Repetition. Short Story.

Sam woke slowly, he yawned, then stretched carefully, enjoying the freedom his body had. He sat up, then reached out for the glass of water he normally kept by the bed. His hand groped at air for a moment, then he frowned and looked over, the spot was empty. Sighing, he got up and plodded out of his room and into the kitchen. There he filled a glass with water and quickly drained it. That done, he went to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

After he had showered and dressed he checked his diary for anything important that was going to happen today, but it was empty of any appointments. That was good, it was rare he had a day to enjoy himself. His brain was always a little scrambled in the mornings, so he had a few things prepared to ease the transition from being asleep to being awake. He flipped back to the day before to see if he had added any notes. Nothing was there, but everything on the list had been neatly crossed off. That was good. There were days when he managed to get nothing done. He glanced at his watch, it would be another half an hour or so before the memories started to come back. He remembered most things in his life, but the last week was a blank, and would be for a little while longer. It didn’t panic him, it was like that ever since he died when he was sixteen. It had been certainly unnerving, particularly the next day. He had thought he was going crazy.

He had been in the car with his friends, Johnny was driving. It had been a long day, and everyone was pretty tired. The radio was on, but it wasn’t very loud. A deer bounded out onto the road and Johnny swerved, the car spun out, slamming into a tree. That was all Sam remembered. The memory of it all still unnerved him. There was no sound, no screams, nothing. He had a brief flash of panic, of fear, then darkness. He woke in his own bed the next morning, stiff and a little sore, but otherwise unharmed. He couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, he thought that it was Saturday though, as the last thing he remembered was going out for pizza with his family, and they only went out on Friday nights. Then his mother came barrelling into the room, telling him to get up, or he’d be late. It wasn’t Saturday, it was Friday, a week later. He had worried, but not much, he convinced himself he was just having an off day and, within an hour most of it had come back to him. It wasn’t until he was sitting in Math class, talking to Johnny, that he remembered the accident. No one else had mentioned it, maybe they had been scared, maybe they’d dropped him off and he had just taken a blow to the head.
“Pretty crazy what happened last night, wasn’t it?”
“What?”

“With the deer?”
“I guess. It happens every now and then dude, you know that.”
“Yeah, but your car?”
“What are you on about? What would be wrong with my car?”
“You hit that tree?”
“What tree? I swerved around the deer. Then I dropped you home. Did you have like, a nightmare about it or something?”
“Maybe. I dunno. I could have sworn you hit a tree.”
“No dude. Ask any of the others. Hell, come out and see my car at lunch. Not a scratch on it.”

Sam hadn’t asked to see Johnny’s car, but he kept an eye out for it and Johnny was right, there wasn’t a scratch on it. At least, no new scratches. Weird. He chalked it up to an unusual dream and continued about his day, trying to shake the feeling of weirdness. Besides, he was looking forward to dinner that night. They were going out for Chinese food. A rare enough event as his sister wasn’t a fan.

That night, Sam choked to death on a piece of sweet and sour chicken. The next night he collapsed and died, the same thing happened the night after. And every night since Sam had died. In the morning however, he would wake up and everything is fine. Sometimes he’s a little sore, other times he might have a bit of a headache, but the only constant effect is the memory loss. Sam didn’t know why he died so frequently, he had tried to look into it before, but people had just thought he was crazy or having some really vivid nightmares. No one believed him, though he understood why they wouldn’t. After all, he wouldn’t believe it either if it wasn’t happening to him. The only upside was he never really remembered the pain of dying, the feelings of fear had also lessened over the years. It stops being frightening when it happens on a daily basis. He kept a small diary, hidden away, and every few days he would fill it out, noting how he died the previous few days. So far there had been no kind of pattern. He had suffered many different kinds of deaths, unusual as well as mundane. From fire to stabbings. He had practically done it all. As he waited for the bus, the memory came back to him from last night, he had gone into a convenience store to buy a bottle of coke, he had been insanely thirsty, he had walked into the store mid-robbery and had earned a bullet for his troubles from the startled robber. He had bled out pretty fast. He got a good look at the robber though, he didn’t kill anyone else, just ran.

Everything always seemed to change the next morning, sometimes the events would still happen, minus his death, sometimes they would be completely changed. He suspected that the store would have still been robbed, only he wouldn’t have been there in today’s version of events. Instead, the robber would have finished up as he had planned and fled the scene. Sam hoped they caught the bastard at some point. Someone that jumpy would shoot someone else sooner or later. Really, it was lucky it had been him and not the shopkeeper.

The bus pulled up and Sam got on, swiping his pass and finding a seat. He hoped that what ever happened tonight would be quick, he was feeling a little tired, the death last night seemed to take a lot out of him.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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