Monday, May 21, 2007

Of Jazz And Shadows

(This is a fictional account based on my experience of the car crash that almost took my life and the lives of my two friends.)

It was a cool and breezy November evening. Golden leaves, with splotches of brown here and there, fell gently from dry branches. A sky of pinkish hues settled comfortably in the dusk hours on Prairie Avenue. Something, however, was terribly wrong.

Prairie Avenue was only a stretch of dirt back then, in the days of flappers, bootleggers and marathon dancers. A small crowd, silent and somber, had gathered around the wreckage of a sleek black Model T. There were no survivors. Tinny sounds of Jazz music with a hint of Gospel continued to play on the radio as static crackled through the sound waves of WOAN.

“He’s only a child,” they murmured. Many other whispers that day were stolen by the wind. Everyone sadly nodded in agreement.

Urgent sirens of a white Ford ambulance shrieked in the background—twenty minutes too late. Could he have lived if help had arrived but ten minutes earlier? Most likely. Johnnie Gilbert breathed for at least ten more minutes after a violent collision with a newly erected telephone pole. The nineteen-year-old student from Hope International University in Los Angeles was exhausted. Nonetheless, after a long week of grueling classes and a long choir tour he opted to take the short drive home instead of staying in his dorm.

An eighteen-year-old research assistant at Bell Labs, named Effie Loren, held onto Johnnie’s hand throughout his ordeal. It wasn’t anything Effie would ever forget, though at times good friends reminded her that she had been his angel in the last few moments before death. But Effie Loren lived her days haunted by Johnnie’s memory and allowed herself to walk in perpetual sadness.


(If you would like to read the rest of the story published at Associated Content please click here and thanks. And please join my writing team and earn a few dollars and cents for your articles and short stories.)





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