Moving On

Moving On

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A supernatural thriller — Nick Davis just wants to make it home from work in time for dinner – but instead his life is forever turned inside out after a horrific car accident. He awakens in hospital alone, confused and trapped inside the body of an eight year old boy he does not know. Initially believing he's in a coma-induced dream Nick tries to play along, morbidly fascinated by his apparent resurrection and the strangely familiar reality-world around him. But quickly things turn from bad to worse as he comes to realise that years have passed him by, his families’ lives are being threatened, and that — for him — the afterlife has taken on new meaning . . .

From: Moving On, by Tony Price

CHAPTER ONE

 

14 September 1999, Tuesday evening

 

 

As I gun the small car around a curve in the road my cell-phone rings softly. I'm running a little late - it was a shit of a day at work - and I guess that it's Sarah calling. Probably wondering where I am. We're supposed to be all going out for dinner, for my daughter's birthday, and I should have been home twenty minutes ago.

I glance across at the little phone, lying on the vacant passenger seat, to see who is calling. At that moment the other car hits me, broadside, right on the driver's side door. It comes careering out of a side street, far too fast to take the corner safely and clearly ignoring the Stop sign it has practically flown through.

I half glimpse a blur of blue as the car punches into mine with a sickeningly loud scream of metal tearing metal. The width of my car is practically halved in an instant and I feel every breath in me abruptly leave.

My car spins a full circle, bouncing over the roadside kerb and on towards the trees and bush alongside. The other car seems to have fused with mine and scrapes and squeals alongside, locked in a grim embrace. Then, abruptly, it breaks free as we reach the trees, rolling away to disappear into the bushes somewhere behind my field of vision.

I didn't see the other driver, nor can I now see the road I have just left. Blood is seeping down my face, blurring my vision. I struggle to breathe and feel nothing much beyond a swaying and spinning inside my head. I may be upside down but I'm really not sure.

I should be scared but oddly realise that I'm more concerned about messing up the birthday dinner than anything else. I want to call home and try to look around the car for my still ringing cell-phone. I can hear it somewhere off in the distance, but all I can see through my haziness is a dim impression of the cars dashboard lights and its splintered windscreen. I try to move, but can't. My body simply won't respond.

With the persistent trilling of the cell-phone beginning to frustrate me, my sight blurs even further before unexpectedly clearing sharply. Now I am outside the car, lying on my back, staring up into the evening sky through the trees. A bicycle wheel is spinning in a tree above me, with a red reflector thing lodged between its spokes which flashes every time the wheel completes a turn. Suddenly the dark shape of a very large man moves into my line of sight and stands there, looming over me. Then he's gone. Darkness falls abruptly and I'm back in my car, pinned in my seat, with blood washing down my face.

That damn cell-phone is still ringing insistently. My chest shudders as I fight for air. I think I hear a voice calling out somewhere nearby. Then the ringing cuts off abruptly. The silence is frightening and I shiver, although I'm not cold.

Pain erupts through my forehead like a bolt of lightning and the darkness descends again, this time enveloping me completely.

 

~~~ ~~~

CHAPTER TWO

 

14 November 2008, Friday evening

 

 

MARK MITCHELL is frightened. He can't decide what to do next. It's now fairly dark, but he doesn't feel that it's safe to head home quite yet. Steve might still be there.

His cell-phone rings yet again, it's been trilling gently almost every five minutes since he made his escape. Mark stops his bicycle, keeping one foot ready to begin pedaling again quickly ' if it becomes necessary ' and pulls the small blue object from his pocket.

The display reveals that Liz is calling, yet again. But he doesn't answer. It may not actually be Liz, but his mother instead, using his sister's phone to try and trick him. Or worse, it could be Steve. He lets it ring on and tries to ignore the persistent sound as he pushes it back into his pocket. The ringing frustrates him. He'd like to talk to Liz, but he can't be sure. Maybe he should just turn it off? But what if Jack, or one of his other friends, tries to text him? Mark likes the phone on. It's his link to the outside world. His link to a better world. A place where he doesn't have to deal with his stupid mother, or her toxic boyfriend.

But what to do now? How long should he wait before trying to head home again? He doesn't want to go back there but knows that he eventually must. He's hungry. Night has fallen and he's getting tired. Will Steve be gone, or will he be waiting for him there?

He knows that Steve is very, very angry with him right now. Mark has never seen his mother's latest boyfriend that furious before and he can't decide whether he should be terrified or pleased. Clearly he's struck pay-dirt this time. Steve was so incredibly angry earlier that Mark feels certain that his mum will send Steve packing this time; just ditch him like the dirty dog he is. And Liz had been so excited when he told her. That pleased Mark very much.

He smiles grimly. Steve is a brute. A bear-like bully with an evil temper. Getting Steve out of their lives will fix everything. He's sure of it. His mother will straighten herself out and they'll all be happy again. Without a doubt.

Mark starts cycling again. He doesn't want to stay in one place ' just in case Steve is out looking for him. If Steve catches him he'll be in big trouble. Very big trouble.

He turns the corner and starts heading north again, back up along Waterloo Rd. Heading towards home again, but still unsure if he dares to go there quite yet.

All the businesses are closed in this industrial area of Wilton. It's getting late and all the workers are long gone, not just for the evening but for the weekend. Waterloo Rd has a wide greenbelt on one side and Mark cycles on the footpath, looking through the shadows to the trees and the small stream running alongside as he meanders along.

The cell-phone starts to ring again in his pocket. It's probably Liz again, but what if it's not? What if it's Jack? Mark's desire to know is immediate. Almost a compulsion. But he keeps cycling as he reaches one hand into his pocket.

Without warning he suddenly finds himself flying through the air. There is a sickening crunching sound and his right leg feels like it's just been hit by a cricket bat. He registers little more than a flash of blue in the fading light.

Mark Mitchell cries out in pain, fear and surprise as he spins wildly through the air, totally disoriented, spiraling into the greenbelt and darkness.

 

~~~ ~~~

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