Friday, January 14, 2011


Alex’s eyes felt heavy, eyelids yearning to give his pupils rest. He slapped himself on the cheek, and for a moment, his eyes felt light; then exhaustion set back in. With his hands resting on the steering wheel, he sped over the hill. The sooner I get home, the sooner I can go to sleep.

The road was covered with snow and ice, with only a couple narrow slits of bare asphalt cutting though it in each lane. It had been a couple days since the storm, but the plows out here didn’t run unless it was absolutely necessary. Alex looked down at the clock, then back up to the road. The sun was just about to peak over the horizon, and the dim light reflected off the snow, lighting up surrounding fields.

As he crested on the hill, Alex saw the intersection; he was about to cross a US highway. The red stop sign caught his eye, and Alex pressed on the brakes. He didn’t slow down, and as he pressed harder, the ABS began to shake and vibrate under his foot, filling the car with the dull electronic whir.

His eyes opened to their fullest extent and scanned the area. The highway was busy, and he could see a truck heading towards the intersection. Alex pressed harder, but the car didn’t slow. To his right was a snowbank; he turned the wheel.

The car edged over to the side and brushed up against the snow. The front bumper caught on the bank and Alex felt the back end of the car start to curve around behind him. He watched the world spin around through the windshield, and his grip solidified on the steering wheel. All the while the ABS kept on humming.

As he slid out into the intersection, he heard the deep bellowing of the truck’s horn, getting louder and louder. Alex faced back up the road he slid down; there were no tracks in the road for his car, it was all slick ice. He looked over at the snowbank that failed to stop him as a sinking feeling settled into his gut.

Then the sound of the horn changed pitch and started to get quieter. It missed me. I’m alive, I’m alive–

He heard another horn blow and turned his head. He saw two headlights out of his passenger window and his car stopped sliding; the ABS turned off. Alex swallowed and took his hands off the wheel, resting them in his lap. He only heard the horn for another second.


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