I see the ball bounce into the road.
A little boy chases after it.
I have a moment to see the look on his mother's face.
She knows she won't make it in time.
I jerk the wheel and hope that *I* do.
I'm pulled to the right.
The car jumps the curb.
I step on the breaks.
I involuntary look down as I wonder if I remembered to buckle up.
I look up and see the tr-
I feel calm.
There's a tugging around my stomach.
Like on the Tilt-o-Whirl at the fair.
Feels almost like I'm getting stretched.
A drop of oil flushing down the toilet.
I'm going down.
Faster and faster.
A bottomless pit.
A dot of light.
Very far away.
They always said you'd go towards the light.
The sound reminds me of when I went to Niagara Falls as a kid and heard the enormous quantity of cascading water in the distance.
Closer to the sound and the light.
Not a waterfall.
Vision recommencing is shocking and painful.
I fall towards a red sandy landscape.
*Trillions* of people seen from above at an impossible height.
A writhing, angry ant hill.
Their suffering voices combined in a mind shattering drone.
Other sounds too.
Flutes, fifes, trumpets, cymbals.
A lunatic's orchestra.
Screaming in Hell's Gregorian chant.
Others fall with me.
Cinders falling with meteoric tails to be added to the pile.
If I can see so many on top
how many are below?
They're closer and closer.
All the time.
A split second before impact a mindless, anguished face turns towards me.
I see its eyes are raw holes.
Drool drips from its twisted mouth.
A jarring pull.
I'm yanked back, faster somehow than I fell.
And then pain.
Terrible pain, but a different sort.
A beautiful sort.
The blue sky stares down at me.
And a man.
His face is distorted in
"Can you hear me buddy?"
He sounds far away.
"Give him some space!"
I blink hard.
Tastes like I have sandy grit in my mouth.
Just broken teeth.
I would vomit if I had the strength.
"Don't worry buddy. The ambulance is coming. You're a hero, man. You swerved just in time and missed the kid. He's safe! You did it!"
I close my eyes and lay my head back.
I can see the ant hill.
It's very far away.
But not far enough.
I know I will see it for the rest of my life.
Until death claims me again and I am returned.
I know what lies beyond the veil.
And now I will never sleep again.
I will never enjoy a quiet moment.
I will never know peace.
More than anything in the world
I wish I had just hit the kid.