My night out
As I stood, staring down at my reflection in the mixture of motor oil and water on the pavement, I was unsure of what I was seeing. Were those my sneakers? Why aren’t my feet in them? Where am I?
I could not remember all the details of last night, not once we left the party. I remember Jim, Larry and I showing up at the party. Oh, Meg, what a bitch she is, but what a great party she throws! When we got there Jim whispered, “Do not leave my side even for a minute!” Larry took off the minute his foot hit the front hall carpet.
The house was huge. A colonial, they call it. On the main floor there was a kitchen, dining room, living room, family room, laundry room, two bathrooms, and a pantry. Plenty of space to keep drunk teens in one place, but not necessarily on top of each other. The second floor were the bedrooms, two more bathrooms, and Meg’s dad’s study. That door stayed locked and for the most part I don’t think anyone ever messed with it. The bedrooms on the other hand, that’s a whole different story. At any given time during the night of the party you could hear teens behind the doors, moaning and talking dirty. Sex. It was what most of them came here for. A few of the girls had no problem pleasing more than one guy a night, which was to me utterly disgusting, but fair game for many of the guys. Not Jim, thank God!
After finding a few of our friends in the kitchen we decided to walk out in the yard and see if there was anything exciting happening. The group of us stepped past the sliding door onto an immense stone patio; Meg’s father worked with some of the masons, so he had a lot of work done on his own house. Straight ahead on the lawn there was a fire pit with a blaze that reached near the trees that grew above the house. A few sparks could be seen floating up from the flames, but for the time being no one was playing Pyromaniac, so the fire just crackled away peacefully.
The group was heading in the direction of the fire pit, but out of the corner of my eye I saw someone sitting on a lawn chair, partially hidden by shadows.
I’m not even sure if I remember what happened next. Jim and I were standing by the fire, talking to a few people, then suddenly there was a commotion, people screaming inside the house. We all turned at the same moment, unsure of whether the scream we all heard was of terror or some girl over-reacting with a shriek, probably seeing a spider in the bathroom or something.
Then it’s blank.
Now I’m here.
There is no one around, just me and the rain and the road. No sound, no smells, nothing. Looking around I start to recognize my location. I am standing near the bridge over Samson’s River. Slowly, I start walking toward the bridge. My sneakers do not move, nor does my shadow. I stand within arm’s reach of the railing and look down at the water. There is a machine down on the bank, excavators I think they are called. It looks like they were pulling things out of the rushing water. There is yellow tape just behind the machine, making the machine look like the victim of a crime at a crime scene. But there is nothing else there, just rocks and branches being continually splashed by the moving water. As I turn, I think I see something.
Behind the machine and the yellow tape there is a flatbed tow truck. Tied down with chains and other tethers lay what used to be Larry’s Honda Civic. Now, the civic was upside down, windows smashed, the windshield consisted of only a few remaining shards of glass. The sides of the Civic were badly dented, as if it rolled down a rocky hill. The tires were flat, and I could see that the hood of the car was partly open under the weight of the engine. The car was a wreck, completely totaled. Where was Larry?
Suddenly, from out of the shadows I caught a glimpse of Jim, looking at the car from just behind it. I couldn’t make out his face or his expression, just his shape and I knew his clothing. I wanted to yell but couldn’t. I tried to move but no matter how hard my body seemed to work; it didn’t move from the spot on the bridge. I reached up to rub my eyes, unsure of what was happening. When I put my hands down Jim was gone. I was alone again, looking over the side of the bridge at the raging water. Would I ever know what happened?