Oliver, Olly to his friends, had been driving for three months and two days when he got behind the wheel of a car for the last time. His parents had and Audi A4, but that wasn’t the car he drove. Not on your Nelly, his father had said. Do you know how much we paid for that car? No, his parents had bought him a banger, a 1986 Mini. Not one of the cool new ones. An old one. And it was a dull red colour.
The eldest in his school year, Olly had started learning to drive first. His father stuck the bright red L plates to the front and rear of the Mini and they went out two or three times a week to practice. First in an abandoned car park, then on quiet roads and finally on the busy town roads. Olly passed his theory test first time and the date for his driving test came through for January 6th, his mum’s birthday. They took it as a lucky omen and it turned out to be so as he passed with flying colours.
Four days ago, on April 8th, Olly and his girlfriend decided at the last minute to go to the cinema. It seemed pointless sitting in on a Saturday night when they could be out having fun. There was a new Johnny Depp film showing that they both wanted to see. It was cold for April and Olly had put the heat on full blast for the first few minutes. He was getting hot, his hands sweaty and he reached over to turn the heat down. His other hand slipped on the steering wheel and the car careened into the central reservation. His side of the car scraped along, sparks flying and to try and right the car he pulled in the other direction. He pulled too far and smashed into the car on his left.
Moments later he became conscious of a loud buzzing noise like an angry hornet circling his head. He tried to swat it away, but couldn’t lift his arm, or the other one.
Mel, he whispered. Mel? He winced as he turned his head to look to his left. She was sitting with her eyes closed, almost natural, apart from the dull red blood seeping from her head and neck. He closed his eyes. No, no, this can’t be happening. He opened one eye again and screamed. He was still screaming when the paramedics arrived seven minutes later.
Let’s get you home, his mother said the day he was discharged from hospital with three broken ribs and two broken arms. Four days in a hospital is enough, she said. He climbed into the passenger seat of the Audi and his mum started the engine.
Mel lay in the morgue waiting for her funeral on Friday.
Flash Fiction Diary
I had the idea for this piece when I was on holiday in New Zealand last summer, but only wrote it this week.
I've decided to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) again this year. The aim is to write 50,000 words towards a novel, or in my case towards a collection of short stories, within the month of November.
We're in week four now. I had a major dip in week two, but week three was a bumper week. Hopefully week four will continue in the same way as I've only got until Saturday to finish. Fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted!