© Can Stock Photo / ponsulak
Where are we going and why? In Racing The Sun, a sequel to Miami Morning, a group of friends drive, speed, and sometimes slow down to appreciate the flamingos, on the highways, side streets, and racetracks of the modern world.
Leila is at a midpoint in her life, and the book opens with her dilemma, which is quickly thrown aside by life’s unpredictability.
Chapter 1 Intersection
Leila drove through the city streets in the gear of everyday. So much was happening all at once. On her mind at this precise moment was her work to bring together differently abled people in meaningful activities and occupations. This presented a particular problem: whether to start a formal group and run it, or stay in her career as a teacher.
A white SUV rocketed through a red light, tracking on a line unwavering as the International Space Station. She jammed on the brakes, watching it cross the intersection in front of her, a man’s profile in the rectangle of the driver’s window. The SUV slammed into another car, spun around, and launched a star-show of glass and metal into the air.
Her car lurched to a full stop, buffeting her between fear and relief. She checked the rear view mirror and switched on the flasher lights, scrambling out of her seat as a boy bolted from the SUV’s backseat. He ran toward her, arms outstretched. She caught the boy and held him as he collapsed to the ground. Kneeling beside him, she wiped away a thread of blood on his forehead. Looked for, but found no wound.
“Can you move your arms? Your legs?”
The boy responded, following her eyes, moving his arms and legs. A man joined her at the boy’s side. Leila stood and walked toward the mangled cars. There was a whiff of gas, almost sickly, and the crunch of powdered glass.
The SUV was empty, one passenger sitting on the pavement.
All around, as if impregnating the air, a pervasive and penetrating keening sound came from the other car, a pearl-gray sedan. The keening faded, leaving a silence that lifted off the earth. A quiet Leila had experienced before, in the last moments of her mother’s life.