The Artist, 2

Tilting his head back, he dove into the night scene. Stars and nebulous clouds of strange light spun in unfathomable arcs across the ceiling. The blackness spun slowly in his eyes. Two blinding lights appeared in front of him, moving quickly and an unexpected fear gripped him, pressing him further back in his seat.

Mercifully he didn’t remember the accident. He gathered details of what had happened from friends, but everything was delivered to him with such carefully chosen words and received through a haze of grief so thick he still wondered if it hadn’t happened to someone else. The pain in his back and leg convinced him otherwise.

He didn’t know, for instance that the [SUV] truck had slammed into the side of his car with such force that the passenger compartment was crushed to half its width. They died instantly. His wife hadn’t even seen the truck coming, her head buried in the glove box as she dug for her sunglasses. It wasn’t until they were loading his crushed Corolla onto the flat bed that someone noticed the car seat. The impact of the SUV had crushed it flat, beyond recognition. No one was able to tell anyone to look for the baby. The father was unconscious, the mother dead. He didn’t know that he sat slumped in the driver’s seat mumbling nonsense to the rescue workers as they cut him free from the mangled wreckage. And he still didn’t believe it now.

“My ostrich.”

What?

Oh, something an EMT told me, when they came to cut me out, I was asking them about “My ostrich.”

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3 thoughts on “The Artist, 2

    1. Jo's Shelf Life

      Horrific as the subject is, you combat the character’s emotions with surprising empathy. For instance, the idea that ‘carefully chosen words’ from well-meaning others, combined with the ‘haze of grief’, can so alter a victim’s perspective…
      Perhaps that’s why somebody thinks it’s based on reality. Great stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The “somebody who thinks it’s based on reality” is me, every single time I read this. And I don’t even know how I achieved the effect, but this description terrifies me every time I read it.

        I suppose that’s Full Marks for the subset of the audience that equals me.

        Liked by 1 person

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