Monday, January 20, 2014
1st 5 Pages Jan. Workshop Rev 2: Moreno
Name: Maria Moreno
Genre: Young Adult-Mystery/Paranormal
Title: In Your Wildest Dreams
When I was 14-years-old I read my obituary and it went like this:
“Ms. Montesino is survived by her parents George and Elena. She was a freshman at Central Lakes High School. She was loved and will be missed dearly.”
That was all. My whole life reduced to a mere two inches of column in a newspaper. There was no mention of the unfolding of events that led to my accident. No talk of any of my personal milestones. After all, how could there be? I was only a kid.
If I had been perceptive enough I would have noticed all the cues. All the little pieces of lint that rolled up and cumulated into one big ol’ ball of dust—the moment when life left my body.
The Saturday of Labor Day weekend was meant to be a big night. Actually, the best night for my best friend Jordan and me. As freshmen we had finally earned our spot at “The Point,” a stretch of woods on a hill overlooking a blue lake. Perfect for first kisses and “bumping” into people outside of school.
Basically, a one-mile stretch of dreams and it was ours for the taking. We were going to rule. We were most certainly going to be royals.
Honk. Honk. Our carriage had arrived. I looked out her second story window. Her date Andrew rolled up sporting his newly minted license.
“Eww, Jordan. He’s here in his mom’s min-van. I thought you said he was coming in his dad’s Benz.”
Whatever, it’s fine. As long as we show up with an upperclassman we’re still good,” she said while touching up her dark-blond hair in front of her white vanity.
“Do you really, think he was able to find someone for me?”
“Well, he said he would! I don’t see why not. If not we’ll find someone for you there. I promise.”
I sighed and watched Jordan apply her lipstick. Secretly, I had hoped that Andrew would bring John B. He and Andrew weren’t best friend’s like Jordan and me, but I was still hoping. I could talk to Jordan about anything except John. I looked at her long legs and hair and felt embarrassed. I knew he was out of my reach and I’m sure she’d think so too.
“Ok. Let’s go,” said Jordan. “Oh wait.” She gave me some of her lipstick and fixed my hair. “All right, now we can go.”
She was always doing nice stuff like that for me.
I scanned the Point for John, but he was nowhere to be found. Most people had already paired off, so I fell asleep in the back of Andrew’s van while Jordan and him took a blanket and went into the woods.
I was awoken by a gentle rocking movement and then a small slide back as if the car was put in reverse. “Hey. Jordan? Andrew? Back already?” I said as I removed my ear buds and sat up. No Answer. Silence. A knot formed in the pit of my stomach when I saw no one was in the van with me. The car lurched back again with a little more force. I lunged for the side door and kept pulling at it, but it wouldn’t budge because the child safety lock was on.
Frantically, I tried to climb over the console to reach the front passenger door. As I did so, the weight from my sudden movements shifted the car back and propelled it into its quick descent down the hill and into the water. I held on to the headrest for grip and pressed my feet firmly to the ground to hit the invisible breaks. Like I could really stop this.
A hot pain seared across my face when I hit the headrest, punching out four of my front teeth, spilling blood down my throat, leaving a thick-metallically taste. I let go of the headrest and clutched my face to clench the pain. In the process I was flung into the backseat. I was out cold.
The pressure from the water forcing its way into my nostrils and mouth brought me back into a mild state of awareness. The car was now fully submerged in water and I was still in it. I opened my eyes and tried to sit up, but I could barely lift a finger. The resistance from the water made all my movements so labored. My head throbbed and everything was in slow motion.
“Don’t. Freak. Out.” I thought. “Count to ten. Try again”
My eyelids got heavy and the rising and falling of my chest slowly came to a stop. In that moment my spirit peeled away, leaving my body in its watery grave. The scene below me was remarkable. Dozens of kids running down the steep hill, while others had already reached the shore and were swimming to the car to get me.
But they were too late. I had already left earthly limits.
There wasn’t the token white light to follow. I just found myself in an empty sterile room. Actually, it was bigger than a room and more like an endless plain of white. This must be heaven’s waiting room. There were no other patient’s like in a doctor’s office or even a ticket dispenser like at a deli. Nothing like I had imagined it at Sunday school.
It was only me surrounded by nothingness. I didn’t feel safe or at peace. Rather, I felt an empty void where my heart should have been and it was soon filled with hopelessness, anxiety, guilt and anger. I never thought something so infinite could make me feel so claustrophobic.
I looked down at myself and saw that I was naked. It kind of didn’t matter because it’s not like I was made out of flesh and blood anymore. I was invisible all the way through only seeing my silhouette. Except for my center. There was a huge white orb resting behind where my rib cage used to be.
A few paces in front of me was the Central Lakes Gazette and it was there that I saw my obituary. Just to the left of the article, was last year’s yearbook photo showing a round-faced girl. The purple background making my hazel eyes look a mere brown. The only thing that has always been magnificent about me is my long Pantene Pro-V style brown hair.
My mother is catholic and she believes that there is great beauty in dying. “My baby,” she would say. “There is a time for everything. If you’ve done all that you could with your time on earth then rest assured that eternal rest is a gift to look forward to.”
I always thought it was such a scary thing to say to a child. But I understand it now, and I don’t think it’s fair. At least not for me. Right now. I didn’t get a filmstrip showing my happiest moments or even my saddest. What could I be “judged” for?
I kept staring at my picture and a tremendous lump welled up in my throat. I wasn’t sad for the people I left behind. I was sad for myself. The girl in the picture would never get to grow up. I silently pleaded to be given my life back to have an opportunity to really live it.
A tear ran down my face and went down my body until it reached the floor. That is when I became solid again. Slowly, my organs popped back into place, my bones made a disturbing crunch sound at the places they joined, and the orb in my middle melted away restoring the original color of my skin. Plus, I was now wearing a long white night gown.
“Ugh!” I clasped my hands over my ears and huddled onto the floor in fetal position. A deafening buzz pierced the silence of the room, further punctured by a blinding light.
When the sound faded I sat up and saw that a portal had emerged. From where I was, I could see oak trees and a blue sky. A slight smell of cigars and the comforting scent of a cologne that I had not smelled for a long time drifted over to where I was.
“Grandpa Juan?” I ran over to the entry and soon found myself consumed by an all-encompassing warmth.
***My eyes opened wide and I found myself submerged back in the water in the lake. Outside of the window there were lots of sparkly lights zooming towards me.