Tag Archives: fire-engine

‘The Car Accident’ by Zoha Sarim

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‘The Car Accident’ by Zoha Sarim
Car crash

Car crash

I was directing traffic when it happened.

There had been a problem last night during the storm, and it had a caused a blackout for an hour or so until the emergency backup system turned on. Now all the electricity and power in the city was working fine, except for a particular traffic crossing that had been struck by lightning. The lights refused to co-operate with any technician or electrician we sent in. So in order to keep the roads safe, two of my colleagues and I were sent in to direct traffic.

********

I blew on my shiny, silver whistle and raised my hand to the oncoming swarm of vehicles on the left, before waving the cars in front to move ahead. The sky had seemed to give all it had last night, and now was reduced to a slight drizzle, with a few watery rays of sunshine leaking through the clouds.

I raised my hand to stop the cars that had been moving ahead and waved the traffic on the left onward, when all of a sudden I heard a squeal of tyres on the rain-slicked road. A large, black beaten-up car was spiraling out of control and smashed into a few other cars that were at rest.

I saw a glimpse of the driver- a messy, scruffy face, smoking a cigarette at this early hour- who had a wild-eyed look, before he accelerated again and slammed into the oncoming cars on the left.

It was chaos.

There were scraps of cars everywhere, and people with both minor and major injuries crawled out of their cars. Fires were burning, and in the distance, I heard the wail of fire-engine sirens, the blaring of police cars and the bleeping of ambulances. Water sprayed on the fires, people were tended to. Officials investigated the scene. The cause of all this mayhem was nowhere to be found….

********

David fell in and out of a restless sleep. Thump! He fell on the floor. David grunted and looked around groggily, before letting out a muffled groan and clutching his head in pain. He saw an empty glass bottle on the carpet. He clumsily grabbed it and took a sniff. He eyed the empty contents of the bottle.

All of a sudden a stab of pain shot through his head and everything went fuzzy around the edges of his vision. A voice boomed through his head, and a faint memory of the previous night surfaced.

********

 “David,” said a man clad in a smart, black tuxedo, “you must be back here by tomorrow morning. Or else this will never be yours.”

The man opened a large silver briefcase. It was filled with cigars, alcohol and thousands of hundred-dollar bills. A clock chimed somewhere.

“Remember, David. You must remember.”

********

Suddenly, David remembered; He had to do the job…. At the clock tower…. That is where he would find them.

David slammed the door of his car shut. He shakily placed a cigarette between his lips, and fumbled with the lighter for a while, before the flame flicked on. He brought it close to the cigarette and lit it. He slammed on the pedal and sped off. He could not wear his seat belt, for he had ripped it off years ago.

The rest of the ride came in blurry flashes. A policeman…. Cars….Children and adults…. Raging fires…. Shattered glass…. Then all was black.