Read part 1 / part 2
Arati swerved left to avoid an autorickshaw who suddenly, for no good reason, tweezed himself in between a biker and her, and now trying to overtake.
"Moron," She scowled at the rick guy as she passed him. He growled back.
It was too late, she was already at the turning and there was no way she could apply the brakes. The huge truck was blaring, but it was somewhat muffled due to the loud music she was playing. She brought both her hands up to her face, screamed her lungs off and passed out.
"This had to happen. Why did that idiot Nikhil agree to keep the car if he couldn't keep it safe for two weeks?"
"I don't know."
"Maybe we can do some fire fighting here. What does her log say?"
"I don't know."
"What do you know?"
"I don't...err..wait, let me check." A brief pause and a soft whistle followed. "It says here 84. 86 at best."
"Now what's that supposed to mean, 86 at best?"
"Can't accommodate beyond 86, is what it means. But we could appeal, right?"'
"For what - like 86 minutes? You were supposed to keep a watch on her. It's what we all do. We don't mess with that."
"Nothing. Yeah, let us keep a watch. And the car?"
"I don't know, we should try to spook her somewhat. Make her ditch the car. It's not good for her."
"You know what it means, right? Those guys will come after her. Sooner or later. It's all there in the book, isn't it?"
Arati could hear someone banging at a door from somewhere far away. The ringing in her ears hadn't died down yet. She slowly opened her eyes, ready to face heaven. Wait a minute. It looked very much like earth.
She turned. There was a mass of metal piled up on her left. People were milling around it. But a huge crowd was onto her, ready to torch the SUV.
"Oh great. Now it'll all be over in 86 seconds. You know, for an angel you're quite something. You were supposed to make that accident not happen in the first place. Now look what you did."
"What'd I do?"
"She's unscathed. BUt the truck's a mess. That never happens, you know. It's not destined that way. And you see Simon there? The truck driver's angel. I can see that frown on his face turning into a red mass of fire."
"What do I do?"
""I don't know, and what do I do"- is that all you know? I think I'll have to handle this myself. Get me the rewind hand-set. I'm going to get penalized for this, I'm sure. Newbie" He grumbled under his breath.
Arati opened her eyes slowly and found herself parked in the same place where she'd started out from.
She looked around. This couldn't be happening. Where was the huge truck crash. The mob? Where was it? Was she dreaming this whole thing? When did she doze off? Last she recollected was cursing the autorickshaw
....and just then the autorickshaw passed by, the biker behind him. But...
She was shivering. She called Nikhil again.
"Where are you?" Nikhil asked gruffly.
She gave him directions and got out of the car. Nisha called.
"Nishu, you won't believe what just happened to me..I'll be there in a while sweety." She hung up and sat down at the culvert, still shaking. She looked up. She was sure she was going to die. It was all so real. How could it have been just a dream, for God's sakes? She looked up and thanked her lucky stars.
The senior angel muttered, "You're welcome."
Then he turned to his junior. "As for you...be alert. For the next 86 earth years, yeah?"