The road not taken

Had Macy gone east on Willow Road, her whole life may have been different. The fact is she went west and fate unfolded.

Traveling west, she drove into the afternoon sun. Had she gone east, the world would have been lit with warm golden tones and she would have marveled at the pain of intense beauty, at the sanctity of everything, at all she saw stretching out ahead of her like the finest tapestry.

She went west and her face soon ached from squinting. Rather than seeing what was there, she saw only that which blocked the setting sun. Shapes appeared as moving shadows that insinuated themselves rather than expressing themselves directly.

It was in this way that she hit the moose square on. The lumbering beast was taller than the height of her car by more than 18”, a fact she could not have known, nor would it have made a difference.

It was the time of day when the moose emerged from the wood and grazed along the sides of the road, where the grass grew salty from the winter snowplow’s runoff, and where the occasional apple core tossed out a passing window was a tasty surprise. This moose was crossing to the unforaged side of the road. It did not occur to him that he might be in danger, strong and virile bull that he was, and the air was absent any scent of predators or danger.

At the impossible distance of 25 feet, the moose loomed before her and stopped, startled by the screaming desperation of brakes, tires, and hot stinking blacktop. At impact his legs were knocked out from under him and his torso rolled over the hood. His rack of antlers bashed into the metal and bounced into the windshield where they found purchase, shattering what had previously been unbreakable. Rolling the moose again and sending 2 hooves into the windshield in front of Macy’s face, where they stayed.

Despite all the mourning that was to come, the sun continued to set and the earth continued on its journey toward darkness.

6 thoughts on “The road not taken

  1. It’s kind of silly if I keep writing “I love your last line.” But I’m going to say it again, because I DO. It is perfect. So much is beautiful in this. (“Shapes appeared as moving shadows that insinuated themselves rather than expressing themselves directly.” Oh!!)
    And I love the feel of it. The neutral narrator, calmly laying out the events that unfolded. This is one of my favorite pieces that you’ve written in the last couple of months.

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