I'm flying. What's happening? Am I hallucinating? I take a grip on my spinning senses and struggle through my fear to focus through the blur below.
The veil lifts. I peer below as if I'm looking through a telescope. I glimpse a car sideways behind another, with traffic driving around them on a motorway. Then, I'm falling—diving.
I tussle, but a powerful force pulls me right through the roof towards a man inside. I land without feeling. I'm just as helpless here as I am in real life. It's scary. I don't want to be manipulated like this.
Now I'm—no. How can this be? I merge into and become one with this man—see his thick hands on the steering wheel before me. If my body was actually here, I'd jump in surprise. What's going on? Now I observe the road outside the car through his eyes. Easier than trying to view everything through the telescope, but still weird. He controls what I see.
Now I comprehend his thinking. Wait. What's this? I can read his thoughts. He's rigid with shock. I—we centre on a digital clock. Nine-zero-zero. Morning.
His name is David. This normality brings a breath of calm. Although other vehicles whizz by, his old car remains stationary on an English motorway after hitting the back of the car ahead. Overwhelmed by a faint sound of thunder, and stunned by a white cloud over his sight, David twists to the back seat. Worry rises through him, gripping his heart so hard he finds it hard to breathe.
His four-year-old son Tim is strapped into a child-seat. David's panic rises. The boy remains upright—eyes closed with his head slumped forward. David's heart races and he expels his breath in quick gasps. He leans back and touches Tim's shoulder, then checks for the faint pulse under his ear. He grasps the tiny wrist, and looks for any movement under the delicate eyes.
Dread grips his insides. He reaches for his mobile phone and dials the emergency number. He climbs over to sit beside his son and follows the clear instructions given by the operator. The boy's head must not be moved in case of injury, and David must breathe for Tim until an ambulance arrives.
I'm feeling everything David does, panic worry, his confusion. Why am I here? I try to stay calm. Maybe I can influence him, just as his emotion is draining me. I will the child to breathe—try to help the father to remain calm and help his son.
The child's head remains slumped forward, and David mustn't move him. With great care, he tries to puff into the boy's mouth from the front. He checks for a sign that the breath has reached the child's chest, but can't find any. He can't reach the boy's mouth. Terror squeezes his heart. "I love you, son. Don't die." He groans and his eyes blur. The operator tries to reassure him.
I must act now. Although I don't know the how or the why, I can't allow the child to slip away before help arrives. A strong sense inside my chest tells me that whatever I do will be of some help. I urge David forward to lift the child's lip from the side. With empathy rising in me like a song, I assist with the breath of life. By twisting his head, David's tender puff through Tim's mouth brings results. When the blue eyelids flutter, David's heartbeat quickens in relief. With another puff, Tim opens his eyes and coughs.
"Hello, little man. Are you okay?"
"Yes, Dad," He blinks and looks around. "I heard your voice through a long sort of tunnel. It was so bright . . . and I saw a happy fairy."
Compassion swells my heart and lifts me away.
# # #
How would you handle the situation? Would a feeling of power overcome your effort to help?