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Donna Flood

The children knew they were not supposed to be sitting at the back edge of the little pick up truck, but they were all close in age and what one would do the others would follow right along. These would beg to sit in the back of the truck and be allowed to if they would remain up to the front towards the cab. If the kids had been quietly sitting without making any quick moves probably, everything would have gone well. This was not to be.

The girl could feel the little truck picking up speed as they were traveling down a small incline before they would cross the creek on the way to their home. The excitement of getting back to the house was upon them and they were not thinking about the danger.

The two boys were wrestling, even though they were perched right at the edge of the truck. When they were quietly pulling and tugging at each other for position their sister knew there was no stopping them. They were too intent with their own game and the moment of winning whatever they were looking toward.

"Stop it, Stop it," she all but begged her younger brothers with no notice given to her.

Like a movement as easy as slow motion she saw the younger of the two brothers losing his balance and actually falling away from the truck. He was a big boy and with his size and the forward thrust of the truck there was almost no way to stop or break his fall! Nevertheless, his sister grabbed his shirt with both hands and with a standing up on the back bumper and a twisting motion somehow her effort was accompanied not by wisdom, but just an action and a reaction. The twisting of the boy as she flung him toward the right and back towards the bed of the truck was assisted by some sort of physical happening maybe having to do with centrifugal force. She could feel it happening and in an instant the boy was back into the truck. However, as she released him whatever that was to hold him to the truck, let her go and she could feel herself falling. As she fell she was thinking it was going to be bad. The truck was moving too fast for it not to be a serious thing.

There was no pain when she struck the ground and she felt nothing. The only thing she was aware of was a tilting of the earth like someone on a carnival ride. The ground was to tilt up to one angle and then to the opposite side at another angle like pictures she had seen of water off a boats deck.

She could see her mother running, crying toward her. "What happened?

What happened?" she heard her scream.

The boys were trying to explain and then there was nothing. As her father carried her into the bedroom she did awake for a moment to look at the clock and remembered it was a quarter after six. She could feel herself falling into a deep sleep. She was seeing her Uncle running, through the meadow, trying to reach her before she fell and she was whimpering to him," hurry, hurry."

When the girl awoke there was a serene quiet scene she could hear in the kitchen. The family was there and it sounded like they were finishing a meal. She could hear their quiet conversation, but the softness of the bed was too comfortable for her to rise away from it. All at once she could hear her Mother's voice coming from the front yard. She was talking to someone who had driven up and she was crying so softly like she had heard her cry before over the death of an animal on the ranch or a pet kitten.

The voice speaking to her she recognized as that of her Uncle, her mother's brother. The fact alone, that he was here, was rare since he had his own family and worked swing shifts at the oil refinery which kept him busy with his own world. The girl knew of whatever they spoke it was serious. Theirs was a close family which had been raised up in this very house after their father, and then later step father had deserted them. They shared good times as well as hard times, and today a tragic time equally from the habit of having to support each other emotionally.

"There has been a terrible accident," the man stated flatly. "Baby Ed was killed in a fall from the car. They were returning from a trip to the health clinic at Pawnee. He reached to open the door while the car was moving and was jerked out by the whipping open of the door."

"When did it happen?" she heard her mother ask.

"It hasn't been that long ago. It happened at a quarter after six."

As the exact time was mentioned the girl was at once alert and sitting up on the side of the bed. "Mama," she called.

"We had an accident too," the girl's mother was explaining. "Our girl fell from the back of the truck, and she is just now coming around."

She fell shortly before a quarter after six.

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