It started with my local writer’s group meeting that was combined with a multi-city event and open mic night. I read a scene from my upcoming novel, A Rancher’s Dream. And later I read a scene from A Rancher’s Woman. When I came home, I jumped on the computer for a FB book release party – I was LATE for my turn as party hostess! The Authors of Main Street (of which I am one) just released their 10 book boxed set, Love Blooms on Main Street. So we had a great reason to host a FB party and invite all our readers. It’s always fun and slightly chaotic to do one of those parties. (The boxed set is 99c for a limited time & it’s close to $30 worth of e-books in that set! So it’s a super deal!)
Then I opened the writer’s group blog page all prepared to post something wonderful, entertaining, and exciting. While sitting here in the back end of the house, usually a very quiet spot, I contemplated exactly what I would post. I had been asked at our meeting how I conjure up characters and create stories. Everyone was curious. So I sat here thinking how I would explain it. To me, it’s all very simple, because so many things come from real life events (not necessarily mine), and characters can often be a sum of impressions.
Suddenly there was a series of sounds that resembled first metal being hit and then scraped except softer, almost muffled. HUH? OMG! Did someone hit my house mate’s parked car? Or maybe the muted sound meant someone had hit my neighbor’s car which is parked a little further down the road. I jumped up, flew to the front of my house, and realized I didn’t have the cordless land-line phone with me, but I did have the cell phone in my pocket. I opened the front door and my house mate’s car looked fine. I looked slightly beyond and saw black globs in the street. A split second later, I realized it was a motorcycle and a rider. I dialed 9-1-1 and yelled to my housemate who was already asleep. Unfortunately dispatch probably heard me yelling, which probably sounded as though she stood in front of those large speakers during a rock concert.
The cyclist was face down with his back slightly angled to me. I told dispatch to issue an ambulance. The rider was down and I didn’t see any movement. Dispatch wanted me to see if the cyclist was breathing. Sorry, I don’t do blood and guts! From where I stood on my porch, I could already feel my stomach rocking. My dinner rolled around in there like a fleet of row boats in the Bermuda Triangle during a hurricane. My head answered the mayday call by swimming. (Thank goodness there are people who can do it, because I can’t.) Dispatch understood.
My house mate walked out with a high powered flashlight and said he couldn’t see any movement, but we weren’t supposed to touch the body. I’m not stupid, nor is my house mate. Never touch anyone who is out cold like that! After such a fall, he could have broken his neck or had a injury that could be made worse. (This sort of situation isn’t the same as someone passing out cold on the living room floor.) Yes, the helmet was in place.
I’ll save you the gruesome details.
The cop took my statement and informed me they might want a written one. Not much to say. I heard noise, opened my door, and found this. Then told us to have a seat on my porch and wait. And so we did for about 2.5 hours.
Once the cyclist left in the ambulance, the crash team took over. Interesting. It was almost like watching a CSI team in action. Except even watching that stuff on TV upsets me, so watching it in front of my house… I was shaking the entire time.
The team figured out what he hit, where the cycle touched down and how far he probably flew through the air. Standing on the sidewalk and walking off the distance. (My dad taught me to do that as a kid, and it’s usually reasonably accurate. I figure he probably flew close to 57 ± feet (or 18± meters), or did he flip off when his cycle hit the ground? If so then half that amount.) But he was maybe 15 feet (or 4.5 m ±) from his cycle and the cycle was perpendicular to him.
Here’s the thing that got to me more than anything else… The cop said most people would have looked out their window and gone back to bed. They would have left the man lying there, rather than calling for help. OMG! How could anyone do something like that? People would ignore the obvious? How horrible and callous! Has our modern society created a bunch of self-absorbed people?
I’m normally up until almost dawn so sitting outside didn’t mean I’d lost any sleep – just some editing time. And I’m fairly certain if I had asked, they would have allowed us to retreat inside where my house mate could have returned to his bed. This isn’t exactly the big city – it’s more like a small town. They had my name, phone number, and they knew where I lived.
I’m not reckless! There are several things that would keep me from sticking my nose outside, but there’s not a single reason that I can think of that would prevent me from calling 9-1-1 for help. Maybe that’s because my daughter had been a first responder for years. Could it be that my inside tract has given me a different perspective? I don’t think so. I saw a fellow human lying in the road. I saw someone who needed help – the kind that I couldn’t give. But I knew who would help and it only took a phone call.
All I ask out of life is some peace and quiet so that I can write. It never happens. But we must remember that life is so fragile. We all need to smile more often and tell those wonderful people in our lives how much we love and care about them! Our days are numbered, and we don’t know when they will end.
And people wonder where I get my ideas for stories.
(Re-posting this blog from the writer’s group http://amongthewaters.wordpress.com)