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~Mini Book Excerpt Monday~

May 2, 2011

thecolorofheaven The Color of Heaven
By  E.V. Mitchell

     Not long after I crossed the border into New Hampshire, the temperature plummeted. If I had been out walking, I would have felt it on my cheeks. The chill would have entered my throat and lungs, but I was strapped tightly into the cozy confines of my vehicle with the heat blasting out of the dashboard vents, and was therefore shielded from the conditions outside. I will always wonder what brought that deer out onto the road just as the puddles from the melting snow turned to ice. I saw her out of the corner of my eye, galloping onto the pavement, and my whole body went rigid.

Wrenching the steering wheel left to avoid her, I hit the brakes at the same time, which was, of course, the worst thing I could have done.

The car whipped around 180 degrees, so I was now facing the oncoming headlights from the vehicles traveling behind me. My tires skimmed sideways across the pavement toward the shoulder of the road.

I remember everything in excruciating detail, the noise especially, as my car rolled five times down the steep embankment. Glass shattered and smashed. Steel collapsed. The world spun in dizzying circles in front of my eyes, so I shut them and gripped the steering wheel hard, bracing my body against the jarring impact as the roof collapsed over the passenger side and the windows blew out.

Down I went, tumbling and bouncing over the rocks like a stone skipping across water.

Then all at once, it was over.

There was only white noise in my ears, and the thunderous sound of my heartbeat.

I opened my eyes to find myself hanging upside down in my seatbelt, with the side of my head wedged up against the roof.

The engine was still running. Other sounds emerged. Music blasted from the radio – an old favorite song of mine from the 80’s, The Killing Time, which was ironic, but in that heart-stopping moment, I was not that reflective. All I could think of was getting out of there.

Panic hit me. Hard. I felt trapped, frantic to escape, and began to thrash about.

I groped for the red button on the seatbelt buckle, but my hands were shaking so badly, I couldn’t push it.

My breaths came faster and faster.

I cried out, but no one heard.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a whip cracked. The vehicle shuddered.

I froze and tried to see past the smashed windshield in front of me. Everything outside the car was pure white, covered in snow.

If only I knew where I was. If only I could see something beyond the broken glass.

But it didn’t matter what I could, or could not, see. I knew what was happening...

My car was sitting on its roof, resting on a frozen lake. The crack of the whip was the sound of the ice breaking.

Creak… Groan…

My SUV shifted and began to slowly tip sideways...





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