Back To Darkness Now

The sirens wailed; the waves of their sound propagating in
every which direction, inundating the surrounding air with deafening sonance. The
road was wide and busy, stretching on for miles, seemingly endless. The
squadron, threatening as it was, forced other vehicles on the road to swerve
out of its way; veering abruptly to the sides of the road to avoid impact. The
cars traveled in near perfect unison, slicing through the warm, still air of
that summer day. They did so, in pursuit. In unrelenting chase.

Leading this armada was a lone vessel, one that is blatantly
different from the rest. One that was attempting, and struggling, to evade
capture. Its driver, no older than twenty, was panting uncontrollably. Frantically
and hurriedly, with the bed of his index finger, he wiped away the pool of
sweat that had collected on his forehead, dripped onto the sides of his face.
He squinted; a teardrop had slid into his left eye. Periodically, he’d
worriedly look over his shoulder, tilting his neck to look back, and tilting it
back again, moving so swiftly and suddenly his vertebrae would snap in protest.
He did this incessantly, as if his pursuers would disappear,
vanish into the summer heat. His foot weighting down the acceleration pedal so
forcefully, so mightily that it was as though cement had solidified over it. In
doing so, he squeezed out every last horsepower his fluttering engine had to
give. It purred and hissed, as if apologizing for its less-than-favorable
His heart pounded in his chest. Pulsing like, he thought, it
had never done before. It amazed him that, after beating that way for so long,
it hadn’t degenerated into a trembling, twitching mass, given out on him. Let
him die. Spared him the torturous agony of his existence. It beat so fast it
was as though, if it beat any faster, it would burst out of his body in one
gushing surge of blood. It did, mostly, not for fear of capture, but at the realization
of what he done. The full magnitude of his act struck him, shocked him.
He sat there, palpitating. His mind lay suspended vaguely at
the midpoint of, on one side, the awe of his deed and the bitterness, the
heartache on the other. At times, it would change position. Sporadically, one side
would overpower the other. The thick, wounding smoke of sorrow and the
breathtaking flood of astonishment taking turns consuming his thoughts.
Torturing him.
 The harsh reality of his futile attempt did not escape him, either. There was no escape. Not for
him. Not on this highway. He knew, was certain, that they’d get to him.
His determination, his resolve, his conviction to not get
captured, even to the drivers of the vehicles trailing him, seemed admirable. After
all, what he had done was, to most people’s sensibilities, entirely
justifiable. Commendable, even. It dawned on them that, put in the same
situation, they would’ve done the same. They’d imagined themselves in his shoes
and decided that it was very unfortunate that they were tasked with running him
down. In fact, given the chance, they would let him be. They pitied him, almost
as much as he pitied himself. One of life’s many injustices, they halfheartedly
In the distance, slight buildings, trees and pedestrians
materialized. A small town.  They had out-driven the highway. It wasn’t endless after all. Gradually, the wide
highway funneled into a narrow patch of road that, soon, gave rise to an even
narrower road. For a moment, a bench far away caught his eye. A woman sitting
atop it, her face buried in a book. He envied her. Her calmness, serenity.
He wiped his forehead again.
It wasn’t long before he, his car and the others were in the
centre of town, trespassing on its peaceful grounds. Their collective bolting
by drew all manner of apprehension from the townspeople. Bystanders, startled,
cringed away at the sound of the traveling fleet, its menacing speed. Havoc.
The road, once a beeline, free of curves, was now a winding path.
It gave the lone driver ample opportunity to engage in elaborate maneuvers
along the ever-bending track. With every curve he’d gain distance away from the
cars behind him. With every curve, he’d gain ground. A tiny glimmer of possibility
shone, only to be abated shortly.
Not far ahead of him, a little boy, not more than half a mile
away, scurried across the street, chasing after a marble of his that had
rolled out of his reach. Wholly unaware of the approaching cars, their speed,
that they could kill him. In an earnest attempt to avoid driving over the boy,
he steered away from him, as quickly and as acutely as his quivering hands
would allow. The car banked sharply. It flipped, perpetually and of its own
ability, side over side, tossing the driver from his seat to the roof and back
again, his head thrust against the metal roof and frame repeatedly. A thud rang
out every time it did.
Ultimately, as if finally content with the extent it had
clobbered itself and its driver, the car lost momentum, finally resting a
remarkable distance away from the road.
Everything blurred, vanishing into nothingness. All the
sadness that had crushed his soul, all the tantalizing thoughts of what might
have been, all the pity he had for himself, every morsel of anguish that had
ate away at his being, all the shame and regret,  disappeared. Blended into oblivion. Faded to
A single, faint sound pierced through the darkness, drenched
in reluctance. “You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to …”
Back to darkness now.

One comment

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how what seems to be of insurmountable importance in one moment can turn to nothing in the next.

    I've read this one before, and yet I thoroughly enjoyed reading it again.

    Bravo, Sami.

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