James was driving along quite comfortably. His three year old daughter was strapped into a safety seat in the back.
James needed to make a turn into a side street. He had plenty of time to turn, even though there was an oncoming car travelling at speed towards him.
Just as he turned two young skateboarders began to cross the road right in front of him. No warning; nothing. They hadn’t even looked. James had to make an instant decision: does he screech to a halt in the middle of the turn and avoid the skateboarders, or does he plough into the skateboarders and prevent his daughter in the back from being struck by the approaching speeding car?
A parent’s instinct is stronger than anything else. The court case is next week.
Ramon was going for his daily run around the Blue Mountains Road when he got the side stitch. He stopped for a little rest and recovery.
The view from the Blue Mountains Road was wonderful. The road wound around sharp corners, with beauteous cliff faces and plummeting crevices. The view went for miles. It was a good road to use for a run because it was scenic, and there was very little traffic.
Suddenly, a van came around the corner. The driver had attempted to take the curve too fast. The van went over the edge of the road and began tumbling down the mountain. Its roll was stopped by a large knotted tree.
Without thinking, Ramon raced down the steep hill. He reached the van. Several passengers were seriously injured. He was able to call for help. The recue people arrived, and all nine passengers were taken to hospital. It was a wonder there was no fatality.
Ramon thanked his lucky stars. There was no doubt that getting the stitch in time saved nine.
As Janine backed the car out of the garage to take the two children to school she knew she’d run over the children’s pet cat. There was a bump.
“What was that?” asked Pedro.
“The car needs tuning. I have to take it in to get fixed later today,” said Janine.
She dropped the children at school, came home, gathered the dead cat, and put it in a box.
She would tell the children the cat had died. They could bury it in the garden and plant flowers on its grave. Then there would be the lengthy business of finding another kitten – Which one? Which colour? Which sex? Which size?
Thanks goodness Janine was experienced in the matter. It was their fourth cat in two years.
An optimistic saga with three alternative tragic endings to choose from
Fred had a nice set of coffee mugs – all with sort of old-fashioned adverts on them. There were twenty-one mugs in all. He loved them. He kept them on a shelf in the dining room, just high enough to reach with a stretch. His wife hated them.
• One day, as he was standing under the shelf an earthquake struck. A mug fell off, hit him on the head, and killed him.
• One day, as he was in the dining room his distraught wife threw a mug at him, hit him on the head, and killed him.
• One day, Fred came home and had a nice cup of coffee and a cookie. Nothing could be more relaxing. Unfortunately he choked to death on the cookie.
Lydia was returning from an early morning shopping spree. To get back home she had to drive across a railway line. How lovely the sunshine of the morning! How bright the promise of the day!
As she neared the railway line, the sun caught on the sign that warned of the approaching rail crossing.
“Wouldn’t it be funny,” thought Lydia, “if this was a warning. Sunshine on the railway crossing sign almost blinding, and perhaps heralding (like a prophecy from above) that I am to be hit by a passing train! Oh the inevitability of fate! The railway sign is highlighted for a reason! I must be extra careful as I cross!”
The reflected sunlight streamed straight into her eyes. WHAM-BANG! Lydia went into the back of the car in front of her.
Blair had left school and was heading into town in search of a job. He caught the train. The passenger train wound along the coastline. The view was picturesque; the wild sea below the cliff crashed onto piles of jagged rocks. The sheer power of it all! And then…
The cliff face, along which the train snaked, suddenly slipped away. The entire train rolled down a hundred metres onto the rocks. All 113 passengers were killed. Except for Blair.
By some extraordinary sequence of events he was flung from the carriage onto a wave of moving earth. As if a surfer in the sea, but on moving cliff, he leaped off the wave of cliff face at the bottom without a scratch. He stood and stared. It had all happened so fast.
The police and emergency people began to arrive.
“Get out of the way, son,” said a policeman to Blair. “This is no time to be rubber-necking.”
“But I was on the train,” said Blair.
“Yeah, right,” said the policeman.
In the following days, Blair told his story. No one believed him. The press published photos of the disaster of course, and photos of Blair too – the liar who used the occasion of sorrow to get publicity. He couldn’t go anywhere without being recognised. Nor would anyone hire the liar. There was no work for Blair.
It was surreal. After a while Blair began to doubt his own veracity. Perhaps he had made it up. He knew he hadn’t, but somehow he felt he was living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.