Fiction Friday #5: Write the Prompt With Me!

The Prompt

Today’s prompt is from TheFakeRedHead.com. I was really intrigued by this prompt, because it kind of reminded me of Happy Death Day. Let’s see where we go with this one!

As always, 30 minutes, free-write.

Write with me! It’s so great for writers to use writing prompts to improve their writing.

Let’s do this!

The Writing

Image by Fabrizio Verrechia

“I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve died in front of me,” I said.

She rolled up her sleeves and buttoned them down before glancing up at me.

“So far twenty, but I’m sure it’ll be more before we figure this out.” She didn’t say this as if it was annoying to her that she lived a life of constant death. She only stated it.

“Come on, let’s go,” I said. “The car’s parked by that streetlight.”

We started walking, and the warmth of her body next to mine was a comfort. She was alive. She was flesh and blood. And yet she was something else entirely. Though I’d seen her break both her legs in a fall, smash her head on concrete, get in accidents, and burst into flames, she was fine for the moment. Her skin was unmarked. Even her clothes were clean. But that was because I’d brought her some.

“You know you don’t have to do this,” she said. She stared straight ahead as the shape of the car came more into view.

I didn’t respond until we both had gotten in and closed the door. I started the engine. Or tried to when it turned over a couple times and puttered out.

I sighed and laid my head on the steering wheel.

“I know I don’t have to do this,” I said. “But I want to. I’ve never…I’ve never met anyone like you. And I’m not just talking about the death thing. You’re special. And I can’t just leave you to face this by yourself.”

Cami was picking at her nails, the only place with evidence that she’d been buried alive under a pile of rubble.

I turned the key again, and this time it sputtered to life. We were rolling.

“It’s not just me,” she said after we had been driving for several minutes. Her head was turned away so I could only see her curls as they brushed her shoulder.

“Wait, there’s more of you?”

“What?” she turned then, eyebrows turned up in confusion. “No, I meant it’s not just me who’s in danger. People die around me. They get sucked into this. You shouldn’t have to deal with this in your life. It’s bad enough that I do.”

At her warning, my hands gripped the wheel tighter and my eyes shifted from side to side as if I expected a semi to run a red light right into us. Even though the roads were empty at this hour, my heart was still beating fast. What if she was right? What if she was like some sort of magnet for bad luck that couldn’t be unmagnetized?

“Jake?” she said. “Can you say something please?”

“I don’t really care,” I said.

“About…?”

“My life has always been bad luck. But since I met you, it’s gotten so much better. Good things are happening to me for the first time. I can’t just leave because I’m scared.”

“It’s more than that,” she mumbled.

“It’s not,” I assured her. “I’m scared, but there has to be something I can do.”

“Tell that to the last three doctors who tried to hold me hostage and peel my skin off to examine the cell growth.”

We stopped at a red light even though there wasn’t any cross traffic. I debated running through it, but I could see the camera hanging from the metal pole. If people were still after her, I couldn’t risk it.

As I was thinking this, a black Sedan pulled up to the street adjacent to us. Even though he had a green light, he slowed to a stop. His window was too tinted to see into. He flashed his brights at us.

Cami squinted into the darkness.

“Go,” she said.

“Wh-what?” I was still trying to see into the window. I could just barely make out gloved hands.

“Go!” Cami shouted and slapped my arm with the palm of her hand.

I gunned the gas, and we sped through the red light. The camera didn’t even flash. As we drove through, the black Sedan pulled out behind us. I was already going over the speed limit, but I pressed down harder and swerved into a side street.

“Go, Jake!”

Cami’s body was twisted as she looked through the back window towards the car. It had missed the turn I made and was having to back up before following me.

“I know what I’m doing,” I said, clenching my jaw. My knuckles were white with strain. I didn’t trust myself to be one of those crazy car-chasing maniacs I’ve watched in movies. But I knew every street in this city. I knew how to lose him.

My small car squeezed down an alleyway. I circled back towards the way we had come from. I made wild turns that didn’t make sense. I never went down the same road twice. My eyes never flashed up to check if I could see the Sedan in my rearview mirror. It wouldn’t matter. I was doing everything I could to lose him.

I stopped behind an apartment surrounded by human-planted trees that made a canopy around us and the car. There was an entrance to the highway just to our left if we had to make a quick getaway. But the night was quiet for once. Both of us were breathing hard. I blinked several times to get rid of the black spots in my vision.

“Any clue who that could be?” I asked.

Cami bit her lip. “There might be more.”

“More?” I asked, with a shaky laugh. “Like more to your story, or more to your curse?”

“Both,” she whispered.

I opened my mouth to respond when our car was rammed into from the side so hard that the car flipped and started to roll. I clenched everything, letting out a yell that I knew I would regret later. When the car rattled and stopped moving, we were upside-down.

“Cami?” I said, my voice a raspy mess.

A cloud of dust surrounded us as the airbags went off in delayed reaction. They hit my lungs so hard that for a moment I couldn’t breathe. A wheezing gasp escaped my lips. As I waved my hands to clear the air, I saw that Cami’s neck was bent at an odd angle. Blood lined her forehead. Her airbag hadn’t just gone off—it had exploded. Hunks of the car had caved in between us. I could see her, but I couldn’t pull her body through the gap.

“Cami!” I yelled.

I wrestled with my seatbelt, which came undone easily. In surprise, I caught myself just in time before crumpling to the roof of my car head-first. I examined my hands and my ripped jeans. No scratch? Not even a mark? My body vibrated with energy as my ears rang in cycles of annoying tones. My door had been ripped open and hung by a slim piece of metal.

“Cami, I’m coming,” I said, crawling on all fours to the other side of the car. “Ah man.”

The entire right side of the car was smashed in so deep I could see some of the underside. I reached for her door’s handle, but there wasn’t a handle. Only compressed metal molded into a solid form.

“No, no, no,” I said. If I couldn’t get her out, that meant I had to call someone. And if I had to call someone, they would see her lifeless body. Hospitals. Doctors. Tests.

“Hey man!” a voice called out behind me. “Hey man, are you okay?”

A big man in a white t-shirt came into the light.

As he examined my non-bloodstained body, he breathed audibly. “I’m so sorry. I was driving my truck and couldn’t brake down that hill. I saw this parking lot and thought I could use it to stop. I didn’t even see your—oh gosh is there someone still inside?”

“Crowbar,” I said. “You got one?”

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