Since it’s Halloween I thought it’d be good to do a scary story on the times I almost died. I think I’ve had more near misses than the average person, and they’re pretty weird.
Almost Axed – In third grade I was acting like a smart-ass, not paying attention to the farmer standing by a stump, which I thought would be fun to jump on. I did it and heard a collective gasp. Apparently the farmer had just raised his axe to chop it up right then. I almost gave him a heart attack. My mother held my hand the whole rest of the class trip. Kids just looked at me like I was crazy the rest of the day.
Almost Bucked from Rollercoaster – In fifth grade my whole class got to go to Valley Fair and my friend Karla and I got in one of the seats of the Corkscrew, which climbed up a sheer incline, dropped like a stone and then looped upside down. The plastic seatbelts usually clicked into place. Except this time mine didn’t. There was absolutely nothing to hold on to. As I grabbed onto Karla, both of us mute with panic, we came to the very top of the incline… and I finally felt the life-saving “click”. I never got on the ride again.
Almost Beheaded by Horse – My 10-year-old cousin and I were on her more rambunctious colt when he took off at a full gallop. I fell sideways off the saddle, still hanging on to the reins. Horse hoofs swished by my head and barbed wire from a fence threatened to tangle in my hair, possibly ripping my head off my body, or me off the horse. Luckily my cousin saw and in a feat of inhuman strength, pulled me up.
Almost Trained – I was trying to ditch a creepy guy I met by the river during my walk home. Putting the train tracks between us seemed like a safe bet, and so I hurried to them, except I heard a train whistle and saw the billowing smokestack approach. I ran for it, thinking I could hop across the tracks before the train made it. Half-panicked by the guy who was following me, I jumped over the safety chain and ran forward… until a gut feeling stopped me dead, and the train flew by, inches from me, blowing my hair. The guy never reappeared, even while I waited for the track to clear, thankfully.
Almost Blown Up – This was just plain stupid of me. I was coming out of the dorm, tons of thoughts on my college-aged mind, and walked my usual route, except I heard lots of frantic yelling. What the hell was were those yells saying? Turns out a bunch of construction workers were yelling at me, because I was about to walk into a big gaping hole they’d punctured into the sidewalk that morning and then filled with dynamite, which exploded a few seconds after I finally got their message and jumped back. Gee, thanks for the memo.
Almost Gored by Buck – I was getting rid of some equipment that poachers had left of my family’s property when I heard rustling in the brambles. The rustling sounded like it was made by something larger than a human being. I stepped back in time to see a huge buck – all antlers and hooves – bounding over my head. I think it was thanking me for getting rid of the poachers’ crap, but I’m glad I didn’t get it his way.
Almost Cliff-Dived – I climbed a rocky ledge while hiking in Hawaii with family when it suddenly dawned on me that I was on the very edge of a several-hundred-foot drop into more rocks. I could not even call for help because the movement of my diaphragm could have caused me to lose balance and plummet. I somehow crawled back to safety without alarming anyone.
Almost Creamed by Car – This has happened almost constantly to me, but one time in particular really stands out. I was crossing a little two-lane hilly street on a green when it changed to red suddenly and a car in the far lane came flying up the hilly road. I was right in the driver’s blind spot. Listening to my gut and breaking all conventional self-preservation rules, I stopped dead in the middle of the street… right as that car flew past me narrowly missing my decorating the windshield with my intestines.
Almost Rattlesnaked in the Face – I was hiking with a friend on a forbidden danger zone on a cliff wall. “You sure this is safe?” I asked her. “Oh yes, why not?” was her answer. As I crawled on my belly up a very steep area, I reached my hand up and heard rattling and hissing. I brought my hand back and slowly stood so that my face was removed from the snake’s striking range. Turned out there were quite a few rattlers in that area of Colorado.
Almost Mauled by Cougar – Again, some casual hiking almost proved deadly. A (different) friend and I had parked by the side of a desert expanse to hike. While I was ironically preoccupied with the thoughts of running into rattlers, I heard an unmistakable growl. “Is that your stomach?” he said, wishfully. “No, that’s a cougar,” I said, just realizing we were in one's territory. We calmly but quickly got out of there.
So maybe I should be scared that the Grim Reaper has made a few grabs at me, but I just feel lucky to have survived up until now. (*knocks wood*)