Short Story: Life was Good

by
This is the first, and possibly the last of my attempts at more creative writing. I have no idea if I will attempt others.

Life Was Good

Life was good. That is the exact though he had as he blasted along the highway. While the road still glistened with remains of a summer shower the rain had cleared. It was going to be a wonderful day.

With the roof down and the music up, he enjoyed the feeling as the wind gently ruffled his hair. The city was soon far behind, and with it the crowds and clogged roads.

Clogged roads he thought. While it was fun blasting along the highway, the little sports car was far happier on the twisties. The next exit would lead him to a great little mountain road. Although well paved it was not well used. It offered inspiring views and challenging turns, just the thing to clear the cobwebs from his mind and the car’s suspension.

His exit approached. He nimbly dived across three lanes, causing himself great amusement, and a trucker major consternation. He enjoyed the sensation as the spiral of the exit pushed him sideways in his seat. While the tires protested, the little car bit down and held the line. He swooped up to the red traffic light, smiled at the mom in her minivan, and checked his map. Another mile, a right turn, and the fun began.

As he approached his turn he noticed, with a smile, the zig-zag warning triangle informing him of the road’s twisty nature. Not so much a warning as an invitation he thought. He turned off the music, signaled and made his turn.

There were few trees to provide a canopy and the sun had done its work drying the road. While small sparkling patches remained, the road looked dry. He dropped down the gears and gunned the throttle. The little car shot forward as eager as its driver.

This was life he thought as he blasted through the turns. He enjoyed the sensations: the rising and falling note of the engine, the snick of the gearshift as he made changes, the feeling from the steering wheel as he made corrections.

He approached the next corner and realized it was sharper than expected. Hard breaking. Downshift and double-declutch. Let the rear slide a bit, hold it. Beautiful. He felt as one with the machine. Like horse and rider. He was master, she his willing servant.

He came to a straighter part of the road and accelerated hard. The speedometer needle swung briskly around the dial, 50, 70, 80, 95, 100, 115. Bang! A sudden pull on the steering wheel. His mind registered the thought “blowout.” The guard rail hurtled towards him. Crash! The car careened off the barrier and in the opposite direction. Suddenly the world spun around and upside down. He felt like he was on a vicious roller coaster. He was aware of the seatbelt webbing biting into his shoulder. His mind registered the thought “rolled.” Another bang. An intense white light. It instantly fades to a deep dark red. Nothing.

His next awareness was standing on the bank looking at the car. Christ, what a mess he thought. Squashed. Totaled. He became aware of the blue flashing lights. Cops. They were quick. How was he going to explain this mess? As he approached, he noticed that the blue lights belonged to an ambulance. Then he noticed the stretcher and its body. He looked at the person lying there. He saw the same face that stared back at him from the mirror earlier that morning. That’s interesting he conceded.

And then the inky blackness enveloped him in its silken embrace, his last thought was “life was good.”

The End
I had the idea for this story a long time ago. I never had a reason to actually write it. I figured a blog is as good an excuse as I will eve have.

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41 Responses to “Short Story: Life was Good”

  1. maurice Says:

    Interesting. Short and sort of morbid. I suppose the point is the hook of the phrase “life was good” at the beginning and the end. What gave you the idea to write this story?

  2. Default User Says:

    @maurice

    The idea, at least the ending, goes back to an idea I had in my late teens. It was one of those things where I had the idea (looking at oneself just before death) but never found an excuse to write it. I never had the story, just the ending. I do not know what prompted the idea. The hook phrase (“life was good”) just came to me as an interesting little nugget. I suppose, life is good. It is certainly better than getting splatted in a road accident.

    I liked the idea because of the vague surprise at the end. Mostly I just enjoyed trying to write something different from the normal opinion piece. I don’t believe I have any other stories lurking in my unconscious right now, so this might be the last bit of creative writing found here.

  3. chic noir Says:

    Default I hope this story wasn’t a hint about something going on inside of your head? I hope you aren’t having those sort of thoughts.

    don’t scare me like this :(

  4. Default User Says:

    @Chic

    Default I hope this story wasn’t a hint about something going on inside of your head? I hope you aren’t having those sort of thoughts.

    Not at all. No dark thoughts. I had hoped the story would be more exciting than dark.

    In any case, no dark thoughts. :) :) :)

  5. sdaedalus Says:

    My single overwhelming thought on completion of this story was:-

    thank god I don’t drive.

  6. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus

    My single overwhelming thought on completion of this story was:-

    thank god I don’t drive.

    I guess you will have to find other ways to get yourself into trouble.

  7. sdaedalus Says:

    I guess you will have to find other ways to get yourself into trouble.

    Don’t worry, Default, I have a knack for getting myself into messes, although fortunately to date none have been of the brains-splattered on windscreen variety.

  8. An Unmarried Man Says:

    I loved it.
    That in itself should unnerve you.

    The postmortem dream sequence sorta reminds me of “Incident At Owl Creek Bridge” except a lot sparser.

  9. An Unmarried Man Says:

    BTW, it’s “Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge,” my AmLit recollections ain’t so hot.

  10. Default User Says:

    @SDaedalus

    I have a knack for getting myself into messes, although fortunately to date none have been of the brains-splattered on windscreen variety.

    I am glad to hear that.

    From the description of your childhood adventures, it might be marmalade splattered end though.

  11. Default User Says:

    @An Unmarried Man

    I am glad you liked it. I am not unnerved though. Perhaps I just lack a sense of danger.

    I did look up the story and it seems familiar, however I did not consciously copy it.

    BTW:
    Acording to the Wikipedia entry it seems, many people refer to it as “Incident At.”

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Nah. I love your writing – but i thought it was something a teenager would come up with – which it was. But i’m really charmed by the fact that you felt a bit creative and dredged it up – with the humorous honest caveat that it may be your first and last bit of creative writing. Defaultian!

    How about writing something about Game. Woman meets man. Woman knows about Game – but man says he will Game her anyway. Multi-layered cat and mouse. The Gina Always Tingles.

  13. Default User Says:

    @Anonymous

    “Defaultian” I like it.

    I am not sure if my new post counts as creative writing or not. It also has a caveat that it might be the first and last.

    I have no story in mind, but “The Gina Always Tingles” sounds like a good title.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Roissy makes the extreme case – a “dogma” as you have observed – and it’s people who nail their thesis to the church door that move history along. People who live their ideas who are interesting.

    I think a play about Game in a Glengarry Glen Ross/Sexual Perversity in Chicago/In the Company of Men vein would be the best fictional vehicle. This sphere provides great material. (I suggested this in a comment at roissy’s – but it was buried in moderation).

    Sinister PUA runs Game workshop …. a variety of characters turn up. Like the play Art – dramatize ideas. The various tatics – negs etc – are demonstrated humorously.

    A workmate wrote and staged a play – which was very well received. But to be honest it was quite mediocre. A lot of plays are – as was the film Inception.

  15. sdaedalus Says:

    The single greatest discussion of applied Game & its effect on all parties involved is to be found in Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Richardson’s novels, which, in typical 18th century style, were written in letter form. What’s the 21st century equivalent?

    The play would be interesting, but having just got in from a badly acted version of a very good play, I’d venture to say all drama has the disadvantage of being only as good as its actors.

  16. sdaedalus Says:

    Also, you might want to consider the something else always rises as a title too.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I think it’s easier to make an impact with a half decent play.

    I saw Closer by Patrick Maber on the stage – not overly impressed though it got great reviews. The film was better. There’s a market for something clever about sex, relationships and ideas. The dialogue virtually writes itself … the posts and comments provide so much material.

  18. sdaedalus Says:

    Funnily enough, I hadn’t realised Mamet wrote the two other works you reference until I looked him up just now. I saw two of his other plays & thought their style would suit this kind of thing.

    I agree that a play/film would have an advantage over a novel in terms of illustrating body language, for instance.

    There is definitely a market for this kind of thing. Funnily enough, when you know about it, you spot it in all good works of literature though. Most were written pre 1960s however. My theory is that from the 60s onwards we were sold a pup in terms of advice on how relationships worked which was more about how feminists thought they should work than actual reality and that is why so many modern fiction/films/literary works dealing with these things fall flat on their faces.

  19. Rebekah Says:

    I enjoyed this. It’s good to see you don’t share my death anxiety and can write so nonchalantly about the end of life. Also looking forward to your random thoughts, who knows what might progress out of them.

  20. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus

    Also, you might want to consider the something else always rises as a title too.

    Perhaps When the Cock Crows

    I do remember seeing the movie version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons, from the late 1980s). I did not watch it from a game perspective but there was certainly game analysis to be had if you wanted it.

    @Anonymous
    I saw the movie version of Closer as well. Like Dangerous Liaisons there is plenty of game analysis there. It was like the tough world of the Roisssphere under the harsh glare klieg lights.

    @Sdaedalus, Anonymous
    Although both your suggestions are interesting, I am not sure if I will ever be able to come up with such a play or story. I say this while realizing, as Anonymous pointed out, the PUAsphere would provide much of the material in itself.

    Regarding other fictional game.
    I would not be surprised if Sherlock Holmes (the literary one, not the recent cinematic one) would post at Roissy. Holmes had many acerbic comments on women, often disappointing the chivalrous Watson. Perhaps Holmes was a bitter beta because of the Irene Adler affair (the woman he had oneitis for).

    Hercule Poirot also, was far shrewder regarding Femme Fatales than the poor Hastings. Hastings had all the material (good solid ex-army type) but never had game. He often fell under the charms of the villainess, where Poirot saw quite clearly through her games.

    And Sdaedalus,

    Richardson’s novels

    You forget that I am a litoramus (ignoramus of literature). Who is Richardson?

  21. Default User Says:

    @Rebekah
    Thanks.

    Almost in the words of Pink Floyd:

    “And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, I
    Don’t mind. Why should I be frightened of dying?
    There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime.”

    I am not quite so sanguine. I don’t worry about it, but I am in no rush either.

    Regarding my posts: Like you, I am not sure what will come next. I hope a slightly more random approach might bring something interesting forth. Of course, it might just end the blogging equivalent of a cat spitting up a hairball.

  22. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus
    You are correct. Older dramas seemed closer to the truth on male/female relations.

    Books have an advantage over film in that they can show thought processes. They can also describe things in a way that highlights salient points. A film maker can show you those things but the audience may miss them. However, the body language, tone of voice, etc. needs film. Even stage can lose subtle body language, where as the camera can show it clearly.

  23. sdaedalus Says:

    Nice to see you in such good form Default.

    Richardson is Samuel Richardson. His most famous books are Pamela and Clarissa.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarissa

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela,_or_Virtue_Rewarded

    I suppose Pamela could be seen as an example of successful Girl Game.
    I’m not sure Clarissa could be seen as an example of successful Game as both hero and heroine die (as with Dangerous Liaisons) but the hero does employ some elements of game to get the heroine to fall in love with him (although her moral principles are such that getting her to fall in love with him is the easy part, to get her into bed with him he has to employ chemical means).

    Your title is very witty.

    The movie version of Dangerous Liaisons is not a patch on the book, although Michelle and Uma look lovely. Valmont, which is another adaptation with Colin Firth, is better (at least Madame de Merteuil, played by Annette Bening, is attractive) but still not a patch on the book.

    Hercule Poirot had a soft spot for Madame Vera Rossakoff as far as I remember. And Hastings was perfectly clearheaded round most women. It was just the auburnettes who tended to rattle his objectivity.

    I’m sure if Sherlock was round today he would have some interest in game. I can just see him disguising himself as a DC hipster, complete with red socks & fedora, in order to do some fieldwork. I’ve no doubt Ms Adler would be there too as a DC lawyer bitch.

  24. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus
    Thanks, I will look up those titles. You might turn me towards and actually get me to read literature. I will also look for Valmont. I can handle literary movies, and TV easier than the books, although I may read the titles you mentioned.

    You might be right about Hastings. Perhaps I am biased by the TV show that seemed to show him as a bit les certain (IIRC, he was played as a slight shy, bumbling English gent).

    I can just see Roissy/Holmes calling to Zeets/Watson: “To the DC bar, the game is afoot.”

  25. sdaedalus Says:

    For some reason, Default, the expression “you might turn me towards” literature makes me feel vaguely guilty, as if I have got you involved in some type of perversion.

  26. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus

    as if I have got you involved in some type of perversion.

    Well, I am sure that you do have a mischievous side.

  27. chic noir Says:

    This post reminds me of those jetta comericals from a few years back.

    That ad company should’ve gotten a nice bonus. Most memorial ads ever.

  28. chic noir Says:

    SD, keep flirting with my man. ;)

  29. Default User Says:

    @chic noir

    This post reminds me of those jetta comericals from a few years back.

    Hardly the ending they would have wanted. Although a car advertisement ending in a fatal crash would be memorable.

  30. Default User Says:

    @chic

    SD, keep flirting with my man.

    SD is too busy flirting with An Player over at her own blog to worry about me. :/

  31. namae nanka Says:

    this story reminds me of a story I read as a teenager:

    http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/14562/

  32. Default User Says:

    @namae nanka

    this story reminds me of a story I read as a teenager

    I have always understood how hard it is to be humble but it seems it is also hard to be original.

    I really was not aware of either that story or “The Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” when I conceived of the idea.

  33. namae nanka Says:

    It is impossible to be original. It’s heartbreaking to read your half-baked thoughts put down in much better words. For instance I wrote something that sounded half-clever, and yet I found it written down by many others before me. googling a phrase I thought I invented brings me back down to earth faster than anything.

    “It was an impressive speech, laying down on everybody who had an ambition, on everyone who dreamt of a life that went by the rules and the spelled out dreams of a job,a girl/boy,family,retirement.In hindsight it was incredibly idiotic, but at the given moment it was a charter of rebellion.
    Against the morosity and mundaneness of life.
    For something new, something truly unique.
    But then there is nothing uniquely different, there never will be, someone has already lived the life you will live, places and names will change but the essence will remain the same.Someone has already had the thoughts you will have, someone has already done the things you will do, someone has already loved someone the way you want to.So why not have fun instead of frowning it away?”

    ps- and I didn’t mean that your story sounded like that, it was perhaps the first thing I read that had this out of body pov and it just came to my mind today. It’s been years since I last saw of it, and yet it was the first thing that came to my mind.

  34. sdaedalus Says:

    I actually thought Default’s story was better than Conan Doyle’s, although slightly less cheery on the subject of the Next Life (no friend to welcome home, simply a descent into blackness). I hadn’t come across the Conan Doyle story before myself either.

  35. namae nanka Says:

    hmm then I’ll have to read both of them. It was a thick collection of stories, and this was prolly the first one. The one that stood out the most was about a forest of creatures in the upper atmosphere that a pilot comes across.
    It’s funny that I didn’t get introduced to holmes until I was out of my teens.

  36. Default User Says:

    @namae nanka
    I like to feel original but am never that disappointed when it turns out it has all been said or done before. I too have had a “unique” thought that turns out not just to be searchable but to return a long list. As the quoted text says why worry?

    PS
    Was that your quote or did you copy it from somewhere? It is a nice little speech.

  37. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus
    I liked the more cheery end of Conan Doyle but am glad you liked my story.

  38. sdaedalus Says:

    @NN

    I find it cheers me up to meet someone else who thinks the same way. Being unique can be very lonely, there’s nothing like kindred spirits.

  39. namae nanka Says:

    “I like to feel original but am never that disappointed when it turns out it has all been said or done before. ”

    yup, different priorities, I am hard-pressed to feel disappointed at many things that i should, but I don’t.
    i wrote it down last year, only to find, to my utter horror, the same sentiments expressed in at least four things that I read later that year. considering that I wrote it in november and I don’t like to read much, it was a brutal blow and I never finished the damn thing of which the excerpt was a part of.

    of course my laziness played a big part too. :D

  40. namae nanka Says:

    it was remarked by one of my friends that I’ll die alone(playfully of course), and I thought it to be my duty to remind him that everybody dies alone and he’ll do the same.
    but the important thing is that not only we die alone but we live alone.

  41. Random Thoughts on: Dogma « Default User Says:

    [...] Today’s topic: Dogma. A recent comment on another post reminded me of something I have been meaning to write about, and that is “Dogma.” Roissy makes the extreme case – a “dogma” as you have observed – and it’s people who nail their thesis to the church door that move history along. People who live their ideas who are interesting. Anonymous at 2010/08/2010 [link] [...]

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