James Woods

Angel of Mercy

Yesterday was like every other day. I lived alone in a poxy little studio apartment in the suburbs and journeyed daily into the city. Yes, I had a job, grafting all day in the storeroom of a small manufacturing business, with a wage that barely kept me alive.
That may be figuratively speaking, but the job was low paid and beggars can´t be choosers. Unemployment is rife at the moment and one has to be thankful one has a job in the first place.
I shook a portion of cornflakes from their carton into my one and only plate and poured on the milk. I rarely sat down in the mornings but stood by the window looking out as I crunched away. I could see my banger of a car across the street. Even my car seemed ashamed of itself as it stood alone next to the sidewalk, its little red alarm indicator flashing away. That was a joke; I didn´t even have an alarm. The big laugh, anyway, was that I couldn´t visualise anyone who would wish to steal it.
I looked at the darkening sky. Going to get some rain, I thought as I put my empty plate into the sink, grabbed my jacket, and headed down the three flights of stairs to my car. The lifts have been out of order since I came here five months ago. The car started at the first attempt and I drove towards the city. I slapped the radio a couple of times, heard the latter end of the weather report, heavy rain, and listened to a commentary on sports. I didn´t pay a lot of interest to the droning voice as it described the previous evening’s ball game.
The first drops of rain were heavy spots and they splattered on my windscreen, spreading the dust and momentarily obscuring my view.
There was very little traffic, so I stopped for a moment and climbed out to clear the screen. It was then that I saw it; it was awesome, massive! The biggest twister I had ever seen and heading fast in my direction. What do I do? I looked around and there was literally nowhere to hide. With a banger like this, I had little chance of trying to outrun it but that was the best option for the moment. The car squealed as I slammed down on the accelerator and headed towards the city.
Items began to fly past the car at an alarming rate and I knew I was about to be caught. I was still driving flat out, but now much larger debris was swirling around before me. Then it was my turn.
The Twister lifted the car quite gently into the air and I froze with terror as the wheels left the highway and the car ascended at a terrific rate. Unconsciously, I still held onto the wheel as a form of security really as I certainly wasn´t driving the thing. I was now caught in the tornado’s spiral and found myself moving round, over the tops of buildings, but, miraculously, still in a horizontal position, as if I were actually flying a plane, a plane without wings, that is. Unbelievably, someone´s washing appliance was coasting alongside, accompanied by a whole range of items spread out across the horizon. “Christ,” I said, “Am I dreaming this? Is this how it all ends?“
Even under these conditions I managed a smile, when I realised that the engine of my car was still running. Then, very gently, in the swirl of thousands of objects, I felt the car start to twist. The next moment I was hanging on for dear life as the car turned completely upside down. My seat belt was holding me fast but I felt myself slipping through and I was still clinging on to the steering column. I said a little prayer as the car turned in numerous directions and at one stage I felt myself hurtling towards the ground.
Another vehicle smashed into the side panel of the front wing, spinning my car back into an upright position. The other vehicle careened earthwards, with me in hot pursuit. “This is it,“ I said as I read the words, A.S Security on the side of the preceding vehicle. It hit the ground with a massive crunch and I wondered if anyone was in it. My life fled before me in those last seconds as my car dived to earth, my life as a kid, my mum, my schooldays; everything flashed through my mind.
Suddenly the car was spun round and I was flung onto a grassy bank. I lay open-mouthed as I watched it rise again and rejoin the thousands of other objects spinning around in the sky above. “I must be dead,“ I heard myself say as I looked at my hands.
Trembling, I sprang to my feet and looked across at the wrecked vehicle. I wondered again if it had contained a passenger.
I raced the few yards to it and peered through the smashed windscreen to confirm that it was empty -- empty, except for the thousands of U.S. dollars that were spewing out of the smashed rear door. I was calm, incredibly calm as I stared down at the vast fortune before me, some of it still being caught in the final draughts of the now failing winds of the tornado. Several sacks lay there. Some sacks were open and loose notes swirled all around. I picked up one of the sacks and with shaking hands secured the top by its security ties. I then picked up each of the remaining sacks by their bases and scattered the contents all around the vehicle.
I am relating this story and I am sure you will forgive me if I refrain from disclosing details of my identity or my whereabouts. I am, at the moment, sitting with my legs in a swimming pool and sipping champagne with an absolutely beautiful young lady.
© B J Woods 2003

The story Angel of Mercy is a fictitious account inspired by the picture image of a tornado in the USA.
This allowed an unfortunate poorly paid young man to take advantage when caught up in this adventure, with a most pleasant conclusion for him.
I hope all who read my story will enjoy my humour
Thank you
James Woods
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Published on e-Stories.org on 05/29/2004.


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