October 2, 2014

He Fell Through Clouds

Cover

When Leonard Sanderson, a concert pianist, dies in a terrible accident on the Harbor freeway south of Los Angeles, he does not die. Instead, he falls up through clouds, through walls, through skin, into fetus, and is reborn.

And not only does he survive death, but with help from George Frederic Handel’s music, he remembers how to play.

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“A masterpiece of vivid characterization and unrelenting suspense.” — Alan Graham, Words & Pictures Press


He knew by the cry of locked wheels on tarmac, by the sting of rubber smoke in his nostrils, by the core of silence in which he found himself despite the noise—and perhaps mostly by this stillness—that he was not going to make it.

The collision wasn’t much at first, just a touch, a scraping. But then the rig, as if suddenly aware, convulsed and slammed on the brakes. Smoke streamed from the locked wheels as it began skidding to its right.

He had all the time in the world to make up his mind, at least that is how it seemed. One moment came, stayed a while, then the next, each slow and long. He thought, and noticed himself thinking: he could simply brake and yes, possibly lose control, though that would lessen the impact, or—possibly a safer choice—he could perhaps avoid the sliding rig altogether by veering left for the fast lane, clearing now as the rig continued sliding to the right.
Metal screaming and the destruction of glass were the last things he heard.
Had he put away his groceries? was his final thought.