Stopped at an overlook. We all got out of the car to stretch our legs and look around.
Walking toward the railing it was easy to see we were at the edge a very steep drop.
With a firm grip on the top rail, I leaned over and looked down. Something got a hold on me and started pulling me over the rail. I could not see it. It didn't feel like something gripping me. It felt like some kind of force pulling on my entire body evenly, powerfully.
I tightened my grip on the rail until the muscles in my hands were cramping. Hooking my legs around the lower rail, I fought with everything I had to fight with to stay on this side of the rail. Slowly, irresistably it pulled me over.
Wrapping his arms around my waist my father pulled back with much more strength than a ten year old like me could manage. Slowly I was still slipping over the rail. My brother, a year and a half younger than me, grabbed my legs and fought with us. Still I kept sliding over the rail. My waist was over the top rail now. My brother, father and I kept fighting it.
What was it? I did not know. I didn't think my father knew, either. None of us had any idea what it was. But right then we didn't care, we were just trying to win the battle for my life.
My mother joined the fight and still I was slipping away.
Terrified, I could not think of anything except how far away the ground below was and the terror of falling all that way.
When my little sister, all of five years old, grabbed onto my ankles and starting pulling it was the magic that was needed. We all started slowly moving back.
The complete return to the road side of the railing took two eternities, but finally I was there. Not quite safe yet. I could still feel the pull. My father and mother did not let go of me until I was safely in the car with the doors shut.
We left that lookout with speed that would have gotten my father a speeding ticket if a police officer had seen us.
None of us have ever driven that road again.
We never found out what it was that tried to take me. But we are all still glad it lost that battle.