Author's Note: Okay, so here is another short story. I don't think it came out as light-hearted as I wanted and this comment may confuse some of you as you are reading this story, but I'll explain at the end. Second, thanks for reading my short story. Third, I know I should be updating Tears of Blood and I said November sometime, but it turns out, school intervened. I have 5 essays and a project due all by next Wednesday, so it's safe to say I'll be stressed out and have no time to write in Tears. However, December, with the exception of work and a single exam, I have off and I have written one scene in the next chapter so it's not like I have nothing done and I'll have time to write more. This short story was one of those spur of the moment sort of thing and I wrote in less than an hour, so it's okay. Anyways, read, review and enjoy.
Thatcher's Creek was one of those small towns that existed only as a pit stop as those who were travelling on Interstate 11. People drove in and drove out, never staying for more than a few days. Those who stayed longer got stuck in the pit and never seemed to be able to get out. The children of Thatcher's Creek watched families, couples, and loners come into town and imagined what their lives were like wherever they lived and the children always vowed to never get stuck in this town like their parents had. The town's only attraction was the gas station, a small, rickety motel and maybe even Old Missus Lillian's Ice Cream Parlour.
Currently, the only excitement in the town was at The Creek Gas Station where some college kids had stopped to fill up their tank of their Ford Explorer. They were on a road trip apparently. They were six Canadian kids from Toronto driving down to California; four girls and two guys. Their faces were alit with excitement. They exuded exuberance and blitheness. Some of the locals heard them talking about forgetting their worries during their weeks off. They were laughing, joking and living in the moment.
None of them worried about exams or essays or reading. School was pushed out of their minds. This was a time to relax and forget their problems. Forget a recently broken relationship, forget family problems, and to forget about working until they were bone-tired so they could pay of tuition. It was clear they loved each other. They were a family of their own. There were no clear, defined relationships between themselves. They flirted recklessly with each other and the locals.
Their two weeks of freedoms were almost up and they would be returning back to their normal lives. They'd go back to studying law, psychology, teaching, physics, and comedy. Yes, one of them was planning on being a comedian for the rest of his life. He already performed in clubs apparently and had made more than a few jokes about the residents of the town. The others laughed as if the comments had been hilariously funny.
They were sober, but one could never tell for sure. They got high off one another. They were blissfully oblivious to everything but themselves. Their faces glowed with happiness and summer tans. The oppressive heat didn't affect them. All they saw was clear blue sky, warm sunshine and the fluffy clouds which switched forms without haste.
They paid for gas, lottery tickets and candy. They argued jokingly about who had the winning ticket and what they would do when they won the money. One of the girls cried out "shot gun" and ran towards the front passenger seat of their SUV while the others claimed that they should have been the ones to sit up front. With more half-hearted grumblings, they all climbed in and blasted the radio.
They were in and out of town like a faint, cool breeze. The bright light of their optimism left with them as the children in the town wished that they could leave the town as easily as the college students had. They drove away without a second thought of the town. They danced in their seats to the familiar rhythm of whatever song the radio was playing and belted out the words with carefree abandonment. Ten minutes away from Thatcher's Creek, on the two-lane road that led to the Interstate, they had settled down to conversations when the girl in the front shrieked, "I won!"
Her shriek startled the others. One of the girls in the back spilled her drink. She hastened to clean the mess while the others laughed as their heartbeats returned back to normal. The girl who shrieked remained in shock and chattered on in disbelief over winning. The driver cursed about staining his new car. He turned back to try to see the damage when the girl with the lottery ticket shrieked again. This time she was accompanied by a loud toot of a trucker's horn.
The SUV had gone into the opposite lane. The driver snapped his attention back to the road and cursed more viciously as swerved to avoid the oncoming eighteen-wheeler. The occupants of the SUV were jerked to the right side of the car and screamed as they realized the wheels were not longer gripping the road. The SUV rolled over several times, as SUVs were known to do, before it crashed to a stop, upside-down in the ditch beside the road.
It had only been for a few minutes that they had all been unconscious. They gradually awakened, stunned and groggy. They were startled to find themselves suspended in air, kept in their seats by the seatbelts. Blood dripped down from a numerous different minor wounds, but everyone was okay. Shaken up, but they would survive. The guy in the back released his seat belt and felt to the ground, ignominiously.
Brought on by relief and possibly the blood rushing to their heads, since most were still hanging upside down, they broke down into hysterical laughter, even as tears streamed steadily down some of their cheeks. The guy on the ground noticed something else was mingling with the blood pooling on the ground. He drew the conclusion too late and the others didn't even realize something was wrong before a spark ignited.
The medics and people from Thatcher's Creek would always remember one thing clearly for years afterwards when recalling their arrival on the scene: The smell of gasoline in the summer heat.
Okay, so I never said it was a happy story. I wanted it to remain light-hearted until the end, but I didn't have time to draw everything out and it didn't come out as light-hearted as I wanted to. I know normally I write romance stories and even my sad/twisted ones have some romance in them with the exception of Fala, but sometimes I feel like ditching the whole romance concept and do something nothing to do with love. This one is friendship though. I don't know if anyone else will get this quite as I do. It's weirdly personal and Anne, I bet if you read this it remind you of our group. Maybe not. Inspiration for this? White Houses by Vanessa Carleton. My last line is out of her lyrics and so she spurred this whole story. So review and let me know what you think, even if it's to say it makes no sense or is pointless, okay? Flawless Storm.