Snippet #3

There's a lot of dross in my miscellaneous folder.  I have been opening old files and re-acquainting myself with the contents and mostly I can see why these things didn't get any further than they have.  A lot of them are from the days when boredom was enough to drive me to the computer, and I would just sit and splurge conversations between two to three characters, all of whom were irritatingly witty and sarcastic, and none of whom had any past, present or future.  If I get desperate for blog content I'll bung some here and try not to wince.
Some of the files hold dimly remembered starting places - poorly written beginnings that occasionally go on for longer than I expect.  Some of them are not bad, but still don't hold any clue as to where I thought they might go next... Probably I thought I'd just see where this particular blank page took me.  I don't think I write like that any more.  I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing.

Anyway - enough navel gazing.  Here's a snippet from a file called "Sorrow", which was apparently created in 2010, but modified in 2009.  Not sure how I managed that - when I find the details of how to travel through time amidst this old stuff I'll let you know:

* * *

To be honest she was a bit embarrassed about how she had died.  Driving to work she had spotted a magpie.  Just one solitary magpie, and the poem had come to mind;

“One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.”

She wasn’t too bothered how many she saw, as long as it was more than one.  Sorrow she could do without, sorrow she had quite neatly avoided for some time and she didn’t fancy encountering it now, thank you very much.  Staring at the trees, the hedges, the roadside verges, scouring the autumnal scenery for just one more magpie, she had not noticed that her car had veered towards the centre of the road.  She had not noticed the white van heading at some speed towards her and, eventually, the last thing she had noticed had been how she was pressed to the roof of her car, how close and thick a burning smell was, and, in the corner of her eye, a small black and white bird that was definitely not a magpie.  Its eyes glinted at her.  Its small head twitch jerkily on its neck.  It hopped forwards and jabbed its beak at a worm.
And then everything had turned red.

Later, when the world had returned to its normal colour, she realised that whilst she believed she had been watching firemen and paramedics deal efficiently with a blazing car, what she had actually been watching was her own car, her own broken body, and the result of her own sudden superstition.
She knew she was dead because the ambulance arrived with lights flashing but no siren, and the paramedics appeared to be in no hurry with the gurney.  The broken body was beyond saving and the twinge of regret she felt was closely followed by a surge of panic.  If that was her body, if she was watching her death, then what was she doing standing here, quietly observing?  A feeling of dislocation, being in two places at once, swarmed over her and she shuddered violently.  Denial was the first thing that came to mind, and she shouted uselessly at firemen, policemen, anyone.  Anger came next and the shouting continued, less anxious, more abusive.  After that came a sudden calm chaos, a swirling feeling that seemed separate from herself, something that belonged over there with the smoking tyres and tangled metal.  She ignored it, and wondered what to do next. 

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