I’ve been considering writing a series of fictional, near-death experiences. For fun. Yeah. This is the first one.Julia slammed the stick into first gear and stabbed the accelerator.  There was a moment of hesitation as the rear tires screamed from the release of the clutch before they grabbed the pavement and sent the car rocketing down the tree-laden byway.

Will was lured into the passenger seat by a plaid skirt and a whispered bidding to take a ride to the Quickie Mart, where they sold the wet dreams of teenage boys.  His lust-addled brain hadn’t yet had time to absorb his situation as the car whipped through the first copse.

In her eyes, fixed squinting on the road ahead, shone a lust of her own.  Julia pressed third to 60 then popped it into fourth.  “Hold on, Billy,” she shouted over the roar of passing air.

A brown leaf fell from the late autumn canopy of suburban forest.  It floated to earth in a lazy, drunken dance, reflecting auburn afternoon sunlight.  Will focused on the leaf as it became closer, and quicker, and was viloently sucked under the convertible as Julia slid into the oncoming lane while nailing the first turn.  The car swerved back into the right lane and Julia accelerated.

Will had momentarily gripped the dash to keep from flying across the transmission into Julia’s lap.  His attempt to be cool in the eyes of this fawn had left him unsecured by a seatbelt.  Would he dash this facade now by asking her to cool down?  By fumbling madly for the seatbelt buckle?

Julia downshifted to take the next turn, this time much sharper, with no visibility through the crumbling hill of dust and stone just feet from Will’s white-knuckled grip on the car door.  Rubber squealed and slid across the asphalt, leaving four terrible black tears across the worn pavement.  Julia slammed the gear shift back into a high gear, commanding the car to finally jump forward straight toward an oncoming car.

Agile hands spun the leather-wrapped steering wheel in two directions and both cars narrowly passed around the turn to the sound of a blaring horn.  In the rear view and over the cry of the overworked engine, Will couldn’t tell if the passed car had stayed on the road or skidded off into the reservoir.

Finally, on the third turn and only hairpin, Julia lost it.  The rear end fishtailed and slammed ultimately to a stop against a yellow fire hydrant whose placement at this spot in the woods, Julia noted, was quite odd and fortuitous.  Billy fumbled with the door handle, and left a running trail of vomit into the thick of a nearby pine grove.