A Hole in the Earth
For the record, my name is Melora Stein. I remember now exactly what happened on that day. At first I didn’t, but after being questioned by the police and the media, it started coming back to me. It was like a snowball, my memory. As I starting talking about it, more and more of it became clear. Almost as if I was making up the story as I went along.
My twin sister and I were driving North on interstate 70, not really destined for anywhere. We had been arguing about the music since we left our apartment on Grand Avenue, so we finally compromised on a radio station that was playing Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath when she reached it with the tuner.
When I’m driving alone, I never listen to the radio. I use the auxiliary cable to listen to my iPod or my phone music. I get tired of hearing the same 15 songs every hour and a half. I mean, with over 26 million songs just on iTunes, you could listen to a different track 24 hours a day for 200 years.
She said, “This is probably my favorite Dio song.”
I told her, “Mine, too, but this is Black Sabbath. It’s Ronnie James Dio singing, but he’s with Black Sabbath, not Dio.”
“I’ll prove you wrong. I’ll Google it.”
“You want to make a bet on that, first? I know you’re wrong. I don’t even have to ask Google.”
“What’s your wager, miss Smarty Pants?” That is her favorite name for me, especially when she was losing confidence.
“If I win, you fill my gas tank. If you win, I’ll buy us lunch.”
“Pfft. That’s not a fair bet at all,” she said.
“Why? I’m on half right now. Wouldn’t be more than 15 to fill it. And lunch at a diner would probably be around 20 bucks, right?”
“True, but half of that would be your bill, anyway.”
She had me, there. “Alright. Then what do you want?”
“How about you buy lunch and I’ll do the dishes for the week?”
“You hate dishes.”
“That should tell you how sure I am,” she said smugly.
“Fine. Get your dish towels ready.”
She took her phone from her back pocket and asked it, “Who sings Heaven and Hell?”
An automated voice said, “Heaven and Hell is an album by Black Sabbath.”
“Ha! S**k suds, beeotch!” I exclaimed, knowing I was throwing bullets in the fire.
She didn’t respond but I knew she was pissed. She always gets really quiet when she’s mad at me. And I instigate, I’ll admit it.
When the song finished, the deejay or whatever they’re called now, Radio personality, whatever, said “The department of transportation has issued a warning to avoid I70 North of Brighton, due to the possibility of severe flooding from the tributary in that area. Seek alternative routes.”
I said, “Hey! We’re only like ten minutes away from Brighton! Let’s check it out.”
“You’re still a real b***h, but that sounds neat.”
About 15 minutes later, Medora said she saw water rushing alongside the highway. The tributary had turned into a violent river, washing away great chunks of sod from underneath the road.
So, I’m leaning over her, trying to peer out of her window to get a closer look. There wasn’t hardly any traffic right then and I had the cruise set at forty five. All of the sudden, I heard a great crash and we abruptly stopped. Me, slamming my chest in the steering wheel, and Medora went crashing head first through the windshield.
After the stars receded from my vision, I looked up and saw, not only the windshield shattered to pieces, but also my sister hanging on to the hood in an effort to keep from falling into the darkness that seemed to have sprung from nowhere. She had smacked into the new blacktop shelf that was created when the road caved in and bounced back onto the hood, which was now pointing downward at a 210° angle. I honestly don’t know how we didn’t take the ten foot plunge into the raging river running under the road. She was bloody and moaning. Head wounds bleed profusely, and her head was badly cut and damaged. A flap of skin had peeled from her skull and hung down, covering one ear in a gruesome curtain of flesh. The arm not holding onto where the gap is from the hood and the windshield was cocked back at a horrible angle, obviously broken at least in one place and the bone had torn through the skin near the elbow. I lunged forward and grabbed her good arm and pulled her back over the shattered glass through the windshield and into the car. Then dragged her over the front seats into the back and opened the door. She was barely conscious and losing a lot of blood. I knew I had to do something, at least a makeshift tourniquet to keep her from bleeding much more from her arm. I dragged her the rest of the way out of the car and away from the hole. As soon as we were far enough away, I tore off my shirt, unmindful of the fact that I was naked underneath, ripped it into strips and tied up her arm with it.
When the ambulance got there she was still dazed and mostly unconscious. The police that showed up, even though all four were gawking at my breasts like horny school boys… those bastards still gave me a ticket for indecency. One pulled me away from the others and said, “All you have to do is plead ‘not guilty.’ Nobody is going to show up to dispute it.”
When I spoke to Medora in the hospital two days Later, she had no memory of the whole day. I’m actually glad for that. Even though I made it a point to tell her that Ronnie James Dio sang Heaven and Hell for Black Sabbath, I didn’t even make her do the dishes. She probably wouldn’t have believed me anyway.