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Tachypsychia

A condition that alters the perception of time, in this case, due to a traumatic event.

By R.R. MichaelsPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
1
Tachypsychia is a neurological condition that alters the perception of time, usually induced by physical exertion, drug use, or a traumatic event. For someone affected by tachypsychia, time perceived by the individual either lengthens, making events appear to slow down, or contracts, with objects appearing as moving in a speeding blur.

It’s rush hour in San Francisco, not quite a minute before 9AM, as I can see from the large pedestal clock on the opposite corner of the intersection just above the crossing signal, which has just turned green.

“I’m gonna be late!” I think, as I begin to take a step into the crosswalk when time suddenly slowed to a crawl, when I look to my left.

TICK

On my left, there is a steep hill, and my eye catches a large panel truck just as it begins to approach the crosswalk. It is not slowing.

TOCK

As it passes, heedless of the crosswalk and the red light, I see clearly . . . There is no one at the wheel. "Hillside Bakery" is emblazoned in large brown letters on the side.

TICK

As I turn my head to follow, cross traffic is already moving briskly.

TOCK

The first car struck is an ancient white Cadillac Coupe DeVille. The young driver has a look of surprise on his face before the bulk of the delivery truck obscures my view. I hear a loud crunch as the metal of the truck’s massive bumper and the passenger side of the Caddy make contact.

TICK

As large as the Cadillac is, it's forced into oncoming traffic and its left fender strikes the opposing left fender of a dark red Mustang convertible. I blithely take in the horrified look on the Mustang driver’s face as his pride-and-joy absorbs the collision and spins to the right.

TOCK

As the heavy delivery truck slowly continues to push the impaled Cadillac sideways, I hear another crunch and watch the truck shudder, as another vehicle strikes it from the left.

TICK

Smoke begins to rise from the other side of the truck, and I watch as it begins to teeter and topple slowly onto its right side, coming to rest across the trunk of the Mustang with a sickening thud.

TOCK

Just past the back of the delivery truck, I see a vigilant security guard with a shotgun, starting to climb out of the passenger side of a large smoldering Brinks Armored Truck.

TICK

I watch the security guard throw himself backward as a small silver Mazda Miata looms into view from behind the truck.

TOCK

The Miata swerves onto the sidewalk, barely missing the security guard and the mass of mangled vehicles, but then plows into a flower vendor’s stand while the vendor jumps out of the way.

TICK

As wood splinters and assorted flowers explode in all directions, the Miata burst through the remains of the stand, lurching across the corner, aimed straight at me.

TOCK

The elderly Miata driver, who I can see clearly, is screaming, her mouth wide open in inaudible surprise as her car careens off the sidewalk and she sees me frozen in her path.

TICK

Suddenly realizing my peril, I leap to my right, a fraction of a second, and scant inches, before the left fender of the car reaches me.

TOCK

The terrified driver stares at me as she passes, and I can see her knuckles white on the steering wheel, as the car impacts the granite side wall of the bank, which I had exited just moments before.

TICK

A puff of smoke appears from the center of her steering wheel, and I watch as her head hits the mercifully deployed airbag.

TOCK

Time returns to normal as catch my breath, and rush to the Miata driver’s aid, as other passersby rush to the aid of the other victims.

The nearby pedestal clock begins to chime 9 o'clock as I tear open the door of the Miata and help the driver out, while a frantic man wearing a "Hillside Bakery" shirt runs breathlessly into the intersection, his hands pounding the top of his head.

FIN

Stream of ConsciousnessShort StoryPsychological
1

About the Creator

R.R. Michaels

Aspiring author, with a major political thriller in the works with lots of sexual & erotic scenes & themes in support. The work I submit here will largely be ancillary scenes or parallel work which aligns with Vocal's community standards.

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  • Flamance @ lit.about a month ago

    Amazing job congratulations

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