The day was peaceful and sunny. It had been a long winter, and people had happily shed their heavy winter clothes to enjoy the rare April warm spell. A few of the younger, braver souls were laying on blankets in their bikinis, soaking up the sun. The traffic was moderate, normal for a weekday afternoon, and no one paid much attention to it.
Until the crash.
A bright red Honda Civic had veered out of its lane into an empty parking space and then plowed into the back of white Ford Windstar minivan.
"Oh My God! He killed that poor man!," screamed a young woman on the sidewalk.
A body lay in the street. He appeared to have a lab coat on, though it was enough badly tattered that is was hard to be sure. It even had an odd, singed appearance.
Traffic quickly stopped, and a man ran out to check on the body. "He's still breathing! We need an ambulance!" He pointed at one of the sunbathers who had sat up and was looking at him and yelled, "Run in your house and call 9-1-1", which she promptly did.
The driver of the Civic got out his car. "I didn't touch him. It wasn't my fault. He was just suddenly standing there in the middle of the road, and I swerved to avoid him."
"Yeah, right," said the man by the body. "Have you been drinking?"
"I swear! Not a drop."
"He's telling the truth," a little boy chimed in from the sidewalk. "The man just appeared out of thin air."
"Billy, stop it!" scolded his mother. "Really, this boy has such a vivid imagination," she said to the men in the street. She turned back to her son: "Men do NOT appear out of thin air."
"But I saw it..."
"ENOUGH! I don't want to hear anymore of this nonsense."
The fire hall was just a few blocks away, so the ambulance arrived just a few minutes later. They quickly immobilized his neck in case his spine was injured and quickly got him onto a stretcher. By this point the police had arrived; one officer was directing traffic while another was taking witnesses' statements.
As they got the man into the ambulance, he briefly opened his eyes. Wanting to quickly ascertain if he suffered any brain injury, the paramedic asked, "What's your name?"
"What year is it?"
"I have no idea. What year IS it?"
"2003," the paramedic replied.
The two last words Perry said before he dropped off into unconsciousness again: "It worked."