It began with a gunshot.
It was the blackest night I could remember, in my O' so long fourteen years of nights passed, fourteen summers and I would die tonight.
Of course I would live, bodily speaking, but part of me would fall into an oblivion. I never really knew the me that fell, I just lived his life. A pointless existence.
Making my down the empty black side street, rain drops fell, I was living my last moments in a black sea. I never saw it coming, never having truly opened my eyes before that night. He strode from the shadows, cloaked in the black of night, his features hidden by the shadows surrounding him. All that was clear was the shine of silver in his hand.
"Wallet!" he screamed, extending his gloved hand
"I have no money", true, I was broke
Apparently he didn't like that, and retorted with by extending the shining silver, barrel glaring at me, furious.
An explosion cracked through the rain filled sky, the ground rumbled, his hand shot up and slightly back, in the scent of sulfur tinged the air. My senses told me he had gently pulled the trigger, he had shot.
My mind did a few calculations, the gun was pointed at me, the gun had been shot, the gun shooting likely released a bullet, the bullet likely left the gun, traveled in the path the guns barrel had laid out for it and, by all assumptions, the bullet had hit me.
Only one piece of the puzzle was missing, the pain. Of course I had only assumed that pain would be involved in being shot, but evidence showed that was likely. I felt no pain, therefore I had not been shot.
So why did he run?
The answer was easy enough, the gun had been shot, and it had meant to shoot me. The bullet did leave the barrel, propelled by the gunpowder, set off by pulling the trigger and had been sent on a collision course with the center of my skull. By all laws of physics and whatnot the bullet had continued on the path inertia had created but it had not...
The bullet had stopped!
I saw it, sitting still in the cold dark air, waiting, watching me. I felt it, I could feel its weight, its energy, I knew its center. I was holding it, but not with my hand, not with my arms, not with my flesh. I let it go, it fell I followed suit.
I woke up, the night was still pitch dark, but I knew it was growing old, the air seemed colder now than before... too cold, it was nearing the end of summer but its was quite the chill. The bullet sat as comfortably on the cold pavement as it had on in the cold sky. I saw the bullet and for some reason felt compelled to take it, so I did just that, tucking it into my pocket.
My thoughts drifted to the man who had given my this bullet, cloaked in shadow, I didn't even know how tall he was, much less a name or a face but I still couldn't help but play the event over in my head. I could imagine his reaction to the whole gunshot thing, eyes wide, every muscle in his body tensing, fear and confusion pushing him past breaking.
One last look and he was gone.
Time followed its path, I hadn't even realized the sun beginning to rise over the few buildings in sight. Not surprisingly I felt no compulsion to tell the authorities anything, they would have a difficult time accepting that a bullet had paid me the kind grace of stopping, before hitting something in the way, namely me. I would get laughed out of the station, besides this little village hadn't seen a gun fired in anger (at a person) in years, this was a 'safe town' in upstate New York... apparently not safe enough.
I was surprised how little I thought about the shot. I should have been obsessed with the moment, a miracle or something similar had occurred. Instead when the rare occasion came that made him remember the explosion of gunpowder propelling the bullet toward him, my only thoughts were that the man seemed afraid and that the bullet seemed odd. I did not see anything particularly odd (aside from the floating bullet).
Then came the car
The car in question was red, that's all I remember. I was strolling down main street in the little town (which made the shooting even more odd, this little piece of 'heaven' didn't have much crime to speak of, much less unprovoked shootings) I called home in broad daylight. I came to a crosswalk and pressed the 'press to walk' button then... well... walked. In retrospect looking may have been a more appropriate action but we don't live in retrospect, now do we. As I trudged across the length of the street I suddenly hear an explosion. Not an explosion of heat and gas, rather one purely of sound, an unending ringing that dwelled on and on. It was only microseconds but eventfully my mind processed the sound and came to a conclusion, a horn.
A car horn followed by a full blown car.
I managed to turn my head to see the car in my peripheral vision and all I saw was red. I had barely noticed the weight of the bullet in my hand, but it was there, I had carried around the bullet for three months now, almost obsessively. But it suddenly felt as it weighted several pounds and brought my full attention.
Suddenly I remembered something about the shooting, a feeling. Before I had seen the bullet floating in mid air, I had felt a rush of adrenaline and a 'ping' in the back of my head accompanied by a mild pressure in the front on my skull like a push of some sort.
As I remembered it, it washed over me again. It was heavenly for a moment like a high that bore no equal and then suddenly I felt a push from my back a force that would have been very uncomfortable in any other situation. It was as it someone had football-style tackled me, with similar results. Soon I was tumbling from the road to the sidewalk.
Then, Just as quickly as the wave of excitement took me, so too did one of exertion, feeling like a tidal wave bashed me up to a brick wall repeatedly. I stared upward and saw blobs of color and light, no faces, no features, but they were people, people with loud voices.
"Oh my god, are you okay" a female voice, fairly young, emanating from a darker blob covered in blue blobs (clothing).
"That guy just hit the poor kid and drove away" this one from a bulky blob, pale and pointing.
"9-1-1, call the ambulance, call 9-1-1" this blob was heavier and distinctly female.