Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Accident

“Are you sitting down?” my daughter asks. Those are her first words after I answer the phone.


“You need to sit down.”

“Okay,” I say. My heart has gone from a trot to a thundering gallop in the space of a pregnant pause. “I’m sitting,” I say, a lie, and I am feeling my way to the sofa like a blind man, feeling my way past the piano and coffee table. My wife and daughter left about thirty minutes ago; my wife was driving my daughter to her TCC class.

“There was an accident,” my daughter says.

“Are you okay? Mom? Did something happen to mom?” I ask. My hand is trembling and I’m having a hard time holding the phone.

“It was a drunk driver,” my daughter answers. “He ran the light at 51st and Memorial. The van is destroyed.”

I don’t care about the van. I realize that my left hand is clenched; I open it to see a mark of red where one of my fingernails drew blood. “Where are you?”

“We’re at the hospital. The emergency room.”

“In god’s name, honey, is mom okay? Can I talk to mom?” I can hardly hear my own voice for the pounding of my heart in my ears.

“I thought it would best if I called,” my daughter says. “Mom’s no good at telling stories. She doesn’t know how to build tension.”


“We just have some burns from the airbags,” she says, the intensity now gone from her voice. “Police said we should come here to the emergency room just in case. Looks like I’m going to miss my Creative Writing class.”

I don’t yell. I’ve been focused on composure and trying to remain calm and I hang onto this. My hands still tremble, but only as an aftereffect. “Honey. Dear,” I say. I really want to hurt her for putting me through this and I think I know how. “Do you know what an anticlimax is?”

Not a true story...I just wrote it and posted it on my blog for fun. #flashfiction. I hope you enjoyed it.