This is not the way that I was supposed to die. I never pictured it like this.
A blaring horn, the screech of tires, a flash of light. One drunken argument and its all over? Surely, that's not how it was all supposed to end.
But here I am looking down at myself in a hospital bed and the frenzied activity of the melee of doctors, nurses, wires and tubes surrounding me. Whilst I, myself, viewing it am strangely detached and calm.
I've never spent much time in a hospital before, but I've seen enough TV programmes to know that the flat-lining on the screen beside the bed is a bad sign. I watch them use those paddle things they always do in ER type scenarios to jump-start the heart, but it has no effect.
Is this really the end?
They try again and a tiny blip appears, followed by another and then another travelling across the screen.
It seems I was wrong. I am not dead.
But if that's me lying there in the bed alive, then why am I still standing here watching it all? If I'm no longer a spirit ready to depart my body then shouldn't I have been snapped back into it, isn't that how it works? I'm sure I've seen it happen like that in movies.
Perhaps, it's waiting for me to wake up.
"I've got a pulse, but it's a weak one." I'm not sure where the voice comes from, but it's not from my medical team. Their voices seem to have been drowned out by these new ones. My team, more relaxed since the imminent threat of death has subsided, seem to have taken a back seat whilst these other voices still speaking in urgent tones now seem to clamour for attention in my head.
I cross to the door reaching out to open it, but somehow before I can touch the doorknob I'm already on the other side standing in the corridor. I follow the voices, their urgency growing all the time.
"The impact to his upper leg is worse than thought. We need to get him into surgery immediately."
"Okay lets lift him, on the count of three."
The trolley exits the room with a small team flanking it, they and the oxygen mask almost hiding the body from view.
Slowly following the trolley is a young man, walking it seems in a daze. He's shaking his head, the look on his face one of utter horror. He seems oddly familiar, but I can't place where I know him from. Just a familiar face from round town, one of the pubs or clubs we go to, maybe.
He looks up and when I meet his blue eyes its like being hit by a lightening bolt. My whole body feels like it's being slammed back against the wall at force, although I know my feet have not moved an inch from where I am stood.
I see everything moving in slow motion and a thousand miles an hour at the same time. Rushing through me, an overload to my senses.
"Piss off Hawthorne and leave me alone."
"Come on Katniss, you're wasted let me get you home."
"I'm not going any-fucking-where with you, you cheating bastard. Why don't you go back inside and ask that blonde with the big tits I'm sure she'd be more than willing to go home with you."
"For-fuck-sake Katniss, just let me walk you to the taxi rank."
"I don't need you're help."
I shove Gale's arm away as he reaches out for me. I'm not listening to his excuses this time, I saw his hands all over that girl. I turn quickly away from him and stumble out into the road.
I look up to see the headlights coming towards me. There's the blast of a car horn and screeching brakes, through the approaching windscreen a pair of blue eyes terrified as they stare into mine. Then there is blackness, or at least there is behind me, but I turn to follow the path of the green car, lit up now in the darkness as if followed by a spot light. Its front side is dented where it hit me, but it was trying to swerve at the time and now its headed into oncoming traffic. The car coming down the hill in the other direction is going too fast, there's no way they'll be able to stop before they collide. The green car spins and somehow the driver's side is now directly in the path of the rapidly approaching car. And then they meet. There's the sound of screeching tires before an almighty bang, smashing glass, and the sound of screaming. People are running towards them, so many voices filling my head - shouting, speaking rapidly into mobile phones, someone crying.
And then in the middle of the chaos, I see one lone, calm figure watching it all as I am. His hands stuffed in his jeans pockets, his blond shaggy hair twitching in the breeze. I watch with him as we wait for the emergency services to arrive and then as they cut his body from the wreckage of his car. I see the tears trickle from the corner of his eyes as he watches them resuscitate him and wheel his broken, bleeding body away into an awaiting ambulance.
He turns to me his eyes both questioning and condemning me.
And then with a gasp I find myself back in the hospital corridor. The other spirit, or ghost, for whatever it is I am - I know he is the same - is gone.
I am alone.
This story is pretty much finished so I'll probably be updating fairly regularly in little bite sized chunks (perfect for lunch breaks!). Massive thank you to Kismet4891 for betaing this and all her encouragement.
Obviously feel free to visualise the driver any way you want to, but when you find out a little bit more about him I'll let you know exactly who was in my mind when I wrote it.
Feedback and comments always welcomed.