After the Accident

 

Something about it held me there. We waited, unsure, as if there was something there in the air we could sense but not see, hear, smell or touch. It felt like something from long ago, some ancient instinct lying far below our civilised selves.

I felt Jeanine tense, her hand tightening inside mine. She reached across and grasped my upper arm with her free hand. ‘I don’t like it,’ she whispered. ‘Let’s go back.’

‘We can’t go back.’ I glanced back over my shoulder. The car was a wreck. I’d smelt petrol and I was worried there might be an explosion. As I turned I smelt smoke on the air. Something was burning. There was a small orange glow flickering inside our wrecked car.

‘We need to get away.’ My leg was stiff but I could walk on it. I let go of Jeanine’s hand and eased my arm under her, lifting her to her feet. In the light from the full moon, emerging from behind the clouds, I could see she had a cut on her forehead. ‘Are you all right?’

‘I don’t know… everything hurts,’ she said, wincing as she put weight on her ankle.

‘We need to get away… the car…’ I said. As I spoke, there was a woof like a large dog barking and everything around us lit up. I turned, feeling Jeanine twist to see too.

The car was burning now. Only minutes before, perhaps less, we’d both been sitting in those seats that were now aflame.

I turned back; pulling Jeanine close and feeling her stifle a cry. ‘We need to get away.’ I began to struggle towards the woods.

Jeanine stiffened, halted, staring off into the dark woods. ‘No,’ she said. ‘There is something in there… watching us… waiting.’

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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