as they walked she pieced together many things....
the driver of the semi was on the phone calling a friend to come pick him up when these same two angels had gotten to his cab.
he was angered when they had to break his windshield to get him out of his cab.
he had refused medical attention and was released to a friend who had driven 40 minutes to pick him up.
the tanker had just been filled with 8000 gallons of several different fuels including diesel and gasoline.
fear was that explosion and/or fire was immanent
a hazmat team had been called in and the area had been evacuated
....except where she fit into the puzzle.
the more she tried the harder it became to reason and understand.
40 minutes had lapsed since the driver had called his friend.
a hazmat team had been assembled and was on site.
homes had been evacuated.
she had either been -or become- part of the accident.
but how could 40 minutes have passed without anyone knowing she was there?
no cops. no hazmat team members.
did the truck driver not even realize he'd hit her?
did he not ask? what about the car behind her? did they not see?
she wanted answers but the confused lump in her throat refused to allow her to ask the questions.
the farther they walked the more her eyes burned and the more her skin still crawled. her tongue felt too large for her mouth and every time she drew a breath it cut at her lungs like glass. she wanted to cry. for a moment she thought she had already begun but, in reality, it had quietly started to rain...
the three of them finally stopped just beyond several orange markers and found themselves standing with others who had been evacuated from their homes.
others who were eager to share their story with anyone who appeared from the darkness.
all their stories were similar, for fear of explosion from any kind of spark they had been forced to leave on foot without shutting their doors. flashlights had also been forbidden...
someone asked if it were true that once they'd all been evacuated power had been shut down to their homes because their cat had to be left behind.
another wanted to know where the three of them lived.
she tried to remember, but didn't accurately know. she thought it odd because she remembered exactly where her brother lived. in fact, she had begun to wonder just how far it was on foot from where she was and if she should walk there for help. he would know what she should do. he would, wouldn't he?
she must have puzzled too long because again one of them asked; "where is it you live?"
the second angel with her stepped forward; "we don't live here." indicating herself and the angel in white; "the semi is blocking the highway and our car is parked on the other side."
"really? did you see what happened?"
"a gas tanker lost control and rolled over. i think he hit her car." the angel answered indicating her.
a man in the crowd turned about sharply; "oh yeah, that semi hit a car all right! the car was right in front of my drive way. i think it was pulling out to make a U-Turn. i bet they left that driver for dead."
"this driver?" the angel pointed her out.
"what? are you kidding?" he turned toward her "you were driving that little red car? if that's true i want to hug you. you are charmed. there is no way you should be alive, let alone standing here. somebody up there touched you in a very big way..." he hesitated. "can i hug you?" he asked, but didn't wait for an answer.
he scooped her up, whispered something about miracles being real and hoping they had the ability to be transferred one to another by touch. he let his hands trail down her arms off the tips of her fingers as if he were taking something with him when he finally let her go.
from a world lost she watched people mulling about, attentions flittering between stories until she found herself standing there in the darkness alone. she knew she didn't belong here, but she wasn't certain where she did belong. she felt sick to her stomach and moved onto the side of the road but empty retching was all she could muster and instead used the cold wet snow to sooth the stinging of her face and eyes.
if i am alive, she thought, why can i not remember?
and why do i feel so entirely invisible...