Thanks to the recent rains, the spot fires lacked the heat to take off and spread through the bush along the roadside. Looking across from her passenger seat, a Constable hung upside down from his seat belt, and it was the steady heat building up in the car, rather than image of her grievous injured colleague, that drove her from a semi-concussed daze. Realising she too was somehow the wrong way up, and that the heat she felt was coming from somewhere in front of the horrifically mangled sedan. The ‘Western Australian Police’ car was not only stuck on its roof, but what was left of the engine bay was on fire.
Unbuckling herself, landing on her head, Senior Constable Maggie Fox’s body folded itself around her in the process. With blood filling her eyes, source yet to be located, she groped around the flattened space trying to get a handhold to pull herself around. Righting herself, she drunkenly wiped the blood from her face, reached across to the driver and yelled at the bloodied Constable. Without response, she shook him, and yet still nothing. Placing two fingers against his neck Maggie searched rapidly for the carotid artery. Probing and pushing vainly, hoping to find a pulse in his dangling form. It was then that she noticed his missing right arm and leg. A loud ‘woof’ came from somewhere within the bonnet. The front of the car exploded into fire. Screaming she looked about herself, and for the first time noticed that the rear of the car had been shorn from the front. The two rear passengers, very senior W.A. Police Officers, were nowhere to be seen. Self preservation kicking in, she fought her way out of the near flat passenger window, dragging herself away on broken legs into the near black night. Adrenaline surging through her, postponing her pain for a time when safety had been achieved. Gasping and nauseous, she stood unsteadily, getting as far away from the flaming broken wreck. Stumbling backwards, Maggie tripped on the edge of the roadside cluvet, flailing, she fell, cracking her head once more, this time on bitumen. The road apparently lifting itself to strike her solidly to the back of her 28-year-old head. Darkness descended on her in a flash.
Her memory of the minutes and hours thereafter was a mixture of confusion, pain, and bright artificial light. Yellow fluorescent vests floated in and out of her vague line of vision, causing her to wonder if she was among angels. From there, it was weightlessness, and movement, then the darkness of unconsciousness stole all else from her mind.
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