The International Writers
swooped into her 1999 Ford Fiesta, slammed the door, and started
the engine all in one fluid motion. Like yesterday morning she had
gotten out of bed on the third buzz of her alarm clock and hurriedly
showered and dressed for work. Like yesterday, she had twisted her
chestnut hair into a pony tail, and swept the lashes framing her
not quite green, not quite yellow eyes with black mascara before
scooting out the door briefcase in hand. Like yesterday,
she hadn't gotten to finish her cup of coffee before she was thrust
into the day.
She didn't know
it as she swooped down the driveway and sped onto the road with the
radio blaring. In fact, Natasha expected a completely ordinary day,
until she was half way to work, and noticed something moving in the
corner of her vision when she checked her rear-view mirror to change
The shape of a person's elbow protruded from the back seat of the car.
Natasha gasped, and the elbow retreated. An unfamiliar face popped up
in the mirror in it's place.
Small brown eyes, like the empty glass of a teddy bears gaze stared
at Natasha's shocked expression.
"Keep driving." The command was low and dangerous not
the kind of statement that you questioned.
Natasha's foot felt numb on the pedal as she looked from the road to
her unwelcome guest.
"Don't look at me," he warned. "Just keep driving."
The steering wheel in front of Natasha became an object to steady her
shaking hands. "Who are you?"
"As far as you're concerned, I'm God. I decide what happens here,
now shut up and drive."
"Please, I just want to go. You can have my car. Just let me get
out here, and I promise you can have the car."
"So you can go and tell the police your car has been stolen?"
The question was more of a prediction, as if he had already decided
what would happen if he let her go. "I have to see this through
to the end."
"I promise no one will know you stole it. Just let me go,"
Natasha begged, her voice fighting to break free from strangled vocal
Natasha went silent. She heard the sound but didn't want to know where
it came from. However, her brain did what came naturally, and sifted
through items it could recollect that made that noise. It didn't take
long to rest upon a close fit. A gun hammer had been cocked.
Cold metal pressed roughly against her scalp and suddenly the situation
was very real and very scary. A sob escaped her as her mind repeated
to itself over and over, It's okay, it's okay, it's okay. The problem
was that while you might be able to trick other people with words, you
could never really fool yourself. Okay, it's not okay. We need a plan
B, her mind asserted. Plan B was to live, and to find a way that was
possible, which wasn't as easy as it sounds when you had cold steel
pressing hard against your skull.
The man seemed satisfied with Natasha's compliance, so he stopped pushing
the gun barrel so firmly to her skull, resting it against her hair instead.
'He can't kill me, he needs me to drive,' Natasha told herself, but
what if he didn't need her to drive? She didn't know this man. She couldn't
say what he was capable of. Would he just shoot her through the brain
and resume the driving?
Where was he going any way? Just the thought of it tore another sob
from Natasha. She bit down on her lip, trying to curb her fear. She
slowed down, rolling towards a red traffic light. Her eyes shifted towards
the door. Would she have time to open it, roll out and take off before
he shot her?
The mans eyes looked at the door and he pushed down the lock,
apparently guessing accurately Natasha's contemplation. From behind
the head rest he spat at her, "Do you think this is a game? Do
you think I wont use this?" To demonstrate exactly what 'this'
was, he pulled the gun away from her head and smacked it into the side
of her face, snapping her head to the side.
Natasha didn't know whether it was blood or tears trickling down the
side of her face; it was both. Before she could stop herself, Natasha
cried out, "Why me? I don't even know you."
The gun shook as the man laughed bitterly. "You think this is about
you, don't you?"
Natasha shook her head, though she had been thinking it was an extreme
way to try and meet someone. And he was right, she wouldn't have bothered
with him; he wasn't her type.
"Do you know what this is about?" There was a fire in the
mans voice. What ever it was that made him angry enough to do
this obviously made him irrational; Natasha wasn't sure she wanted him
to talk about it.
In the absence of an answer to his question, the man explained bitterly.
"This is about you, me and everyone else. Everyone is so caught
up in themselves that they really don't have time to say hello any more."
Yes, and this will made every one want to stop and ask you how you're
doing, Natasha thought with sarcasm.
The man's chest was heaving, his rage coming in angry gasps.
"Where are we going?" Natasha asked meekly. If she knew where
they were going, then maybe she could predict her fate though
she knew the most likely outcome was not the most desirable one.
"I'll ask the questions. Turn right at the next street."
Natasha did as she was asked. The street was empty, except for one car
that was parked to the side. She could see the end of the street now,
causing a panic in her chest when she realized where they were headed.
Tomb stones were lined up neatly. Natasha made a point of avoiding cemeteries.
When her Aunt Patricia died a year ago, she hadn't gone to the funeral,
instead she had planted a tree in memory of her. That way she could
remember her with a symbol of life, instead of going to a place full
of death and sadness.
"Pull up at the end of the street," the man ordered.
Natasha wanted to close her eyes and pretend this wasn't happening.
She wanted today to be just the way yesterday was, because that way
she knew what to expect. The only thing missing from yesterday was an
As Natasha pulled up outside of the cemetery, the man whose name she
didn't want to know got out and ushered her along. "Try to run
away and I promise you I wont hesitate to shoot you in the back,"
he threatened coldly.
Natasha walked along, complying with his demands for now. She was aware
she was running out of time, and willed her mind to think.
The man stopped in front of a grave. 'He brought me here to kill me,'
Natasha thought, her stomach a dead weight inside of her.
"Look," the man demanded, turning her head roughly towards
a grave stone marked 'Angelique Olsen. 1981-1999.'
To Natasha it was just a name. A name that sounded only vaguely familiar.
She did a quick calculation. This woman would have been eighteen when
"What does this make you think," the man asked, gesturing
to the grave site.
Natasha shrugged, dumbfounded.
"Really, really think," the man challenged, keeping her head
pushed towards the headstone. "Angie Olsen?" He offered to
jolt her memory.
There was only one person Natasha recalled ever knowing with the name
Angie. "I went to school with a girl called Angie. She was in my
home room class for two years straight."
"You remember her?" The man asked, his voice crackling with
"She was really quiet. I don't think I ever saw her sit with any
one. She was kind of snobby."
The man pushed Natasha to the ground beside the grave digging his fingertips
into the back of her skull. "That 'snob' was my sister. She was
very shy. She was afraid to talk to anyone." He smiled wistfully
before continuing. "She and I were very close, but I was five years
older than her, so we were at school at different times. I couldnt
save her, but she told me what it was like for her."
"It was right near the end of her final year. It took me all semester
to convince her it wouldn't be so bad to reach out and say hello to
someone first. You're right, you were in her class two years in a row
that's why she chose you. She walked over to talk to you, opened
her mouth, and you just walked right past her. Didn't even blink."
Natasha cowered on the ground. His voice was ominous. She didn't dare
speak. She hadn't realized Angie had tried to say any thing to her
though Angie was so strangely silent that she probably would have ignored
her if she had of tried to talk to her. This was the first Natasha had
heard of her even dying, and she regretted her death. Was it really
as simple as saying hello to have saved her?
"School ended and Angie felt more and more outcast. She cut her
wrists open and bled until there was nothing left. I found the note.
I think she left it for me so I could fix things. It said how she felt
like she just couldn't fit in that she was invisible. I knew
how she'd tried to talk to you Natasha she told me all about
it, about how embarrassed she was." His eyes conveyed true pain
the type of pain that never leaves you alone once you have felt
It was odd to find out you had such an impact on something you never
would have thought about.
"It's time you get a taste of your own medicine. Do you want to
see what it's like to feel that alone, buried underground because some
one was too busy to notice you needed help?" Angie's brother sounded
Shaking her head, Natasha looked at him steadying the gun at her head.
She had to do something, or else she would die. With all of her might,
she kicked at him.
He screamed in pain as the blows landed, the gun sliding from his hand.
The gun clattered to the earth, and Natasha scrambled to pick it up.
Angie's brother dropped to his knees, and their hands clasped the gun
at the same time.
The gun went off. There was an immediate splatter of blood; Natasha
could feel it running across her skin, still warm.
Her eyes widened with shock, as she felt the ringing in her ears from
Angie's brother howled in pain, and grabbed at his side, as if he could
keep everything in if he just held the hole closed. Natasha pushed him
away from her and watched him lying there, incapable of logical thought.
As his breathing became laboured, Natasha felt she had to say something.
It was obvious this man was dying in front of her. An ambulance wouldn't
get there soon enough even if she called. "I don't think your sister
will be alone any more," she whispered.
His eyes glassed up, and his breathing stopped in one big sigh; a sigh
of relief more than anything else. Natasha watched a smile spread across
his face. She was sure it had appeared after his breathing stopped.
Her heartbeat slowed down as she realized it was over, and she was still
here. She hadn't expected to come out of this alive, and yet here she
was, more alive than ever before.
© Maryann Webb June 2007
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Fiction in Dreamscapes
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