Essay- A narrow escape December 01, ''Boom!
We were driving down to London. My mum was driving because my dad had been to a party and was complaining of a hangover.
The traffic was crawling along the road at about 1 M. The visibility was invisible. My brother was leaning out of the window, gesturing at the other drivers.
A fire engine wailed its siren and flashed all its light, but to no avail. Suddenly, the little I could see through the thick fog went black.
I was dimly aware of a pain in my thighs. I heard my brother scream, and it was hideously cut short. The next thing I remember is my sister, sobbing violently underneath me. I realized that the car was on its side.
And that my brother was cold. Over the course of what might have been hours, or just minutes, though it felt like days, I tried to get out. My legs were securely wedged under the front seats, with no feeling there at all.
I must have fallen asleep or fainted at this point, because one split second it was dark and next it was a little bit light. It was almost as if I was in a cavewith many exits above me but out of my reach. But the most worrying thing of all was the fact that I could smell burning.
I knew I was still in the car, and probably at the bottom of a pile of cars. Cars explode in contact with fire. There was soon going to be an explosion, with us at the centre. My mother at the wheel had her head through the broken windscreen. She was quite obviously dead. I wondered, as if all this was a dream, if it would have been better to be dead or sleeping than alive and alert in this accident.
I attempted to reach forward and push forward. My mind was floating somewhere above my body, looking from the outside of me onto the hopeless situation. However, I could drag my protesting body up over my brother and up towards one of those points of light.
Inch by slow, I made a small amount of progress and ended up in a plain view of one of the holes. This, I am sure, is what saved me.
My life flashed before my eyes, and what my future could be. The faint whine of siren pierced my near despair. I thought it was enough. I thought that I was safe now. Then my world blew up. The next time I came to my senses I was in a hospital bed.
Thinking about the situation, as the tidal waves of emotions engulfed me, it drowned my consciousness and I fainted again.
I woke again later, and my father was with me, comforting me. I began to think that the accident was just a nightmare. I was in hospital for about a month. Only later I found out what happened at the accident.Narrow Escape is just under 12, words, about thirty pages, perfect if you have half an hour to spare.
Stephen Leather is one of the UK's most successful thriller writers. He was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail .
A Narrow Escape. Year of Pain and Year of Glory. Skate Disaster. Message of the Conch Shell. In the Land of the Basketball Hoops.
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Continue reading the main story About the Archive This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in Nov 12, · Time. New top story from Time: A Paradise Resident on Her Narrow Escape From California’s Deadly Camp Fire – Why Many Waited Too Long to Leave.