I saw the bend but I didn’t want to slow down. The only things between me and a fifty foot drop were five neon orange traffic cones marking the curve of the road. I changed my mind at the last second and wrenched the hand break but it was too late and so I fell, comically erect, the wind whooshing through the car windows swallowed my screams and the screeching of the tires so that everything seemed silent. The car landed with little more than a thud, on all four wheels.
I froze for a beat and then undid my seat belt in a panic. I flung myself from the car and rolled on the asphalt screaming and crying.
“Help me, oh dear god please help me.”
I screamed until my lungs collapsed, my legs bucking while my hands scratched at the tar until my nail were bloody stubs. Finally a man in a reflective vest bent down beside me. He was large, white and bald but for a tuft of blonde hair, downy like a child’s, and had tattooed on his inner arm just below the right armpit, a compass with the needle angled to SW.
“You have to help me. I fell, did you see? My car it just went right over the edge. But I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m fine. Can’t you see that I’m fine? I went right over but I just landed and I’m okay. Am I okay?”
He looked me up and down for a moment and smiled.
“Of course you’re fine. Look at you. Not a scratch.”
I calmed down and tried to sit up. I really did feel fine. My shoulder hurt where it had been bruised by the seat belt and my nails had begun to throb. I was embarrassed by my over reaction.
“Oh, I’m fine. I’m fine. Oh thank god I’m fine.”
The big man was shining a light in my eyes now.
“What are you doing? Why are you doing that? Who is she?”
Over his shoulders I could just make out the silhouette of a short and fat woman, she was coming towards me holding something long and pointed. The burly man had removed my shoes, tossing my bloody socks into a small trash bag attached to his belt.
“Stop it. Stop that! Tell me who she is! Tell me what is going on!”
“We’re going to need you to calm down now, okay? Just calm down now and count backwards from ten.”
I was crying, trying to wiggle out of his firm grasp. The piercing light grew brighter until I was blind to everything but the blue of his eyes and the beads of sweat forming between his brows.
“Leave me alone. Oh god please just leave me alone. I’m fine. Can’t you all see I’m fine?”
The squat woman was kneeling behind me now, her hand cool on my forehead. I screamed once more before my voice died in my throat and then I whispered with my last strangled breath.
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