It was an almost gentle accident. Twenty-two cars on the black ice clacking together before pirouetting off the highway into the fields on either side. Now they sit like sleeping huskies, drifts slowly rising over them. It’s thirty below. The injured and those that checked on them have retreated into the warmth of still-running cars to wait. Exhaust billows up here and there marking their places....
away from the beaten path
After we fill in the grave, I brush dirt from your sleeve and you smile at me. The forest, complicit, drops leaves to cover our passing, and we make the main trail before dark. The hikers see only a couple in love. We kiss, and your mouth tastes like blood.
Neil is inside the press, laughing and wiping blood from the die. Yuri looks at the pulped body of the rat now lying in the trash. He feels the last moments of its panic. Can’t even imagine the machine swiftness of its death. And for a moment, he pictures himself there, crushed and left to dry on lunch wrappers and oily work gloves — the machine still stamping out parts. Neil shouts...