Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Silver Flash

Here's my contribution to this week's Silver Flash. I went over the suggested 1000 words but I was enjoying writing this one and I needed to go a little longer to make the story work.

The prompt for this week was, "There's only one way out of this ..."


Finding the Balance
                                                                                                                            
Copyright © 2011

Thomas watched the highway slip past the car window. The jazz quartet had been fantastic but he wasn’t sure Ward shared his enthusiasm. Ward was a rock and roll kind of guy but Thomas thought that given time, he might come to appreciate jazz.

Ward hadn’t said much at the concert or since they started the long drive home. Thomas looked over at his boyfriend. Ward gazed out into the night, focused on driving. He’d worn a jacket and tie for the concert but both were now lying on the backseat. He’d also unbuttoned the collar of his white dress shirt and rolled up his sleeves.

The lights from the dashboard highlighted his cheekbones and jaw and shadows pooled in the hollow of his throat. He looked sexy as hell. Thomas couldn’t wait to get him home and into bed, but he had the feeling that Ward might be annoyed with him.

He shifted in his seat and cleared his throat. “What did you think of the concert?”

Ward glanced over at him. “It was okay.”

Thomas was indignant. “Okay? It was amazing. The saxophone player was incredible.”

“It was good. It’s just not my kind of music.”

“It’s good to try new things, Ward.”

“I try new things. I’ve listened to your jazz albums with you. It’s not for me, that’s all.”

Ward sounded patient. It pissed Thomas off because he was feeling a little bit guilty.

“Why did you come then?”

“Because you wanted me to.”

“Yeah? Well I do things for you too.”

“I know, babe.”

Thomas knew he shouldn’t keep going but he couldn’t help it. “I watched that movie with you. Even though it was gross and disgusting and made me feel sick.”

Ward looked over at him, surprised. “It made you sick? Why didn’t you say something? We could have left.”

“I didn’t want to spoil it for you.” Of course he was spoiling it now. “You seemed to like it though I don’t know why. The man cuts his own arm off. How could you like that?”

“It’s man versus nature. Anyone that spends time hiking or climbing could empathize with that guy.”

Thomas was still on the defense. “Well I'm sorry I don’t like hiking.”

“It’s okay, we don’t have to do everything together.”

Thomas glared at Ward. “What’s that supposed to mean? If you didn’t want to come tonight you could have said so. I'm not going to ram jazz down your throat. I’m not trying to change you.”

But was that really true? Was he trying to change Ward, or was he just trying to share something he loved? He had been kind of pushy. Ward loved the outdoors but he’d never forced Thomas to go hiking.

Thomas started to worry. He was a skinny, out-of-shape librarian. What did Ward see in him anyway?

“Are you going to break up with me?”

Ward took his eyes off the road. “What? No. Thomas, calm down.”

He patted Thomas’s thigh as Thomas stared straight ahead, struggling to reign in his emotions.

Something ran out in front of them—its eyes a weird greenish-gold in the headlights. 

“What the hell is that?” Thomas cried.

“It’s a coyote. Shit!”

The car swerved and hit the gravel shoulder. Thomas could see they were going to miss the coyote or whatever the hell it was. The headlights stretched out into the distance, illuminating some stunted bushes and beyond that, the blackness of the lake less than ten feet below the road. Oh my God. They were going to go into the water.  

The car hit with a loud splash. They were floating, though the front of the car was starting to dip. Thomas realized his feet and shins were wet. The car was sinking. He struggled with his seatbelt.

“Ward!”

Ward was unconscious, slumped against the door. He must have hit his head. Why hadn’t the airbags gone off?

Thomas climbed awkwardly over the console. He found the control to move Ward’s seat back and squatted beside him in the footwell. His back pressed against the steering wheel.

He stroked Ward’s hair. “Wake up hon, come on. We’ve got to get out of here.”

The instrument panel was dark. The engine must have short-circuited. Almost the entire hood of the car was under water. The water was creeping up his thighs now and his ass was wet but he couldn't leave without Ward. “Ward, please! Wake up.”

Ward opened his eyes. “What happened?”

“Ward!” Thomas was so relieved he almost cried. “We’re in the lake. We’re sinking.”

“Let's open the window and climb out,” Ward said. He rubbed his head and groaned.

“Right.” Thomas reached past Ward and fumbled with the power window controls. Nothing happened. “Shit!”

He climbed onto Ward’s lap and tried to open the door. It wouldn’t budge. Ward tried to help. He was a big man, but the pressure from the water outside the car kept the door shut.

Ward undid his seatbelt. “Get into the back.”

Thomas scrambled between the seats. Ward was too tall. He had a hard time getting into the back but Thomas dragged him over the front seats.

Thomas was in full panic mode. “We can’t get out. We’re trapped. We’re going to die!” 

“Thomas, it’s okay.” Ward was calm. “When the car’s almost full of water, the pressure will equalize. Then we can open the door and swim to safety.”

“No! We’re going to drown!”

The front of the car was angled down and the water was lapping at the backseat.

“Babe, listen to me.” Ward knelt on the backseat and cupped Thomas’s face. “There’s only one way out of this ... we have to wait and then open the door. Okay?”

Thomas tried to calm down. “Yeah.” He hugged Ward tight. “I love you, you know.”

Ward hugged him back. “I know. I love you too.”

Thomas sniffed. “If we get out of this I’ll never make you listen to jazz again.”

“We will get out of this,” Ward said confidently.

Thomas crouched on the seat and tried not to freak out. Through the back window he could see the shoreline and the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle. Someone must have seen them go in. If they could get out of the car they’d be okay.  

The water was rising quickly. It was at his shoulders now and the car was completely underwater. Thomas forced himself to stay calm. Just a little longer then they could swim to safety. Easy, no problem.

“I’m going to try to open the door. The water’s going to come in fast so swim hard, Thom.”

Thomas nodded. Ward took a breath and ducked under.

The door opened and water rushed in. Thomas sucked in a lungful of air and swam through the door. He felt Ward’s hand on his back, shoving him upwards.

Thomas broke the surface and looked for Ward. There was no sign of him. The car couldn’t be more than ten or fifteen feet under. Where the hell was Ward?

Thomas went back. No fucking way was he letting his boyfriend drown. It was dark but he could see … something. It was Ward’s white shirt.

Ward was at the back of the car struggling and tugging at his clothes. As Thomas reached him he stopped struggling. Air bubbles leaked from his mouth and nose.

No! Thomas grabbed him and pulled. He was met with resistance: Ward was caught on something. He braced his feet on the rear bumper and yanked. Fear gave him strength and suddenly Ward was in his arms. Thomas kicked hard and swam for the surface.

He dragged Ward onto the shore and laid him on his side in the recovery position — just like he’d been taught.

“Hey! Over here!” he shouted to the EMTs.  

“Come on, come on.” He rubbed Ward’s back.

Ward coughed and heaved, spewing up huge amounts of lake water.

“That’s it,” Thomas encouraged. He didn’t care what Ward liked or didn’t like, just as long as he was around to like something. He held Ward’s hand. “You’re going to be okay.”  

Ward coughed some more and then rolled onto his back. He squeezed Thomas’s hand weakly and smiled. “No, babe. We’re going to be okay.”

The End.

For more Silver Flashers follow the links below:
Julie Haynes m/m Diane Adams m/m RJ Scott m/m Lily Sawyer m/m Sui Lynn m/m L M Brown m/m Ryssa Edwards m/m Victoria Blisse m/f

8 comments:

  1. Wow, that's intense. My worst nightmare. *shudders* I'm glad that they both got out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I liked that one hell of a lot... you show that all the little things like music and films don't matter in a life and death situation like that...cool... hugs rjx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVED This story SO much. WOW I was so worried about ward. I wonder if they'll listen to Jazz music again :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. YOu had me to the last word. Good job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow... good job! You had me to the end.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks guys. This was a little more action adventure than I intended but it was satisfying to write.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very powerful stuff. I have recurring nightmares of being trapped in a car underwater and you captured that fear really well with this piece.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My worse nightmare too, I'd have totally freaked myself. If that ever happens, I hope I have a Ward with me. Great job, sorry it took so long to read it.

    ReplyDelete