What happened after the accident. That is why you are here, right? Well, I guess we better get started then.
It was cold. As it usually is in the suburbs near Chicago. I don’t remember the exact date. Just that it was a Monday in January. One month after I had purchased the royal blue Chevy Cruz that I had lovingly named Doctor after my favorite Sci-Fi series.
I was up by 5am to make the dreaded hour drive to work. I left the house at 6:10, later that I would have liked – but with plenty of time to make it in for my 8am shift. I find it funny looking back, that I can remember the exact time I left the house, but not the date itself.
Even though my car was equipped with the ability to connect to my phone and stream music, I decided to go old school. A CD my grandmother had burned. The greatest hits of Simon and Garfunkel.
I was loudly singing along to Cecelia when I saw traffic in front of me slow. The roads were icy so I was already giving the car in front of me well more than the recommended distance. Despite the distance fear gripped my heart quickly as I saw the rear end of their car start angling to the side. Sliding on seemingly clear road.
It hit me quick. Black ice. I was already slipping. They were so far away. I was ok. I was going to stop.
But I wasn’t ok. I didn’t stop.
The next thing I remember was standing outside of my car. The front end and passenger side smashed in.
My head and chest ached. But other than that, no scratches, or visible mortal wounds.
What had started as a normal day had turned into a five car pile up on I88.
Thankfully none of the other drivers were hurt.
The cops talked to everyone. They ruled it an accident based on weather conditions.
Cars were towed away. My parents picked me up.
And that’s how it went. Nothing special.
But, again, you’re not here to learn about the accident. You want to know what happened after.
It started small. With a smell. Like something burning. I tore my home apart looking for the source. Then I started to smell it at work. It smelled like burnt toast and melting plastic. Familiar and pungent.
Then there was the whistling. A persistent high-pitched note. It was always in the background. Sometimes, when I was alone, it would crescendo into a horrible ear-piercing sound that would bring me to my knees.
Shadows were next. It started at the corner of my vision. A slight shifting in the darkness. Which eventually morphed into full bodied apparitions. Moving about the motions of everyday life. A vision superimposed over my surroundings.
It didn’t take long for me to figure it out. I may not be all that clever, but I’m not daft.
I never left that accident. Not in the way I thought.
Yes, my parents brought me home.
But it wasn’t entirely me.
Just my bracelet.
The bracelet that you are wearing right now.
As we move the planchet across the board.
So, what did happen after the accident?
Did I make it to heaven? Did I move on?
There is nothing after the accident.
Just … Nothing.