seat as they went nose first into a ditch. What was left of the back of the jeep rolled up over the
front. It continued to flip over several times before seeming to levitate in the air after rolling off
the embankment. It felt like an eternity, the world moving in slow motion, before it smashed
against the icy cold river sending shards of glass and ice throughout the vehicle. As it slowly
began to sink Mia automatically reached down to unbuckle herself. After struggling to free
herself from the seat belt she reached back for her son.
Her long, dark hair floated through the thickness of the icy water and streams of blood swam
around her face. As she turned around everything became hazy and the darkness fought to take
away her control. A panic began to set in as her heart raced. She needed to get back to Eli, to
unbuckle him…she needed to save her son.
Being a mother she couldn’t care less if she was hurt, she just needed to save her son. Like a
tiger protecting her young, it was a mother’s first priority.
As she tried to move into the back seat she reached out to Eli again.
He gently placed his outstretched hand into hers. His eyes, so soft and gentle, stared into his
mother’s, whose were full of pain and fear for him. He smiled his sweet innocent smile as if
telling her that things were going to be okay.
It was the end of February, a time the weather was supposed to be warming up as it was
readying for spring. Supposed to…but of course it wasn’t.
Mia had been trying to avoid what happened. Just moments ago she was talking to her
husband on the phone through the Bluetooth she managed to con him into installing, stating that
she was going to wait for the storm to pass.
“Hello,” Mikes groggy voice had echoed through the car.
“Hi, Daddy.” Eli’s enthusiasm rang throughout the vehicle. “Dad…Dad, I’m out of school,
Dad. And it’s snowing!”
“Oh yeah, buddy,” Mike replied. “Well, I guess I will see you soon then.”
Mia had angled her rear view mirror down to look back at Eli. She placed her index finger in
front of her mouth to shush him but smiled underneath it.
Eli puckered his lips out and grabbed them with one hand to keep himself from talking as he
gave her a thumbs up.
“Yeah, it’s snowing like crazy.” Mia took her time as she drove. She was never a fan of the
winter weather and only liked snow on Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day, any time before or after that she’d prefer it be seventy degrees and sunny.
“We’re going to be late for dinner. I think I’m going to pull over when I can manage to even see
anything so I don’t slide into a damn ditch.”
When Mia left to pick Eli up from preschool there were just a few flurries floating in the icy
wind. Now it had come to near white out conditions, causing her to curse winter even more.
“All right, just take your time and watch out for the crazy people out there. And I came up
with an awesome idea for big man’s birthday party. Turning the big five soon, eh, buddy.”
Mia looked in the mirror and saw Eli’s deep brown eyes light up. He hopped up and down in
his booster seat with excitement. “Do I get a guitar,
Dad? Daddy, I want a guitar!”
“You’ll have to wait and see, buddy, but I better let you guys go so you can get home. Maybe
this snow will be good enough to take you snowmobiling later.”
Mia rolled her eyes and shook her head in frustration. “See you when we get home.”
She was still upset with him over what had happened the night before. She could swear that
sometimes it seemed like he’d rather be anywhere but where the man of the house should be at
night…home. Gender roles were never really her thing, but to her it always seemed like the man
did a better job of protecting the family from intruders.
“Stay safe,” Mike said before he hung up.
After Mike hung up Mia had slowed down even more, trying to find a place to pull over before
she got anywhere near the upcoming bridge that crossed the river. She wanted to be out of the
way of any oncoming traffic but with the snow falling as hard as it was, it was nearly impossible
to see anything.
After a few more minutes of driving the snow let up ever so slightly, enough for her to spot a
place where she could pull over. Slowing down to a near stop, she started to turn the wheel.
The distinctive sound of a big rig’s horn snapped her attention to the rear view mirror, still
angled for her to see Eli. She snapped her head to the right side mirror and saw a tractor trailer
turned sideways, sliding towards her. Her heart raced as she pushed the gas pedal, trying to get
out of the way as fast as she could. The wheels seemed to turn in pace and the air horn blared
again, but was drowned out by the screeching of metal as it collided.
Everything went black.