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Short Fiction: “Dead Stop”

Cold dark road.

On the road to work, I hit a deer. It was bad: too fast; head on; hard.

I came to a dead stop. So did the deer.

I stared. Great. Now I would be late. What a day. First I made my bed. (A dumb job with no point, I say) Now my boss would pin my rear to the wall. I threw the dead little guy to the road’s side. The bent car front gleamed at me. Could the car start? I had my doubts: the steam was a bit thick. If only the deer were still alive. At least then I could ride it to work.

I stretched my eyes over the street. Parched grass and cold sky. What looked like a dead duck. Lovely. I had to catch a ride. A truck drove up, so I stuck out my thumb. Truck folks are often cool. With luck, this one would be. He wasn’t. He had a hook hand, dead eye, and peg leg. He was a vibrant thug.

“Is that yours?” he barked. His stretched arm was vague. Hook hands will do that to you. “You gone eat that?”

“What, the deer? Uh. No.” I was lost: to flee or not to flee? But there was just one move. Play to your strengths, I always say. “I’ll swap it for a ride.” He grinned; I cinched the deal. “Free duck, if you pledge not to kill me.”

~~~

I wrote this for an assignment with specific parameters: No sentences over ten words long, and no words over one syllable long. I played around with the paragraph size, making it longer than you might normally expect, and used a motif of death. Ultimately, it’s a narrative-based story.

 

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