Flash: Oopsie

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash


Danielle studied the most recent disaster. Maybe her dad should have left her at the school, but when a random earthquake happened during her testing, he pulled her out quick as a wink and hugged her tight.

Random earthquake … right.

She knew her test results. Everyone who knew her knew that the paper slip would turn pink on her sixteenth birthday as soon as her blood dropped on it. They should have taken her out much sooner.

Well, at least the truck driver wouldn’t be picking up people to rape anymore.

She started scrambling down the landslide to get to the semi and her backpack, the body behind her little better than a smear.

*** and ick. Let’s try that again, but with action and dialog.

Version 2

“Hey, why are we stopping?” Danielle asked the trucker who picked her up at the Washington-Oregon border as he pulled over at a wide spot in the deserted two-lane highway through deep woods.

The man, who had introduced himself as Colin and up till now acted like a kindly uncle, sneered. “Toll time.”

Danielle’s adrenaline spiked. “What do you mean?” she asked calmly, ignoring the rumbling in her ears.

“Oh, you know.” Colin pivoted in his seat once the rig came to a complete stop and he thumbed off the engine. “I see what’s under that pretty blue jacket and if it is nice enough, you show me more.”

Scooting away from him on the pleather seat, Danielle pulled her backpack up to put between him and her. “Um, how about no?”

“How about yes.” The driver leaned over, snatching and shoving the backpack into the back of the cab. “It ain’t no big thing, just the toll of the road. Get used to it sweetheart, if you want to get to the southern border.”

Danielle twisted her body to face the door, grabbing the handle and pulling frantically at it as he laughed and, outside the vehicle, thunder rolled in the hills. No, no no. No!

“Come on, little changeling. It’s not like you are human anymore.” His meaty hands grabbed at her jacket as she twisted and fought. His adult strength won out, and he pulled her outside the cab onto the asphalt after he unlocked the doors, throwing her down on her butt, her hands scraped against the gravel on the side of the road. “Stay down and don’t run. Now get out of that jacket.”

“You think I’m a changeling.” Danielle panted, trembling. “Aren’t you scared?”

The man snorted. “Of a sixteen-year-old foundling? If you were anything, they would have hunted you down the instant your powers emerged.” Unwinding his belt from his pants, he wrapped it around one hand. “All you kids made a dash for the border. They just let you get so far then scoop you up. You may as well enjoy this.” Colin said, kicking off his pants. “No need to die a virgin, am I right?”

He snapped his belt at her, startling her, destroying the last of her control and the trembles roared out like they had at the school when they came at her with the needle.

Dad wasn’t here to pick her out of the rubble, but this time there was no roof to cave in, only a road.

Danielle walked to the edge of the landslide, stepping over the bloody streak where she had pushed the trucker away from her, into his semi, and over the edge.

Her bag was down there, inside the cab, with all her money, all her dad’s money, and the phone numbers she never memorized but dad wouldn’t let her take her phone because he said they could trace it. The trucker likely had food in his living space.

Sighing, Danielle started leveraging herself down the slabs of asphalt. If she wasn’t being hunted before, she would be hunted now. Three dead so far because of her.

(words – first version 117, second version 525, first published 4/25/2023 – from a picture prompt for a Facebook writing group. Aim is about 50 words)

By a Landslide Series
Sixteen years (10/11/2020)
Oopsie (11/8/2020)