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Dusk, I-270

By Chris Orlet

It was dusk and I'd just crossed over into Missouri when he hurdled in front of my truck, a buck, an eight-pointer. I slammed the brakes and he seemed to freeze--not in the headlights, but in my windshield, his big rheumy eyes staring vacantly into mine. Like two drunks on the dance floor we collided, slowly, then he dropped from view. My airbag didn't even deploy. I pulled off the road and caught my breath. I swallowed my heart and swore. In the rearview mirror, I saw him rise up and move unsteadily across the four-lane--no blood at all--before being flattened by a tractor trailer. Someone shouted, Shit, you okay? And I nodded weakly. Two guys in a pickup pulled alongside. They wanted to know if I was going to pick him up. I didnít take their meaning. I shook my head and I watched them carry the stag hooves and horns from one side of the highway to the other and toss him in the bed of their truck. They drove off happy, country music twanging. My front end was gone, my engine was dead, but I didn't have a scratch on me. If you didn't know better you'd think nothing had happened. I waited on the side of the highway in the twilight, wondering when someone would come along to pick me up too.


 

Christopher Orlet tells us that he "is a former advice columnist for a women's magazine" and "is currently working on a monumental ten-volume biography of Alexander Haig."

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