Tag Archives: accident

1908. Adriana, the pessimist

It was a long weekend. Monday was a public holiday so everyone took Friday off as well. Adriana knew with the certitude of long experience that with everything shut for the weekend things in her life would go wrong. The freezer would die, the shower nozzle would jam, the dog’s ears would get infected, the internet would go down, young Charlie would trip and break a finger. All these “emergencies” cost twice the amount (or more) to get attended to on a long weekend.

Yes, Adriana was what some people called a pessimist. Her friends urged her to take a more positive approach to life. “What if you looked on the bright side?” asked Hilda.

“You read too much and live in a world of fiction, Adriana,” said Ivan.

“Buck out of it, Adriana,” said Gwenda. “It’s negative, negative, negative.”

“I can’t help it,” said Adriana. “I just know during this long weekend that everything will go wrong. The freezer will die, the shower nozzle will jam, the dog’s ears will get infected, the internet will go down, young Charlie will trip and break a finger.”

But, miracle of miracles! None of this happened because first thing in the morning Adriana was in a car crash on the way to get milk from the corner shop.

Repeat of Story 386: Marietta plans a murder

(This is the sixth story in a week or so of repeats. “Marietta plans a murder” first appeared on this blog on 31 October 2014.)

Don’t get me wrong. Marietta wasn’t an evil person. When she decided to murder her husband it was out of the purest of intentions. He had been unfaithful.

Marietta had always vouched for the sanctity of marriage. She couldn’t understand why all these participants in broken marriages insisted on divorce. Hadn’t they vowed to remain faithful unto death?

Now that her husband had committed infidelity after infidelity she knew exactly how these other people felt. Divorce was not good enough. She had promised unto death and that’s what she was going to do.

But how best to go about it and not get caught? Poison? The autopsy would discover it. Gunshot? It would have to be in self-defence, and that would be too difficult to set up.

She would simply (after searching it online) “undo the brakes” of his car. And that’s what she did! He drove to the pub every Thursday evening over a wild and winding road. Thursday was perfect. That was the evening she attended her prayer meeting. She could feign distress, with a touch of hysteria, when the sad news was phoned through.

She drove off in her car for the prayer meeting. It was with a certain amount of nervous excitement.

“Goodbye, darling,” she waved. “Goodbye!”

All that can be said is that great minds think alike. Marietta and her husband were suited to each other down to the ground.

May she rest in peace.

Repeat of Story 693: I was driving along quite comfy

(This is the second story in a week or so of repeats. “I was driving along quite comfy” first appeared on this blog on 3 September 2015.)

I was driving along quite comfy, thank you, with the radio playing a bit of head banging stuff, and following this hearse that must’ve been heading for a cemetery or a crematorium or a funeral parlour or somewhere. And suddenly the back door of the hearse flew up in the air and out fell a coffin.

Well I stopped immediately before I hit the coffin, which I did just a bit, and the lid cracked, and a bit of the side, and out popped a leg and a foot in a pair of brown trousers with a well-worn cosy slipper with a tartan pattern.

I tooted my horn furiously but the hearse kept going, like it was being driven by a robot or something and like the undertaker didn’t care. He was probably texting his girlfriend or something anyway and didn’t seem to notice the difference.

All happened so suddenly, in the flash of an eye, and the next thing the truck following me went wham straight into the back of my car. My car shot forward flat out and knocked the coffin in the air a bit and it fell down and sort of shattered completely open in the middle of the road.

A couple of bystanders were already watching, and one looked horrified and the other was laughing. And the back of my car seemed to be a bit of a wreck. I hope the hearse is insured because I didn’t have the money to fork out for a new car, or even to get the old one fixed.

All this was going through my head, and the next thing there was a police officer asking what had happened, and by now I didn’t have a clue. So I sort of repeated everything I’ve just told you now, and the police officer thought I was talking nonsense because I was shocked, and told me to wait over by the side of the road until he’d finished asking everyone else questions.

So that’s what I’m doing now; waiting for the cop to finish. The coffin’s still sitting on the road. Everyone is too busy telling the policeman what went on to worry about the body. It’s dead anyway. But I wish he’d hurry because I’ve got to sort out this mess about my wrecked car.

Here comes the hearse now. Maybe that’ll hurry things along a bit. And I hope no one believes the undertaker when he spins some cock-and-bull yarn about me starting the ball rolling when I hit the back of the hearse at full speed.

1597. A meditation on medication

I suppose Eoin’s death could be described as “sudden”. He’d had chronic heart disease for almost thirty years. Modern medication had kept him alive. He dutifully took all his pills every day and there’s no doubt those pills prolonged his life and gave him a reasonably seemingly carefree quality of living. But death came suddenly, as he had always suspected it would.

He was driving along the road, with his wife in the passenger seat. He was not driving fast for he was a most careful man. He quietly said “I’m going” and slumped over the steering wheel dead. His wife, a non-driver, calmly reached over and turned off the ignition key while putting her foot hard on the brake. The car skidded sideways into a service station, hitting three cars that were being refuelled. All four vehicles and the service station erupted into an unbelievable conflagration. It could be said that Eoin went out in a blaze of glory.

Strangely, of the eleven people burned, Eoin’s wife, although she suffered serious burns, was the only survivor. She was able to tell the police the sequence of events once she was well enough to do so.

Who would have thought that after years of faithful pill-taking and after a gentle “I’m going” that his death would cause such havoc? Of the eleven people burned to death, three were fathers of large families and one was a mother of two. One of the newly-created widows was soon after evicted from her house because she couldn’t pay the rent. The finance of one of the victims “did himself in”. Two children died and were mourned not only by their families but by their entire schools. Another victim was a famous novelist on the way to his publisher. He went up in smoke along with his computer and latest novel. It was a terrible loss for the world.

Once she had recovered, Queenie (for that was the wife’s name) was able to grieve and reflect. She couldn’t help but think that it may have been better if Eoin hadn’t taken his life-saving pills in the first place.

1554. Road kindnesses

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Noelle of Sayling Away.

Only twice in her life had Claudette experienced kindness from drivers on the road. Usually it was road rage, road rage, road rage, as haughty drivers pushed and shoved and manoeuvred to their dominant position in the traffic circus.

The first act of kindness was years ago. It was 1965. Nanette had tried to change lanes but couldn’t make it comfortably. She didn’t attempt it again, but knew she was in the wrong lane. When she stopped at the traffic lights, the car she had tried to come in front of stopped beside her. The window came down and a kind man said, “When the lights change you go first and cross over in front of me.” And that is what Claudette did!

The second act of kindness happened just recently; in fact two days ago. Exactly the same thing happened. A kind man wound down his car window and said, “I see you’re trying to change lanes. When the lights change, you go first and move into my lane.”

How kind is that? Claudette felt like bursting into tears. Why can’t more drivers be like that? How different the driving experience would become!

The lights changed. Claudette changed lanes as she sped away. A truck coming across the intersection failed to stop.

Two days later Claudette came out of her coma. She wasn’t the least bit surprised when she woke up and found it was 1965 again.

1454. An utter waste of time

Maisie taught her four year old granddaughter, Belladona, how to dial the telephone in an emergency.

“You never know when she might need it,” said Maisie.

“It’s a waste of time, Mum,” said Annette, Maisie’s daughter, Belladonna’s mother. “She’s too young, and you’re just scaring the living daylights out of her. As I say, it’s a waste of time. An utter waste of time.”

Maisie went ahead and taught Belladonna anyway. It was especially important, Maisie thought, because she was to look after Belladonna for two weeks while Annette attended a course at the university.

On the second day of Belladonna’s stay, Maisie decided to vacuum the house. She plugged in the vacuum cleaner. There was a faulty switch. Maisie was electrocuted. Belladonna found her grandmother laying on the floor still clutching the live cord. Belladonna touched her dead grandmother. WHAM!

Yes indeed, teaching Belladonna to dial the emergency number turned out to be an utter waste of time.

1408. The best-laid plans

Once Mandy had decided to commit suicide she began to plan things meticulously. This was to be no spontaneous act. Every detail would be thought through.

She searched the internet for methods. She downloaded dozens of coroner’s reports. Timing was all important. No need to be discovered a week after the event.

And then she planned the funeral. It was to be simple yet elegant. No bought flowers by request, but flowers cut from the garden would be most welcome. No turgid hymns but lively renditions of “O happy day!” and “We all live in a yellow submarine”.

All was decided. Mandy would gas herself with the exhaust fumes from her car. But where to park the car? And what to wear? So many important decisions to make. She needed a hose to go from the car’s exhaust to the front seat. Or maybe she should sit in the back seat?

I suppose an ordinary garden hose would do the trick, thought Mandy as she drove to town for a final time to purchase the equipment.

That was when the car skidded on an icy bridge, plunged over the side and plummeted down a steep ravine. Mandy was killed.

1383. Accident

Yeah, well, all I wanted was a packet of cigarettes. So I had to drive into town, which is about ten minutes away, and when I got there they closed off the main street and everyone had to detour around. There was this old lady run over and killed.

She shouldn’t have been crossing there anyway. There’re places to cross, but she had to cross in the wrong place and got hit by a car and killed. Serves her right, I say. She won’t be doing that again!

The shop I always get my cigarettes from is slightly cheaper than other shops so I always go there. But it’s in the main street. And because of the old lady getting killed I was stuck in the blocked off main street for about three hours, and none of the shops there had opened because they’d blocked off people going in and out. And after all that, I came home and had forgotten to get cigarettes.

That old woman must’ve been half blind. It’s not my fault I ran her over.

1380. Traffic premonition

Miranda had a premonition that she was going to die in a road accident – and that very day. The only thing for it was not to go out in her car, but she had arranged to pick up the cat deworming pills from the vet’s that afternoon, and they were long overdue.

“Don’t be silly,” thought Miranda. “I can’t let these silly feelings dictate my life, otherwise nothing would ever get done. I shall go into town and pick up the cat’s pills, but be careful nonetheless.”

On the way back home from town, Miranda spotted a large concrete mixer truck approaching on the other side of the road. Miranda almost froze. This was it. It was part of her premonition. The concrete mixer truck would be the instrument of her death. She tried to slow down but instead she froze.

The concrete mixer truck came nearer. And nearer. It passed! Miranda was free! Saved! The premonition was a silly notion after all. “Thank goodness!” thought Miranda.

In her relief she missed the corner, ploughed into a bank, and was killed.

1352. Painted toenails

Rosemary had recently moved to another town with her fifteen year old daughter, Lissie. It was to be the start of a new life. Forget the past and move on, was Rosemary’s motto and motive. Thus far, she hadn’t met anyone new, not even the neighbours. She knew that gradually her circle of friends and acquaintances would grow. Lissie, on the other hand had quickly made some friends at school. In fact, she was staying at a school friend’s place for several days.

And then, around midnight, Rosemary got the call every parent dreads; there had been an accident. Would she mind coming around to identity the body?

“She a bit of a mess, ma’am,” they said, “make sure you bring some company.”

But Rosemary didn’t know anyone else. She had to do it alone.

“I don’t need to see her face,” Rosemary said. “I know her feet anywhere, and she always wore distinctive nail polish.”

And there were her feet… with the turquoise nail polish except for the big toenails a florescent pink – sometimes with spots on, sometimes not. Rosemary was inconsolable.

She said that they had just moved into the area and didn’t know anyone, so a simple cremation without ceremony was all that was required. That was done the next day.

Two days later, Rosemary got a phone call. “Mom, when on earth are you going to pick me up?” It was Lissie.

On the way to collect her daughter, all that a stunned Rosemary could think was, “Who the heck did I have cremated?”