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Red and Blue

By @FriedFish

The flashing lights of the police car were blinding compared to the darkness of the night sky, but they seemed to glare even more through Garret’s tears. He wished he could stop them from running down his face, but his arms felt like lead, along with the rest of his body. It took all of his strength to not fall over as he sat down on the wet grass next to what was left of his car. The rain pounded everything in sight; its voice was deafening. With that, and all the darkness and flashing lights, it was easy to forget the crowd of onlookers who were inevitably flocking around the edges of the carnage. Garret could see them in his mind’s eye, trying to spill over the yellow furrows of caution tape like an army of tiny crawling spiders. Most were probably visually impaired by their phones, ready to spread the image of him sobbing by his car to the local news stations and the national news and social media and-

Garret slammed his eyes shut, as if to squeeze the humiliation away with the tears. No one could possibly know what he was feeling. Maybe everyone watching at home will think his tears are the rain. Maybe he can fool them into thinking he had some dignity left.

The officer wasn’t fooled, however. She squatted down to where Garret was sitting and held out a tissue, which became sodden as soon as it came in contact with the open air. When he didn’t take it, she just threw it on the ground. Her lips moved, as if to form words, but if they made any sound, Garret couldn’t hear it. He was too tired to read her lips, and tried to peer through the lights at the crowd. Through the light, they were nothing but shapes. Garret shrugged. They could fry in hell for all he cared. He was more interested in the other side of the crime scene, where the car he hit was lying on its side. Unfortunately for his sightseeing, a fire truck drove up to the curb, its light blinding the other half of the accident. With all of this light, even the officer was swallowed. Now all he could see clearly was the car’s hood beside him, but that was the one place he refused to look. It was as if he thought that the body of his girlfriend on the hood would disappear if he refused to acknowledge its existence.

Garret shifted his focus to where the light seemed to bend around the vertical shadow where the officer used to be. After one shadowy arm patted him on the shoulder, the vertical shadow seemed to unfold itself and grow in height. It grew smaller, moving itself to join some other fainter vertical shadows by a bigger, blockier shadow at where the curb should have been. Those must be the paramedics, Garret thought, but why didn’t they turn their siren on? He tried to make out more than just their outlines, but even their shadows seemed to fade into the pulsing red and blue lights.

Wait. A realization struck Garret, and he looked down at where the sodden tissue was congealing. The light seemed to slowly engulf it, as if the light was … solid. With a considerable amount of effort on his part, Garret lifted his hand, and realized he could see it clearly. It wasn’t just the glare in his eyes; the light really was closing in on him. Panic kicked in, and gave his muscles enough extra juice for him to scuttle to the car and lean against the front tire. He shivered. The rain, which had been picking up speed, gained extra momentum by the wind, which felt like it was coming from all directions at once. It bombarded him on all sides, raising its voice to a shout. But even with all the shouting and blinding lights, what was more terrifying was the whisper, the whisper that seeped itself into his very soul.

Look at her, the rain whispered

Garret shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut again. There was no one for him to look at. His girlfriend was safely at home.

Look at her, the rain whispered again.

Garret shook his head more furiously, putting his hands over his ears. She’s at home. She’s at home. She’s safe-


“NO!” Garret yelled. His voice shattered the rain like glass and turned the wind to dust. It had no effect on the fog, however, which seemed to encroach the remaining space even faster than before.

Suit yourself, the fragments of the rain said, as the fog finally covered the car.

And with that, he was truly alone, lost in the fog of red and blue.

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