Authors: Briana Gaitan
By Briana Gaitan
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system,
without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief
quotations in a review.
Copyright © 2014 by Briana Gaitan
Cover design © Briana Gaitan
First Edition, 2014
This is a work of fiction.
All characters appearing in this book are fictitious. Any
resemblance to real persons living or dead are purely coincidental.
To: The depressed, hurt, or lonely. Fight for your happy
This is a prequel short story to
The Last Thing
Though it can be read as a standalone, it may ruin parts of
The Last Thing.
I highly suggest first reading
The Last Thing
Plagued by past
mistakes in both love and life, Quinn Bardot is in a bad place. With nowhere
else to turn, she escapes to LA clinging to the promise of a fresh start.
Chase Crowley is known for being selfish and unbelievably persistent. All he's
ever wanted is to become a successful actor. But now that he is about to have
it all, he finds that something is still missing. Money and fame isn't what he
After a fervent encounter, the two of them are thrown into a situation that
neither is prepared for. Can Quinn extinguish her fears and let Chase in? Can
Chase learn to put someone else's needs before his own?
The Last Thing is a novel all about love, Hollywood, and accepting what life
throws at you even if it is the last thing you want.
Writing Bash was
difficult, only because he had such a unique style. He has this manic love for
Quinn, but also he is dealing with a lot of issues that others can relate to.
When writing a short story, every part is important. We don’t have time to
explore everything, so each scene has to have a special meaning. Come explore
the last 12 hours of Bash’s life. I hope you will find a special meaning in
each chapter. I also used the formatting to make it feel, for lack of a better
word, poetic. Happy Reading!.
Each part has a
while you read.
I’m dead. It’s a
strange feeling, a bizarre realization, but I’ve never been in less pain. The
death I wished for only hours ago has come to pass. I am oddly at peace, but
ashamed. I’m not alone. Her body lies beside mine. She isn’t aware. I sit up
and stare at her. Her eyes are still, yet a faint light radiates from her. It
flickers in and out. She’s fighting for life.
No more football
practices or hours of weight training. No more lectures from my father and
everyone constantly telling me “the whole town is counting on you, son.”
As I sit on the
bank of the riverbed, I remember the girl who lays lifeless among the leaves
and the dirt with her wet hair stuck to the side of her face.
“Please don’t be
dead.” I reach out to check her pulse, but my hand goes right through her small
body. Right through her heart.
I never meant
to hurt her, but the entire night is slipping away from my mind. Little grains
of sand that I desperately try and hold within my grasp, but they find the
cracks and slip through my fingers. When I think of Quinn, there is only emptiness.
I once loved her, care for her, but I can’t feel that emotion anymore. It’s
dead. I’m dead inside. So this is the afterlife? To roam the earth aimlessly?
“Wake up, Quinn.
Wake up. Wake
!” I’m yelling at her, hoping that she can somehow hear
me. Sticky, wet blood pools on the leaves around her head. So much blood. Too
much blood. No one is out driving this late at night. No one will see her lying
here, dying. I can’t let that happen. The only reason she’s hurt is because I
had to go and screw things up like I always do. I
to get drunk and
threaten to kill myself, all over losing some stupid football game.
No, she wasn’t
going to die tonight. Not while I was around. For once in my life, I will save
. I look up at the old rusty bridge, the one that the car had flipped
off of, and I find myself instantly at the top of it.
How in the world did I get up here?
I don’t know
how I plan on saving her, but I need to get someone who is alive. Two large headlights
appear in the distance, and as they speed toward me at forty-five miles per
hour, I wave my hands in the air.
Somebody stop!” They aren’t slowing. I move out of the way at the last second,
and the car drives past as if they hadn’t seen me.
They didn’t see
me, of course. I bet they would have driven right through me.
I glance over
the edge of the bridge. “Don’t die on me, Quinn.”
Two more lights
appear in the distance.
This is pointless.
Bash, don’t give up on her now!
small car is heading right for me, not slowing.
“PLEASE STOP!” I
scream louder this time. A wave of static energy flows through the air, causing
a tree branch to fall. The rotted wood lands on the side of the bridge, beside
a pile of twisted metal from the car bumper. I allow myself to breath
Do I even need oxygen now?
The car swerves
and pulls off to the side of the road.
Thank God. He
stopped. He will take care of her. A man, who looks to be in his mid-thirties,
steps out of the car with a flashlight.
“What the—” he
points the light around the bridge and shines it at the wreckage.
“Over here!” I
call out. I run to the side of the bridge and turn my eyes toward Quinn. Her
light is fading. It’s hard watching her mangled body, but I have to save her. I
need to save her, and I’m doing a terrible job. I throw my hands in the air and
yell again. “Over here, dude!”
He takes his
time walking along the bridge, but panics when he picks up some of the
wreckage. His eyes search the darkness.
“Anyone out there?”
the man yells out. “Anyone need help?”
“Down there!” I
point off the bridge toward the water. Why do I keep talking? He can’t hear me
or see me. The man points his flashlight off the side of the bridge and scans
Please save her.
Please save her.
Please save her.
I’m not sure if
I’m praying or wishing. Maybe I’m praying to a God that I abandoned years ago Whatever
I’m doing, it is my last hope.
“Holy crap! It’s
a girl! Caroline, call the cops there’s a girl down there!”
I watch a
shadowed figure jump out of the car. A pregnant lady with blonde hair.
“Call 911 quick,
there’s a girl down there,” he says before running to the edge of the bridge to
He sees her.
He can save her.
He can save her.
She’ll be okay.
I begin to fade.
12 hours earlier
I set my helmet
inside of my locker before slamming it as hard as I can.
voice echoes through the empty locker room. It taunts me, telling me how much I
screwed up. Just outside, my parents and three thousand fans stand with
disappointment on their faces. We’d lost the first game of the season, and all
because I couldn’t get my head in the game.
I sigh before
turning around. I already know who the voice belongs to. Tawny the school
reporter. She’s been looking for ways to bring me down since my freshman year.
waiting outside for you.” she says with a smirk on her face.
“How did you get
in here?” I try to push past her small body, but she uses her shoulder to push
“I said everyone
is waiting for you.”
“I bet you’re
happy, huh? My first game as starting quarterback, and I kept dropping the
“I bet your mind
was somewhere else.”
“What ya getting
“Nothing. Can I
just get a statement?” She sighs and starts tapping her foot. “My editor is
insistent that we still play up how
you played tonight.”
sucks up to me. “Fine, what do you want?”
“Is it true you’re
on the verge of losing your football scholarship due to your grades?”
My jaw tightens.
How does she know about that? “That’s none of your business, Tawny.”
“Okay, then what
about the team’s drug scandal.”
I choose my
words carefully. “What do you know about that?”
“I know that
your wide receiver, Ben Marco, was caught selling drugs on campus. I know that
all the players were tested before the game.”
Words can’t even
describe how angry I am. My throat closes up; my fists curl up at my side, my
pulse races. How dare she come in here with her pompous holier than thou
attitude and ask me questions she has no idea about. I want to hit her, hit
someone, hit something.
“Get the hell
out!” I point towards the door before making a dent in one of the lockers with
my fist. “Get out NOW!”
would be your reaction.” She laughs and walks toward the exit. I shake my right
hand a bit, nothing is broken, but the pain radiates up from my knuckles.
They’ve taken worse. There’s only one person who can make me feel better, and
she lives hours away. She isn’t here because she’s working on a makeup design
for a movie. I pull out my phone and press the speed dial. She’s the only one
who calms me down when I feel like this.
“Hey Bash, How
did your game go?”
speeds up, I hate to disappoint her, but there is no other way around it.
“We lost, I kept
screwing up. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” I don’t tell her the rest. I
don’t want to worry her.
“Honey, I’m so
sorry. You’ve worked
hard for that position. Everything okay?”
When I don’t say
anything else, she starts humming. I hear the strokes of her paintbrush hitting
a canvas, I can only imagine that she is twirling her hair, no doubt specks of
paint cover her hands and face.
“Ask me about my
project.” she says. I don’t want to talk about her project; I want her to do
what she always does. Tell me it will be okay and give me advice.
“Tell me about
your project.” My voice is flat, unenthusiastic. I sit down on the wooden bench
and wait for her to answer.
“I molded a
latex mask yesterday, some crazy creature that turns into whatever you’re
slightly, “Isn’t that already a creature from Harry Potter?”
“No! This is completely
“Do you have to
think of something funny to defeat it?”
erupted from between my lips; she always knows what to say to distract me. I
hear someone calling my name. I wish I could move away, change my name, and
“I gotta go face
the demons,” I tell her. “Wish you were here, love ya.”
“You’ll do fine,
Bash. I love you. See you this weekend? Meet me half way?”
She’s moving to Atlanta next week, I live in Knoxville. It’s a long drive only
manageable by meeting in Chattanooga.
“Can we go to
“Yes, Quinn.” I
hang up feeling better, but not completely. She didn’t tell me it would be all
right. If only I could convince myself, it
be all right.
I slip my phone
inside my gym bag and walk towards the bright lights of the outdoor stadium.
This was supposed to be
year. After working towards first string my
entire freshman year, I was now the star quarterback of the Ravens. I had
exactly what my parent’s wanted for me. A scholarship, community respect, and
my team. I was about to lose it all.