Author: Far Wanderer PM
A car accident leaves a 17-year-old with the devastating ability to turn invisible with the flick of a mental switch.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Suspense - Chapters: 14 - Words: 28,222 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 04-14-12 - Published: 02-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 2994770
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Watch out!" My younger sister grabbed my arm in terror as a white panel van swerved into my lane.
"Relax, Esa." I changed lanes to give the van space. "What are you worried about?"
She stared at the van still. "You've just gotten your full license. I don't like riding with you sometimes. Besides, that's the kind of van that drug smugglers use."
I laughed out loud. "And how do you know that? Do you think that driver is on something?"
"Of course not. It's Mr…." She turned to me with greater terror on her face than I had ever seen. "Wes?"
Her eyes rolled, searching my face furiously, never meeting my eyes. Before I knew what was happening, she reached across me and seized the staring wheel with both hands.
"Get off!" I yelled, as the Honda jerked wildly.
Tears streamed from her face now. "Wes? Where are you? This isn't funny!"
She's gone crazy! I tried to strike her hands away, but she hung on with steel-like nerves. My movement gave her full control, and the car drifted back toward the van. "Stop it, Esa!" I tried to grab the steering wheel again, but I only saw her white-knuckled hands there still. I clawed for it, hitting the vinyl, hitting Esa's hands. I could feel the vibrations, but I couldn't find my hands. I've gone crazy too.
My ears seemed to split open as a force collided with the car. My stomach lurched as I felt it lifted off the road. I opened my mouth in a panicked scream as my eyes struggled to process the crazy images of metal twisting all around me. The car slammed bottom-up onto its roof with a force that clenched my jaw down.
A nightmare of sounds pounded my brain. Tires squealed. Horns blew. I could hear the car shifting all around me. I heard it all. I felt it all. Blood rushed to my head as it lay on the road, with only the crumpled roof of the Honda below it. I had bitten down on my tongue, and blood now filled my mouth.
The car rocked, and I felt the vibration of a motor running. It wasn't mine. I knew instinctively that it wouldn't run again. It was the Econoline van, pulling away. I could see the grill retreating through the gap that had been the window, the window below Esa.
Her closed eyes terrified me more than anything yet. The side of the car had bent in against her. Esa sat twisted, hanging in place at an unnatural angle. I wasn't sure how her body fit in the tight space that it had been shoved into, and I didn't think it was supposed to. Blood gushed from her head, twisted backward against the roof.
She's going to die. My sister is going to die. It never occurred to me that she could have done so already. Somehow I knew, even before I saw her chest moving, that she hadn't stopped breathing.
I'd always imagined that a car wreck would be over in an instant. After one spectacular moment, you'd either be dead or alive: end of story. It wasn't like that. The motion had stopped, but I still hung upside down, with my mouth filled with blood and a clouded brain.
Esa needed help, so I tried to focus my reeling mind on reaching her. I unclipped my seatbelt and struggled to free myself. The seat and the steering wheel seemed to hug me, but I managed to get myself upright. Esa would be far harder to free. I'm going to do it though.
The wound on her forehead bled fiercely over her pale, motionless face. I ripped off my t-shirt. Folding it twice, I tied it sloppily around her head. Maybe that will slow down the blood loss. I've still got to get her out. The blood's flowing to her head, even if I did manage to slow it down.
I couldn't hold the blood from my tongue in any longer. It burst out of my mouth, sloshing my bare chest with blood.
Footsteps pounded on the pavement outside. I breathed easier when I recognized the face of the man who reached through the window. I looked up to Jeremy, four years older than me, and far taller and stronger. My girlfriend had scorned her stepbrother's choice to become only an EMT, but it made me glad to see him now.
I tried to speak, tried to tell Jeremy that I was okay, that I only felt a bit rattled and rather lightheaded, but I could hardly make a sound. It was like trying to carry on a conversation underwater. My tongue seemed swollen enough to fill my whole mouth, and I wasn't even sure that it was responding to the signals that my brain was sending it. I could feel nothing but pain in my mouth. To my relief, though, Jeremy didn't give a second glance in my direction. I saw him put his palm to Esa's mouth to check for breath. After that encouragement, he worked with a speed that I could never achieve with such calmness. He slit the seat belt loose with a pocket knife. After a few pounds from his fist, the seat fell backward toward the back of the car, giving Jeremy the room that he needed to pull Esa through the shattered window in his strong arms. He finished by the time that I heard the first sirens approaching in the distance. I saw him lope out of sight with her unconscious form draped over him.
Good. As soon as he gets her to an ambulance, he'll come back for me. I inched my way slowly toward Esa's shattered window as I waited.
But he didn't come back. The longer that I waited, the more freaked out I became. I stretched out my arm, but it wasn't there. I stretched out the other, with the same result. I hiked up the bottom of my jeans to reveal my skin, but the jeans hung over an empty shoe. I looked down at my bare chest and couldn't see it. I shook my head, and no hair showed up in front of my eyes.
I swung what felt like a leg over the center console of my car, to the passenger side, yet I couldn't see it. I worked my arms until I felt that I could pull myself across. The sensation was so unearthly that I had to close my eyes and feel my way across the car. There was no other way to do it. If I looked at what I was doing, I wouldn't be able to do it. The steering wheel and the seats and the dashboard all twisted at crazy angles, as if to give me a puzzle. It wasn't easy to get through the painful jagged edges with my eyes shut, but somehow I did. I reached the open window and peeped open my eyes.
I quickly squeezed them shut again, disturbed by this view as well. A tow truck backed toward my Honda, and I saw a man approaching the front wheel with straps. I waved at him, not trusting my voice anymore. But he took no notice, if I in fact waved my hand. I knew that it must be some sort of concussion messing with my senses, but it made me distrust everything. The world around me seemed incredibly real, and I could see my jeans perfectly, just no legs in them. I wondered if I had even seen Jeremy. I wondered if I had actually wrecked the car or if I had even driven home from school.
But Esa was here. I know she was here, because I miss her and I'm worried about her. I squeezed through the window and leaped lightly to the road, although my unseen feet hit it rather quicker than I expected and caused me to roll a nonexistent ankle. I formed a cry of pain but only managed to bite my already miserable tongue.
The scene around me looked like some kind of scene from a war movie. My car had shed glass shards, a bumper, shredded bits of metal, and even a wheel over a wide area. All three lanes of traffic on that side of the road had stopped. The cars sat lined up twenty feet away like some kind of urban front line row of tank. I saw the drivers' faces and wondered if they could see my arms and legs. I didn't try to follow their eyes. I couldn't focus my mind, freaked out, jarred by the accident, worried about my sister, and confused by my sense of sight. I always thought it would be horrible to be blind. Now I can't see myself, but I can see everything else. How could it be worse to see nothing at all?
I left. There's no proud way for me to say that. I suppose a scientific mind would have gone to the first car, bent over the side mirror, and checked for a reflection. But with the screaming of metal still burning my ears, I limped out of the road. I wanted to know if Esa was okay. But what good would it do me to go to the hospital? I still won't know if I'm dreaming or not. I just wanted to get far away. So I limped along.
I aimed for the Walnut Street Bridge, the most peaceful place I know. In fact, I shot most of my last moviethere. Now, I wanted that peace on a disastrous day. Maybe if I can get away physically, I'll be able to get away mentally. I don't think that there's a river in the world that could be as wide and slow as the Susquehanna, and, when you're in downtown Harrisburg, it's never far away.
I hurried there faster than my body wanted. When I reached the bank, standing beside a peeling bench in a half-acre park, I bent over with my chest heaving, gasping for breath. My ankle throbbed still, and I still had to keep spitting the blood out every now and then. As I bent over the water, I felt woozy. The always-slow flow of the river had come to a stop in the sheltered nook before me, a small pool of still water, easily reflective.
Heart pounding as I struggled to believe my sight, I glanced nervously around me. A hedge row of bushes partially protected me from any prying eyes that might come along. But seeing no one, I unzipped my jeans. I stepped out of them and my boxers, then looked into the water again. I saw nothing reflected but the sky above.