Monday, June 24, 2013
SHORT STORY: Clyde
Why didn’t I listen? They warned me that Clyde was not one to be reckoned with. They told me Clyde was powerful, deadly, and unforgiving. I thought I knew better, and now I am trapped in my dark home alone and with nothing to sooth my mind other than the howls of Clyde outside my home, and the relentless clawing on my walls.
I take in a short breath as I peer into the nothingness outside my window, not really knowing what I was expecting to see. I hear another roar that was followed by a loud crash; Clyde is angry and now I am paying the consequences. Will I survive this? Do I deserve to? I was given ample warning, I should have listened. Why the hell didn’t I listen?
I just wish I could…my heart stops as my window shatters along with my hopes. Without thinking I run into my windowless bathroom and lock the door behind me. I know Clyde is seeping in and infiltrating my house, but I don’t care; all that matters is whether or not I am safe. Can I survive cowering in a pitch black bathroom? Pitch black; I forgot my flashlight.
How could I, I had it in my hands. I must have dropped it amongst the shattering of the glass and my heart. I dare not go back for it; I would actually prefer not to see what awaits me should my door come splintering open to claim me. You know how they say that if you take away one of your senses, the others become stronger? I really wish that was not true. With my eyes useless in my dark tomb my ears stepped up to take on the slack; now I am being tormented by every creak, every hiss, every reminder that Clyde is on a rampage in my living room.
I am not sure how long I waited just trying not to listen, but eventually I nodded off, or perhaps passed out due to fear, but I guess I will never know the true taker of my consciousness. When I sprung to I found myself draped inside of my bathtub with every part of me aching. I slowly stood and placed my hand cautiously on the knob. Do I dare see what awaits me? Has Clyde grown tired and moved on? I test my luck.
I peer through the crack I created through the door and the frame into what can only be described as a catastrophe. Clyde ran amok and everything I owned was the toll. I panicked as anxiety took over and I ran out of the bathroom, squishing and sticking with every step. I grabbed the flashlight for whatever reason even though the sun had reemerged. Shading my eyes from the total destruction that was the remnants of my life I jumped through my tattered front door and was taken aback by what my yard had become. Chaos everywhere, why was Clyde so cruel to do this to me?
Again, failing to find the logic in the steps I took, I picked up and armful of what was ripped from one that I loved. I let the tears flow as I popped my trunk and hurled them in. Now covered in filth myself and the gooey reminder of what I lost clinging to me I sit down and let the key find the ignition through blurried eyes.
I pull out and I do not care that my car thuds over something; it’s already dead, what more damage can be done? Clyde you are a bastard. I screech around the block, not a soul in sight, and I have nowhere to even go. Just a trunk full of parts and a mind full of mess. I take to the highway, hoping to find an egress from my own thoughts.
I drove on an empty road for nearly ten miles when the first sign of civilization greeted me in the form of lights. Another car with white headlights coming up from behind. Then the white lights were joined by red and blue as the car closed the distance between us. A police officer? Here? Now?
My mind was already on autopilot and from a child we were taught to pull over when the lights came on, so that is just what I did. My heart pounding and my mind racing I sat there and awaited my judgment. He pulled up behind me and a moment later he was rapping on my window.
I rolled down the window, but could not muster any words.
“Ma’am,” he leaned in. “You know you are not suppose to be here right?”
“I,” I tried but did not really know what I could or should follow with. “The horror. The trunk, it wasn’t me.”
“What about the trunk?” He questioned as he glanced over his shoulder.
“Would you mind opening the trunk?” He already started making his way before I had to the chance to respond. I obliged his request, what else could I do. He lifted the metal hood and confusion took hold of him. He returned to my side.
“I can explain,” I tried, but he cut me off.
“Ma’am, you have a trunk full of limbs,” he stood upright.
“It was Clyde.”
“It is not safe for you to be here,” he reached for my handle and opened my door. “Please come with me.”
“It was all I had, I should have listened; I should have left.”
“This must be your first,” he placed a gentle hand on my shoulder and helped me out of the car.
“I just moved here,” I cried out.
“Clyde was a pretty rough one, but he was not the worst we have seen in these parts,” he seemed so gentle yet reassuring; I felt safe. “There is a driving ban until the winds die down, so until then I am going to take you back to the station. We have hot chocolate there and warm blankets, and maybe if you are up to it, you can tell me the story of why you are driving around in the middle of a hurricane with a trunk full of pine tree branches.”