Flash Fiction Friday – As In A Mirror, Dimly

He looks down and sees the wreck that used to be his car. He remembers being inside when that happened, though vaguely. Now, his mind is fixed on his current position. He is outside and flying. An ethereal feeling overcomes him, and his mind shifts back to events from minutes (hours?) ago.

They fly down the road at unimaginable speeds, unable to keep their eyes off each other and, thus, on the road. He’s driving, but she pulls his face toward hers and kisses him deeply. “We only live once,” she says.

From a time earlier than that, he remembers a syringe. He doesn’t know what’s in it, but he doesn’t care. “After all,” he says. “We only live once.” The pin prick lifts the hairs off his arms, as the needle enters his body. He feels a flush of warmth in his veins, and then he sees intensity.

He’s back in the car, and the car is still moving. Her hands grace the side of his face, as they kiss. His hand caresses the inside of her thigh. He sees movement out of the corner of his eye, and pulls himself away from heaven, but it’s too late.

In his mind, he’s much younger now. A monster chases him through his house, the stench of alcohol heavy on the monster’s breath. He hides in a closet, clutching his knee in fear. He hears a sound outside and the closet door is yanked open with force. On the other side is the monster, eyes half-closed, holding a long leather belt. The monster brings the belt down over and over, racking him with a constant stream of pain. And for each tear that falls, the belt falls harder.

The car strikes something (A post? A sign? A pole? He has no idea.) and comes to a crashing halt. He feels himself lift out of his seat and fly forward. His head collides with the windshield, and the glass is no match for the forceful impact. He feels the window buckle and shatter, and his momentum doesn’t break.

He’s 18 and he’s packed a bag. Screw this, he thinks and walks out. His mother is dead—killed by the monster—and if he doesn’t escape, he won’t be far behind. His brother lives a few hours away.

But, he doesn’t find his brother. His brother is dead—an overdose. He does, however, find his brother’s ex. And she’s wonderful. They spend alcohol-fueled nights together after drug-fueled days. They exist by one motto: you only live once.

He is flying again, above the wreck that used to be his car. He wonders about the girl. He can’t even remember her name. So strange. He wonders if he loved her. He has no clue. The monster had always told him that he loved him. But, that love was accompanied by pain and torment. He wonders if he even has a clue what love actually is.

He wonders what it all means. Not the wreck, per say, but everything else. Life. He doesn’t have long to think about it, though. He’s beginning his descent. You only live once, he thinks, but only for a second. He meets the ground with a thud and then nothing.

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