OK, here's the deal.
I've just been run over by a car – been in an accident.
I didn't get a good look, of course.
It happened too quickly.
A step off the sidewalk, a rush of wind, something blue and metallic coming at me, then…
a quick tour over the bonnet , briefly visiting the windshield, roof and every other hard surface en-route
before returning to the tarmac for a hefty dose of pain.
No, officer, the vehicle did not stop.
Did I see the driver?
Yep, incredibly briefly as it turned out.
Would I recognise him again?
Sure, if you could just plaster me across any similar windshield,
just to, you know, jog the old memory cells
I may be able to describe the bloated, shiny face, bulbous eyes
and pudgy little hands that oiled over his steering wheel.
Except there's no cop, no concerned huddle of passers-by asking pointless questions
like "Is there a Doctor here?" Or "Where's his leg?" and, my personal favourite, "Are you OK?"
Well, if pity and an energising drink weren't going to help me, I had better start trying to help myself.
My core being was feeling a tad fragile at the moment but I made a mental note to ask it to start working properly again.
What I really needed just now was something useful,现在我需要一些实用的东西
a medic for preference, a warm, dry blanket and some kind of opioid-based medication.
But it was the very early hours of the morning
and there was no-one around,
at least not here on the edge of No-town
I was gonna die.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Just a few short hours ago I had left Mrs Chamber's house and the smouldering embers of her log fire.
If I hadn't taken that short-cut,
or I had left earlier or left later,
I wouldn't have met this very car at this particular time
and in this unpromising place.
And here I was.
Getting colder and dying by centimetres.
The can of fizzy drink, my silent companion, gleamed dully
I frowned stupidly at the can, then realised what it was: an approaching vehicle .
I thankfully passed out
I came to briefly and looked up at a small ring of faces.
My rescuer was one of the boys from the park and his friends.
Well, I recovered eventually.
For a time, I was a local celebrity, my young friend a hero.
I can't say I 'saved' the town because,
quite honestly, nothing short of a direct hit by a meteorite could have done that.
But some small things changed.
There was a new purpose and energy to the place.
The road upon which I had nearly died was given a makeover of lighting and a safe place to cross.