I was driving down the road, minding my own business, when there was a loud sound from the car in front of me: part explosion, partly tearing metal, and a rod or chunk of metal shot up into the air. The driver swerved and pulled over to the side. I stopped to see if they were OK, and found that he--a Hispanic man in his early twenties--was trapped, pinned in his seat with a piece of metal sticking out of his abdomen. I couldn't see to get a good look, because the frame of the car was broken and I couldn't get the door open, plus he was bleeding heavily.
There was no way I could pull him out without making things worse, so there wasn't anything I could do for him but hold his hand and talk to him. Another driver pulled over and I asked her to call 911, but instead I overheard her talking to the switchboard operator at the local hospital, going through step after step. In the end I was left having to fumble out my own phone to call 911, and then I couldn't get the dispatcher to grasp the seriousness of the man's condition. And while trying to stress how bad things were, I was simultaneously trying to tell the guy it wasn't so bad, he would be OK, he just needed to hang in there. He was cold and frightened and obviously bleeding out.
He died just before the EMTs arrived. THe EMTs seemed surprised to find an actual serious injury--I could only guess what the dispatcher told them. I was sobbing, covered in blood, overwrought by the whole situation and angry people hadn't helped, angry I hadn't been able to do anything.
It was horrific. I hate dreams like that.
But it's frustrating that I obviously have the imagination for that kind of drama (realistic or no), yet a lot of time can't seem to find my inner dramatist when it comes to writing. Garrrr.