It was morning in Arcadia Bay. A young girl, Chloe Price, is eager to wake her best friend, Max Caulfield.
"Wakey wakey eggs and bakey! We're gonna help dad cook breakfast. He's quite helpless at it when mom's not around." Chloe scrambles the covers off a still sleepy Max. Sitting up, she rubbed the crust from her eyes.
"No wakey. Me sleepy." Max's mouth was really dry this morning.
"You sure are tired more than usual. First you fall asleep on me watching Reservoir Dogs last night, now you're about to ditch breakfast for sleep? Sheesh."
Max laughed. "Sorry, I was just doing my best Chloe Price impersonation. Payback when you fall asleep with whatever I want to watch."
Chloe rolled her eyes. She knew she was right. They almost always had to finish their movies in two nights, not one. But Chloe was hoping to change that, tonight.
"I heard Blade Runner is fucking awesome. We should watch that tonight. Harrison Ford is like, super fucking hot for an older dude."
"Watch as much as you can, you mean."
Chloe hit Max with a pillow. "You're guilty too you know! Tell you what, whoever falls asleep first, owes the other lunch at Pacific Steve's Crabs tomorrow."
"You're on. You will give me all your delicious crabs money can buy." said Max
"You're so adorkable. But I'm no prostitute. But there could still be time for that. Then I can give you all the crabs."
They both started laughing. Max reached beside the bed for her analog polaroid. "I'm getting up! But first, let me take a selfie!" Max always had to take a selfie every morning. She had always wanted to make a montage of herself growing up and getting older throughout the years. It was something of an idea she got from having William measure their heights on the wall, only she wanted a more visual representation.
"Photobomb!" Chloe stuck her head into the view of the camera lens right before the flash. Max placed her camera on Chloe's computer desk and Chloe grabbed Max's hand to guide her best friend out of her room; their hands clenching warmly and ever so tightly.
William Price is downstairs, in the kitchen, preparing the two girls a hearty breakfast. He hears footsteps coming down the steps and is greeted by his daughter.
"Greatness has arrived." Chloe revealed herself to her dad in glorious fashion, opening her arms and spinning around in her socks like a ballerina.
"There's my favorite two women on the planet! And uh, that's between us three! Keep it a secret from your mom."
"Ooh, busted. Definitely telling mom she isn't your favorite." Chloe teased, joining her dad in the kitchen.
"Do you remember how many eggs?" William asked, unsure.
Chloe thinks, "Hmm, mom said that depends."
"That's true!" The older man realized.
"So how many eggs?"
"Don't you dare question the chef."
"Like you're the real cook here?"
"I am while your mom is away."
Chloe scoffed. "Yeah, I'll let mom know that too."
The house phone had begun to ring. William puts down the spatula and brushes Chloe's elbow on the way to answer. Joyce is on the other line.
Max leans against the counter next to Chloe and watches her baste the eggs. Chloe couldn't help but smile at her childhood friend. "Well don't just stand there like an adorable wallflower! Retrieve thy flour besides you and help me procure this glorious breakfast!"
Mustering her best British accent, Max responded. "O' captain! Herein lies the flour thy asked of thee!"
Max offered the cup of flour as if she was a knight offering a sword to his master. They overhear William on the other side of the wall.
"Of course I'll come pick you up! Now I have an excuse to get a mocha. Be there shortly. Love you." The sound of the telephone on the receiver had alerted the girls that William had finished his dialogue with Joyce.
"Excuse me ladies, I have to go rescue Yonder Queen at the Save-Mart! She doth have many bags of grub for us to feast upon!"
The two girls laughed at his ridiculous, yet adorable butt in, as he lumbered around the living room searching for his keys. "Uh, dad, we overheard you saying mocha. Me and Max need our caffeine fix. Don't we?" Chloe knocked elbows with Max and winked. She knew how to work her dad to get everything she needed, and William could never say no to Chloe Price.
"Sure, you guys can come with me, but that breakfast isn't going to make itself!"
"Well he does have a point." Max pointed out.
Chloe tapped the counter with her finger tips. "Well its not like there's anything in the oven. We can finish when we get back. Plus we could use that bacon mom bought at the grocery store."
"Ah touche Chloe. You talk a good bargain. I'll be out in the car! Don't forget to lock the door on the way out!"
Chloe spun around to Max and smirked. "Yeah, wouldn't want anyone to steal our eggs and milk."
"Actually Chloe, I think I'm going to stay here." Max looked down, nervously.
Noticing the concern on Max's face, Chloe stopped in her tracks. "What's wrong? Look Max, how are you gonna turn down Starbucks?" She put her hand on her hips expecting a good response.
Max couldn't help but look down away from Chloe's diamond blue eyes. "I don't know. I feel really queasy. Its really hard to explain it."
"Duh, its called hunger, Max. If you won't do it for the mocha, or me, do it for... THE BACON."
"Well, I guess you're right. Now I have to go." Max finally caved. The two giggled as they stepped out of the kitchen and out the front door. The morning sun burned bright into Max's sleepy eyes. She couldn't quite understand why she was feeling as anxious as she was.
Come on Max. Get ahold of yourself.
Chloe opened the back door and bowed to Max, offering for her to get in first. Max obliged.
"When asshole Chloe is more chivalrous than boys." Max remarked with great sarcasm.
"Would you prefer I slam the door on your toe?"
William inserted the keys in the ignition and revved up his engine. "Fasten up ladies. Warp drive... activate."
The two clicked in their seatbelts and they set out for the road. William began fiddling with the radio stations to find the perfect tune for this perfect morning. He found one of his favorites. "If Not For You", a song by former Beatle, George Harrison.
"Hey, here's a thought! If we were each a Beatle, who would we be?" William wanted to play a game with the two girls.
"Max is Ringo." Chloe teased.
"For once I disagree with you. She's totally George, the quiet and reserved one." William supported his choice.
"You got a point. And what about me?" Chloe cocked her head.
Max cut in. "John Lennon, the rebel and resident smartass of the group."
Chloe's eyes widened and nodded her head. "You know me well, Max. Now THAT is accurate. I just hope I don't get shot by my adoring fans."
William proudly boasted. "And I would be Paul McCartney due to my dashing looks and charisma!"
"You dork." replied Chloe, grinning a wide grin. "I guess mom gets Ringo. Yikes. Shafted again. Poor mom."
"Ringo is super cool. And that's accurate anyway considering your mom comes home blisters on her fingers from working all day." William remarked and made a turn, coming up on to a 3 way intersection. He reached his hand down to turn the volume up and then, a truck had collided into them. Everything faded to black.
Chloe's eyes were closed. Almost no time seemed to pass. Now, it seemed as if she was talking to angels. The sound of distorted voices whispered into her ear.
Chloe could feel herself floating. The sounds of what seemed like hundreds of sirens also rang in her ears. Her eyes slowly opened to a beautiful cloudless blue sky. Slowly, her senses began to come to, and her mind was becoming more aware. Why did it feel like she was weightless? And why couldn't she move? Chloe strained every muscle in her body, but no give. She tried to move her head. No give. Her peripheral vision revealed two silhouettes of people on each side of her.
They were paramedics. She came to the realization that she was strapped to a gurney, being carted into an ambulance. "Wh-what happened? What happened?" She asked the medical personnel but no response. There was a bump, and before she knew it, she was being raised inside, what seemed like a box. An ambulance, full of gadgets and medical equipment strewn around her.
Chloe could feel her heart bursting out of her chest. Everything became crystal clear now. With all her might, she sat up and peered outside, much to the dismay of the paramedics. Her strength to pull this off was almost superhuman.
But she wished she hadn't. The sight of what was once their car was completely obliterated. And then she eyed a body on the ground. The body of a bloodied Max Caulfield trying to be resuscitated. Chloe's heart sank as far as it would go. Like a black hole had formed in her insides and swallowed every last bit of breath in her. "Max? MAX?!" she screamed while thrashing about. "DAD?! DADDY?! PLEASE?!"
Panic had set in. Off of the corner of her eye, she saw a man, mangled and bloodied, being put into a black body bag and taken away, disappearing out of her sight. Chloe began to sob uncontrollably, losing all vision, being completely blinded by tears. A half a dozen rescue workers, firemen and policemen alike, rushed over to help the paramedics regain control of their patient.
"DADDY! DAAAADDDYYY! HELP ME! NO! LET ME GO! Please! LET ME GO!"
"Miss, everything is going to be okay."
"LET ME FUCKING GO!" Chloe begged harder than she begged in her life.
Chloe tried to fight back being restrained, until every last drop of adrenaline gave out and she was completely, utterly powerless. Helpless. They began to shut the doors, prompting Chloe to do the only thing she could do. Chloe screamed as loud as she could as the doors shut.
She screamed. Oh how she screamed.
...And she screamed until her lungs gave out too.
TO BE CONTINUED