Author's Note: This story was written as a 1000 word short story for school
It was spectacularly sunny, that morning. Brushing aside his thick brown hair, he adjusted the rear view mirror and slowly pulled out of the driveway. The crisp autumn air ruffled browning leaves and the sky was a clear blue with just a hint of a cloud on the horizon.
He smiled as he saw the children playing in the streets, hearing a cacophony of squeals permeating the air. He wistfully reminisced the days when his own daughter was of their age and would skip through the streets with her friends. Now, she was always weighed down by school, the changes of adolescence having turned her moody. She wasn't his little girl anymore.
He carefully nudged the accelerator, the shiny black car crawling slowly, as to avoid the unpredictable children. He manoeuvred his way out of the street and turned into an empty road. The car picked up speed.
A vibration in his pocket. A pushed button and a voice sounded. He answered. A serious conversation ensued. Another button was pushed. The phone landed next to the accelerator.
A grey cloud festered in the sky above.
"—the car didn't stop?"
"Witnesses say it drove off. Silver car, though. Blond driver."
"Have the police been informed?"
"They're en route right now."
The door opens. A stretcher is lowered.
"Broken ribs, fractured leg, severe head trauma," a paramedic recites. "She's unconscious."
"None. A Jane Doe."
"The police have arrived."
"And in breaking news, a third hit-and-run has occurred in the northern suburb of Lilydale, injuring a twenty-one year old male pedestrian. The victim sustained several broken ribs and a broken arm. He was admitted to Saint Mary Hospital and is in a stable condition. Witnesses described the car of unknown make as black, with a dented front, and being driven by a Caucasian man, with dark brown hair. Poli—"
A trembling hand turned off the radio, and adjusted the rear view mirror. In the unflattering light of the hospital parking lot, the man looked gaunt and nervous. His brown hair, now peppered with grey, was dull and flat. A slight sheen of sweat was visible across his nose, despite the cool evening. He stepped out his car and noted the dented front and the scratched black paint. He sighed, and with a familiar heavy push against the unoiled doors, entered the hospital.
He drove his black car down the quiet street. Sunlight filtered through the trees that towered overhead, casting grey shadows on the rough road. The worn tyres of the car crunched over the dry autumn leaves that carpeted the road. Lost in his melancholy, his surroundings eluded him.
"Your daughter is in a coma."
The car slowed slightly, the driver's mind elsewhere.
"She sustained several serious injuries. Severe head trauma, broken ribs. One of her lungs was punctured."
A shock of platinum hair exited a house at the end of the road.
"She is currently on life support. I'm afraid there's nothing more we can do."
A flash of red lit up the world as a screech permeated the air. The car accelerated.
Head trauma. Broken ribs. Life support. Nothing more.
A screech, a crash, a crunch. The car stopped.
A shape was laying spreadeagled in front of the car, limbs askew, a shadow cast upon its face.
The doors that lined the road opened as a black car with a dented front drove off in a screech of burning rubber.
"A fourth hit-and-run has occurred in Lilydale, injuring a thirty-three year old pedestrian. The male victim sustained severe head trauma and two broken ribs. He was admitted to Saint Mary Hospital and is in a serious condition. The involved the car of unknown make was described as black, with a dented front, and was driven by a Caucasian man, with dark brown hair. This is the fourth in a string of systematic hit-and-runs that have plagued Lilydale over the past three weeks. Police are asking for anyone with information on these malicious attacks to come forward."
He's visiting again—rather, as usual.
I can feel him next to me, holding on to my hand as if to pull me back from the dark unknown. He gently tucks the blanket around my chin as if I were still his baby girl. I can hear him whispering in my ear, sweet nothings and desperate pleas for my heavy eyelids to peel back and reveal the blue he'd always loved. I can feel his anguish, a dark and bitter warmth, radiating off him.
I wish I could see him, one last time. I wish I could tell him 'I love you', once for every time I didn't but should've. I wish I could tell him that everything would be alright.
But I can't.
There was little sunlight today, unhappiness invading his heart. Silver clouds were the only colour in the dull sky that blended with the dark horizon of metal and glass towers.
"The extent of the damage is severe."
A shadow flickered over the man's face. The hiding sun was behind the growing clouds.
"I think,"—a pause—"it's time to let her go."
He looked down at the coloured dots gliding down the grey lanes, the dark crowns of people going about their daily lives.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Flatline.
His daughter, an insignificant body and a patterned dress, was lying on the road, on the ground below. She was in her white bed, in his heart, in a better place. She was standing next to him, holding his hand, as he stood on the edge and felt his feet take the first step.