So, my writing for today is linked to an old Wednesday Write in post, heavily using the prompt heavy traffic. The first one can be found here, part two can be found here, and today’s is part three, on special request!
The Night Before
Brian turned the key in the ignition; there was a splutter as the car bleached gas. But it didn’t start, the engine’s stomach emptied, voided, petrol dripping down to the water. The evening had been a diluted shade of yellow, the colour of his bedroom walls when he was a kid. The inky streaks of clouds had dissolved and the sky was darkened to a violet black. The phone that had been glued to his ear, he removed, and placed carefully in the dashboard compartment. The wind wined through the windows, their curved glass shaped like fish skeletons. He blinked, and the window began to swim. It was a trout, flipping and rolling in a river’s pull. He was acutely conscious of the water beneath him and it seemed to him that like a city pulled beneath the sea, the bridge had sunk and taken them with it while they weren’t looking.
He watched the cars around him as the small hours took the night into a blacker black. The cars were stones cast at the bottom of a well; they had been there for centuries, for many men’s lives. There was seaweed gently swaying around the tires, a starfish glued its many legged body to the windscreen. He watched its small form undulate against the glass; it was a sweet pastel orange. He felt fond of it; he named it after his boss, Jacob. To his left the bridge’s lines seemed to ripple, rusted and old.
If he swum to the edge and stared down, there would be a drop, he knew it. A sudden deep drop into blackness more total than a night sky, because there would be an end to it somewhere, an end so far away that the journey to get there would swallow him whole. He would be regurgitated, no longer Brian, not a recognisable Brian, but a mass of human cells and water, and perhaps fish. He dug his nails into the suited material of his legs, knees tucked close to his chest. He realised this was fantasy; the bridge was high above the water, making its own horizon against the sky. He had been there for nine weeks, nearly two months. But he was finding it hard to grip onto the bridge’s reality. Come morning, he decided, I will leave the car; I will test the air in the sun. Out of the corner of his eye a figure dashed across, heading for the edge, the drop. He didn’t look as they dived. He wouldn’t look.