Death’s Car

by Leona Bushman

Image by Matteo Nasuelli


My eyes were frozen on the black car screeching down the road. Everyone but me seemed oblivious to it. Why? I frantically waved my arms to get people’s attention. No one looked. Terror swamped me. I’d never witnessed an accident before and it looked like my first one was going to be a goddamn doozy.

The loud screeching increased as the car sideswiped a bus and continued on, not stopping. Why wasn’t the driver stopping? Why wasn’t anyone panicking? I waited for the wail of sirens. Nothing but the metal-on-metal screech as the car loomed closer. I tried to run, but my body wouldn’t obey.

The black car hit a little Ford Taurus hard enough that it flipped up into the air. The black car slid sideways, now completely out of control. Then the driver’s head turned.

I screamed.

The hollowed out eyes had small blue flames in the middle where pupils should be. The flesh pulsated with liquid skin as it writhed across the skull’s bone structure. I gagged on my screams.

Something grabbed my shoulder, and I turned in terror.

“Are you okay, ma’am?” A young officer stood there, his grey eyes concerned. I pointed to the melee happening behind me. He looked past my shoulder then back at me, his eyes full of concern. “What?” he asked.

I looked over my shoulder and saw nothing but cars rushing to get around the bus and the bus moving slowly down the street in orderly Seattle fashion. So I’d gone crazy. I wondered if my screams had been real.

“Oh, my friend was taking a video for a YouTube study. He must have gone over to the coffee shop already. Thanks for your concern,” I said, smiling as if I hadn’t just been screaming my head off. He turned away, shaking his head. I don’t think he was entirely convinced by my story, but he probably had other, better things to do.

I looked at the city bus and the advertising on the side as it went by. I swear it had been the same side swiped by this black car. No damage, no Taurus. And no black car. I wished I could place the car, but no dice. Normally, I was able to ID a car after less than 10 seconds. But even after staring an indeterminate amount of time at this one, I still didn’t have a clue what to call it.

I pulled the hood of my jacket up and stuffed my hands in my pockets, walking against the slight misty breeze. I started walking towards the coffee shop I worked, thinking. I wasn’t a fantastical or whimsical person. I walked to work as a measure to save gas and because I was relatively close to my day job at the upscale barista.

So, if I knew I wasn’t crazy and not on mind-altering drugs, then what the hell had I just seen? I turned the corner and walk into the foyer of the group of shops where the barista was. The Nutty Bean did a brisk business. There were few days a coffee shop in Seattle didn’t do a brisk business.

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