A Collection of Short Stories

This is for the times when I think of an idea, that doesn't quite expand enough to make a full Movella.

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9. The Eternal Silence

The day that my parents died was also the day that my hearing died.

The date was August 19th 2001, I was nine years old. My mother, father, sister and I were driving along the motorway at about eight o'clock at night. We had been out that day at the Safari Park and were driving home. It was quite late because we had got stuck in traffic. As it was the summer holidays, lots of people were out on the roads- travelling on holiday, going for days out and general other holiday travels that mean that the roads are packed with traffic. The whole day had been beautifully sunny and warm, but dark clouds had now moved over and covered the world in a gloomy veil. Fat droplets of rain had begun to fall as we were leaving the park, and they gradually became heavier and heavier, finally growing into a fully fledged thunderstorm. Inside our car, however, we weren't letting the rain get us down. Until the lorry fell from the sky.

 

"Don't stop movin', can you feel the music?
DJ's got us goin' around, round
Don't stop movin', find your own way to it
Listen to the music taking you to places
That you've never been before Baby now"

Mother, father, my sister and I sang along to the song on the radio, laughing at our own childishness. My sister punched my arm to get me to dance along to the song. I laughed and punched her lightly back, dancing with so much energy that I'm sure the car shook. My father pressed his foot on the brake, as the queue of traffic came to a complete standstill.

"Hold on, I want to hear who sang that." My father said, leaning towards the speaker to hear better.

My sister and I looked at each other and shouted simultaneously, "S Club 7!"

Our mother turned round and laughed at us just as the radio DJ announced that the song was 'Don't Stop Moving' by S Club 7, number five of the top one hundred songs of 2001.

"You girls! I swear you know every song that has come up today." Our father looked back at us two in the back, still giggling weakly.

"It's because S Club 7 is, like, the best band ever!"  My sister said, throwing her hands in the air for emphasis.

"That is a matter of opinion." My mother said.

"No, it's a fact!" My sister rifled around in the backpack sat on the floor by her feet, eventually pulling out four CDs and brandishing them at our parents. "Look! I even have all their albums!"

"Yes, sweetie, you might be a fan, but not everyone is as crazy about them as you are." Mother laughed, turning back to the front to examine the long, unmoving traffic queue.

"I just can't get you out of my head
Boy your loving is all I think about
I just can't get you out of my head
Boy it's more than I dare to think about!"

Father began to sing at the top of his voice, bringing us out of our S Club 7 debate. We all joined in at the 'la la la' part, laughing hysterically. By the time the song finished, our voices were hoarse and we were all in fits of laughter. Also, our car still hadn't moved.

"And that was 'Can't Get You Outta My Head' by Kylie Minogue, number three of the top one hundred songs of 2001. Great, now I don't know about you folks out there, but I now can't get that song outta my head! Next up, let's have a bit of DJ Otzi with 'Hey Baby'. Everyone get those hands in the air now!" The radio DJ shouted out, followed by a little 'whoop' from my sister.

"Calm down Jess, you can't possibly love every single song on the playlist tonight!" Mother laughed at my sister, turning around to watch Jess begin to jiggle around in her seat.

Jess unclipped her seatbelt in order to dance better, and my father turned round, giving her a sharp look.

"Do your seatbelt back up, missy." His voice was firm, but he had a fond smile perking the corners of his mouth.

She bowed her head shyly and clipped her seatbelt back on, looking at me with a sideways glance. I grinned at her and gripped her hand.

"We can still dance, even with seatbelts on." I said, jiggling round myself to encourage her to dance again.

"Oh! We're moving!" Father shouted, releasing the brake and moving forward a few metres. We crawled at about 5mph for a while before he had to stop again. "Oh, well, at least we moved a bit." He looked up at the bridge just in front of us. "Come on, couldn't we move forward a little bit more, then we'll be in the dry."

Mother laughed at him. "Why does it matter? We're safe and dry in the car, and I'm sure the car won't complain too much if it gets too wet."

Jess and I burst out laughing, before Jess fell back on her seat, clutching her stomach.

"Oh, stop! I've got a stich because I've been laughing too much!" She giggled weakly, before sitting back in silence to clear her stich.

I glanced at our parents, who were leaning together, laughing softly at something one of them had said. I smiled fondly and looked at the window, up at the traffic moving on the bridge above us.

I could just about see a lorry slip and skid on the wet road of the bridge, almost feel the panic in the driver as he struggled to control the vehicle that was sliding towards the edge of the bridge. It all happened so quickly. My sister's eyes were just about to close as she went into a nap, my parent's were still swapping a fond joke between them, I was watching this lorry that was heading towards the edge.

The driver lost control of the sliding lorry, and the massive vehicle's front end hung over the edge of the bridge. In an impressive nose dive, the lorry fell from the sky and onto the front end of our car. The car flipped up, the roof smacking into the lorry. Our car bounced back down, flipping onto it's roof, spinning like a child's toy. CD's, leaflets and various other souvenirs fluttered round our heads like birds, fighting to be free of the wreckage. Almost in slow motion, the lorry began to fall onto it's roof. I screamed, throwing my head down to protect myself. I squeezed my eyes closed, not wanting to see anything. The lorry managed to just miss our upside down car, crashing down on the road next to us. However, it clipped the edge of our car, sending it into a mad spin. Our car crashed into another car, breaking my window. Jess threw herself across the middle seat to pull me away from the crushed door, but my leg was stuck. I cried out in pain, but my cry was drowned out by the sound of an explosion coming from the right. A high pitched buzzing filled my brain, and I pressed my hands to my ears, longing for it to stop. It was then that I realised that no matter how hard I pressed my hands over my ears, the buzzing was not going to go away, and no other sound would be heard.

 

Out of that night, I would forever remember seeing the lorry fall from the bridge. I would remember our car being flipped over and the paper flying round our heads like birds. I would remember our car spinning round like a child's spinning top, the window smashing and showering me with glass. I would remember my sister's last brave moment being the one where she tried to protect me. I would remember the explosion from the lorry. I would remember my parent's still bodies, and my sister's dying hand moving towards me before she too stopped moving. However, the thing that I would never forget would be the last sounds before my eternal silence.

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