The car sat peacefully on the side of the hill. Just slightly off the road, it was oriented a peculiar way. Dragon’s breath poured from the inside out, dancing in the windless sky until it disappeared. The tawny fields remained silent as they watched the scene from a distance. Telephone lines snickered and zapped between the ribbons of smoke that enveloped them. A lanky man stumbled out of the box with red streamers running across his face, neck, and down his arms. He didn’t yell. He didn’t cry. He inspected the glass mosaic before crouching down at the seam of the road and the dry grass. Before reaching into his coat pocket, he smudged the red ink from his skin onto his pants. His phone emerged. Soon after he made a call, another box came trotting down the road, past the same tawny fields he was running away from. He got in and shrunk into the horizon.
A pulsing in my neck woke me up, along with a stream of blood dripping into my eyes. I felt my lungs getting weighed down from smoke with every breath I took. I had to get out. I began to reach for my seatbelt when my hands turned to static. My eyes rolled back into my head and the smoke overtook my good judgement. I was losing myself again. My hands kept buzzing but I was able to release myself from my restraint. I came crashing down onto the roof of my car, groaning as I tried to take my weight off of my neck. The passenger window was completely shattered; I kicked the rest of the glass out before shimmying my way through onto the grass. I ran my fingertips against the shattered windshield before backing away, taking in every detail. Watching the smoke that once filled my lungs disintegrate into the still sky. I ambled over to the road and sat down to call a taxi, I wrapped my bleeding hand with a rag that was shoved into my coat pocket. I sat, my mind was quiet until a black car came to a halt in front of me.
A call came in, some guy needed to be picked up on the side of the road about ninety miles outside of town. I hopped in the car and sped past the town square, past the farms, past the open plains. I was staring at the road until a black cloud caught my attention from the corner of my windshield. It wasn’t just one or two streaks, a whole trail of black dust kicking up in the distance grew closer as I got further from the world I left behind. Weaving between hills and creeks, I followed the road until I saw an overturned car, overcome with smoke and ash. A slender man in a suit was sitting on the side of the road, his hand was hovering over his beard. I pull over and the wheels shriek mildly against the torn up road. He got up without removing his gaze from the ground, and got in the car without putting his seatbelt on. We drove off. He wrapped his arms around himself.
(this is one of the stories from a book I am currently writing, hopefully the full collection of stories and poems will be published by the end of the school year.)