Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jackanory Time Again

Might as well post a story/anecdote for this week:

A Snowy Night

There was snow on the road. That would have to be his excuse. Lying on his side, he felt more annoyance at the blood flowing into his eyes than he did at what had just happened. It was an accident, nothing to do with him. Although he couldn't turn his head, he knew the young child's (dead?) body lay some way back. Damn this blood! Damn the snow! Damn!
All he could do was wait. Between the pain, the seatbelt and the tightly packed metal, he was rigidly contained and couldn't move. Waiting was the only answer. A car would surely come soon, would round that bend and light up the scene in all its gory glory. They would phone for help and he would be cut out, carried away, rescued. Maybe the child might be saved too. Just wait. As it happened the way the car had fallen by the roadside, his eyes were pointed out over the edge, directly at the road below. He might see any approaching cars. He might do, if that blood stopped washing into his eyes, stinging. He closed his lids to keep the liquid out.
The silence rushed in. Almost silence. A whisper of wind spoke through the firs. Something dripped somewhere. Slowly. Come on, he thought, come on, someone! Anyone! As if in answer he seemed to hear a gentle purr. Risking the sting, he opened his eyes. Yes, there were headlamps on the road far below. They were headed up the mountain and would round that bend within minutes. He could hear that purr grow louder.
He could now hear something else though. A rustling sound came from the road behind him. The child? He couldn't turn his head, but surely it was the child. It sounded like a body marshalling its poor powers, laboriously trying to pull itself together and up. A slap of flesh on tarmac, a dragging scratch of cloth, it could only be the child waking up, getting up. There was a silence, then what sounded like, yes, a footstep! The child was walking! Well, limping. He could hear a long drag follow the thud of shoe. In spite of his own discomfort, he almost felt relieved. Curious, how there was no noise of breathing. That long drag of foot could only mean pain, yet there was no sharp intake of breath, no choking or gasping. And the noise of the child was getting louder, nearer. He suddenly revised his relief. He didn't like that sound at all.
Below the car had disappeared, but the strong music of its engine was now becoming clearer. Hurry, he willed the vehicle. The halting footsteps were getting nearer. He didn't want to see that creature. He didn't want to look in its bloody face. He closed his eyes to keep out the blood, but with his mouth he prayed in his own harsh way for the new car. Hurry! Ignore the footsteps!
A foot came down hard on the tarmac behind him. He cursed the chain of cause and effect that faced him away. What was that person doing? Sweat, or blood, trickled under his shirt. Why had they stopped? What would they do? Why had all gone silent?
Suddenly in the many surfaces of snow, glass and metal the light of the new car erupted. The car was rounding the corner. Finally! Under the roar he heard the child move, away from him, into the middle of the road. Into the path of the oncoming car. For all that the road was covered in ice, he heard the tyres sliding to avoid the figure. He heard the spin of the driver's steering wheel, the panic. He was an audience to an event. There was a crash of the new car against his own, a shearing meeting of metals and a push. It all seemed of a whole, a complete act, especially the steady downward motion that began to accelerate. He tried to press the blood from his eyes as the road below came nearer and nearer.



Post a Comment

<< Home