Friday, February 26, 2010

100 Yards

A response to Suzanne Young's "Friday Funkday" in Flashy Fiction.

There was a time when I wouldn't have cared why she was here, I just would have been happy to see her. But now... now she needed a damn good reason.

"You'd better start talking or I'm gone," I said, looking back at my car.

She smiled and said, "Is that any way to talk to someone who's about to save your life?"

She'd always been cryptic and I found it endearing once, but not any longer. I turned to go. Even a reverse commute back into the city ran into traffic over the Bay Bridge.

"Wait..." she said and looked down at her watch, "four seconds. About one football field or twenty car lengths. I'll be here later if you change your mind."

I wasn't likely to change my mind. I slipped behind the wheel and tried not to think about her. Would it have been better to stay and deal with her nonsense so that I didn't spend the drive back remembering the way we'd been. As I slowed through the FastTrak lane, I realized I still thought about her. Only a few cars lined up at the metering lights and I jabbed the seek button. Mostly talk radio, I finally found Shawn Mullins's Lullaby and I sang along as I accelerated.

The bass line of the song sounded offkey. Perhaps, that was why he'd been a one-hit wonder. I heard a crack of thunder and I looked around. The skies were blue. Red tail lights. I slammed on my brakes and looked to the lanes to either side of me but they were full of breaking cars. I missed the car in front of me and we all came to a complete stop.

After fifteen minutes, I scanned the radio for any news. I didn't hear anything. I got out of my car and asked the man leaning on the door of his truck with the advertisement Jake's Construction, "What happened?"

"Bridge collapsed, just before Treasure Island."

I looked up at the hill of Treasure Island and walked between the lanes. There were other people squeezing forward as well, but no one spoke. I looked down at the edge and saw the tip of a car's roof still above water.

My phone buzzed and I looked at the text message. "100 yards".

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