Seeing as a lot of my friends do not speak Dutch (as well as they do their native language! See, I gave you credit. +1 Friend Point), I am often requested to also post in English. I have always been an avid learner, and when it came to writing I set out to finish every single course there was in order to become the best writer I could be (yes, very ambitious, I know) — coincidentally, all of these courses were taught in English.
This is one of the very first serious short stories I wrote for a Creative Writing course I took in university. I found them as I was cleaning out folders on my laptop a couple of days ago. I decided to leave them as they were, but slowly start to publish them. The only thing I changed for this one was the title.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave me a comment telling me if you would like to see more or if this was a nice first attempt (and should be left at that!)
A N A F T E R N O O N D R I V E
You start off by walking out the door, by just getting up every morning and deciding that you are going to survive; put it in practice. Draw back the curtains and appreciate the bright glow that warms your face as soon as those heavy shields are pulled away. If it rains that’s also fine, just take in the melancholy of the day. Either way works. When all the preparation is over with, you open your front door and step through it – no harm done. Take a deep breath, close the door behind you, lock it, walk to your car, get in, and put your seatbelt on.
Now comes the hard part, because where do you go? You don’t have to decide right away. Turn on the radio or listen to your favorite CD, that always helps. Then just start the engine and drive out the street. Maybe smile at a passer-by who must be your neighbor – you can never be sure; who talks to their neighbors these days? – and proceed calmly. When your favorite song comes on you have to sing along, that’s just basic logic. Just do it. Use your steering wheel as your personal drum set and go all out. Dance along, sing along, drum along. Just feel the song rush through your body and notice how that automatically makes you smile and eventually laugh at your silliness, at how beautiful this little drive is turning out to be.
Feel how your body’s urge to live flows through your veins and how you can’t help but react – all the while driving in a straight line, until you reach the highway. Speed up, because now is your time. The speed limit seems almost non-existent and the adrenaline is rushing through your body, fed by the title song of your life and that bright sun that is finally shining to its fullest. Can you feel it? Good. Embrace it, refuse to let it go.
What you shouldn’t have to see, is how the inside of the car slowly turns dark. You shouldn’t be looking to your left and see how a truck is about to crash into you, leaving nothing but a lifeless body in a metal prison. But if you do, meet it with a smile. This is how you survive.
W I T N E S S R E P O R T
I ain’t got no clue what exactly happened. One moment I was just drivin’ in my truck with my radio on – because I get lonely sometimes when I’m on the road – an’ the next thing I know, I’m sittin’ on this stretcher. I think it’s best to explain it like a freak accident. ‘Cause that’s what it must’ve been. Like one of them chupacabras just comin’ out o’ nowhere in the night an’ you hit the breaks an’ swivel an’ swirl an’ in the end the thing gets away an’ everybody think you crazy ‘cause there ain’t no such thing, know what I mean? But this time someone got hurt. Bad.
So, I was just drivin’. Listenin’ to my radio, like I said. An’ all of a sudden I see this guy on my right tryin’ to speed by me with the biggest grin on his face. Looked like a damn idiot. Was havin’ some kind of party for one in that tiny four-wheeler. Throwin’ his hands all about, yellin’, shakin’ his head. The guy had just completely lost it. He had them crazy eyes an’ all an’ kept jerkin’ his body around.
I tried to slow down a bit ‘cause the guy was just makin’ me damn nervous. Kept my eye on him while tryin’ to watch the road; he seemed a bigger danger than my huge eighteen wheeler. An’ that thing’s pretty damn huge. An’ then, all of a sudden, he just started to swivel. He went completely crazy. The car kept slowin’ down, speedin’ up, movin’ to the left, to the right, and I tried to hit the breaks, honestly, I tried to stop. And then I just hit him. Full on. That tiny thing didn’t stand a chance. I bumped him off the road with ease an’ had to watch him crash into another car an’ another an’ another, until that little thing was nothin’ more than little bits an’ pieces scattered on that highway.
I really tried to stop it. I did. But the strange thing was, that he di’n’t seem to want to. Before I hit ‘em I just saw this huge smile on his face. He had tears in his eyes an’ had taken his hands off the wheel. He was just starin’ at me with that goofy lookin’ smile an’ those teary eyes. As if he was waitin’ for me to hit him.