Excerpt –

I felt my eyes blink for a second too long. I knew that I was tired, so when I

approached the traffic light and saw it turn amber I eased my foot off the accelerator, eased

in the clutch, down shifting before applying a little brake. I had come to a complete and

controlled stop by the time the light changed to red.

To my right I heard the screeching of tyres and a horn. A black SUV obviously had

not seen that the light was red, hitting its brakes and aquaplaning across three lanes of

traffic before slamming side-on into a light pole, narrowly missing my little Honda Civic.

Glass shattered from the windscreen and side window, metal crumbled like aluminium

foil. The horn of the SUV was still sounding and I think I heard screaming. I was paralysed

by shock. I sat for a moment, unable to move, silently thanking whatever higher power

had been in charge of my narrow escape. I looked around half expecting to see someone,

anyone, come to help, but there was no one. We were alone.

I unhooked my seat belt and opened the car door, the rain pelted down, drenching

me within seconds of being outside of my car. I ran over to the SUV which showed no

signs of life, hoping that I would be able to offer some kind of assistance. I slipped on the

wet road, grabbing the driver’s side handle to stop myself from falling heavily on my ass.

Aggghhhhhh. Pain seared me as I realised that I had jarred my shoulder.

“Hello… are you ok?” my voice was barely audible over the rain and the horn. I

wrenched at the door and pulled it open to see the driver slumped over the exploded air

“Ugghhhhhhhhhh,” the male driver mumbled incoherently. I leveraged my body

into the car slightly so I could see if there was anyone else in the vehicle. I pushed down

the airbag and looked over at the side of the car that had taken the brunt of the impact and

noticed there was a male passenger who was not moving. Blood stained the window and

upholstery. FUCK.

“Ughhhhhhhhh” the driver mumbled again. I reached down into my pocket to grab

my mobile phone… Shit, where is it?! FUCK. It must still be in the car. I glanced over at my

Civic, the ignition was still running, lights on. I needed to make a decision and I needed to

make it fast.

Adrenaline kicked in as I pulled open the back passenger door and climbed into

the mangled mass of metal. “Can you hear me?” I reached across from my position in the

back seat to gently shake the passenger’s shoulders. No response. By this stage the driver

had regained a semblance of alertness and had started screaming. “Mike, Mike…Wake up

dude… MIKE…WAKE UP!”

“Hey, it’s ok…calm down… can you move at all?” I asked the driver, who nodded as

he awkwardly climbed out of the car. I contorted my body over the seat so that I was now

almost sitting in “Mike’s” lap. I placed my ear to his chest. He wasn’t breathing. Shit. “GRAB


NOW” I shouted to the driver who clung to his car door. “DO IT” I yelled not recognising the

voice coming out of my mouth urging the driver into action as he took off into the direction

of my car. Using my body as leverage, I pulled Mike out of the car. I knew he might have a

spinal injury but I also knew his brain was deprived of oxygen and this was my first priority.

The driver rushed back to Mike and I, talking to the paramedic on my phone.

“Help me get him onto his back, he’s not breathing” I commanded. He shoved the phone

into his mouth so his hands were free and he helped me lower Mike onto the hard, wet

road. Instinctively I started pumping his chest. C’mon Mike… C’mon… I kept pumping as I

felt his ribs crack beneath my palms. Mike was probably in his late twenties or early thirties

and, if not battered and barely hanging onto life, would have been an attractive man. He

looked athletic, not the kind of body that worked out, more like the kind of body who played

sport. He had broad shoulders and was around 5’11”. He had ash blond hair which waved

and kinked at the back and was now matted with blood. His body, which would have

otherwise been strong and agile, lay motionless except for the recoil to my compressions. A

small but definite cough came from Mike’s throat so I stopped pumping so I could listen. His

breathing was shallow but present so I rolled him onto his side. I scanned the rest of his

body and noticed blood was pouring out of his upper thigh. I had nothing to staunch the

flow but my own clothing so I pulled off my t-shirt and improvised a tourniquet. My hand

pressed down firmly above the wound.

I could hear the sirens getting closer. My hands were covered in blood and I was

sitting in the middle of the road in my bra. It felt so surreal

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