So for this prompt from my 52 week writing challenge, a story about a near death experience, I decided to go with an incident that actually happened to me about a month ago. Enjoy!
Driving down the 95 is hell on a good day, but at night in a sports car with terrible blind spots and a passenger who’s head blocks most of the right-hand visual? Recipe for disaster. That’s why I didn’t even know something was happening until my mom started screaming and reaching her arm out to me.
Before I knew it, in slow motion, like a movie or a dream, an all-black car, faded paint and no headlights, skidded up my right against the barricade, spun across all four lanes heading south bound to the other side, stopped only by the left-hand barricade.
Meanwhile, my sweaty hands stayed on the wheel, gripping the rubber cover so tight my knuckles were numb. My arms mechanically swiveled the wheel side to side, but I barely felt my car weave with the movement within my lane.
My mom kept screaming something. I don’t know what she said. Just words. My dad screamed in the back seat too, but it was all warbled noise, like that one teacher from the Peanuts cartoons.
I may have stopped breathing. My heart may have stopped beating. Hard to tell when all you see is a car spinning out of control like something out of a James Bond movie and you’re smack in the middle of it. The weirdest part though? On a Florida road at night going 70 miles an hour, every car around and behind me somehow managed to make an arcing pathway for the car losing control.
Like Moses parted the red sea, my red Pontiac G5 was the dividing line that all the other cars managed to follow and avoid crashing into one another like a carnival bumper car ride.
A huge crash and sudden stop in front of me brought the world’s volume back up full blast. I slammed on the brakes and barely stopped in time. The mini SUV in front had been hit by the car that lost control and so I stopped too, without a scratch or even a dent.
If the both of us had been driving just a little faster, that would’ve been my car that took the hit, and my car could not survive that crash. Too small to take the impact.
A miracle. Serendipity. A guardian angel. Call it what you will, but it was freakin’ insane. And the real kicker? My life did not flash before my eyes. Nothing flashed.
The world stood still while I watched that car skid, swerve and slide its way across a highway and narrowly miss my car. Fast and slow. Still and in motion. Like time and space had converged at that one point and the universe had caved in and recreated itself to unfold right then and there.
No, my life did not flash before my eyes. It just stopped and went on.