Winter had left the sleepy town in a daze. Spring was approaching lazily, letting winter make an appearance every so often. Ric had been tired of one day sporting a winter coat, but the very next day he had to wear a tee shirt because the weather drastically changed. This day seemed to be a hot one again so Ric wore his jogging gear to go for his daily exercise.
The sun was really making a number on his tan, the many tan lines he had made him feel weird –he even had tan lines on his face from wearing his sunglasses on his jogs. This day he decided instead to run in a shaded street so the sun wouldn’t continue to crucify him.
He decided to make an attempt at meditation while he jogged. His mother always told him that he needed to be mindful of taking care of himself which included: mind, body and soul. Today his attempt was to focus on his mind by clearing it of all his stress. He missed his family and the distance made him lose sleep.
The street was a long straight path, no turns. Instead of houses lining the streets, it was wheat fields. As Ric made his run, the farmer tending to the field waved at him. He loved his town, everyone was always so friendly, even though Ric was a loner.
Ric lived alone in his one floor rancher. His parents were still in Mexico along with all his family. He trekked alone the path from Mexico to the United States, then worked hard to get his citizenship. Finally when all costs of applications were done and over with he was able to send money to his parents. He badly wanted his family to join him. He wanted them to bask in the same opportunities that he had. Ric thought of what his mother would say when she saw the beautiful house he had and the amazing neighbors that surrounded him. He didn’t have a girlfriend because his heart had been stolen from someone back home. Ric wanted her to one day come over or better yet he thought I’ll go over and marry her in Mexico then bring her over.
As Ric jogged making plans for a beautiful future with his family a truck had lost control several miles behind him. The truck honked the horn, but Ric had his ear pods on and didn’t hear a thing. He was focusing on the mindful exercise that he was listening through his ear pods: Breathe deeply, now focus on the furthest thing that you can see. With added music Ric wasn’t aware of what was happening behind him.
A car in front of Ric was just coming out of a hidden street as Ric passed by running–they didn’t hear the truck either because their music was blaring. The truck swerved to avoid the car, but its back end hit the car sending it spinning out into the field. The truck driver looked towards the car, but didn’t realize that he had hit Ric. Ric went flying into the air and in the field of wheat.
Ambulances were called immediately by the truck driver whose truck ended up stuck in a ditch to his luck; he was unharmed. Ric lay fifty feet in front of the truck surrounded by wheat. All five passengers in the car were taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital as Ric lay catatonic.
Ric was hit so hard and so suddenly that his spirit stayed where he was hit by the truck. He saw as each person was extricated from the car and placed on a gurney. Ric jogged over to one of the EMT’s and said that he was also injured, but no one heard him nor saw him. Before Ric could even finish his sentence everyone was gone. It seemed as though his time was running faster than that of the universe. Ric backed into the street not noticing that a minivan was hurtling down the street at an unheard of speed.
Ric’s entire being was thrust into the minivan and into the mother driving.
“Kids please be…” Myrtle’s spirit was overcome by Ric’s and now Ric controlled her movements and speech.
“What mom?” asked Timmy, “Are you going to use that curse word again.”
“Shut up,” said Ric in a heavy Mexican accent.
“Mom, you sound funny,” said Jessica.
Before he could make it to the next light his spirit was ripped out of Myrtle and was back on the street. He looked around, darkness surrounded him. He screamed on top of his lungs for help, but no one heard. His silent wails were muffled by a dying body.
Ric ran like a crazy man towards his body and found it laying like a rag doll covered in blood. That night temperatures plummeted leaving the sleepy town covered in a sheet of ice. Ric’s body turned purple with the frost. He saw day turn to night as his body lay unresponsive. He didn’t even know if he was actually dying or just dead already.
Another car passed on the third night and captured Ric’s spirit. He felt anxious as his spirit settled into yet another stranger. This person, Stacy, was a mom of three, having an affair with her best friend's husband. Once in the body Ric received all the information of the person. Ric felt sorrowful, her pain and guilt was evident. He decided to stop the car near where his body lay. His purple outfit now feeling uncomfortable, squeezed Ric in all the wrong places. He looked in the mirror before exiting the car and saw his eyeliner running down his face. Must have been muscle memory because he would never look in the mirror before exiting a car. Ric exited the car and almost tripped on the five inch heels that Stacy decided to wear that day to her impromptu date with Jackson. He slowly made his way over to the body only to realize that it was far off the road and he couldn’t walk in the dirt with the heels. He continued walking when suddenly his spirit was snatched away by another speeding car, but before he left Stacy’s body he left a memory of himself laying in the dirt. Ric also called out his own name, “Ricardo Sancho”.
Stacy found herself out of her car and roaming in a field. She quickly ran back to her car and sped away. In her mind was her hiatus with Jackson when suddenly she felt extreme sorrow for a Ricardo Sancho. “Now who in the world is this person,” she said out loud to an empty car. All she knew was that she needed to get home before her husband did. She had left her children asleep while she went out to the next town with Jackson. Stacy never meant to end up in a hotel room with him, but she did love him despite their situation.
Now Ric found himself dressed in jeans and racing to work. He slowed down and redirected the car to where his body lay. Now in the body of Rodrigo, Ric felt more comfortable. In the body of Stacy he felt extremely uncomfortable; every time he tried to run his or rather her breasts would bounce all over the place. Ric was happy that he didn’t have to deal with all that. Now comfortable in a man’s body Ric exited the car and ran over to his body. As Ric got closer, now in full daylight he heard the sounds of a tractor. The owner of the land was harvesting the wheat. Ric’s spirit left Rodrigo, but not before leaving a memory of his own name.
Rodrigo found himself walking in a field saying Ricardo Sancho over and over. He went back to his car in utter confusion.
Ric was now in the body of the farmer, Joe. He maneuvered the tractor towards his body. From high up on the tractor he could see his body, he had been out in the blazing sun at times and in overnight frost on others. His body had been bitten by field mice, pecked by ravens, and the blazing sun had left oozing blisters, but still he was alive.
Ric descended from the tractor and walked over to his body. His spirit exited Joe’s body. Joe stood over the body in a daze. He suddenly realized where he was standing and what he was looking at. He immediately grabbed his phone from his back pocket and called the police.
Ric’s body was covered in maggots and ants. The doctors had to first wash his body to then close up his wounds. Much of the wounds were turning purple from the settling of gangrene and the sun blisters weren’t making the situation any better. To add to his chaotic state Ric was also suffering from extreme dehydration. The doctors were thankful that he had been in a coma and wasn’t able to actually feel the pain that his body must have been experiencing.
His spirit was still outside his body so he roamed the halls looking for people to possess. Crystal walked by and looked into Ric’s room, he immediately jumped into her body and implanted a memory. He also put in the desire to bring him flowers. She walked away heading to the flower shop. Crystal had been in the hospital visiting her husband who had received an organ donation from one of the people that had died in the crash caused by the truck. If the accident had not happened her husband would have died leaving Crystal and her seven children alone and in debt. She worked at the local bank and tried never to miss a day to at least have a mental escape from her dire situation.
As Ric continued his roaming he came upon another spirit. All along he thought that he was the only one without a flesh and blood body, but here was another like him.
“Hey, excuse me,” said Ric in his heavy accent, “who are you?”
The other man looked back at him and just stared. Ric jogged over to ask him some questions.
“You can see me?” said Tomas.
“Yes, yes of course. How long have you been this way?”
“I’ve been here for countless years, but it feels like yesterday.”
“Do you know how to get back into our own body?” Ric's accent was leaving him and he could barely remember things about himself; all he knew was that he needed to get back to his body.
“I heard once that if you find the watch that you were wearing at the time of your accident you can turn back the time to when the accident occurred and you will return to the moment everything started.”
Ric couldn’t believe that he could actually fix this mess. All he had to do was find the watch.
“Wait,” said Ric, “I wasn’t wearing a watch, I only had my phone in my pocket.”
“Then get the phone and change the time,” said Tomas, annoyed, not even understanding what “phone” meant.
Ric ran back to his hospital room and looked everywhere for his belongings. He glanced over at his body and saw how disfigured he had become. He would need years of rehabilitation and surgery in order to bring him back to how he was. Ric could not let his family down. He continued on his search. Ric tried remembering his family, but he couldn’t remember what they looked like. He furiously entered into one of his nurses to see if his search would be more productive, but the hospital uniform she wore was so tight that Ric couldn’t even bend over. Ric ran over to another nurse this time a male nurse and made his way to his room. Ric implanted into Calvin’s, the nurse, memory of where to find belongings. Calvin walked over behind the hospital bed where Ric laid for three months and pulled out a plastic bag with Ric’s personal belongings. Ric or rather Calvin, pulled out the phone and proceeded to turn back the calendar then the time. He figured that doing both would guarantee him returning to the exact date of the accident.
Ric’s body shifted so rapidly to the left that he knew if he were in his body he would have vomited. The entire room spun out of control, the lights flickered until Ric found himself back in his body doing his morning jog. Ric removed his earbuds when suddenly he heard a loud honk. He turned immediately and saw a truck out of control coming towards him. Ric jumped into the wheat field in time to avoid the truck hitting him. The truck continued down the road hitting a tree several hundred feet from Ric. When Ric jumped into the wheat field a car had been coming out of a hidden driveway.
The driver saw Ric jump into the wheat field and said, “Did you guys see that?” He stopped his car and looked to see where the guy went. As soon as he had stopped a truck came blazing down the road at an unheard of speed.
“Wow, we could’ve been killed if it weren’t for that guy.”
Everyone in the car just nodded too preoccupied with their plans to worry about someone else. The car carried three males and two females. They had been planning on robbing the local bank and were headed to retrieve the guns that they were going to use. The plan was to kill all the employees before the bank opened for business and steal all the money in the vault.
Ric ran over to the truck to try and get the guy out and see if he was ok. As he ran over the car came close and the driver said, “Hey bud thanks.” Ric looked at them confused and they continued on driving. Suddenly, the truck exploded in a blaze of fire, the flames missing the passing car by seconds. Ric ducked from the sudden noise and debris that emitted from the blast.
He picked up his phone and dialed 911. Officers came quickly because Ric wasn’t the only one to call for help. Joe, the farmer, had also seen the blast from his home and called for help. The police questioned Ric and Joe then they were both released. The driver was instantly killed.
As the police and fire trucks tended to the blaze Ric continued on his run, but decided to head home instead of finishing. Once home he turned on his television. He was used to having noise from growing up in a house with so many people. Ric made himself something to eat as he thanked his lucky stars that his life was spared; his out of body experience completely forgotten.
The show he had been watching was interrupted by a breaking news report of robbers killing several employees at the bank.