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I had moved here two weeks' ago, but had never visited this section of town so late at night. I had been invited to the pub by my neighbour, to make me feel welcome. An hour ago, she had phoned to say she had been asked to work overtime, and wouldn't be able to make it. Seeing as I was there, I drank a couple of cocktails. I was now walking back home.  

Drunken people yelled out across the street. A couple of cars drove by, their horns blaring as the inebriated stumbled into the road. A bright yellow car stopped, flashing its headlights. A woman in a red dress banged on the window. The passenger door was opened, and a shouting match started between the woman and the driver. The woman slammed the door closed, and walked away. My stomach churned. I felt as though I had witnessed this before, and a weird protectiveness came over me. I had a strong urge to warn the woman about her actions, but warring partners were not unusual on a night out, and it wasn't my place to offer advice to a stranger who seemed to be in control of the situation.

When I came upon a cobbled street, I was relieved; my house was just a five minute walk from here. The building before me was partially lit by a streetlight. I swallowed, waiting for something, but not sure what. When I heard the clacking of high heels behind me, I felt as though the scene was complete. I turned to see the woman in the red dress trip on the cobbles. My stomach turned over, and my head felt dizzy. I leant on the wall of the building, its texture rough beneath my hand. Familiar. Leave the weapon. The thought came from nowhere. Let go of the weapon.

My head felt heavy. I'm not sure when it happened, but I realised now that my ears were ringing. As if drowning, the pressure kept increasing, and the ringing became more intense, until I thought my head would explode. All these actions, all these feelings; I felt trapped in them. I watched the woman take off her high heels and limp towards me. Under the streetlight, I saw that her knee had been scraped of skin. As she passed, she scowled, possibly embarrassed by her fall. Her perfume wafted around me. I itched my nose from the invading sense, finding that a sadness was overtaking my mind. I knew then that something was going to happen here. Something to her; something to me. The pressure in my head ceased. There was a sudden silence.

As if replacing these things, my eyes started to deceive me. I saw myself as a projection over reality, turning down an alleyway, following the woman in the red dress. I heard a scream coming from where they disappeared, and rushed after the figures.

Shadows lined the alleyway, but light still seeped down its length. The woman was sitting on the ground, cradling her ankle. I saw my own projection kneel down in front of her, my ghostly hand rubbing her shoulders. My back was to the man coming out of the shadows, ready to swing a crowbar at my projection's head. I blinked; grounded myself in reality. The man was not another projection. He was here. I wanted to shout out, but my voice was mute. He swung, and the woman looked up. Light caught in her eyes, and reflected fear. I watched the crowbar strike through my projected form. It collapsed to the ground, but the man stopped the swing of his weapon before it hit the woman.

"Gregg," the woman's voice was husky, "What are you doing?"  

Gregg's fingers got a better grip on the crowbar. Although the guy was tall, he wasn't not bulky, and I guessed he relied on technique for his fights. A far more deadly skill than brute force.

"I've had enough, Melissa."

"Just put it down, Gregg. We can talk this through." She placed her hand on his arm, and took the crowbar out of his grip. It clattered as she placed it on the pavement. Melissa then wrapped her arms round him. But the man took her gruffly and pushed her away. "Stop messing with me. I saw you with that woman. I know what's happening."

I saw my projection's hand twitch, and reach for the crowbar. It stood up, lifting a ghostly form of the crowbar out of the physical iron. I watched myself swing it towards Gregg's head. But instead of making contact, it went through him. Then my projection stumbled back, and crashed into the wall, as if pushed. It slid to the floor, and as it lay there, it faded. My heart stung, and my mouth tasted like iron. A scream took me out of this fascination. Gregg was shaking Melissa. Then there was a loud clap as he struck her face. He was angry, distracted, and I realised now was the time to intervene.


I ran forwards, and slammed my full bodyweight into him. My force made him stumble sideways. Whilst he was still wondering where I had come from, I picked up the crowbar. I aimed for his head, but Gregg ducked, and caught the weapon as it came towards him. I didn't have time to think. I let go, grabbed Melissa, and we ran into new territory.

All I could hear was my heart and our feet, all I could feel was the wind against my face. I could smell Melissa. I could feel her slowing. I stopped. She looked like she was in pain. Her scraped knee was bleeding.

"I can't go on. I don't think he's followed us anyway," she said with shortened breath.

I heard a clash from behind her. "He's come. Run."

But it was too late. Melissa was on the ground, blood seeping from her head. Gregg stood over her, and turned his eyes onto me. He smiled. I gasped. The crowbar came flying towards me. My eyes went to Melissa's red dress, which was moving slightly in the wind. The world exploded white, and then there was silence.

***

"You have failed again." A voice came out the the white space, ethereal and dominant. "I can't keep doing this. I haven't had enough time to recuperate, I'm weakening. You have one last chance to make this right. Do not fail me."

"What's happening?"

"You have died. You have died three times now, because of that man, and I have sent you back to this situation twice. Each time you have learned something new, and have used intuition to save you from dying the same way again."

"Why?"

"Because my plans for you two go further than victims of this man's jealousy. Though I can send you back, I have not the power to manipulate things first-hand, and it is against our laws to send you back with full consciousness of the future. But your mind is more open than most. You can put this together. Keep sharp. You'll make it." The world became silent and white again.

***

Still wondering about the strong sense of déjà vu I was having, I looked away from the building. The way the light hit it was making my stomach churn. I saw a woman in a red dress trip on the cobbles. It all seemed so familiar. My head felt dizzy. I leant my hand on the wall of the building, the texture rough beneath my hand. Don't stop running. The thought came from nowhere. Don't stop.
Prompt: PROMPT A: The absolute worst time for Déjà vu.
For: :iconscreamprompts:

One day I'll write something that stays away from death. I'm a (mostly) happy person. Honest.

I hope this makes sense. Yell at me if it doesn't. Thank you :).

Word Count: 1,267

EDIT: I can't believe I got a DD! I'm walking around in a daze right now. Thanks so much for every favourite, comment and suggestion. I'll get round to visiting everyone's page eventually!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-09-08
Deja vu. Again. by ~Shyanne-Kai Suggester writes: Fantastic take on deja vu. As confusing to the reader as to the main character at first, but it all comes together in the end. ( Suggested by TheSkaBoss and Featured by BeccaJS )
:iconthecheshercat:
TheChesherCat Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Whoa. Very clever, and well-written too :D
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014
I'm about 2 1/2 months late in replying, but thank you so much for your comment! :hug:
Reply
:iconthecheshercat:
TheChesherCat Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Don't worry, it happens to me all the time. I loved the concept here, and it was executed really nicely. :)
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here: dailylitdeviations.deviantart.… Congratulations on your DD!

Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article. Keep writing and keep creating.
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:iconninsennansen:
ninsennansen Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I like it :)
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
Thank you :aww:
Reply
:iconshewhowrites:
SheWhoWrites Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2012
This is so amazing! :love: I love your take on deja vu and the way you wrote this.
Leave the weapon, Don't stop running--Ties everything back together. Love the little details, too. :)
"...it is against our laws to send you back with full consciousness of the future. But your mind is more open than most. You can put this together. Keep sharp. You'll make it." Really powerful and ends all of the confusion for the character and reader. Great job! :clap:
Congrats on your DD! :hug:
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Thanks so much! And I'm grateful for the favourite, too :aww:
Reply
:iconshewhowrites:
SheWhoWrites Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
You're very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconnooryii:
Nooryii Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012
That's so awesome, mate! I totally love it, the last bit's amazing, I like those kinda things! ^^ Though I didn't quite get it, who's talking to him after he dies? Death angels or something?
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
Thanks! I think it's a guardian angel.
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow... so interesting. I love it! It's a brilliant idea.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconthemateriamaster:
TheMateriaMaster Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I just thought you should know that this beautiful piece has been added and featured in #ArtistSanctuary's favourites.

Keep up the amazing work :heart:
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Wow, thank you so much! :hug:
Reply
:iconthemateriamaster:
TheMateriaMaster Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
No problem at all :heart:
Reply
:iconnewb4fun:
Newb4Fun Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoo, this is amazing~ :clap:
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thank you! :aww:
Reply
:iconmesserfly:
Messerfly Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
I really want to see where this story goes.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thank you for your interest, but unfortunately I'm leaving this as a standalone piece whilst I concentrate on my novel.
Reply
:iconmesserfly:
Messerfly Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
Ah well. I suppose that's part of the intrigue, really.
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:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Congratulations on your D.D!

Good dialogue.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thank you! I have issues with dialogue, so that means a lot.
Reply
:iconbrassteeth:
brassteeth Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
My pleasure. :nod:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Congrats on the DD! This will be at the top of my 'need to read' list.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconhappyhorseshoe303:
happyhorseshoe303 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012
whoa... it's like that movie that came out a while ago, i forget the title, but the guy was put into the past to stop things from happening...
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
A lot of people have been saying it's like Source Code, is that the film? I need to see it to understand what people are talking about, haha. By the way, awesome interabang as your avatar! That symbol really needs to become a part of normal punctuation.
Reply
:iconhappyhorseshoe303:
happyhorseshoe303 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
yeah, i just looked it up. the movie's about a soldier who gets put into some other guy's body during the last eight minutes of his life, and has to stop a bomber on a chicago train. or something. anyway, thanks for the complement! i love interrobangs too, best punctuation there is. it's like the awesome nerdy cousin that is always overlooked because his diva mother ! is always throwing herself out there and his dad ? is always used as the more official punctuation and the interrobang is off starting the mentos/diet coke phenomenon, but nobody really knows it's him doing it... i wish someone would make a hetalia-type thing for punctuation, it would be really awesome!! by the way, as a matter of interest, to which fandom(s) do you belong? personally i am a hugely big Potterhead, Whovian, Theorist, Hunger Games fan, Lord of the Rings fan, and also a fan of pre-steroidy Captain America. i mean, a short, cute art student from brooklyn? what more do you need? : )
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
That's a great way of putting it!

I love Harry Potter, too - but only the books, the films just leave me cold. I love LOTR - though I was always a bigger fan of The Hobbit, Percy Jackson, Smallville, Final Fantasy, George R.R. Martin, Anne Rice. Never really saw Captain America like that, but now you mention it...

Spider-man is my main obsession, I can't really explain it but he just makes me happy. I went to see the more recent film at the imax, and it was one of my best days.

I've recently starting reading the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher and have completely fallen in love with Harry Dresden!
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:iconhappyhorseshoe303:
happyhorseshoe303 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012
oh, really? cool! i always sort of lumped the Hobbit in with the rest of the books, since it's the prequel. and now that you mention it, i am also a fan of Percy Jackson, and maximum ride... aaaaand i think that's it for any major fan bases!! the harry potter movies... i think they ranged on the good-pretty good scale, but the books were so much better. in books you get an unlimited special effects crew. i was never really that into spider-man... my cousin was, and i started to watch one of the movies with him and then he kicked me out of the room when the one guy made a cliche'd statement about striking at the heart and i started wondering out loud why villains always go for the heart and not, say, the stomach? because a ruptured stomach is a slower and infinitely more painful way to die than a stopped heart. i think i destroyed the mood, or something... i don't know.
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012
Haha, I think that's what I like about Spider-man: it's so cheesy and cliche! I do agree that the Harry Potter films are a decent adaptation, but there's something about them that I don't like. (Although, I was impressed by Gary Oldman's portrayal of Sirius, my favourite character. Actually, I quite liked The Prisoner of Azkaban.) I still need to get round to reading Maximum Ride!
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:iconhappyhorseshoe303:
happyhorseshoe303 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2012
oh, it's really good! definitely a great read if you like snarky humor, and/or wish you had wings. also, lots of fight scenes, so that keeps things interesting. there's also a lot of *MAX AND FANG Y U NO KISS ALREADY?!?!?!?!?!?* but other than that, excellent series!! i do rather love gary oldman, he is pretty much exactly the way i imagined sirius from the books. i have to say, though, most of the characters in the movies came pretty close to what i'd imagined in the books!! i have to say that i liked David Tennant as barty crouch jr., mostly because ZOMFG DAVID TENNANT IS A BOSS and also because i like the crazy coincidences with the Whoniverse -

Coincidence 1:
a) David Tennant is in Goblet of Fire.
b) Goblet of Fire is the first major usage of bigger-on-the-inside technology.

Coincidence 2:
a) David Tennant plays barty crouch jr.
b) BCJ receives the dementor's kiss in a chapter called "The Parting of the Ways".
c) David Tennant plays the Tenth Doctor.
d) the Tenth Doctor is introduced in an episode called "The Parting of the Ways".

crazy...
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:iconcmwvisualarts:
CMWVisualArts Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't look at literature much on deviantART. I've strayed away from reading much lately. I just want you to know that this is the first piece of literature I've ever :+fav:'d in the three years I've been on this site.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
:wow: thank you so, so much, that means a lot :hug:
Reply
:iconcmwvisualarts:
CMWVisualArts Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome :D
Keep up the great work :)
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:iconkmathel94:
kmathel94 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist
Awosome! Remings me of a book i read once...hmm
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
That would be an interesting book, do you remember which one it was?
Reply
:iconkmathel94:
kmathel94 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist
"Ghost Car"? All I remember is the plot. Thier was this kid who died but got to go back and figure out how not to die. He would run out into the street and be hit by a car. A vocie would ask him how far back he wanted to go, and every time he goofed and ran into the steet.
Reply
:iconkaidi10:
kaidi10 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012   General Artist
Several reactions here. As a reader, I love what you did with the prompt. Even though my first thought was, "This is exactly like Source Code--so where is the creativity?" ...it makes a lot more sense that you haven't seen that movie. :)

As an editor, I cringed. There aren't very many punctuation errors, but the grammatical ones bugged me. It may help to get a good proofreader/friend to look at your work, or to brush up on grammar yourself to ensure that what you write is, truly, your best.

Lastly, as a fellow writer, I squirmed after reading the first paragraph. I suggest cutting it completely or condensing it into a single sentence so that only the important information is conveyed--the parts that are essential to the story. Everything else is great for you to know but makes it slow for readers. If I hadn't read past that paragraph, I would have missed out on a truly unique story. As it was, however, I wouldn't have read past that first paragraph if this hadn't been a DD. Sad truth.

Concluding thoughts: good piece, I like your style and voice, but this could use some brushing up.
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Yeah, my grammar is atrocious but I'm practicing and analysing sentence structure whenever I read to help me. I see what you mean and I agree that it needs tightening. Thanks for letting me know what to improve, it's much appreciated!
Reply
:iconkaidi10:
kaidi10 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012   General Artist
You're welcome. :aww: I have to say, I felt kind of bad being the first "nay-sayer" but I had to speak up...
Reply
:iconanmalaa:
anmalaa Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like that you spelled Gregg with two G's.
It seems right.
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
It's my pasty fetish :yum:
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:iconvelkynkarma:
VelkynKarma Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting idea! I really enjoyed reading this one. And I like the little hints at the end that make it all come together...how the hint about dropping the weapon changes to don't stop running. Good job :)

~VelkynKarma
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:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thank you, I'm glad they came across well :)
Reply
:iconshadowphoenix16:
ShadowPhoenix16 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is pretty wicked. I love when people take their own personal spins on Deja vu ^^

Great work! I really like your style of writing. :)
Reply
:iconshyanne-kai:
Shyanne-Kai Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconshadowphoenix16:
ShadowPhoenix16 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem ^^
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