Friday, August 13, 2010

Bump in the Road

Special Bonus Edition! 200-word story today because this one ended up at like 175 when I finished the first draft and I was like, "I could maim this into incomprehensibility or I could just run with it." Should I have bitten the bullet and chopped it up? Just scrapped it and tried to find a new idea? (I spent like thirty minutes planning this out on my walk home, though.) Ah, well. Call it making up time for the GenCon Void.

Welcome back, everyone, by the bye; it's nice to see you all again.


---

Clancy thought he saw something dart out into the road up ahead. He eased his foot off the gas, peering out through the windshield.

"I thought I should apologize," said a voice beside him. He nearly had a heart attack. A slender, shadow-eyed youth was suddenly in the passenger seat. "I thought I needed to live, back then. Back now, I guess. I didn't know. When you smeared me across eleven dimensions, I got really angry. I didn't understand; it's not like you suddenly 'get' everything the moment you die, you know?" The boy sighed. "I know now what I would do. Or am doing. What I had to do. Do you understand?"

Clancy shook his head.

"That's okay," said the boy. "For what it's worth, I feel really bad about what I will have already done to you. Hold on tight; there's a bump coming." He reached one foot over and stomped on the gas. The semi's engine roared in response.

Clancy caught a momentary glimpse of startled, frightened eyes in the headlights before something thudded underneath the truck. He'd just realized why the eyes looked familiar when something dark flared in the rearview.

The passenger seat was empty.

4 comments:

Loren Eaton said...

More two-hundred worders! I really liked this one. Time-shifting ghosts are quite a lot of fun.

Donna Hole said...

Yeah, I'm glad you didn't shorten it. Being flexible is good :)

This was awesome. This, and the three just before, have felt so complete. Much more so than usual.

Maybe its just me.

......dhole

The Words Crafter said...

Ah! Unexpected! I have to wonder what he's going to tell the police, assuming he tells them anything....

Scattercat said...

@Loren
I usually avoid time travel like the plague because it always makes no sense, but I am sometimes willing to tolerate total disconnection from time. Little loops and eddies can sometimes be exploited profitably.

@Donna
I can't really help. I don't think I'm doing anything particularly different or unusual lately...

@TWC
I don't think Clancy is going to be able to tell anyone much of anything in a second. Hungry ghosts...