Looking Back

 

Above is last week’s Writer Wednesday photo prompt. Below is the story that goes with it. Enjoy!

Mandatory words: blame, earth, walking stick, picture, trap

Nate clenched the steering wheel anxiously; he was being followed. Glancing nervously back and forth between his rear and side view mirrors, he knew  these suckers weren’t going to let him go after what he’d witnessed. Nate groaned. Of all the people on earth this could happen to, he was one who stumbled into that damn alleyway. He checked the side view mirror again. Crap! They were gaining on him!

Nate pressed the gas pedal with force.  The liquor in his system threatened to make an unpleasant return as he swerved his car to a sharp left and crossed the median, merging ungracefully with the opposite side of traffic. He needed to lose them long enough to figure out how to get out of this trap.

The image of the man these loons had beaten to death came back, and Nate’s stomach lurched again.  The sound and sight of the walking stick the gang used to strike the man’s head over and over again reverberated through Nate’s mind. Bits of flesh and blood had bounced off the ground and splattered over the piles of garbage bags Nate had been hiding behind. He smelled death. These guys were out to kill and now they were after him!

He could feel the heat of their car riding his bumper and a quick check of the mirror confirmed his fears. The brute in the passenger seat was readying some sort of gun.  Blind with panic Nate punched the accelerator and jerked his car. He heard the squeal of tires and the blaring of horns as he narrowly missed crashing into the cars around him.

Nate’s chest began to tighten and he felt dizzy; the burn of vomit began rising in his belly. His finger found the window button and pushed. The rush of cool air soothed his senses for a moment. He wished he’d never gone into that damn bar. Nate knew deep down he was the only one to blame for this mess.  The last thread of his picture perfect life had been cut after his boss fired him, and he’d tried to drink away the pain of brokenness. Now he was going to die.

The roar of an angry engine pulled up alongside of Nate. He turned his head and was met with the sight of a 357 Magnum aimed at his open window. Nate’s killer cocked the gun and readied to shoot. Nate braced himself for death.

“… Mr. Robertson? Mr. Robertson?” Nate’s vision was hazy, but he could make out the white stitching against the blue polyester uniform. PARAMEDIC. Something was covering Nate’s nose and mouth and he tried to grab it off.

“Mr. Robertson. You’ve been in a terrible car accident. This is oxygen to help you breathe.”

Confused, Nate tried to remember.

“Sir, you drove your car through Rockton Bar.”

3 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. andrew

    Riveting story, the reader can really feel the anxiety and fear of the character and the brutality of those chasing him. Once again another well written piece, would definitely be a page turner if continued.

    Reply
  2. Carrie Sorensen

    I love the suspense in this piece. I’m confused about the end, though. Did he imagine it all, or did he slam into the bar before he was shot? The transition is so sharp I can’t tell and the story was so good I want to know. 😉

    Reply
    1. Leanne

      Haha! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I leave endings ambiguous sometimes so the reader can interpret how they wish. In my mind, he did go to the bar and drink too much. Ended up crashing his car into the bar and dreaming of the deadly adventure. He comes back to reality (the paramedics) the moment he’s shot in his dream.

      Reply

Your turn! What would you like to say?