A Flash Fiction by Abby Asmuth
At the sound of her third alarm – which she put across the room so she had to get up to turn it off – Cassidy Forrester finally rolled out of bed. Groggily, she trudged across her bedroom and slapped the alarm off. Once the noise had stopped, a little voice tempted her back to bed. But today, she knew she couldn’t do that; she had to be up and alert. She switched on her light for good measure, and her frustrated eyes blinked to adjust to the brightness.
“You ready for today, honey?” Mrs. Forrester said as Cassidy entered the kitchen. “I’m sure you’re nervous, but I know you’ll make National Merit. You know how much you need that scholarship.”
Cassidy was tempted to roll her eyes; why did her mom have to make this such a thing? She was nervous enough all ready. “Thanks,” she mumbled instead. Cassidy grabbed a bagel and sat down at the kitchen island, scrolling through her phone. Her mom had the news on in the background and Cassidy half listened to the stories. Republicans and Democrats refuse to compromise. Devastating car accident on Main Street. Celebrity X overdoses. Why her mom watched the news, Cassidy had no idea. They always aired the most sensationalist, tragic stories.
“I’m headed out,” Cassidy said, leaving the room before her mom could pressure her more. She got into her car and chose some Indie artist – something that she hoped would be calming. Left turn, right turn, red light. The lyrics were drowned out by the thoughts and fears swirling through her head. What if she didn’t get National Merit? Right turn. How disappointed would her parents be? Signal left. And she would be so disappointed in herself. Green light.
Cassidy moved forward, mind distracted with thoughts of a test, one little test. So distracted she didn’t notice the car with the right away going straight – straight into her.
Cassidy’s whole body shook with the impact. She couldn’t move, couldn’t think. The last thing she heard was an alarm, a siren. Everything went black.