The ten-year-old blonde hair blue eyed girl sat in the back seat of her family’s Honda Accord. She stared out the window into the darkness. The October night seemed exceptionally dark. She could hear the wipers creek across the windshield intermittently, removing the drizzle so her dad could see. Her eyelids slowly closed as her head started to drop forward. With a slight jerk she pulled her head back up and opened her eyes, just to repeat the process over again. It had been a long drive from New York City to Hancock New Hampshire, but she couldn’t let herself fall asleep now. They were so close to grandma and grandpa’s farm. Her head leaned against the glass. She could not make out anything through the darkness and thick fog. But on the positive side, that meant that she could not see anything outside to count. That was good. She was relaxed.She startled as the silence was broken by the cry of her newborn brother in the carrier strapped in the seat beside her.
Her mom unbuckled her seatbelt and turned around. She reached back, stroked the baby’s arms and legs, and spoke quietly and calmly, “It’s okay Jona. Mommy’s here. Go back to sleep.”
Just as quickly as the crying started, it stopped. The girl leaned to her right to looked out the front windshield. The fog was lifting some, or at least on this stretch of road. She could make out trees along the side of the road. She recognized the thickly wooded area. They were getting close. She could feel her stomach churn a little with excitement. She would have no problem staying awake now.
Her mom turned back around and opened the glove compartment and started to rummage through the items. She wasn’t sure what her mom was looking for.
Her dad turned his head to the right, looking at her. “How are you doing back there, Peanut?” he asked.
She looked at him. A warm feeling came over her. “Just fine,” she said. “I can’t wait to see grandma and grandpa.”
“LOOK OUT!” her mom shouted.
The girl saw her dad’s head swing forward instantly, and his back and shoulders tense up as he slammed on the brakes. Her eyes then moved forward, looking out the front windshield again. There, in the middle of the road, where the headlights shown, everything was wavering, moving as things appear to do when looking at a hard surface on the horizon on a hot, sultry summer day. Except here, everything that was wavering was within a sphere, about the size of a double garage door. Everything within the area of the sphere appeared to change shapes, but yet staying recognizable. The road in front of them, the trees just off to the side, and a speed limit sign, all wavered. And there was a slight haze covering everything within the area that was wavering. The girl took in all of this in a couple seconds as the car skidded on the blacktop. She could hear the horrible screeching sound of the tires against the road. She could see her dad turn the steering wheel to the left sharply, causing the car to spin, it’s front end turning to the left. The sudden turn threw her to the right into her baby brother. She could feel herself turning upside down. She felt her wait push hard against the shoulder strap of her seatbelt. Then she felt herself roll again, stopping right side up. The screaming of her baby brother pierced her right ear. She looked. He seemed fine, still strapped into his carrier which was still fastened tight to the seat. She looked forward her mom was upside down, half on and half off her seat, motionless, eyes close, blood covering her face. She had not put her seatbelt back on. She looked behind the steering wheel. Her dad was gone.
Then she noticed the right side of the car wavering, just like the road and trees and sign had done. Even the figure of her mom was moving, contorting. She could hear the sound of metal crunching. The front of the car was being slowly crushed back toward her. She could feel the back of the car pushing against her as well. She realized that they were sitting cross-ways in the middle of the area that was wavering. The car continued to crush in on her. She could feel her heart racing, she could not think. She froze.
Get out, she thought. I have got to get out of here or I will be crushed, she thought. I have to get Jona out too. But mom. What about mom? She unbuckled her seat belt. The car continued to screech and crunch. The front seat started to push against her legs. She unbuckled Jona’s carrier and started to lift it up. She struggled against the weight of the carrier and baby, with little mobility now, as the front seat started to pin her legs. Then she felt her door open. She turned and saw her dad. She saw his big hands reach in, one grabbing her by the upper arm and the other grabbing the carrier handle. A sharp pain shot up her leg as she felt herself being lifted out of the car, then heaved over her dad’s shoulder as he ran. She turned as he lowered her down and set the carrier down. As she turned she saw the car explode into flames as the wavering phenomenon stopped. The road, trees, and sign again set normal in the glow of the fire.
“Mom!” she cried, as the car burned.