whilst Leonard Sanderson, a live performance pianist, dies in a automobile coincidence at the Harbor highway south of l. a. he doesn't die. in its place, he falls up via clouds, then down, then via partitions, via pores and skin, into fetus, and is reborn. not just does he live on demise, yet with aid from George Frideric Handel, he additionally recollects easy methods to play.
He knew by means of the cry of locked wheels on tarmac, by way of the edge of rubber smoke in his nostrils, via the center of silence within which he discovered himself regardless of the noise—and possibly ordinarily through this stillness—that he was once unlikely to make it.
He knew as he rushed in the direction of it, or it in the direction of him—for he felt desk bound; knew as he observed the quantity painted at the undercarriage and seemed back to make it out, 486 it acknowledged, paint peeling, or fading, no, it used to be peeling; he knew then, within the close to timelessness of this immediacy, and with awesome readability, that he used to be going to die.
The tractor-trailer had simply overtaken him. It had arise from in the back of, rushing definitely, had blasted its horn as soon as, then again—he had nearly sensed the inflammation, this used to be a motor vehicle used to being heard the 1st time—had then swung left and rumbled earlier him like an offended mountain at the movement. That complete, the eighteen-wheeler, with out signaling, easily taking what was once rightfully his, had recommended correct back, again to the slower lanes, its right territory.
But a small overseas automobile, new and blue or blue-green and maybe 3 car-lengths forward, used to be within the rig’s approach. This driving force both didn’t realize or didn’t care. Neither did the rig.
The collision wasn’t a lot at the beginning, only a contact, a scraping. yet then the rig, as though without notice acutely aware, convulsed and slammed at the brakes. Smoke streamed from the locked wheels because it begun skidding to its right.
He had forever on the earth to make up his brain, at the very least that's the way it appeared. One second got here, stayed it slow, then the following, each one gradual and lengthy. He proposal, and spotted himself pondering: he may easily brake and sure, potentially lose regulate, even though that may reduce the influence, or—possibly a more secure choice—he may probably keep away from the sliding rig altogether by way of veering left for the quick lane, clearing now because the rig persisted sliding to the right.
He made his selection and eased the steerage wheel to the left, pondering convinced, definite, he could pass over the rig, effortless does it, yet no longer too speedy because the rig, a helpless whale now, used to be slowing quickly and never solely out of the quick lane yet.
Then, and he must have performed this faster, midway into the quick lane he glanced in his rearview reflect and observed the grey Pontiac—yes it used to be a Pontiac—come up from in the back of him at pace, additionally heading for the short lane. To get out of Pontiac’s manner and into the short lane earlier than him, he floored the accelerator and heard his Toyota apparatus right down to assemble power and pace. yet now not speedy enough.
Two issues: the Pontiac, doubtless distracted by means of the skidding rig, didn't hit the brakes in time; and the rig used to be now not but all of the manner out of the short lane, now nearly sideways in its slide. The Pontiac stuck up and struck him from in the back of, careening him, nonetheless accelerating, at once into the trailer.
Those numbers, 4 8 six at the dirty blue of the undercarriage, have been the final issues he saw.
Metal screaming and the destruction of glass have been the final issues he heard.
Had he placed away his groceries? used to be his ultimate thought.
The effect was once curious. there has been discomfort, definitely. There should have been soreness, but when there have been, it used to be very surprising and long past too quickly to truly register.
No, probably not soreness. It was once extra like a burst of wind, a dashing upward from his ft to his head as iron and strength overwhelmed lungs and backbone and his head was once all yet severed during this unmarried act of undesirable good fortune and mechanical violence. The gust, like a tremendous exhaling, seized him and pulled him up and out and away from the wreckage.
“A masterpiece of brilliant characterization and unrelenting suspense