Slipping, Slipping. Dead

Slippery Road Warning

Image by Geralt (pixabay)

John’s girlfriend dumps him. Gutted, he wants to die.

Going homing on his motorbike with rain on the road on a hot summer’s night, he weaves in and out of the long run of traffic.

A car coming towards him, no place to pull in. John swerves, feels the wheels skid on the slippery surface.

Lying on the road in the wet, a ring of strangers staring down at him, he hears the wail of the ambulance hurrying.

He is cold, he is dying. And now, too late, he wants to live.

From the depths of crimsonprose: this was first posted in November 2012

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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22 Responses to Slipping, Slipping. Dead

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    Vivid depiction of how everything can change in an instant, and then it’s too late for regrets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      It was inspired by a true story, although in reality the boy didn’t die (it was one of my staff at the theatre).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I’m glad that the real-life story was not as tragic. Odd coincidence, but there’s a fatal motorcycle crash in the book I’m reading now (Anubis Gates) that haunts the MC in his dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Motorcycles are one thing. Thursday last our one and only decent road from GY to Norwich was closed for 12 hours because of an accident with a cow!

        Like

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Oh no! That must have been very unfortunate for the cow, and for everyone else involved too. That’s an awful long time for the road to be closed!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Sorry so long in replying: sister on phone. Yep, I was due to visit my father in Norwich. Went for bus at 7:30am, bus turned up at 8:30, driver explained the problem. He’d come by another route, but that route was now closed too, cos of another accident. So, one route left, which had to take all the rush hour traffic, and it was only a narrow road, twisty turny through Broads villages. I reached Norwich by 10:100 am! Apparently, someone in accident had serious face injuries, otherwise only the cow died. It was the cow that caused the long closure, finding equipment to lift and transport it. Also, maybe the owner had to be notified. Farmers from all over Europe lease our grazing marshes, so sweet is the resultant meat! And of course, grass-fed, organic, they get highest prices for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        This reminds me how people who live where it always snows are surprised that a tiny bit of snow in the south shuts down all the roads — but of course it makes sense, because in the south, they don’t have the equipment to deal with snow. Here in southern CA we constantly have accidents on the streets and highways; it is (sadly) a normal part of life when you have so much traffic. They even cover it on the radio every day, alerting you which highways have accidents or stalls in which lanes, so that you can avoid them if you can. And any highway slowdown at *all* in LA affects thousands or even tens of thousands of people and countless businesses. So of course our “system” is optimized for getting large obstacles out of the way as quickly as possible. I don’t know if they’ve ever had to move a dead cow, but honestly, I would not be surprised.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Oh, the recent snow closed down the entire traffic system. For the same reason: we’re not geared for it. They cope much better in Scotland. But cattle have been grazing these marshes since they transformed from salt-marshes (only suitable for sheep) somewhere around C12-13th. So local resources must be in place. But of late the grazing has been let out, particularly to Eastern European farmers. Imagine the broohaa of having to get everything set into motion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        It sounds like it was a real mess! Where I come from there’s a lot of cattle grazing, but always fenced off from the road. Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of a car accident with a cow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        The road is separated from the grazing marshes by drainage ditches. But farmers need vehicular access, and so there are causeways etc. All it takes is for someone not to fix the gate. Plus, some of those ditches are in urgent need of cleaning out (conservations object, cos rare birds breed here!). The accident occurred along a stretch where the ditches are overgrown. I’ve seen cattle stray though deeper, wetter barriers than these.
        As to the rest, why would anyone care to set in place resources to aid traffic to and from Great Yarmouth; it’s just a small town, one time with active and valuable fishing industry, now with a struggling holiday industry, high unemployment, and not a lot else. We ask that the main road (A47) is dualled, (two carriageways), to allow more traffic into Yarmouth, to increase potential investment, and alleviate the every ongoing road accidents along that road. How does our government reply? By painting new markings on the road! Ha! This has been a major gripe in town since before I moved here. But the government wouldn’t spend the money on that road with the town was a major player in North Sea Oil/Gas exploration, and it’s not doing it still. After all, wait long enough and we’ll sink into the sea.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I’m actually surprised I haven’t heard of more cows wandering off; it really is so easy for a gate to be left open. As you say, the infrastructure is an issue as well. The bigwigs who live in the big city are often hesitant to devote money toward small towns and their problems, which only adds to the problems.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        The dualling of the A47 has been the warcry of folks around here since I can remember. I doubt I’ll see it happen in my lifetime.
        But cows aren’t the only awkward escapees. I remember sitting in a traffic jam while police rounded up some pigs. No, I don’t know how they has escaped their transport; probably some kids thinking it a laugh. Plus, I remember (years upon years ago) being stopped in the middle of a narrow country road by a rather a ram on the loose with rather vicious-looking spiralling horns. No other way past. I pretended it wasn’t there and kept as far distant as I could short of climbing into the hedge.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Oh, dear! Much more interesting than what we get around here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I’m sure not. Just rural Norfolk. Almost the land that time forgot!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Which seems lovely to those of us caught in the dystopian “future”… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Yea, I can imagine. I like this quaint old country. I like walking the green lanes, climbing the stiles, visiting old churches with Romanesque archers (means they were built in C11th); I like the history that oozes out around me; placenames that carry a story; castles decaying; hey, I even like farm buildings and machinery! I like living in a dying port; like New Years Eve here, when at midnight the youngest crew member on board the moored ships blasts on the ship’s horns, all up and down the river. I like that those ships are as often from Lithuania and Latvia as from England, or Italy, or Greece. I like that I can sit by the river and watch the world chug in. Or sit on the seafront and listen to the holidaymakers’ accents from all over the country; I even like that, small town though it is, we have 42 languages spoken by 34 foreign nationalities now resident. I know that cos part of my last job was to liaise with Race Equality Council to produce and publish a collection of life stories from some of those folks. Yea, I like this town, I like this land. You might remind me of that when I occasionally moan. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Joy Pixley says:

        And I like living there vicariously through your stories and pictures! But then, I also like a lot of the conveniences and fun social and cultural activities that I enjoy here, and would miss them if I moved somewhere else. Which I should remember when I start to moan… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Well, I thank you. Many of my stories are based in Norfolk, plus most of the history posts. We write what we know most about. But we’ve all a tendency to see greener grasses growing elsewhere. I miss theatre, and concerts and . . . all those things that would keep me from writing. The photography is temptation enough! When my health plummeted I made the decision to focus on writing. So much easier when you’re unable to do anything else. But I’d still like to walk the coast of Great Britain. Ouch, I can hear my feet complaining.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        The grass is always greener on the other side, it seems. I have a theory that the more places you’ve moved to, the less satisfied you’ll ever be with one place you live, because somehow you want one place to have all the good things of all your previous homes and yet none of the bad things! It’s totally irrational, but then, people are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        You’ve caught me with my after-lunch coffee (time’s running out to reach my target and I’ve a busy few days ahead). But, yea, I can see where you’re coming from with that theory. Though I’ve moved to different houses, I’ve not moved much by way of towns, so I can’t really comment from personal experience. Though having said that, I still return to my village of birth cos it’s so beautiful. Yes, but, it hasn’t the conveniences of this town, so I wouldn’t want to swap. On the other hand, this town hasn’t the facility I’d grown used to when I lived in the city. Yea, but, traffic volume, the fumes, the people, I prefer it quiet these days. My brother travels the world, and has done since just out of his teens. He says he’d not swap England, except maybe for New Zealand. He has lived in 2 different houses since leaving the family nest. He’s content where he is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        If you can find a place where you’re content to stay, cherish it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Oh, indeed I do!

        Liked by 1 person

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