C is for Contrite – A-Z Challenge


When the world stopped spinning and screaming in his ears he felt a cold wind slap his face into the realization that the windshield was gone. The road was gone. There were only trees through the gaping hole and pinpoint stars in blackness above them.

Jenna! He twisted wildly to his right, trying to get out of the seatbelt of the old Charger so he could reach her where she lay crumpled forward over the metal dashboard. Grabbing her shoulder he pulled and her head lolled erratically revealing the horror that was once her face. The floor was soaked with…

“Oh God! God help me! God!!”

When his hands came down from grasping his forehead they were covered in red. Everything was red.

“It’s blood! Oh God! She’s…”

He shouldered the door, but it was crushed shut. He leaned and kicked.

“Let me out! I want out! I…” He gasped and cried, wailing like a cat in the night until the wind sliced into his misery again.

He looked at the girl, now tipped to one side in a pose that defied life even if her face had been whole.

Terror pulled him up and somehow he was out and over the mangled metal that was once his father’s pride and joy. He began to stumble at a run. Away. He would leave it all behind. No more.

His heaving chest demanded he stop. His hands were shredded with cuts where they had taken the brush finding his way in the black night. He dropped into the dirt under a tree swallowed by darkness, consumed by remorse.

He saw Jenna’s smiling face in his mind’s eye.

“No, I wish I never talked to her. I made her like me. I talked her into running with a bad ass. She was so beautiful. She… I want to take it back. I didn’t mean to take her down. I’ll never do it again. I’ll never…”

He felt a familiar lump at his ribs. Shifting onto his hip, he ferreted the flask from the inner pocket of his leather jacket. He poured the liquor into his contrite lips silencing their fevered regret and taking himself back to the oblivion from which he had been so horribly awakened.


About sherijkennedyriverside

Left brain, right brain, I can't decide. After many years of successful visual arts pursuits, I'm working on my other creative inclinations. For the past 8 years, writing has been my second full time job, and it's worth every sleepless night. Sheri J. Kennedy grew up mostly a city-girl coasthopping from Seattle to rural Pennsylvania, Miami and back to Seattle. She currently resides on the banks of the Snoqualmie River in the scenic Cascade Mountains. Her heart has found its home.
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4 Responses to C is for Contrite – A-Z Challenge

  1. Quite compelling.


  2. Joe Owens says:

    Is this part of a WIP or just a post specifically for the challenge? EIther way it is good.


    • Thanks, Joe! I am using the challenge as daily prompts to push me to create new work all month long. This is a flash fiction piece written on the day of the challenge just before posting. I’m editing two novels, so need the creative break of doing some fresh writing. I really appreciate your taking the time to comment!


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