Cycling down the sidewalk, Taylor dodged pedestrians in his rush to make it to his first class of the day. The gears of his little blue bicycle clicked while he coasted down a gentle slope beside a busy city street. At the intersection he slowed to a stop, and exasperated, checked his phone to see the time. If he didn't pick up the pace he wouldn't make it in time. At last the crossing signal changed, beeping just above him to let him know it was okay to cross. He hurriedly pedalled himself on his way in hopes of beating the clock.
Taylor was not the only person running behind schedule that morning: in a black sedan only a mere block away from Taylor, Lorraine was in a rush to get her morning fix of coffee. Last night had been rough, busy brushing up on old fencing techniques she'd long forgotten, she had not taken note of the time and had only managed four hours of sleep; there was no way she was going to function without something to give her a little pep. She tapped her foot impatiently on the brake, watching for the instant the red light would turn and let her pass, she was already in a foul enough mood with the sleep deprivation as is.
Focusing intently on the traffic light, she flipped her tapping foot immediately over to the gas pedal the instant she saw a flash of green. It was to her surprise then to see a pedestrian astride a bicycle rush out in front of her on the opposite side of the intersection, clearly not paying any attention to his surroundings. She immediately mashed her foot back onto the brake, but it was too late, an impact was imminent. She pressed her hand into the horn in some vain attempt to warn the bicyclist, but all that would succeed in doing was warn him of the inevitable crash.
Taylor was startled by the combined terrifying noises of a car horn and screeching tires to his immediate right. He twisted his head in time to see it coming at him, Taylor only had time to barely curse himself in his thoughts, shutting his eyes as hard as he could. At that moment, some instinctual thought came to him; he thought of safety, of a shell surrounding him, and in that moment he felt something embrace him, something warm and soft, yet very firm and springy. It felt like a second skin wrapped around almost all of his body.
Then the impact came, Taylor felt the car ram his side, but it also felt like something around him deflected the majority of the blow, absorbing the impact. He most definitely still felt the metal bumper punch him hard in his leg and knock him off his bike. His eyes flung open and those warm, comforting thoughts vanished, and with it, whatever kind of protection was gone as well. He let out a panicked shout as he was knocked to the pavement, and this time he most definitely felt the impact of the fall; hard concrete rushing up to strike his back painfully.
Lorraine jumped out of the drivers seat in a mix of irritation and mild concern, but upon seeing that the pedestrian was mostly uninjured save for his pride and a few scrapes, she furrowed her brow into a definite look of displeasure, "What do you think you were doing!? If I hadn't hit the brakes you would be road pizza right now!"
She scoffed and sighed, angrily murmuring to herself. The man was lucky indeed, she'd only been going about 15 miles per hour on impact. Bending over, she checked her bumper for damage; only once she had confirmed that her car was strangely not damaged by the collision did she help the man stand up. Finding the driver now angrily staring him down, Taylor recovered from the moment of surprise and picked his bike back up, "I-I'm sorry ma'am."