She appeared to be around four years old, red headed, and as cute as a bug. She was in a lime green ski outfit, and her face was flushed, either from the cool air or from dangling upside down.

The ground was beginning to drop off abruptly, and I knew that I had to act quickly before the distance between us and the ground increased too much. I grabbed her stuck ski and slid it out of the chair's hold, and reached down and grabbed her by the back of her coat, turning her right side up. I had intended to hoist her up into the chair, but my efforts at freeing her had caused me to lose my balance in the chair. All at once I was dangling from the chair myself by one hand, and holding the kid with the other. That wasn't anywhere close to the suave rescue effort I had in mind, so it became time to improvise.

"Get ready to land," I told her, knowing that I had to drop her right then while we were only about eight feet above the snow.

"Okay," she said calmly, as if in a game.

I released her as gently as I could, and saw her sink to her waist in a snow bank, right before the lights went out. I had my back to the direction I was going, and I didn't see the support pole lurking there. I clanked into that pole with the back of my head, and I dropped like a sack of potatoes, falling about fifteen feet and landing face-first in the powdery snow.

"After all I've been through in my life, I'm going to suffocate right here," I remember thinking, unable to move my body.

…. There's really nothing that compares with the feeling one gets from being shot at and missed. It's not necessarily a good feeling, but one of exhilaration and true thankfulness.

First there's the initial denial when you realize that a gun is being pointed in your direction. Next you comprehend that it is indeed being purposely aimed at you. At the flash and recoil of the weapon firing, the reality of the situation hits you. There's that split second of total panic as you hear the sound and realize you're the intended destination of the projectile, with no possible time to dodge, expecting to feel the bullet tear into some vital portion of your body at any microsecond, followed closely by indescribable relief when you realize that the bullet meant for you somehow missed.

I've heard that when you perceive coming close to death, your entire life may flash before your eyes. That happened to me at that moment. It was as if time froze, as I not only thought about things from my past that hadn't been thought about in years, but also had time to think of a lot of things that I'd planned to do someday, but hadn't. I have a theory on this reaction.

The brain tries its very best to take care of us, as it regretfully realizes that if we go, so does it. Therefore, it will do its absolute best to save us from our foolish follies. As soon as the "gun-shooting-at-me" thought data entered my brain for processing, it desperately began searching for some solution to save me, and therefore it, from devastation. Since most brains, and mine in particular, haven't been trained for this particular event, it didn't know what to do, other than rapidly search its memory banks, hoping to find some possible action.

Normally a brain, like a computer, uses some type of indexed search; some key to point it into the right memory area. When faced with apparent death, however, most brains have nothing in their index to speed the search. Thus, the brain has to go sequentially though every memory cell that it has, hoping against hope to find some stored data that will help. During this sequential search, it rapidly speeds through every memory that you've ever had, leaving the impression that your entire life is flashing before your eyes. I suppose, in a way, it is.

Either my brain didn't have that many memory cells to worry about, or it searched with incredible speed, because all of this took place in a matter of about two seconds. That was how long it took for me to realize that the guy was shooting at me, and for the second guy to grab the shooter's arm and bring it down.

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Reader Reviews

EVEN BETTER Sep. 2, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from Coppell, Texas
I enjoyed this Cody J. Bryan story even more than the first one. Once again, I’m waiting impatiently for the publication of the next in this series!

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Ghosts Of Lookout Mountain
Deep In The Woods
Shot At And Missed
In Over Your Head
Robin Hood and the Magna Carta
Grandma's Cookbook
Ghosts Of Lookout Mountain
Deep In The Woods
Shot At And Missed
In Over Your Head
Robin Hood And The Magna Carta
Grandma's Cookbook
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