She had only noticed how little light there was inside the car when two headlights appeared down the road and illuminated the entire front seat. Stray beams of light made it all the way to where she was strapped into the back seat.
“Look at this clown,” her dad said. She looked around but didn’t see any clowns. Surely all the clowns were still back at the fair.
Grace had never driven a car or paid much attention to the motion of cars other than the ones being confidently coaxed along by her father. For this reason the headlights of the oncoming car didn’t appear left of centre and even if they had it wouldn’t have struck her as odd.
“Honey!” came a shrill scream that could only belong to her mother but it was hard to tell over the terrible shriek of rubber grinding on wet asphalt.
The beams of light that had found their way to the back seat now ran away in an unnatural manner and there was a long moment of calm that Grace would never be able to forget. It was a calm that spanned generations and transcended all linear perceptions of time. It was a black hole of silence and still that absorbed all energy before regurgitating it back in the form of a loud percussive smashing thud on the side of the car.
The whole car lurched sideways and Grace became aware that the tires were no longer humming on the road. All momentum pulled her body to the left and then she felt the same weightlessness she had experienced on the swinging pirate ship earlier in the afternoon after her second orange soda. Her third orange soda was splashing in her face but she didn’t know why.
She felt her weight pulling on her seatbelt as the can of soda slipped from her grip. The entire car groaned. She could see a tree out the windshield but it was upside down and that didn’t make sense to her.
After the sight of the tree there was only dark.