In Columbus, Ohio, a young college student stands by the side of the road waiting to cross the street. Her long brown hair is pulled up high into a tight pony tail. Her bangs shield her eyes from the sun, from the homeless man nearby asking for change, or from the rain. Her name is Tiff Thompson, or Tiffany Thompson, or Tiffany Tompsen.
Spending over two years in this city, feet grow impatient. Cross signs are ignored when the traffic flow is slow enough. Like a herd of animals charging across the lions plain, the college students cross the street in one loosely assembled flock. And usually the cars stop because they have to.
Tiff Thompson knows the light is green, but she looks both ways and sees no oncoming cars. Tiffany Thompson ignores the light completely, but still looks both ways and sees no oncoming cars. Tiffany Tompsen is in a hurry because she is late for class. She glances to the right as she dashes across the street.
The bank robbers are almost in the clear. A few more blocks and this will all be over. The driver is sweating and smiling. He is already planning on what he will do with the money.
The bank robbers are at the end of the line. The lights from the police car seem to be coming from all around. The sound of the siren is so loud in the driver’s ears that he cannot think straight. The driver is sweating and crying. He is already planning who he will call and what he will say.
The bank robbers are almost done. The blood in the drivers lap is pooling warm and dripping down to collect as a sticky puddle at his feet. The backseat has been quiet for at least five minutes. The driver does not know if his partner is unconscious or dead. The driver is sweating and gasping for air. He is imagining what his last words would be if there were anyone around to listen.
The beat up old Nova races around the corner of the street. Money freshly stolen from the bank flies out the open window.
The beat up old Nova races around the corner of the street. A bag of money falls over and spills across the backseat.
The beat up old Nova races around the corner of the street. The dead man in the backseat falls over to soak the bag of money with his thick red blood.
Tiff Thompson glances over at a boy she recognizes from class. She does not see the Nova coming. It kills her instantly, it severely injures her sending her into a coma from which she will never wake, or it paralyzes her from the neck down.
Tiffany Thompson is looking straight ahead, but she sees the Nova out of the corner of her eye seconds before it hits her. It kills her instantly, it severely injures her sending her into a coma from which she will never wake, or it paralyzes her from the neck down.
Tiffany Thompsen glances to the left as she runs into the street. Midway across the street she looks right and sees head-on the Nova coming toward her. She is too stunned to react and it kills her instantly, it severely injures her sending her into a coma from which she will never wake, or it paralyzes her from the neck down. She dives left and is hit by the side of the car breaking only a leg.
Tiffany Thompsen dives to the right and lands roughly on the ground. The old Nova leaves bitter exhaust in the air as it races away. Tiffany is gasping for breath. Her head is pounding from the blood racing through her. She feels a nauseous and dizzy.
“I could have died,” said Tiffany Thompsen to nobody in particular. “I could have died.”
In Cincinnati, Ohio, a young college student stands by the side of the road waiting to cross the street. Her long brown hair is pulled up high into a tight pony tail. Her thick plastic framed glasses shield her eyes from the sun, from the homeless man nearby asking for change, or from the rain. Her name is Tiphony Thompson, Tiff Thom, or Fanny Thompson.
Tiphony Thompson is running late for class. She dashes across the campus paying no attention to anything around her. Her alarm had not gone off this morning because she forgot to charge her phone.
Tiff Thom is running late for class. She dashes across the campus paying no attention to anything around her. Her alarm had not gone off this morning because her phone charger is broken.
Fanny Thompson is on time for class today. She notices the protestors on the opposite sides of the street surrounding her as she enters the building. She hears their screams and insults cringing with each syllable, she ignores their screams and insults by turning up the volume on her ipod, or she simply shows them her middle finger.
“Just because they are teaching us the procedure for abortion as part of the class does not mean we are all going on to become abortion specialists!” Fanny yells out from the door way, mutters under her breath, or thinks to herself.
The professor does his best to ignore the raising voices from outside. There are protestors arguing all sides of the issue and they seem to have more of a problem with each other than they do the actual students or even the school itself. The teacher speaks loudly not missing a beat, the teacher is flustered by the commotion and has to stop and pause his lecture twice in order to re-gather himself, the professor is getting angry and starts to drift off topic. The angry professor goes outside and joins in the screaming. The angry professor calls campus security. The angry professor mentally counts to ten and continues on with his lecture.
Outside the opposing sides reach a fevered pitch. Red faces are sweating in the hot sun as people scream at each other so intensely spittle can be seen flying in both directions. Signs which declare opinions are tossed to the ground and fists are raised. Both sides step forward and the first punch is thrown.
The protestors get bored and hot standing outside. Everybody goes home.
Only the leaders of each opposing side are arguing now. The old Christian woman is crazy everybody knows this. She just got out of the mental institution, she has never been institutionalized but probably ought to be, or she should still be in the institution but she forged papers to leave early.
The mad old woman declares that she is the instrument of Gods wrath. She pulls out a gun, a knife, or bible. She fires the gun and it misses the leader of the pro-choice hitting the young man behind her. She misses completely. She kills the pro-choice leader. The gun jams and does not go off at all.
The mad old woman is wrestled to the ground. The mad old woman puts the gun in her mouth and pulls the trigger. The mad old woman runs away. The mad old woman starts crying. The mad old woman wasn’t there and none of that ever happened.
The young man is on the ground bleeding. He has been shot in the stomach, chest, or neck. Fanny Thompson is the first out the door, or Fanny Thompson is second out the door.
Fanny Thompson has had some hands on experience in an ER and her instincts are kicking in as adrenalin floods her body clearing her mind of anything else. Fanny Thompson has used her first aid skills during an emergency before when she witnessed a car accident and her instincts kick in with the forceful punch of adrenalin. Fanny Thompson has never done anything like this before.
“Someone call 911!” Fanny yells this as she puts her hands over the wound attempting to stop the bleeding. “Someone call 911!” Fanny yells this as she tosses her cell phone to the nearest stranger. Fanny uses one hand to attempt to slow the bleeding as she uses her other hand to dial 911 from her cell phone. Fanny dials 911 on her cell phone as the first student out the door tends to the shooting victim.
The young man has a mouth full of blood as his brown eyes stare up into fanny’s green eyes that look to him to be sparkling in the sunlight. “…Angel?” He whispers this word then dies. He whispers this word and keeps gasping for air as the girl smiles down at him. Her smart hands are over the wound preventing as much blood from escaping as possible. He whispers but she is on the phone with paramedics so she does not hear him. He dies in her arms. He slips into unconsciousness. He slips into a coma. He begins talking to her in order to stay awake. He is so delirious with pain he tells Fanny Thompson that he loves her, that she is an angel, or that she is the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
The young man from the shooting will always remember Fanny for saving his life. He shakes her hand, he hugs her sobbing, he keeps in contact with her for a year or so, he keeps in contact with her for the rest of his life, he asks her out but Fanny already has a boyfriend so she says no, he asks her out and she says yes despite her boyfriend, the date and break up after one year, they date for years then break up for good after an engagement disaster, they get married but cannot have children, they get married and have three children, one, five, or two.
He never notices Fanny because she was second out the door, the paramedics do not get there in time to save his life, or he dies when the ambulance is hit by a Nova on the run from the cops.
Tiphony Thompson who had been running late for class walks up to the building just as the ambulance arrives at the scene. She watches as the young man gasping for air is lifted onto a stretcher. She walks up just as they put a blanket over the lifeless body. She walks up to find all the protestors gone only their signs are left sitting in the grass to express voices of people who had decided to go to Starbucks instead. She walks up and is shot by the crazy old woman. She slept in so late she missed the entire class, shooting and all.
Tiff Thom who had been running late for class walks up just in time to witness the shooting. She is first on the scene. She is too stunned to do anything. She is shot second and killed instantly. The young man dies in Tiff’s arms. The young man survives and they eventually marry. The young girl who was shot dies in Tiff’s arms. The young girl and Tiff date for a few years then break up.
Tiff Thom never makes it to class because she is hit by an old Nova running from the cops. Tiff Thom glances left as she runs into the street. Midway across she looks right and sees head on the Nova coming toward her. She is too stunned to react and It kills her instantly, it severely injures her sending her to a coma from which she will never wake, or it paralyzes her from the neck down. She dives left and is hit by the side of the car breaking only a leg.
Tiff Thom dives to the right and lands roughly on the ground. The old Nova leaves bitter exhaust in the air as it races away. Tiff is gasping for breath. Her head is pounding from the blood racing through her. She feels a nauseous and dizzy.
“I could have died,” said Tiff Thom to nobody in particular. “I could have died.”
Kate E Lore is the pen name of Kate Isaacs, a resident of Columbus Ohio, recent graduate from The Ohio State University, and author of over twenty published articles, essay, and short stories. Find out more at Kateelore.com
Michael St. Germain is wary of logic in art. His studio practice alternates between orchestrating controlled accidents and piling up material to bury the past. Like a happy-go-lucky fool, he goes wherever his intuition leads.