Tag Archives: story

Exploding Cars and Point of View


Finally Friday! It was not just any Friday, it was the Friday former apartment Fry C302  had anticipated for about five months. Our ultimate destination was Long Island, New York but Jason and I were going to stop in Philly to break up the trip.  I picked him up around 9:30 PM in Baltimore and we began our journey. Per the usual we discussed everything from girls, to politics, to sports and reminisced on those nostalgic moments that made college so great.

During one of our conversations I noticed a SUV fly past the passenger side in the middle lane. When he made it about three car lengths in front, the back of the vehicle started to shake and entered a fish tail. It then launched perpendicularly into the guard rail and all the lights on the car went black.

“They’re dead…” I thought immediately as I broke anticipating any debris that might ricochet back into traffic.

“Pull Over!” Jason yelled from the passenger seat. I started to pull to the left shoulder, but realized the stupidity of my decision and moved over to the right shoulder as soon as I could. Unfortunately a car in the right lane prevented us from getting over as quickly as we wanted placing us further away from the wrecked vehicle. Jason bolted out of the car and ran back towards the severe accident. I opened my door and braced myself against the car as I realized how close we were to traffic whizzing by. I restarted my car and pulled closer to the rail hoping that our car would not lead to a second wreck.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that I saw other cars pulled over, or that I knew Jason was already down the road, but I wasn’t moving as fast as I’d like. The smoke from the car became thicker, indicating that something was burning. I walked over, preparing myself mentally to see a mangled, decapitated, or impaled form of the human body caused by the vicious crash.  I picked up the pace a little bit realizing that Jason would definitely pull people out if need be, and ultimately I’d need to jump in too if the situation called for it. A little ominous glow rose above the car, signally to everyone around that the passengers inside had to get out.
Luckily, by the time I arrived at the vehicle, the wounded driver (we’ll name him David for now) and fairly unharmed passenger had been pulled out by another bystander prior to either Jason’s or my arrival. The individual that pulled the victims from the car passed the David off to Jason. Blood ran down both sides of his face as he looked up dazed, unsure of what was happening. He only knew that something about 50 ft. to his left was emitting a very, very bright light. We could tell his chest was causing him immense pain as he held on to it, attempting fruitlessly to ease the sensation.  Jason sat him up on the guard rail, and the other passenger from the vehicle held David in a constant embrace, not letting him tilt in any direction.

Jason, myself, and a few other bystanders who pulled over tried to make some conversation to ease the tension and keep David awake (he had an obvious concussion). We were also shocked. As bad as David appeared, he looked better than he should’ve. I was sure no one survived the accident, so anything short of death was incredible.

A few painstakingly long moments passed as we waited for the arrival of the police and EMTs. Jason then looked at me and asked, “Is this really happening?” It was surreal. The car at this point was completely engulfed in flames. A few seconds later, we heard the final pops as the flames reached the gas tank, causing a small, but still startling explosion on the side of I-95. Everyone there was thrilled that these two individuals were on the side of the road, and out of the vehicle.

Minutes later, one of David’s friends showed up at the scene (yes, he beat the cops and EMTs). This was possibly the most difficult part of the evening. The friend (we’ll name him Joseph) ran up frenetically and in a panicked, desperate voice, he cried, “What happened man?!” He repeated those words over and over for awhile, pausing occasionally to look over David’s wounded and bloodied body. Joseph’s world crashed to the ground harder than his David’s car hit the guard rail. I had to look away and gaze back at the burning remains of the vehicle. It was almost too difficult to look at Joseph’s reaction to the entire thing. For some reason, there seemed like a bit of guilt in his voice. I have no basis for understanding why, but Jason sensed the same thing.

That was one of the many things that stuck with me from that night. It wasn’t just the honesty of his reaction, but the contrast from ours. Of course we didn’t know David, but I think there was another major factor at play. For those of us who saw the accident, David was in relatively great shape. I was expecting to come across a corpse, or at least something very close to it. When I saw him assisted to the guard rail, it was a huge relief. It was almost as if David was resurrected in my own mind.

Joseph did not witness the accident, so he could only compare David’s current state with his normal, unharmed state. This, along with all of our collective adrenaline rushes caused us to experience this I-95 scene differently. I’m not sure if Joseph will ever know just how lucky he was to see David in the state he did. Probably best he never does.

In the end both of our perspectives reflected a shared consensus on just how precious life is. Jason and I saw a life almost taken away, so behind all the wounds remained a preserved, and delicate life. Joseph missed the accident, but saw the evidence of how close he was to never seeing his friend again.


First Blog…. a Christmas Story


Dear Rob Krachet,

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I was able to deck the halls, and spend time with wonderful people this Christmas. However, only two days ago I was in the most dreadful disposition and was in no mood for Christmas song and cheer.

Last Christmas I met the adorable Mary Mistletoe. We took a sleigh ride through the illustrious Bedford Falls on Christmas Eve. I would’ve let it snow for eternity if I could make it so; it was truly a winter wonderland. Pure perfection! My grown up Christmas list was complete! However, life took a dark winter solstice turn for the worse and appearances suggested a blue Christmas.

It all started when we were roasting chestnuts on an open fire, and I heard a loud crash. “Do you hear what I hear?” I asked. Mary Mistletoe shook her head in a suspicious manner. I bolted outside and rushed to see what happened to the house. She followed, but once we were outside, she looked at me with her silver and gold eyes, and sweetly said, “Baby, its cold outside. Christmas time is here, lets go back in.” I relented, but she laughed, “It must be Santa Claus, he’s coming tonight. Come on, I don’t want you to become Frosty the snowman out here.” I walked inside confused, but was just happy to be home for the holidays. I remained slightly concerned, but it was a fairly silent night and appeared that a wonderful Christmas time was in store so I went to sleep.

TAP TAP TAP!

A loud tapping then forced me to arise from my bed. I ran outside of my humble abode, only to find the most horrific horror of horrors. Up on the housetop I saw (the woman who I wanted to be the) mommy (of my children) kissing Santa Claus. The white Christmas could not redeem the situation. I knew Santa Claus was coming to town, but Jolly Saint Nick wasn’t supposed to give this type of gift the night before Christmas! St. Nick had become my Mr. Grinch!

I regained my composure and asked her, “Mary, did you know that this would hurt me so?

She looked at me with a tear and cried, “Remember last year, when grandma got run over by a reindeer?”

“Yes… I recall it came upon a midnight clear.”

“Yes, Santa baby came with Rudolph the red nosed reindeer and brought joy to the world again.” The realization cut deep as my opponent with a giant red suit made me appear like an elf.

“Well, rock around the Christmas tree and enjoy your Christmas shoes!” I spitefully muttered as I trudged off into the cold winter’s night.

Distraught! Estranged! Alas, no longer could I feel Jack Frost nipping at my nose.

Then, in the traditional fashion of Christmas miracles, I passed a little drummer boy playing away, in a manager display on 34th St.

I felt an uncontrollable urge to return to my town of origin and visit with my mother and father. “I’ll be home for Christmas!” I shouted into the snow. I hiked through the blizzard-like conditions across the island of misfit toys (yes, it exists, its actually landlocked in Maryland but given a misleading name) until I got to the hilltop overlooking my town of origin, “O Little Town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania! How I adore thee. Go Tell it on the mountain, I am almost home!” I ran down the hilltop and rushed through the streets. I could hear the silver bells ringing through the valley all the way home until I reached the steps of my house. I placed my frostbitten hand on the doorknob, but felt a slight tug on my snow-drenched clothes. I turned around to see a small boy, standing with his arm extended holding a note. “What, child, is this a note from my long lost love Lucy Lemondrop?” I unfolded the note and it read,

“Merry Christmas Darling.” My eyes arose to meet a beautiful continence standing just a few feet away. “All I want for Christmas is you” she exclaimed. We embraced, and the night came to an end. Oh it was a glorious night Mr. Krachet, bells will be ringing soon! We wish you a Merry Christmas

Happy Xmas

Jim Baily.

P.S. I learned of your strange Holy Night where Harold Hark sang with his angels while sailing on one of the three ships on your way back to England. Tell good king Wenceslas to enjoy the carol of the bells when you arrive home.