a real-life adventure
Read Part I here.
Now available in ebook format!
"Mom, I'm choking!" Taz yelled simultaneously.
The smoke from the airbag had filled the car with the vile burnt odor I was inhaling. I unsnapped my seatbelt and promptly fell to the roof ─ a highly unusual sensation. The engine and the horn didn't conceal the twin thud of two pint-sized bodies hitting the roof behind me. They had followed my cue and released their seatbelts.
My newly extra compacted subcompact car kept me from visually determining the extent of the kids' wounds. All I could see was woven seatcloth. Bloody woven seatcloth.
I reached up toward my door handle ─ another awkward feeling ─ hoping to unroll my window and allow fresh air to fill the smoky compartment. The window had somehow remained intact, but it wouldn't budge. I had intended to crawl out of what must have become a gnarled mass of metal. I was driven to fling open the back door and free my children. My window would not cooperate, however. The handle felt as though it weighed more than the entire car.
In frustration I reached across the roof to the passenger side window. I didn't notice until much later during flashback episodes how small the area of the front seats had become. I could see blood dripping from my face, and I could feel what felt like three or four teeth wedged between my gums and my lips, but my mouth didn't hurt. At least not then. My nose didn't hurt. My head didn't hurt. Nothing hurt. All I could feel was an urgency to get my children out of the car. Now!!!
As I grabbed the passenger-side handle, I realized I had been cranking in the wrong direction. I realized I needed to think upside down. Nothing was in the normal place. I couldn't do automatic things anymore. Nothing was going to work like normal because everything was upside down. I set that thought in my mind as I began to pull on the handle counter clockwise.
The window began to rise smoothly, almost effortlessly, and the fresh moist air felt invigorating against my skin and inside my wet but burning nose. The refreshing comfort abruptly departed as the impact of another vehicle sent our upside down haven into another spin. The back of my head hit my gearshift, and my left shoulder was smashed into the steering wheel. My car slammed into the concrete barrier. Like a spray of crystals, glass flew everywhere. The children were screaming again, and I had lost all sense of direction.
Table of Contents
Copyright 2012 by Deborah and Brett Atkinson