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My friends and I were the only people on the dark road. Besides us, there were no other cars around — at least none that we could see.
It seemed out of nowhere, all of that changed.
The street we were on was now packed with cars. Lights flashed through the darkness, illuminating the area. Red. Blue. Red. Blue.
The songs playing from the radio were replaced with screaming, crying, and another sound I couldn’t quite identify. Metal scratching against metal?
Confused, I looked around and realized that my friends weren’t in the car with me. A surge of panic shot through me and I frantically searched around me until a strong hand steadied my movements.
A kind looking man that appeared to be a paramedic gripped my jaw and forced me to look at him. I saw his lips moving, but I couldn’t hear anything he was saying over the deafening and terrified screams that surrounded me. He unexpectedly shined a narrow beam of white light into my eyes, and my entire body jerked back in surprise. The abrupt movement sent an excruciating pain shooting through every part of my being, and immediately crippled me. The pain surprised me, and I suddenly had an overwhelming desire to just go to sleep.
Without notice, several sets of hands grabbed me from every direction and roughly lifted me from the car. I cried out in agony, and barely heard the different voices trying to pull me from the fog clawing at my mind. As I was being carried away, my eyes registered the details of all the activity going on around me. I felt the blood instantly leave my face, and I was suddenly freezing despite the fire raging within me from the tortuous pain.
My heart was banging around inside my chest, trying its hardest to break free and escape the throbbing pain mutilating me. Screams continued to surround me, filling my ears with terror and torment.
I felt my wrists being pushed down and secured a moment before a sharp pinch and a blazing fire ignited my entire left arm. A sudden heaviness consumed me, and threatened to take over my body. I struggled to fight the grueling pressure wearing me down, and the shock of what I was seeing kept my eyes wide open.
I stared at the disaster before me. My eyes locked on a pile of shattered glass where the broken and blooded gold charm bracelet laid that belonged to my best friend. I sucked in a sharp breath and coughed uncontrollably as a fetid burning stench infiltrated my lungs, making it hard to breathe.
My memories of tonight came flooding back, paralyzing me with their intensity. I was helpless as I was subjected to the images playing in my mind like a movie reel, scene by scene, before ending with what was in front of me again. Tonight’s nightmare would be permanently tattooed to the back of my eyelids, and I would see it every time I closed my eyes. I’d forever hear the terrified cries and pleas of my two best friends begging for their lives. I knew that I’d always replay the night’s events and what could have been done differently a million ways in my mind. This one single night would change who I was forever. My life would never be the same.
A moment later I lost the battle against my will to keep my eyes open. My weak body finally succumbed to the heaviness surging through it, and the screams faded into complete silence.