I was tidying up the blog and found this. I don’t really remember writing it so it was fun to read it again – thought I’d share.
I can hear a bird, it’s screeching, a high squeak of sound floating away on the wind. The wind itself is pushing at me, whipping my hair, tugging at my top and pasting my legs with linen.
I dare, for just one moment to crack open my eyelids. No, they snap shut.
This ledge is narrow, this ledge is too narrow. I still don’t understand how it managed to catch me.
I remember the strange slow motion filmic delivery of the fall. After the screaming, howling terror, the thud of the exploding tyre, me yelling and the desperate squealing of wheels trying to cling to the road. Then the tip and the laborious, everlasting out of world tumble into nothingness. The shrub, of course, there’s a shrub. I feel now, on torn and painful parts of my body, the ghost of the blow. I recall landing in the spiky branches, momentary unreality and then life regaining its usual momentum. Desperate scramble, grabbing and scrabbling, heart pounding, squealing animal noises from my throat, and I know there was sobbing. It’s coming back piecemeal, snapshots of it happening.
There must have been other noises, great thundering, deafening sounds. Screaming metal, rolling rocks, tumbling weight, and a scream, was there a scream, another one, not mine, I acknowledge mine and carry the echo of it in the rawness of my throat, there must have been another, surely. The thought brings forth a spout of tears, I can’t go there yet, not yet.
My feet are too long for this ledge, my heels are jammed as far back as they can go but my toes are floating, hovering out in the void. I know I am bleeding, of course I am bleeding. My clothes are torn I feel the ragged ends of trousers flapping, hideous bunting against my ankles.
Behind me granite, limestone, marble, whatever, I don’t need to name it, it’s there, it’s solid and it’s static. My shirt sticks to the skin of my shoulders where they lean against the cliff face. The fabric is wet and cooled by this battering wind. I have no way to tell whether it’s blood, sweat or just seepage from the mountain, earth tears crying for this horror.
He always drove too fast, stupid, show-off driving. Arrogant and super sure of himself but the truth is, was, that I love that about him, his self belief. Still though I had pleaded with him to slow down, “Don’t worry, I know this road like the back of my hand. Sit back, enjoy the ride, feel the fear. Trust me.”
I lean a little away from the rock face, the world spins and tips, the clouds kaleidoscope, blue-white spirals.
The next noise when it comes is horrific, unbelievable, gasping force, greater than the wind, greater that the fear, a crashing reverberation. The heat sears my skin, horror upon horror, I know what it is, I don’t need to look over, I can’t look over. The car has exploded.
Now though, I need to look, he may be there just a few feet below me, maybe he managed to get out. I’m here, alive. I was thrown clear; spiralling and tumbling, of course he was as well.
I’ll wait until the cloud of black smoke clears and then I’ll look over, he’s surely just below me. Maybe I can climb down to him, or he can clamber back, I need his arms around me. When the smoke clears I’ll look, he’s got to be there, just below me, very near. When the smoke clears I’ll lean over and look.