Arlo worked an 18 hour day after a 16 hour one the day before, the four hours the only break she had. She could not trust herself to drive and is in a taxi, drifting through traffic mutilated by the darkness of night. Arlo is practically comatose in the backseat, deeply relaxed back into the chair, when two cars slammed into each other in the middle of an intersection the taxi is paused at. These vehicles drifted together in a fan of sparkling metal before collecting Arlo’s taxi and
slamming it into a building. Arlo did not have time to react, felt the weightless for an infinite moment, before striking the door of the cab, and slamming her head against metal. Dazed momentarily, Arlo jittered into hyper alert as
adrenaline flooded her body and she disembedded herself from the door.
The driver was unconscious, Arlo unable to reach her through the twisted metal
inhabiting the space inbetween them. She turned to door, which is when she saw the body pressed up against the window, wedged between the car and the building. He
was struggling to breath, fear tumbling out of his eyes and spooling against Arlo, who watched as his life fell from him. Arlo fell into shock, time falling away
until she was pulled from the wreckage.
Arlo body was marginally damaged, mostly bruises and sprains. However, watching
the life drain from a stranger cracked her, broke the essential part of her self
holding her together. She was in hospital for three days, under observation for
potential brain injuries. Arlo quit her job after her release from hospital, and
unable to stop seeing his life leak from his eyes, retreated to country estate of her friends, Quin and Caro who had been their for sixish years and the home felt
like one – was lived in and comfortable – and she felt it sooth the broken parts
of herself. Gradually the haze of her nightmares reduced and when she stumbled
out of the darkness that caressed her, she realized life is gifting her with
opportunity and love.