Francine Witte, Accident

Francine Witte

Stella was in the driver’s seat when the car just took over. She tried with all her strength to turn left, to avoid the parked red Chevy, but the car turned right and slammed into it.

Of course, Stella thought of the Twilight Zone. Of course, she smelled her own breath.

But she was sober, and this was real, real life.

She left a note on the windshield. My car and I are sorry.

Later that day, the car drove her straight to the mall, where she was planning to go, but not just yet. In the parking lot, she had a second accident, car pulling out and Stella speeding up at just that moment.

The driver got out, a pin-cushion of a man with hairs sticking out every which way. “What are you blind?” the man screamed.

Stella checked her eyeballs. Held her hand right in front and sure enough, she could see. Again, she apologized for her car, which was getting quite annoying.

After shopping, Stella headed home. Or tried to. But the car had its own ideas. Headed Stella over to Rolly’s house. She had promised not to do this. She had promised to give him space.

But there in the driveway was Sandra’s car, pulled up nice and tight behind Rolly’s. Stella waited for her car to speed up and rear end Sandra’s car. But it didn’t.

Had Stella imagined the other two accidents? Had Stella lost her mind? She remembered her high school science teacher saying that if you have to have to ask if you’re crazy, then you must be sane. With that, Stella felt much, much better and stepped full-force on the gas.

Francine Witte is the author of the poetry chapbooks Only, Not Only (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and First Rain (Pecan Grove Press, 2009), winner of the Pecan Grove Press competition, and the flash fiction chapbooks Cold June (Ropewalk Press), selected by Robert Olen Butler as the winner of the 2010 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Award, and The Wind Twirls Everything (MuscleHead Press). Her latest poetry chapbook, Not All Fires Burn the Same won the 2016 Slipstream chapbook contest. Her full-length poetry collection, Café Crazy has just been published by Kelsay Books. She lives in New York City.


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