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Pretty

Crash

By ThatOne_GirlPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Pretty
Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

The red and blue lights of the ambulance fluttered dimly in the summer sunlight, the black asphalt of the highway the only dark tone amid the golden fields and bright blue sky. I was strangely conscious of the peaceful surroundings around the accident as I ran towards the crumpled Rav-4 on the side of the road. Flames licked the edges of the battered hood, and the dark figure slumped in the front seat was not moving. In the back of the car, mercifully intact, I saw two small hands slapping desperately in the windows. Susan reached the car before me, her lighter figure swifter than my more lumbering bulk. She jerked open the back door and unbuckled the child, scooping it out and setting the young girl on the ground as I set to work on the front door.

“The heck happened here?” I bellowed above the sirens.

“Not sure, sounded like a hit-and-run,” Susan called back as she ran back to me from where she’d set the girl at the side of the road, well away from danger.

“Hit-and-run? How’d he drive away from this?”

“No idea,” she said as she reached me, lugging the heavy door-cutters up into my hands.

“We should start a search out for the guy,” I grunted as I began carving into the door’s hinges.

Susan glanced at the flames. “Be quick, Harvey.”

I nodded, too out of breath by now to reply. Finally I managed to crunch through the frame and pulled the door off the car. I reached in, eyeing the flames warily as I pulled the unconscious man out of the car and away from the fire. Susan dropped down beside him and checked for breathing. She flicked a worried glance over the man as she placed her hands on his chest to start CPR.

She said in a low, focused voice that she needed one of the first-in bags, the airway management kit that held the devices she was going to need if this guy was ever going to breathe. I nodded and clambered to my feet, running heavily to the ambulance. I climbed in and grabbed the kit, and returned to Susan, my radio bouncing against my hip disconcertingly. I dropped down on the other side of the lifeless man and watched my crew mate work, ready to help if necessary, but other screw members with more experience in this than me were beginning to close around him. Susan paused for half a second and looked at the man’s sobbing daughter. She froze, looking back at me with serious eyes. One look at Susan’s expression and my mind flashed back to last time — to the boy’s vacant and distant expression, watching his father die beneath our hands, before he’d wandered off and disappeared. I gave her one last look before I walked over to the girl and scooped her up.

“Go,” Susan said, “get her away. I’ll stay with him.” I nodded and began, uncertainly, to comfort the little girl, rubbing her back as she buried her face in my shoulder. I felt myself stiffen at the gesture but then something clicked inside me, and I wrapped an arm around her, careful not to crush her small body. I carried her away, holding her close as she cried into the shoulder of my fire uniform.

“Hey,” I said uncertainly, gaining her attention after a few seconds. I looked around us, away from the wreckage as more of the crew began to surround the little girl’s dying father. I tapped her shoulder and pointed out to the fields. “Hey,” I repeated, “look how the wind makes the grass look like water.”

With a quiet hiccup she followed my arm. “Pretty,” she stammered.

“Yeah. Pretty.” My voice was curiously strangled, and I fought to keep tears out of my eyes as I thought of what was happening behind me, and about this girl who would forever remember this day. “Pretty,” I choked again.

Short StoryMicrofiction

About the Creator

ThatOne_Girl

I write anything from microfiction to novelettes, and they can be based on anything from songs to dreams to poems. I'm also pretty good at 'slice of life' type journalistic pieces. It goes anywhere and everywhere, really.

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