The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Elaine Pascale
“She couldn’t help thinkin’ that there
Was a little more to life somewhere else…” His voice takes on a slow, nasally, slur matching Tom Petty note for note.
“And if she had to die trying,
She had one little promise she was going to keep…” He used to look at me when he sang that line and it made me melt. Dying had felt so far away.
He can’t see me now, but I am still melting for him.
The windows are down but the wind doesn’t muss my hair. I can’t feel it at all.
He doesn’t know it, but I hadn’t felt the impact all those years ago, either.
The crumpling metal had conformed to my body, trying to twist me away from him. It had coiled around my hips, seeking to seduce me Bachata style: a dance that would have embarrassed this American girl. The metal had pulled me where he could not reach me, pulled me through the shredded glass that sliced my flesh so no one could recognize me.
He had thought he had left me in that spot that later housed countless teddy bears in a sweet, candy-themed shrine.
The boy behind the wheel had turned to look at me, serenading me with “Take it easy, baby, make it last all night” when the truck had met us on the corner and kissed our front end as passionately as I had planned to kiss him when we finally pulled over.
He was a man behind the wheel now. He had well-earned crow’s feet and graying temples. But he still played the same song, no longer on a cassette that needed to be rewound.
“He crept back in her memory…”
I stretch my feet through the window. I try to remember what the sun had felt like on my legs. I try to remember what his kisses had felt like on my face and neck. Time is not a friend to memories.
“God it’s so painful when something that is so close
Is still so far out of reach…”
His voice catches in his throat. He must know I am here. He must know that each time he plays that song, I get pulled back into the car. It’s not a cassette anymore, he doesn’t have to waste the time rewinding, which means I appear quicker and fade away with the ending lead guitar lick as he plays it over and over.
I try to reach for him at the final “make it last all night,” but my translucent hand is lost in the wind. I know this won’t last all night. I will only be with him, in the car, until he arrives home and goes back to his aging life. I will wait for him to fall into a mood again, to play the song again, and marvel at how much time has passed for him, while nothing has changed for me.
Fiction © Copyright Elaine Pascale
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Elaine Pascale:
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Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…