NYHW: My first Intro to Writing Fiction class assignment - to create a short story with a conflict, climax and resolution

As the median of the highway fast approached Micah’s oncoming rental car, he could not help cursing the events of the last week, all caused by his sister’s marriage. She’d picked the worst of places and the absolute worst of times. From the moment she’d called he knew it would end in trouble. “Brother dearest, I need you to be here for this” she’d said, maybe it was a lack of confidence in her new choice, maybe it was fear. Either way he’d agreed, and in doing so had blown his vacation days, rescheduled an important meeting with the executives, and bought himself a ticket to Spain.

They had not spoken in years, it was as though the span of land between the coasts had created a barrier stronger than their emotions could handle. She’d chosen the West, a small liberal arts college on the coast of California. He’d gone East, years earlier, to the land of establishment and college towns. He’d found out from their parents her decision to drop from school and become a scuba instructor. And in a way he was both proud and jealous, she was always more free spirited yet equally more devoted to doing the things she loved than he. She had picked him up from the airport in Madrid, but things were awkward from the start. Micah had noticed something not quite right in his sister’s voice, something missing blended with something new. She was looking thinner than he’d remembered, but even more so she seemed frail and exhausted. There was the random meaningless chit chat at first, but things slowly shifted to her new choice. His name was Brandon, and he too dropped from college to sell imported cars for his uncle’s company. He’d been in jail twice, but Mindy insisted he’d been wrongfully accused in both cases. Just before they’d reached the hotel Micah glanced a small bruise on her shoulder, but before he could ask they’d arrived at the doors and his parents rushed to greet him.

Days later Micah had discovered the truth, his sister was marrying the type of man whom he’d never been able to defend her from. The type of man who stayed out late without calling and would come home belligerent and stupid and whom Mindy would forgive only to be hurt again. Twice Micah had tried to confront his sister and warn her of the horrid life she would soon be suffering. But she claimed to be in love, and felt that she truly knew that this was right. He could tell that excuses were something she’d gotten extremely good at in the recent years, and it frustrated him to the point of threatening to leave. At the sound of this Mindy would break down in tears and scream that abandonment was one of the things he did best, at which point Micah would change his mind and stay.

So Micah had decided to confront the problem from another angle, he decided to talk with the husband to be. This seemed only to make the situation worse, as a fight ensued and fists were thrown. Finally Micah threatened to call the police, Brandon responded with a death threat. Frustrated, Micah decided to return to his hotel to sleep things off. In the morning he called his sister to tell her he was leaving, after a heated debate he took off in a hurry. Speeding now on the foreign highway his foot extended to the brake petal only to realize the lack of tension all too late. The small car careened into the side wall and ricocheted into the ditch on the far side. The small embankment rolled the car, sending Micah’s body flailing against its side door.

When he awoke in the hospital the next day, his sister was at his side. Brandon had apparently left town without a word.

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