Bounce.

I'm blind.
Consumed by a blackness that seems to reach the unfathomable corners of the Earth.
I am injured.
But i can't feel the pain.
I am not alone.
But my companion is dead.
But then- i'm Bounced.

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4. End.

          This time, I was thrust into the back seat of a car. It was night outside, and music blasted through the speakers above my head. In front of me were two girls.

            “No,” I said.

            They were laughing at a joke I hadn’t heard, and in the rear-view mirror I saw that it was me in the driver’s seat. I brought a cigarette to my lips.

            “No.”

            “I’m glad I got you to come out tonight, Em. Like I said, you need to loosen up!” the passenger said, and as she did, she waved her arms about her head and laughed hysterically. Drunk.

            “You’re right!” The other me said, “I totally do.” At this point she opened up the window and screamed down the desolate road that lead home. “COME AND GET ME BITCHESSSSSS! WOO!”

“No.”

The passenger leant over to take the wheel as I waved my arms out of the window and screamed; my sequin studded knit-top glistening in the sparse moonlight. I began to feel nauseous. The passenger was still laughing hysterically.

“This has got to be the best way to drive a car!” she said, and proceeded to spin the wheel this way and that, making the car veer back and forth across both sides of the road.

“Maggie! Stop that!” The other me cried, stifling more drunken laughter as she once again took the wheel.

“What?” I cried, the real me, the dead me. The passenger was Maggie… “No.”

It was so sudden, my death. This scene, this tiny, significant nugget of my life was over so quickly, that I barely registered that it was the end. The memories of the night flooded back; I had been out with Maggie, clubbing, drinking, smoking and had left with more booze in my veins than blood, only to take the wheel of my father’s car, with only a learner’s permit in my pocket.

And then there was an ear splitting crash, and I was lifted from my seat and thrown forwards, smashing through the glass that sliced my skin like a scalpel as I reached out for my other self to save her from dying with me.

I landed on the ground in front of the mangled car, and stared at myself as I stumbled out of my seat, screamed once, for help, then fell. Dead.

This world didn’t die, I did. I wept and cursed and spun and attacked the air and the earth. I scratched at the car and kicked at the pole that had killed me and ran over to myself and stood there. I let the tears drop onto my pale, blood stained face and watched as they evaporated, as if I’d never been here at all.

“Take me back, take me back, take me back!” I shouted, “do it!”

“You know I can’t,” came the answer, whispered in my ear, though there was no one there.

“Then you had better explain what the HELL has happened to me.”

“You’re body has died.”

“You said I wasn’t dead.”

“You are not, but you are just a spirit, a breath of your former self. Let me take you back to… what you might call, the afterlife.”

Once again I was Bounced, but i didn’t let a whisper escape my lips as I landed back into the thick darkness.

“This is the afterlife?” I whispered, and as I rested my hands on the floor to stand, I felt tarmac through the familiar pool of blood. I was back where I had started. “I have to spend the rest of my- existence, next to the dead me?”

“Not necessarily.” I did not speak, but waited for her to explain, too exhausted, to confused perhaps, to form questions on my tongue. “What I have just been demonstrating to you, the Bounce, is the rest of your existence. You can go wherever you want to go, within your own timeline.”

“And if I chose not to,” I gulped, “to- visit my own timeline- then what?”

“Then you truly will have to spend the rest of your existence at the end of your timeline, as through your dead eyes; dark.”

Then, I heard footsteps, those of heels, walking away from me.

Wait!” I cried, “What is this? What are you?”

The footsteps stopped, and the woman answered, “I am the End.”

“What, like… God?”

She chuckled softly, “There is no God, there is no Heaven and Hell. There is just you and your own timeline. Then there is me, the End.”

“…The End?”

“The End of life, the End of love, the End of pain, if I should so choose. The End of laughter, the End of all that you have ever known. Your vice is your timeline, that you may travel through at will.”

“Tell me how,” I murmured.

The footsteps came closer, and I cringed as I felt a soft hand caress my cheek, and lips brush against my ear, with the soft breeze of a whisper, “You already know.”

And of my own volition, of my own desperation to escape, to be as far away from my death and the End as I could, I Bounced.

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