Posted by: sulya | 12 December 2009

500 Words of Fiction: So Pretty

It was just so pretty, she said.

What?

It was just so pretty.

The officer stopped writing, he studied her name on her driver’s licence.

I’m sorry… Ms. Clarens, I’m not followi —

I turned on the rear defrost. The back window was all frosted over and I had turned on the rear defrost. It’s always amazed me that those little lines can melt ice. Little lines. Thin little lines. And it was that kind of frost. Like that kind of snow? Sparkle snow. Do you know what I mean by sparkle snow? She looked up at him from where she was perched on the edge of the gurney inside the ambulance, her eyes were so bright, the whites almost unnaturally white. He looked at the paramedic.

Is she okay? I mean she seems —

I’m fine. I’m fine. It’s just that when the frost started to melt I had the sun at my back, at the back of the car. It was rising behind me and it hit the rear window and the little lines had warmed up the crystals of the ice so they were more clear and they caught the light. The sunlight. It was dazzling. It was so pretty. These bright sparkling lines. Glittering in a pattern with the more translucent lines of the frost that hadn’t melted at all yet. So pretty… I looked in my rearview mirror and it was like looking backwards into heaven, you know? What everyone always seems to think heaven would look like and I don’t know. I mean I didn’t think it could be real it was so pretty and then all I could think was that it wouldn’t be there if I turned my head around. I thought, if I turn my head around it won’t be there anymore, I can only see it in the rearview. So, I turned my head around.

He waited a moment for her to continue. But, she didn’t. She stared at what seemed like the buttons on his uniform.

And that’s when you hit the car in front of you? Ms. Clarens? A part of him wanted to ask her if it had still been there when she’d turned around. He didn’t, though. It wasn’t the first time he’d wanted to ask a question and didn’t wind up asking it. So many questions he doesn’t get to ask. The paramedic piped up.

No way she hit the car with her head looking backwards. She’d be in way more pain than she is.

Could be she’ll be in more pain later, though, right? ‘Cause of the shock?

Could be. We’ll take her in, I guess.

It was still there, she said. It was still there but it seemed different. I mean it was bigger because it wasn’t just a little bit in the mirror, I could see the whole window. It was almost too much somehow. Too much to be pretty anymore.

She raised her glassy eyes to the officer again.

He didn’t come home last night.

***

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