A red sports car came flying around the wooded bend in the road straight toward us. My heart froze. I was paralyzed in sheer fright. Is this how animals feel when they know these giant machines are going to crush them to death? Only moments ago my best friend Lucy and I were laughing and talking, as careless as two teenage girls could be. Just out for a walk down my neighborhood’s wooded street, making sure as we approached the fork, to stay on the right side where cars exit, not enter. Or at least they were supposed to. What were we even talking about? I can’t remember. All I know is in that moment, everything was almost gone. As I was looking death in the face, I found my feet had betrayed me and I stood as if rooted in the ground. Silent. In shock. Just waiting for this unknown person to take from me what I didn’t know until that moment was so dear.
It seemed as if the behemoth was inches from us. I could almost feel its gravitational force as it neared. Without even attempting to slam on brakes, the car swerved, barely missing us. Not so much as a slight hesitation to show he cared, the car sped off in the same pace down the road and out of sight. We were both silent. The only sound was the engine of that revolting machine as it died away in the distance.
I sat on my bed, looking casually through a magazine. Not even thinking about my near death experience earlier that day. I felt her sit down behind me. I always felt her. She had this presence that left you with a sense of dread. I tried my best to act like I didn’t notice. After a moment of silence, where I could feel her eyes watching me, she finally spoke.
“So, what are we going to do about him?”
I stared at the page, fighting the urge to answer. Maybe if I ignored her she would just go away. But who was I kidding, she never went away. I cleared my throat.
“I don’t know what you mean by we.”
I could feel her annoyance radiating through the bed we shared. I felt her climb to her feet and walk around in front of me. I didn’t take my eyes off the magazine, but I could still see her. She tapped her fingers ever so slightly on the base of the bed.
“I know where he lives.”
There it was. I couldn’t help it. I had to look up. Ah, how she could tempt me! Her eyes, identical to mine except seething with malice, gazed back at me. If I looked into those eyes long enough, I feared she may take control and I would never find myself again. It was vital that we stay separate. I looked away.
“He didn’t hit me or Lucy. I just want to let it go.”
She let out an exasperated sigh and headed toward the door. Against their will my eyes followed. I could feel my whole body quake. She paused only long enough to give me a look I knew all too well and then disappeared. Damn it. I found myself climbing off the bed and running after her, unable to control my own legs. I stepped out into the humid night air, overpowered by the shrill orchestra of crickets. Off in the distance I could just make out her dark silhouette hurrying a long. Maybe, just maybe I could stop her. When I reached our destination, I saw her standing there. I knew what she was looking at before I even allowed myself to see it. Shiny and bright, even in the dead of night, there sat the tool which almost slaughtered me. I stood next to her and we both took it in. Just staring at it brought back the sharp stab of terror that had surged through my body hours ago.
“He didn’t even stop.” I found myself whispering.
I saw her turn her head and look at me. I could just bet her eyes were glistening with satisfaction. She thought she had won. This brought me back from my momentary lapse. Don’t get me wrong, part of me wanted to destroy that being that so carelessly nearly drove me down. But that part of me was her. And I had to keep us apart. If I were to act on whatever sinister plan she had concocted, how would I be any different from the person who nearly killed me? Would I be able to stand by and watch her destroy him? No, that wasn’t me. Gathering up my courage I turned and began to walk away.
“Are you serious?” I heard her hiss.
Stopping, I glanced back. We locked eyes for a moment before I looked back at the car. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. It all came down to a matter of right and wrong.
“You know if he had killed you,” her voice trembled through the stifling air. “I would have died too?”
“Then I have every right to seek revenge as much as you do.”
“You’re right.” I replied calmly. “You can do as you please, but I won’t be here with you.”
With that I turned and walked off triumphantly down the road. I had won. I had survived death. But not only that, I had survived the temptation of my inner demon. It wasn’t long until I heard her footsteps trailing behind. Like me, she knew all too well only one of us could be the victor in this game of choice.
*Short story written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie where we take something that happened in real life and add a fictional character, twist it around a bit and see what story comes out. The limit was 500 words, but even after editing out as much as I could, I failed miserably. Once I start writing, I just can’t shut up.