Lives Collide

****You can find the previous chapter of Vivid Black HERE ~~


Sarah Jane carefully concealed the Tracfone. At home, she habitually moved it from place to place and the ringer was always off. It was under her pillow when she slept, or in her battered sling bag, an expected accessory. Her dad was a great detective which meant he was also detective dad at home and if she slipped up it would wreck everything she’d accomplished.

Zombie Gauntlet was her obsession. Max sent texts to “Zombies” and “Normals” with the route and time of the next challenge. Sarah Jane was the top competitor since it began. She had a reputation and a record to defend with each challenge.

Two years ago she asked for a cellphone. She carefully planned her reasons and arguments.

  • Her friend McKinley had one and her parents were super strict.
  • It would give them peace of mind knowing they could get ahold of her any time.
  • She promised she would never go over her minutes and texts or use it in class.
  • She was 14 and had good grades.
  • She knew kids who got smart phones in the third grade.

Predictably, her parents refused. Her Dad said the kids who are in trouble have few or no restrictions and kids and cellphones are a dangerous mix. Her Mom said kids don’t have filters and that they have neither time nor experience to understand the privilege and responsibility. Ray and Leta steadfastly refused to back down.

For Sarah Jane calmness was a rare commodity. In the face of defeat, she succumbed to the potency of her adolescence and her fury exploded like a roman candle. She stormed off to her room stomping, shouting and venting her outrage at the unfairness.

The refusal broke something. Two years later the collision’s wreckage had spun their lives out of control. Her determination to get what she wanted and their dedication to safeguard her innocence cleaved the family. Sarah Jane became disrespectful, dishonest, and defiant. Her parents found they no longer recognized their own child. Their home felt like a pot on the edge of boiling all the time.

The phone gently vibrated the text “ZGC Oct2910 1115pm”, then “21st along park/cemetery. End Lake” Sarah Jane felt the adrenaline rise knowing in two days she would “slay” Zombies and cunningly defeat the horde and win another Challenge.

Ray’s dire warnings didn’t affect her. The danger appealed to her; it was intoxicating.


This chapter of Vivid Black was inspired by the prompt over at Write On Edge and their Red writing Hood prompt. Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield” is a no brainer for the backstory on Sarah Jane and the rift between her parents. This song came to me the moment I conceived it and it played through my head as I composed the piece.

Here’s what WOE gave us:

This week, you have 400 words to write about collision. It can be literal or figurative, large or small.


2 comments on “Lives Collide

  1. Tina says:

    Teens have to break with their parents, otherwise they’d never leave! I liked her reasons why she should have a phone–I made many of those lists growing up!


  2. May says:

    Oh, adolescence! This is the perfect metaphor and setting for “collision”. Very true to life…right down to the teen smart enough to make her parents’ ability to reach her anytime an argument for getting a cell phone.


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