the moment before it hit, i felt paralyzed. i couldn’t move; i felt something change in the air. the damp, midwestern wind smelled like rain. infiltrating my sinuses, it took me into a wave of nostalgia. stills of my childhood spent in this small town flooded to me, devoured me.
the pain was numbing. it seared my nerves, collapsing me. i fell to the pavement as disembodied footsteps ran to my car. missing my skull by a mere hair, the tires squealed and disappeared into the night.
my fingertips examined the damage. i felt the thick, warm, and crimson liquid trickle down my soft cotton-clad abdomen. my eyes watered with uncertainty. was this it? truly? even after a mediocre and uneventful life, i was ended by a douche with a gun and passion for pain? the beautiful consequence was all too perfect.
rain started to pour. shocked onlookers screamed in hysteria. the commotion was all too much and proved so when my ears started ringing. someone made it to my side and checked my breathing. while rolling my stiffened body over to my back, a stray rock managed to lodge itself into the exit wound. i screeched in pain, losing my voice as i started to drift into blackness.
the paramedics lifting me into a stretcher awakened me. lights blurred, voices turned into white noise, and the smell of cold water came to me. my mind was still working, still aware of every second, every moment before my death. i thought silly the strange effects this was having on my senses.
i heard the siren and felt the speed of the ambulance. a frantic woman looked at me with sad eyes, promising me that i would be okay. i attempted a smile at her depressingly optimistic oath. i knew this was the end of it all. the paranoia that i have been cursed with for years was finally proving my point all along. bad shit happens, and i would be a target of it.
i faded into darkness. i still heard everything, felt everything. i knew that i had lost my sight before the paramedics could even fathom it. i numbed, losing control of my body. i heard their voices rush into gibberish before it ended. that’s when i knew i had moments before i was gone. people who have always told me that when someone dies slowly they stop being aware of their surroundings were liars. i was completely and totally aware of everything.
i could feel the death on me. i feared it, wondering if i had picked the right religion. my brain convulsed at the idea i could be on my way to fire for eternity. i realized it was too late now. with the peace that rushed over me at my epiphany, i let go. i embraced the end and had a flash of my family happy, loving, and perfect. i tried to smile, even though i knew the emotion would not display on my face. i was content with that.
at least i knew i was smiling.
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