Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Fire and the Steel

You're doing sixty, and you hit a patch of black ice going around a corner. It's eleven at night, and your corolla rolls the corner down into the ravine.

You can smell it, even before the car stops moving.

That sweet, acrid, castor oil and boot polish fragrance - gasoline




f i r e.

Your legs are crushed. Spine seems okay. Your kid brother is in the seat beside you - Well, bits of him. The rest is pooling around your legs, and clinging to your hair.

You didn't know where the screaming was coming from - Maybe it was you, it had started as the rending of metal as the chassis warped and tore. Maybe your kid brother still has lungs. Who knows how long they'll last.

That smell, that sweet death smell is getting hotter. Starting to vape out - Highly volatile, free to move.

You're covered in glittering fragments , like crystal scarab beetles, the hordes that come to carry you along the river styx where they'll quench your red-hot soul, lock tight the austensite lattice of sin and flesh in the dark waters. You know what they are. but the glass still cuts you just the same.

Beside you - The pedestal from the windshield, ripped out, long and jagged like a cockroach's leg with joints and serrated corners, as if you'd used a blunt can opener to trace it, then finished the job with a ball-peel hammer and centre punch

Sorta like how your head feels right now, like there's a little gnome inside ball-peening his way out. You can feel something dripping down your face. It tastes like copper, and once again, you don't know who it belongs to.

You're watching that jagged bit of metal when you see the flickering flare of yellow-red, the smoky curl, that little black finger with the bright yellow fingernail, dragged across mischmetal. Whoomph. The cheap vinyl upholstery shrivels, curls and smokes around you, tasting like salt and old tyres.

It's just out of your grasp. If you reached though, you could probably plunge the edge into your throat, like yake-ire, and let your warmth mingle with the cold, hard steel and the mellow-yellow gasoline fires, in the hope that maybe - Just maybe - You'll bleed out quietly before the fire gets to your toes.

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