, parked across the street from his house, hungover, with no idea how she got there. What was worse, she had driven. 

Again.

She reached under the seat, desperately hoping there was a water bottle underneath.  Something, anything.  She flipped down the visor, checking the mirror. 

A cut.  A huge red line across her forehead.  She raised her hand to touch it and flinched away almost immediately.  It hurt something fierce. 

Without any memory of the night before, she had no idea what had happened.  She knew she had met the girls from work at the bar like usual.  She knew that they went home and she kept going, like usual.  She racked her brain trying to find pieces to put together.  There was a pool table and loud music.  There was a bouncer.
 
She’d been kicked out of some bar with red and yellow neon lights outside, but she couldn’t make out what the sign in her head said. 

From then until right now, nothing.

The cut.  I must have fallen when the bouncers kicked me out, she told herself.  It wasn’t the first time.

She reached for the keys, still in the ignition and turned it over.  The car sputtered a few times, warmed up.  She rubbed her hands together, urging the heater to work faster.  The shakes were starting again, she could feel it in her core. 

I just have to get home.  Before he sees.

I just have to get home, so that I can clean up this mess on my forehead. 

I just have to get home.

The car seemed to know it’s way back, it had driven this path so many times. 

She pulled into her spot in the parking lot, and shut off the engine.  Sighed deeply.  Almost there.  Opened the door and stepped out, wobbly and weak.  Shut the door, not seeing the damage to the hood.  Started towards her apartment.  

I just have to get home. 

Struggling with the key in the lock, her body heaved again.  She made it inside just in time. 

Shut the door, drew the shades, found the trash can and collapsed onto the sofa.

When she awoke again, with no idea how long she’d been asleep for, she tried to remember what had happened again.  Nothing would come. 

She wiped the sweat from her brow.  The shakes had been bad this time.

I need to shower, and then I’ll be fine, she told herself.

The water masked her tears.  This wasn’t the first time she blacked out.  This wasn’t the first time her friends had gone home and she hadn’t.  This wasn’t even the first time she’d woken up parked on his street.  The cut, though, that was new. 

She stepped out of the shower, wrapped the towel around her.   Wiped the mirror clean and heard a knock at the door.

Just a minute, she said.

Quickly threw on sweats and a tank top, then pulled over a sweatshirt.  Ouch.  Wrapped the towel around her head to cover the cut, and walked to the door.

Steadier now.

He was tall and handsome.  He had the most piercing blue eyes, wavy brown hair.  The uniform so crisp.
 
Ma’am, he said, is your name Dani Walters?

Yes, officer.  Is there a problem?  Her stomach sank, she fought off the tremor starting again. 

The blue Honda accord in the parking lot, is that your vehicle? he asked.

She nodded.

He cleared his throat.  Can you tell me where you were last night? 

She tried to find words.  Stuttered.  Came up with the only explanation she could remember for sure.  She’d been out with friends.  She didn’t tell him anything else.  She wasn’t even sure what was true.

I'm afraid there’s been an accident.  I'm going to have to ask you to come into the station for questioning. 

This was it. 

This was the day that Dani couldn’t hide it anymore.  This was the day the world would know.

She was a drunk. 

Oh my god, she thought, what have I done?  


This post is part of a Fiction Friday series I'm taking part in.  The prompt for the week was this:

"Your character thinks he/she is good at something, but he/she isn't. Something happens that makes your character realize this. What? What does your character do about it? Write the story."

Please check out the other writers participating!

16 comments:

  1. HO-LEE COW. THAT was awesome. dude. you better write a freakin' book or i'm gonna come after you with a wet towel all spun up and ready for whipping. Damn, that was hot. Hot. Hot. Hot.

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  2. Whoa!!! THAT WAS FABULOUS!!! I'm a drunk... a sober drunk, but a drunk nonetheless... I don't think I took a breath the entire time I read your story... you held my attention every second of the way. Sheesh... I felt great gratitude about being sober before I read this, but wow, I cannot begin to tell you how MUCH MORE grateful I feel.

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  3. I'm speechless. You told the story so well and the writing flowed just as it should. Although too many of us have probably been in the character's position unfortunately, it was still a great read, because of the realism. Great job!!! :-)

    Munch

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  4. Kelly: This was beautifully written, dark and haunting. I loved it!!! You have a fictional writing talent you didn't even know was there. Outstanding, really.

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  5. Oh no, I hate it when that happens! I like your story. That would be scary to experience!

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  6. God, you ladies are inspiring. That was fantastic. :)

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  7. MORE. YOU NEED TO DO THIS MORE. Really great stuff, Kelly.

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  8. Holy blow my socks off Batman! Kelly, that was amazing. I felt like I was there with Dani. I felt so sad in the beginning, and at the end my heart was pounding, my mind demanding: what did she do??

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  9. Awesome! (that's me doing that sort of high-pitched singing thing)

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  10. Well, I'm intrigued. Looking forward to the next one. :)

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  11. I want to read this book. Then, I want to see the movie!

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  12. AWE.SOME.
    Simply awesome.
    You done did good with this... will keep my eye out for your next one :)

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  13. That was great!! I am really looking forward to the next installment!

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