Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prompt: Surviving the accident

Warning: injured child survivor in immediate aftermath of car accident

[This is the opening scene of a movie script that’s been rummaging around my brain for years. I’ve always seen this scene from the rescuers’ POV. I really really want to write this movie. If only I could figure out a couple of key points… Then maybe scenes like this one would quit playing on my internal movie screen…]

She heard a continuous car horn blaring and a low moan. Wait. That was her voice. Her eyes were closed, and her head was dropped down with her chin on her chest. She felt kind of numb, but in a weird way, like there was a big feeling just beyond her reach. She opened her eyes a crack and snapped them shut. No! she screamed inside her head.

A slender black rod pierced her chest at the sternum, through her upper right lung, and out between the ribs on her side, behind her arm. It was jammed into the seat behind her, suspending her. If she kept her breath shallow and slow, she didn’t lose consciousness. When she forgot and drew a breath to cry out in pain, agony blossomed across her upper body. Her head dropped forward again as darkness claimed her once again.

“Kat? Can you hear me?” A man’s voice. Not her father’s. She heard fear and strain in his voice, and knew she wasn’t supposed to. “Kat?”

She licked her lips and moaned again as she tried to lift her head. She turned a little to the right, and he said sharply, “No! No, Kat, look over here, honey. Look at me, okay?”


Her eyes snapped open. Sean. Without moving her head, she could see his legs and left hand. Still. He never sat still. His hand lay open, palm up on the seat. She twitched her fingers, wanting to touch him. She felt the numb-before-the-pain warning and froze. She couldn’t move.

“Sean,” she croaked. She remembered and started to draw in a breath to cry out.

“Kat, stay with me, honey. Look over here, Kat,” the man’s voice had lost the slight tremor of fear she heard before. Now she heard the urgency, his desperation to spare her. Too late. She had been reaching for him when the rods flew through the windshield.

“Sean,” she whispered again, barely audible.

A water bottle appeared at her lips, tilting up so she could sip without moving her head.

“Honey, stay still as you can. We’re gonna get you out of there,” the man said. He pulled away and she heard his voice change, louder and harsher, as he shouted, “Where’s Superman?”

Superman? Kat’s head dropped forward and rolled to the right. She closed her eyes tight so she wouldn’t see Sean. It didn’t matter. She knew.

“Superman’s here!” she heard in the distance. Then the man at her side, “Finally,” but it wasn’t meant for her. He leaned in again. “Kat, you still with me sweetheart? You’re gonna be okay now.” As she opened her eyes, his shoes disappeared from her view. She heard voices talking, too low for her to hear the words.

Different shoes appeared. Dark work boots. The new person crouched, warm hands covering hers. The other man hadn’t wanted to touch her. He hadn’t wanted to be there.

“Hi there, Kat. Let’s get you out of there, okay?” His voice was deep and warm, too. No fear. No desperation. She rolled her head a little to the left and looked up. He wore black jeans and a green plaid flannel shirt. The top button was open, and at his neck she saw a glint of silver. Superman?

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

Buffy: Once More With Feeling soundtrack

Time writing:
~40 minutes

September word count:

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