I've had a lot of fun writing this episodic flash fiction piece. Here's the 5th installment. Be sure to check out episodes 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The Journal, Part 5
Sara raced down the road toward the city in her father's car. Though she could see the city skyline up ahead, she was currently surrounded by forest on each side of the road.
She checked her rear view mirror for the black car that had been following her for the past twenty minutes. Just as she got her eyes back on the road, she noticed a small child standing in the road in front of her. She jerked the wheel to the right, but it was too late. She heard the thump of her car and the child's body colliding.
Sara's tried to regain control of the car as she sped off the road. In the next instant, the car slammed into a large tree. She felt the shattered windshield glass cutting her face as her forehead slammed into the steering wheel.
Sara fought to stay conscious. She opened the car door and got out. Her head was pounding. She looked back to the road, expecting to see the child's body lying dead on the ground. Instead, she saw nothing.
The black car was parked on the side of the road sixty feet to her left. The windows of the car were black, hiding whoever was sitting in the vehicle.
Sara had to know what happened to the child, so she cautiously walked back to the point of impact.
What she saw made no sense. There should be a pool of blood and a body. There was nothing.
She looked all around, but the child wasn't anywhere that she could see.
She looked at the black car. Why hadn't anyone gotten out to check on her?
She looked back at her dad's car, realizing that she'd left the journal in the passenger seat.
She ran toward the car and as she did, the black car began moving slowly toward her, threatening to cut her off from getting to the journal.
As she ran, the landscape around suddenly flickered and she saw the world on fire again. Dead bodies and wrecked cars littered the road.
Then she saw the world normally again.
Just as she passed the black car, it stopped and the driver's side door came open.
She didn't stop to see who was getting out of the car.
She reached into her dad's car for the journal, but it was gone. She looked frantically under the seats, but it was nowhere to be found.
She looked back at the black car. A tall figure was coming. A man. Her age or a little older. She didn't recognize who he was.
She looked at the forest before her, then one last glance into the car. The journal was gone.
She dashed into the trees, noticing she now had a pursuer.
Her head was still pounding, but her legs carried her forward.
She ran for what felt like several minutes when she came to an abrupt stop in an open area. She found herself inside of a perfect circle about 25 yards in diameter. The edges of the circle were lined with trees. In the middle of the circle was a bright blue pond with a perfect circle island in the middle with a bright red flower. She had never seen anything so breathtakingly beautiful.
She walked closer to the pond, forgetting that she had been being pursued.
The pond was the clearest of blue and its depth seemed to descend forever. Suddenly, her mouth felt dry.
Was the water safe to drink.
Surely it is, she thought.
She bent down her hands to dip in the water, and as soon as she touched the surface, her vision lit up again with a scene of the world's destruction. She was on the hill again, and she felt a searing pain in her stomach.
She looked down. The gunshot wound was back, and she was dying again.
It was all a dream?
She searched the ground beneath her, but there was no journal as there had been before.
This is the end, she thought. I only imagined a second chance.
Just then she felt someone grabbing her shoulder and she was back at the pond.
She turned around and looked up to see the man who had been chasing her. He was holding the journal and grinning.
"Looking for this?" he said.
"Who are you?" Sara said.
He held out his hand to her. "I had a feeling you wouldn't remember me," he said.