Today I am continuing on from lst week's Tuesday's Tale using the prompt Light
“Are you hurt?” The voice came from somewhere far away, and Jim struggled to focus on the source. A figure in front of him swam into view.
“Not physically,” he uttered in a voice devoid of emotion. Some part of his brain registered he’d gone from hope to shock to fury and now blessed numbness, and heard it in his voice.
“Shock.” The voice confirmed his own assessment and hands on his shoulders encouraged him to move. He didn’t want to leave them. Couldn’t. He couldn’t leave his girlfriend and brother to the fate of strangers.
Whatever his own feelings he found he couldn’t desert them even when they were beyond knowing or caring.
He fought the hands offering comfort. Pushed them away and turned back to the wreck. When more hands tried to drag him away he started screaming. “I know them. I know them. I can’t leave them.”
The dragging and pulling stopped. The hands still gripped his arms, but nno longer tried to urge him away from the scene. Someone called out and the officer, the one who’d arrived first, Jim noted ran up to where he and the men now supporting him stood.
“What’s the problem?” the officer asked.
“He says he knows them.” The man on his right spoke, his voice rough, almost accusatory to Jim’s ears.
“You never said anything when I arrived.” The officer turned his full attention on Jim.
“I didn’t want to believe it.” The truth slipped between his teeth before Jim could edit it. The box in his pocket twisted in his fingers. Over and over it tumbled. He wanted to drag it out and hurl it, but his fingers refused to let go, or so it seemed.
With the officer and the two men still supporting him, Jim moved to the kerbside.
“Can you identify the occupants of the car?”
“Jenny… Jennifer Litchfield, my girlfriend, and my brother Luke Stanway.”
A beat of silence followed Jim’s revelation before the officer spoke again. “Did you know who had passed you before the accident?”
Jim nodded, because he had. Hadn’t wanted to admit it to himself when he saw them fly by; heard their laughter wafting back to him of the warm air. Hadn’t wanted to admit, hadn’t had time to admit, he had the answer to the question that had been puzzling for so many weeks.
“Do you know where they were going?”
Jim shook his head. Truth could only go so far, and in truth he didn’t know their destination. He could guess, but that wasn’t knowing.
“Did you know…” The officer’s voice disappeared beneath embarrassment.
“Officer…” The man to Jim’s left interrupted. “This man is in shock, this is neither the time nor the place for such questions.”
When the officer nodded the procession of four made their slow way to the waiting ambulance on the other side of the trailer.
From out of nowhere the image of the black cat streaking across the road in front of his car surfaced. It would seem the direction from which the animal came had been the harbinger of bad luck, he thought, as the surrounding light disappeared and gave himself up to the darkness that suddenly engulfed him.
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