Tuesday, May 24



Four very good friends on their way to the beach accidentally drive off a cliff.

The girls scream and scream, waving their arms and holding on to anything they can.

But they keep falling without hitting the bottom. The car spins as it falls, so they can't really see how far they have left before impact. They stop screaming and a strange silence comes over them.

"I'm so sorry I killed you guys," says Samantha. "You have no idea how sorry I am."

"It was my idea to go to the beach," says Lauren. "Everyone else wanted to go to the lake, but I had to go to the beach. Now we're all going to die."

"I love you guys so much," says Samantha. They all agree. Lindsay throws up on her sandaled feet.

"Ooohh...." moans Lindsay. "I'm sorry, I just--" She throws up again.

"It's okay, don't worry." Belinda pats her on the back. "A little vommit won't matter."

"Yeah," Lindsay wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. "But it's still nasty."

"Hey, remember that time we went skinny dipping in Jordan's pool when he was out of town, and his parents came home?" asks Lauren.

"Yes! And remember when we--" The car bumps up against the side of the cliff, setting off a new round of shrill screams. They scream for only a few moments before they realize they're still alive.

"Ow," says Belinda.

"Everyone okay?" asks Samantha.

"Yeah, Lindsay just whipped me in the eye with her hair," explains Belinda. "I'm okay, though."

The car spins sickeningly as it plummets ever downward.

"What do you think's going to happen when we die?" asks Lauren.

"We might not die," says Lindsay.

"Yeah we will," says Belinda. "We're totally going to die. Cars explode when they fall off cliff. Do you even know how big this gas tank is?"

"Whatever, you don't have to be mean about it." Lindsay stares out the window, watching the horizon spinning around them.

"I'm not being mean," says Belinda.

"Guys," says Samantha. "This is no time to argue. We've been best friends for years. Since middle school! Are we going to die arguing?"

"Hey, let's see what's on the radio." Lauren reaches for the tuner, turns on a loud pop song.

"Oh, change it."

"Yeah, I hate that song."

Belinda changes it to a sad country song. No one objects so she leaves it.

The car hits the rocky ground and explodes into an enormous ball of seemingly liquid flame. The echo of the detonation reverberates through the air for a long time, even after the flame has burned itself out. A plume of smoke rises from the debris. It looks like a question mark, punctuating the end of four lives. One of the girl's cell phone rings. It's their friend Tony, wondering where they are. His call goes unanswered. His message is funny, if too long and rambling.

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