"Write about the most frightened you've ever been."
Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones
Miller looked out the window and there was a truck making an unprotected left turn right into the side of the bus at too fast of a speed for the slow-moving refurbished Halsted bus to move out of the way. The well-read stranger instinctually grabbed her, not knowing where he was going to take her. They moved inches into the narrow isle, but possibly just far enough to remove them from the spray of glass and the impact against the window seat. A whole sheet of glass detached from the window frame, flew like a plastic bag floating in the air, and landed on the women rows ahead of where Miller was sitting. The remaining glass in the windows flopped around like jagged leaves.
The yellow metal supports every two rows crumbled like plastic under pressure. The sound was explosive as if a steam engine train just whizzed by. The child’s stroller parked in the front handicap seating was pushed to the middle of the bus. The passengers in the rear seating, were tossed around like rag dolls and thrown into the isles in piles. One woman flew from the back raised section and smacked her head on the back door pole; she blacked out.
Miller heard muffled screaming after the crash and people crying. Someone kept saying, “Can you please let me out” as he was pressed against the back door. There were no visible red emergency window handles. The mangled bus had spun in a complete circle, taking out parking meters and parked cars. The island by the front door was pushed almost in front of the door. The hand-straps above each seat seemed to be swinging even thought the bus was no longer moving.