Untitled #2

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The second of the smoking death series, about the aftermath of a car crash. An obvious possible title would be 'dying breaths', but I really like the ring of Untitled #2, which is why I've kept it.

Also, it's worth noting that I was tempted to put this in 'horror', but didn't because it's not scary as such, and isn't meant to be, but I'm aware some will find it disturbing if nothing else, so be advised.

Submitted: July 26, 2008

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Submitted: July 26, 2008

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It strikes me as unexpected, though not surprising, that it is not my dying breaths that are agonising--they are in fact rather comforting--but those of the hours, the days, and the weeks preceding that I look back on with all the horror and disgust of an amputee upon the final spasms of a dying limb. Lying in the cold damp of my blood, mingled here and there with whatever fluids escaped my car during the smash, I watch the lights of the town dim. My stricken car's headlights flicker before gutting out completely.
I should have changed those seat covers while I had the chance to enjoy them.
It's my own fault really; I shouldn't've had so much to drink at the party. Should've noticed how long it took to dig the keys from my pocket.
 
Should've swerved to avoid that cat.
 
Shouldn't've swerved to avoid that kid.
Why is it always at the most blatantly inopportune times that we decide to look back at all our regrets? Wishing that we had done things differently when quite clearly we are in no position to change them.
Coughing now. Blood. Ow that hurts. The sudden sharp realisation that there is a rather large piece of what possibly used to be the dashboard lodged in my stomach. Laughing--laughing? Good--I'd always envisaged my death to be more drawn out and dull, but this works quite nicely. It's every bit as ridiculous as could be hoped, but not nearly as realistic as could be expected.
The shrapnel in my gut catches me as I roll over. I'm torn between pulling it out, pushing it in further to get it out of the way, or leaving it, simply to see what happens. If ever there was a time for some quick-eze... Crawling back to the car, I figure that it's far more fitting to leave it in, to pull it out seems far too easy. Too convenient. A sucker's way out. Bleeding out in the attempt to alleviate some pain? No way. If I was going out, I was going out my way, and in style. And what style would be more fitting for I, who had spent so much time laughing in the face of other peoples' pain? Hell, I may as well relish it while I can.
My feet, then my legs, become cold and then begin to go numb.
Dragging myself the last few feet to the wreckage of my ancient, though once reliable car, I lift myself up into the driver's seat. The metal in my stomach snags, ripping the wound open further, the searing pain pushing me back to the ground. So much for dying breaths. It would seem they would have to wait. Feeling the acid of my stomach burning itself into my abdomen I pause, just briefly, drinking in the agony of it. I could really go for some chili right now...
I find my bag, wedged under the remnants of the glove compartment. Much where I left it. Inside its contents seem to have barely registered at all the concrete barrier that was now one with my engine. Pulling it from the car, I prop myself back against the concrete and roll a cigarette. Damned if my dying breaths will be fresh air. The tobacco is sweet with a slight tang in my mouth, I'm unsure if it's the tobacco or my own blood I'm tasting, either way it tastes good. I finish and roll another.
These dying breaths of mine are taking their sweet time, all this waiting is getting real old, real quick.
I pass the time by experimenting; first I pull the metal from my stomach about an inch, inch and a half, before pushing it back in. Then I push it in further. I repeat the experiment, trying to find where its end is in relation to my insides. That and it wouldn't be entirely a bad thing if it happened to open an artery or two on its way in. I can feel a sharp pressure at the back of my chest near my spine that tells me I had barely missed being paralysed. Shame, really. On the upside though, I'd not been completely robbed of the sensation of every torn tissue, every pierced organ, every damaged fibre of my being singing out in their perishing melody, so that in itself was something of a relief.
My hands grow colder by what I think to be pretty close to the minute. I fumble rolling my cigarette, getting blood on the tobacco. It's not an entirely unsatisfying smoke. The coppery tang rolls over my tongue and I savour it to the butt, then I roll another. Four cigarettes later and I can't lift my arms any longer to brush the ash from my wounds. I curse how long it's taking for my dying breaths to make their appearance. Surely they can't be late for their own gig?
I watch the sun lift above the trees, giving me a brilliant view of the crash that's killed me, and I'm laughing again. I laugh so hard the metal in my stomach shifts, I think this time it does get that artery.
About freaking time.


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