The black satchel in the middle of the road went unnoticed as the emergency workers went about their jobs. Firemen got the driver of the SUV out with the jaws of life, and the ambulance workers were loading up the passenger and the driver of the other car and rushing away.

The accident has drawn some spectators, even at this late hour; people with nothing better to do on a cold night. The red and blue lights lit up the residential neighorhood, throwing multi-colored shadows everywere.

But still, no one noticed the satchel.

The tow trucks came and collected the cars. The police did their measurements and filled out their forms. Eventually the spectators left. The police left. All that remained was some pebbled glass at the side of the road. And the black satchel.

The next morning, Benny walked to his bus stop, at the corner of the intersection where the crash had happened. It was one of the first days Benny had been able to walk down to the stop by himself, his parents finally (finally!) saying he was big enough to manage on his own. As he waited, he noticed the satchel.

It was in the middle of the road, right where the cars went by, sitting there. He didn’t know why, but his attention was drawn to it.

“What’s that?” Charlie asked. Benny hadn’t noticed Charlie walk up.

“Dunno,” Benny said. “Think I’m gonna go get it.”

“Not if I get it first!” Charlie said, sprinting out to get it. One car managed to swerve in time to miss him; the second car didn’t.

“Charlie!” Benny yelled as his friend hit the pavement with a thick, wet sound Benny would remember in the years to come. The driver of the car got out, already shouting into his phone for an ambulance. A car in the other direction stopped, its driver getting out to help.

No one noticed the satchel, lying there in the early morning sun.




(an exercise based on the “Emergency Generator” exercise from Take Ten for Writers by Bonnie Neubauer)