Original Work: Lydia, Part 4

Crossing the car park with a slightly wobbly husband was tricky, trying to get him into the car was even harder, and yet she had to laugh.


Lydia found her husband funny almost all of the time. When he was being serious the crease that seemed to smudge his forehead made her smile, despite her best efforts to do otherwise, and when he was drunk, well, she just had to let out a small chuckle of amusement. Driving home, the chuckle became a real belly laugh as Michael played around with the stereo, trying to find his favourite station and skipping past it every time, even managing to remove Lydia’s worries about the dogs for a while, but as they neared the corner of their avenue, there was something else to worry about.

Michael was oblivious to the sheet of ice that slicked the road at this particular point, and so was Lydia until it was too late. Putting her hand on Michael’s to try and help him with the radio tuner, laughing all the while, she inadvertently turned the wheel only slightly to the left, nudging the car into the deathly patch of black-ice that spread across the corner at the top of their road. The car spun, and although Lydia turned the wheel and slammed both her feet on the brake, the car refused to stop until it smashed into the iron railings in front of the houses which faced the street front, letting out a sickening crunch that sent a shiver down her spine.

She was not sure for how long she was unconscious, but as she lifted her head from where the steering wheel used to be – now smothered in the white mass of the airbag – her vision was tinged with blurring, and she could feel a hot liquid oozing down the side of her face. She gave herself a minute to gather her senses properly, in spite of the roaring of the car alarm and voices outside, and reached out her hand in the hopes of the reassuring presence of Michael’s leg. It was not to be found. At least, not where she expected it to be.

Panic ensued, and what was a daze soon became a frenzy. Lydia could not unbuckle her safety-belt, and she screamed for someone to help her. Through the blaring of the sirens and the shouting of people all around her, it was very hard to concentrate. Yet all this faded away when she saw a crumpled figure lying out on the road in front of the car, wearing a smart blue suit, and pointed, but not sharp, ankle length boots. The silence was painful, and Lydia put her hand on her chest as she looked to where Michael was sat in the car, to where his body lay ten feet away, her vision passing the flailing seat belt that had been wrenched from its socket, and the gaping hole in the windscreen through which the body of her husband had passed. As she was surrounded by darkness once more, a tear fell into her lap, mixing with the blood that stained her dress.

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