Last challenge from Chuck Wendig was to write a story that ended on a cliffhanger. So, inenvitably this week we needed to pick one of stories from our fellow challengers to finish. I went with The Highway by Jreinmiller.
My Finish to The Highway
The rail groaned as the car smashed through it. The whine of metal into metal reverbed through the car.
“We’re going to die!” The gun forgotten in the father’s hands.
Sam heart banged around in his throat. The car tipped forward over the edge. His stomach turned, the car swayed once. Another groan and it lurched forward.
Both men let out yelps. The gun clattered to the ground. For a moment Sam felt a sense of relief. Then, the car tipped, tumbling down. Everything seemed to slow down as the ground got closer. Each second felt as if it lasted forever.
His eyes closed as he remembered everything that lead up to now. It was going to a normal day, Sam thought, he’d thought he go home, drink a beer, and watch the game. And, now it was over.
“Sam.” A voice echoed all around him. All sense of motion was gone. The sounds of screams, and torn metal gone.
His eyes fluttered open to a white room, with a robed figure standing in front of him. “What’s going on?”
“That’s a good question.” The figure’s voice was toneless.
“I don’t understand.” Sam twirled around. The terrified thrill of earlier changed into something darker.
The figure gave a slow nod. “You know your limits, this is good.”
Sam’s throat worked up, but he couldn’t swallow. “I’m dead.”
The figure shook its head. “No, you are wrong. You are alive. None of this matters.”
At a loss Sam stared. After a shrug he ran his hand over his face. “How am I not dead? The crash, the car falling. This doesn’t make sense.”
“You ask many good questions. None of them revealing. Only one question matters. Life or Death?” The figure’s hands rose palm up.
“For who?” The rapid beat of his blood slowed, Sam shuddered.
“That question doesn’t matter now. Do you want to choose life?” A white light appeared in the figure’s left hand. “Or, do you prefer death?” A black light appeared in the right hand.
“I want to live. I wouldn’t mind if that bastard died. He was going to kill me.” A lance of guilt hit Sam. What if the guy really did have a sick daughter?
The figure shook its head. “You can’t have both. Life. Death. You may only have one.”
Sam paced back and forth. The thoughts in his head scattered. How could he make a choice, when he didn’t even know what it meant. But, Sam knew he didn’t want to die. “Life, I pick life.”
The dark light shrivelled up, and the white one expanded all around Sam. A flash and the once again the car dived at the canyon floor. “Oh god, oh god.”
Pain spiked his body as the car smashed in around him. A warm liquid pooled around his legs, and sides, his left arm went numb. The gunman’s body smashed against the ground, his body still. “Are you alive?” No response as agony made it hard for Sam to think.
A voice whispered in his ear. “The girl lives.” The sound of sirens was the last thing Sam heard.