An original short story written by Edward Fagan

The accident happens 

The accident occurs as Ryan hears a loud sound which makes him very alert. He thus is suddenly aware once again that he is driving. He is unable to give an account of his driving for the last couple of minutes. Ryan did not lose consciousness during this time due to any illness.

Ryan thinks he fell asleep while driving and struck an object. He collided with this object, whatever it is, with great impact given the loudness of sound heard. Ryan wants to know what object he struck.

It is 02: 15 a.m. and outside is chilly and dark. Ryan is traveling on a long stretch of winding road that runs through a large, forested and ecologically diverse area. The forest contains wildlife, and there is a lake and a river in the area. This forested area lies in a remote country region.

The accident and its background

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Drinkers Guilt Need Not Be A Problem

Ryan was driving toward home while he was under the influence of alcohol. He had spent several hours drinking at a pub in a nearby county prior to the start of this journey.

Ryan stopped drinking at pubs and bars in his home county just over a year ago. He stopped because his drinking and behaviour had given him a bad reputation there.

His drinking and behaviour were also affecting his relationship with his family and his work. Ryan’s wife threatened him with divorce, and his boss warned him about the prospect of dismissal from his job.

He even once injured one of his neighbour’s sons while driving under alcoholic influence. He, however, made an out of court settlement with the boy’s family over that accident.

Ryan promised his family and his boss that he would not repeat that mistake. He also promised to control his drinking and change his behaviour. Ryan, therefore, can not afford to become involved in an accident where he is driving under alcoholic influence. He even more so, can not afford to become involved in an accident that causes injury or death to someone.

The accident, Ryan conducts an investigation

Ryan is very apprehensive about the accident. He slows to a stop, takes his flashlight from the cubby and leaves the twin cab pickup truck. The object he struck, is what Ryan is trying to find out.

He slowly walks around the truck, looking carefully on the ground. He expects to discover any fixed or moveable object struck by him while he was driving. Ryan also looks underneath the truck.

He does not see any object, animate or inanimate, that he might have struck while driving. Ryan then decides to check the truck for any sign of damage caused by collision with an object. He now carefully focusses the flashlight’s beam on the pickup truck itself, slowly and meticulously.

Before completing a full circle around the truck during its inspection, Ryan sees damage. He sees two dents that he’s sure weren’t there before. One dent is located in the area of the upper to lower part of the front bumper. It is equidistant from both bumper ends. The other dent is located in the area of the upper to middle part of the grill. This dent is just above the dent in the bumper.

Ryan continues to inspect the truck and completes a full circle of movement around it. He sees no other damage. He struck a movable object, no doubt, but what and where is it?

The accident and Ryan’s further investigation

Ryan parked on the right hand side of the road. He struck the object, whatever it is, on this side of the road. The middle of the front of the vehicle is the part that struck the object. This is so based on the location of the dents on the vehicle.

“I don’t have any clues concerning where to start looking for the object I struck. Perhaps I should start looking in the wooded area to my right.”, Ryan thinks. “Standing close to this area, maybe I could start here.”, Ryan reasons. Ryan starts to walk away from the pickup truck in the direction in which he was driving. He thus walks along the right hand side of the road.

Using his flashlight as he slowly walks along, Ryan looks attentively into the wooded area to his right. He looks as far as the flashlight beam would allow him to see. Walking steadily, he only stops occasionally to pay closer attention to some area that looks darker.

Sometimes he sees a fallen tree limb, other times he sees a small clearing. Hikers and campers do make these clearings at times. He even sees the decaying, partial remains of a deer.

Ryan continues walking slowly and steadily, carefully checking and stopping for a while every now and then. Still, he sees nothing unusual. He does not even see an insect or small animal of any kind.

Then, he sees something that looks unusual; and he starts to worry. Ryan sees a freshly made, narrow foot path. “Who made this foot path and why did they make it?”, Ryan wonders. “Where does it lead?”, he asks.

The accident scene and Ryan’s discovery

Ryan decides to walk off the road and through the tract to its ending. “I hope this isn’t the worst that it can be.”, he says to himself. He worries more and more about a painful outcome from this walk. He worries as he goes deeper into the woods and toward the end of the tract.

Ryan continues using his flashlight as he did earlier. Suddenly, in the faintly lit distance, he sees something that looks unusual. He wishes it offers the prospect of hope rather than that of despair.

Ryan walks ahead and sees what looks like the end of the tract leading to a small clearing. In this clearing, Ryan sees a motionless human-like object. He continues walking toward the clearing and the human-like object. Ryan sees something that extremely shocks him when he finally gets to the clearing, and he faints.

He returns to his normal self but remains in a state of acute fear. He looks at a fully dressed human, a male, who appears to be in his 40’s. This man is lying on his back and motionless. Ryan draws closer and examines him but does not see any external wounds, bleeding or other evidence of physical injury.

Bending over, Ryan checks his pulse and body temperature, and examines his eyes. Ryan thinks he’s dead. “I just killed a man in a vehicular accident”,  Ryan whispers in a sad tone.

The accident and Ryan’s response to his discovery

Ryan glances at his watch and notes that it is 03: 30 a.m. Ryan worries that he has now killed a man while driving under the influence of alcohol. He knows that he has a much higher level of alcohol in his blood than the legal maximum level. Ryan fears that the sheriff’s office will notice his state of intoxication if he goes and reports the accident.

“What should I do? Should I report this accident to the sheriff ‘s office? Should I dump the body in the nearby river and continue on my journey?”, Ryan asks in silence. Ryan makes a decision “I’m going to report this accident to the nearest sheriff’s office immediately.”

The accident and Ryan’s action after his discovery?  

Ryan returns to the vehicle and drives toward the sheriff ‘s office. He drives in the direction in which he was traveling at the time of the accident. He notices a bear lying motionless on his side of the road and it seems to have died recently. It is about 35 yards from where the accident occurred.

Ryan gives a truthful account of the accident after arriving at the sheriff’s office. He is glad that he complies with the law in doing this. Ryan is accompanied by two sheriff’s deputies back to the location of the accident. They are to conduct an investigation there. Ryan is still sad, and fearful of the consequences of this accident.

On their way to the location, both deputies take note of the bear lying at the side of the road. They note that it seems to have died recently. Ryan and the two deputies arrive at the location of the accident.

Ryan is fearful of the consequences of this accident. He thinks he is guilty of the motor manslaughter of the man whose body he discovered in the woods. He thinks that some of the evidence that will lead to his prosecution, will come out of this investigation. Ryan thinks that the rest of the evidence will come from the autopsy that will follow it.

The accident and Ryan’s relief 

He takes the deputies to the clearing in the wooded area where he saw the body of a man. He believed the man was dead. The body Ryan saw is no longer there. Someone removed the body without a trace. Ryan experiences surprise and confusion.

” There was the body of a man right here in this spot.”, Ryan says to the deputies. He is pointing to the exact spot where he saw the body. Both deputies believe that Ryan saw the body of a man in the spot as he claims.

The two deputies quietly carry out their investigation and take photos; after which they ask Ryan to return with them to the sheriff ‘s office. At the sheriff’s office, the deputies tell Ryan that there will be further investigation of the accident. There will also be further investigation of the claim of discovery and disappearance of the body of a man.

Ryan is praised for reporting the accident early, and telling the truth about the accident. He is praised for telling the truth about his drinking prior to his last home-bound journey. He is also praised for reporting his discovery of a man’s body.

The deputies warn Ryan, however, about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. They also remind him that the practice is illegal. The deputies promise that they will not prosecute him for driving under alcoholic influence on this occasion. Ryan thanks the deputies for pardoning him for driving under alcoholic influence.

The sheriff’s office also refuses to charge him with any other traffic offence. There is no evidence that he is guilty of any such offence; and he thanks the deputies.

The accident and what follows

Ryan tells the deputies that he continues to have fears about the accident. He worries that he might be responsible for the death of the man whose body he saw in the woods. One of the two deputies who visited the location of the accident spoke with Ryan. He reminds Ryan that he could have struck the recently killed bear seen close to where the accident occurred. He, instead, could have struck the man whose body he discovered in the woods.

Ryan agrees with the deputy and finds some hope in the thought of his having struck the bear. He prefers to have struck the bear rather than the man.

The sheriff ‘s office promises to contact Ryan if necessary, concerning the continuing investigation into the accident. The sheriff’s office also promises to contact him if necessary concerning the claimed discovery and disappearance of a man’s body.

The sheriff’s office does not charge Ryan with any traffic or other offences. He continues to experience a sense of sadness, but now, is beginning to also experience a sense of joy.

The accident and Ryan’s final thoughts about it

Ryan wonders about a few things as he drives toward home. He wonders if he caused the accident by not being sober and falling asleep while driving. He also wonders how the accident would have gone had he been sober and awake when it happened.

“Did the vehicle collide with the man or the bear, and if it did, whose fault was it?”, Ryan asks.

Ryan thinks this accident leaves a few questions unanswered. Some of these questions pertain to the discovery and disappearance of a man’s body. Some of these questions, likewise, pertain to the presence of a recently killed bear near the location of the accident.

Ryan is wondering if this accident and its implications might just be the final wakeup call. Is this a warning for him to stop driving under alcoholic influence before something much more serious than this happens?

By Edward Fagan

 

Prose writing experiences are immeasurably Joyful to many of us who love writing prose.

Prose writing experiences of deep and lasting joy are had by those of us who write and love writing prose. Since I write a little but have a lot of love for writing, and since my love for writing far exceeds my ability to write, I’m forever grateful for the immensely joyful prose writing experiences which I get. (Prose is the form of writing referred to in this passage.)

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I’m grateful to writing for its peculiar and joyful experiences, which it only grants to those of us who write. One factor in writing which aids such joyful and wonderful experience is that of writing to a standard.

It brings immense joy when one successfully writes a passage that meets, in several areas, an idealistic standard toward which one aimed, from the beginning. This standard will include values relating to: writing technique, as well as esthetics and morality as they relate to writing.

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There also is great joy to be had in the experience of writing a fictional passage. The author here is lord of this fictional world. He has and exercises the powers of creation, sustenance and destruction of this world. He exercises such powers over its: details, contents and events; its characters, their thoughts, speech, actions and the conditions of their existence.

Another source of joyful experiences is nonfictional writing. A world of joyful experiences is available to the writer of nonfiction who upholds certain principles in his writing. These principles include, truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

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Other experiences that can result from the practice of writing include: improved spelling and vocabulary and improved orderliness and clarity of thought. The following experiences also, can result from one’s writing activity: improved comprehension of both written and spoken language and improved general reading and speaking ability.

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We experience joy, satisfaction and fulfilment whenever we successfully write fiction or nonfiction. This results from our timeless love for fictional or nonfictional writing, and the application to actual writing tasks, of our natural writing ability, knowledge, and any other relevant skills we might possess.

When we write fiction, we naturally apply our creative writing ability to this task; when we write nonfiction we also do a similar thing. In both instances of writing, we also draw on knowledge, other skills and abilities to improve the outcome of our effort. In the case of creative writing, we ensure that the supportive information we give is accurate because this is important to a good end result of our effort. In the case of nonfictional writing, we ensure that the following qualities, as mentioned above, prevail through out our written work: truthfulness, objectivity, empathy, sensitivity to others feelings and the practice of writing in good taste.

By Edward Fagan

 

 

 

 

This is an original creative composition written by Edward Fagan. (It is based on a personal experience.)

Arrest and the accusation

Arrest of Earl is not on his mind as he drives the truck to the junction and stops. Earl is driving on a road which runs adjacent to one which is busy with traffic. He patiently awaits the clearing of traffic on this road. Earl does not know an arrest awaits him following these few moments he spends at this junction.

His three passengers and fellow workers, two male and one female, and himself talk and laugh until the road clears.

The road finally clears and Earl exits from his stationary position while turning right onto the adjacent road. A female shouts something and flares her right hand in an angry manner. She does this from a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. This female thinks he failed to stop at the junction. She, therefore, suggests this in her statement, and hand gestures intended at Earl.

Earl slows to a stop “I stopped at the junction Mam.”. She stops and disagrees “No, you drove straight through onto this road.”. Earl repeats his position a few times. He does this in response to her accusing him several times of not stopping at the junction.

She leaves her vehicle and walks to Earl’s and shows a police badge. “Switch off the engine and come out of the vehicle.”, she orders. Earl complies. “I’m Police Constable Lia Connell.”, she says, in a stern and somewhat angry tone. She’s young, perhaps in her mid to late twenties, and perfectly beautiful.

Arrest of an innocent man

“You failed to stop at the junction and that’s an offence.”, she says. She is violently poking her finger in Earl’s face and toward his eyes. Earl disagrees, “I stopped at the junction and exited after the road cleared.”. He then says “Do you see how dangerously close to my eyes your fellow officer is poking her finger?” “She’s not touching your eyes though.”, the other officer responds.

Constable Lia Connell opens a book and looks at Earl in an angry manner, “What’s your name?” “Earl Farley”, Earl answers calmly. She writes it in the book. “You failed to stop at the junction, why are you denying it?” Earl is surprised and upset at her behaviour. She demands to get a confession of guilt from him, and he wonders why. She even forgets, or otherwise refuses, to take his address.

“I stopped at the junction before driving onto this road.”, Earl insists. “OK fine! Arrest and handcuff him!”, she says angrily to one of her two male passengers.

A policeman handcuffs and places Earl in the unmarked police vehicle. Earl is surprised at his arrest; but he does not know what is yet to come. He sits in the rear between the two male passengers. It is 03: 00 p.m.

Arrest and the journey of brutality

The police speedily drive off Earl to the police station with the vehicle’s siren blaring and its beacon flashing. Earl sits with handcuffed hands in lap. There is silence in the vehicle. The phone in Earl’s top pocket rings. He attempts to answer it, so he takes it out and presses the answer button.  It is Earl’s boss and he hears the vehicle’s siren and suspects that Earl is under arrest.”Don’t let him answer that phone!”, Constable Connell angrily states. Earl does not expect what happens next.

Simultaneously, the outer hands of both male passengers grab Earl’s throat and start to choke him very tightly; while their inside hands tightly grab his handcuffed hands and start to take away the phone. He’s in intense pain and unable to speak. They also completely restrict all of his body movement by very forcefully pressing inward toward him. The police prevent him from speaking to his boss on the phone.

The two men who choked Earl take him to an interrogation room at the police station. The choking shocks and sickens Earl. “Why did you arrest and choke me?” he asks. “We can do you anything without having to answer any questions you ask us.”, answers John Bailey. He seems the more wicked and conceited of the two men.

Arrest and retention in a cell 

Sergeant Alvin Springfield gets Earl’s name from constable Lia Connell and calls Earl.”Earl Farley”, he calls, “I’m Sergeant Alvin Springfield. Can I take a statement from you or have you answer some questions?”. “I prefer not to give a statement or answer any questions. I thus wish to exercise my right to remain silent.”, Earl politely says. “Well, if that’s your position, I have to accept it.”, The Sergeant says. He slowly closes his notepad, gets up and leaves the room.

The police place Earl in a holding cell during the afternoon. They later charge him with failing to stop at the junction, and refusing to give his name and address. The police then give him a date for the first court-hearing of these charges, and release him on bail. They release Earl from the holding cell during late evening, 09: 30 p.m.

Arrest and court hearings

Earl visits a leading ear, nose and throat specialist on the day after his release.  The medical examination, expectantly, reveals throat and neck injury caused by the police choking him.

Hearing of the case continues for several months. Earl represents himself and is glad for the opportunity this gives him to question the police concerning the incident.

During one of the hearings, Earl questions Constable Lia Connell. “Constable Connell, did you enter the main road from the junction above the one from which I entered it?” “Yes I did.”, she replies. “Are you aware that there is an outward bend in the stretch of road which lies between the two junctions?” “I do not remember it.” she says. “Are you aware that this outward bend completely blocks the view of vehicles exiting both junctions from each other?” She hesitates, then slowly answers, “No, I’m not very familiar with the roads in this area.”

Arrest and court hearings continue

At this point Magistrate Robin Simpson makes a comment. “I may say something here,” he says, “I know this road very well, having grown up in the area. Motorists at one junction simply can not see vehicles at the other junction. It is therefore impossible for someone at one junction to know, by seeing, what someone at the other junction does.”

Earl continues his questioning, “Where was my vehicle when you first saw it?” “Your vehicle was on the main road.”, she answers. “Did you see my vehicle at or driving toward the junction, at any time?” “No, I did not.”, she replies. “I have no further questions to ask, your honour.”, Earl declares.

Earl calls his three passengers as witnesses during this same hearing. They confirm his claim that he gave his name when asked to give it. These three passengers also stated that Constable Lia Connell never asked for his address. They were consistent in their answers to questions from both Earl and the prosecution.

At this point during the hearing of the case, Magistrate Robin Simpson asks the prosecution a question. He asks them if they have any further questions for any member of the defence. “Your honour, the prosecution does not have any further questions for the defence.”, answers a member of the prosecution team. Magistrate Simpson adjourns the case for a week.

Arrest and establishment of truth

A week later, hearing of the case resumes. The prosecution give a brief summary of their position in the case and Earl does the same. Finally, Magistrate Robin Simpson states his position in the case., “Why is Mr. Farley accused of not stopping at the juncture? Why are the police accusing him of refusing to give his name and address? The police arrested and placed him in a cell at the station, why? He certainly did not commit any arrestable offences.”

He arranges some papers on his desk and pauses for a moment. “The police brought three charges against Mr. Farley that are not justified. Mr. Farley did not commit any of those three offences brought against him. The police should not have arrested him; his arrest was therefore unwarranted.” He turns his head in Earl’s direction and looks at Earl rather calmly. “You are therefore free to go Mr. Farley.”

By Edward Fagan