Blue Plastic Sheet

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Thoughts after passing by a car accident.

I hear the sirens before I see the accident. The traffic banks in rigid lines, the impatience of commuters grinding against the heavy tension surrounding the scene. A single officer, dressed in fluorescent atop his uniform waves his hand back and forth, back and forth, motioning us to the left of the lane. His face is swallowed by the shadow of his hat but I see his lips pressed tight against themelves in a grim vehmenance. 

Barely moving, the cars creep on slowing as they pass the scene, some even stopping to gape at the chaos. As we roll foward I here my mother uttering beneath her breath, "How horrible." and "It must have been a big accident".

A truck is parked hapharzardly on the shoulder of the road, its doors swung wide and the front of its cab dented above the right headlight. I think the accident isn't so bad as the truck is in one piece and barely damaged. Then I see the silver Toyota in the center of the scene. The frame of the car is a broken shell of pieces scattered metres down the roads surface and its windows are nothing but splinters around its wheels. The drivers-side door is pushed so far into the body of the vehicle that I am certain it is almost touching the passengers door. One of the front wheels sits at the side of the road amongst the weeds and scrub waiting while firemen and policemen keep a strict barrier around the vehicle.

As we pass I see a blue plastic sheet draping the drivers side like a stiff veil. My mother gasps quietly, "Oh no. Someone must have died." My stomach tightens and my throat dries and a hollowness opens up in my chest cavity with a searing ache. Behind the sheet, silent and still, is the body of a dead man. And I am sad. Not because of the pain he would have felt when the truck made impact. Not because his family will be shattered over his loss. And not because his life was too short. I am sad because all he will ever be now is a distant memory to those that knew him. A martyred ghost to those that thought they did. And a unfelt emptyness to those that didn't. And I am sad that to me he will only ever be a dead body behind a blue plastic sheet. 


Submitted: November 27, 2014

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Comments

LLS

Very touching. You illustrated what it was like to experience such an emotionally heavy experience and you did it well. You also thought me a new word and I thank you for that. In turn it's the word that best sums up your story. Keep it up.

I think you might enjoy my story Edge of the Storm. It deals with a similar day of mine.

http://www.booksie.com/non-fiction/short_story/lls/edge-of-a-storm

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed yours, and would love some honest criticism. It's the best way to improve.

Sat, January 3rd, 2015 9:06am

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