#22 Villains

by Brian Furman

The crash behind me wasn't immediately noticed. I had lost myself in a slough of favorite songs, watching the bare knuckled trees pass with each one trying to grab the car with thin, gnarly fingers and arthritic hands. The faster we went over the hills, the more we laughed, the more it felt like an amusement park ride, the freer we seemed. When I did stop the car, I did not turn around, I did, however, turn down the radio as if trying to protect those songs, and that freedom. I had passed over this road a million times to visit my family, each time going faster, each time my stomach would jump a little higher, catching air on the steep banks, dragging to close to the guardrail, passing within inches of cars in the opposite lanes, turfing the farmland of my ancestors. I opened the doors and listened to the wreckage, I did not turn around. The grey clouds loved the fall in Kentucky, but it was a bright grey, a beautiful gray, mixed with the smoke of the wreckage.You could feel the pull of gravity without accelerating, all you had to do was keep breathing. I did not turn around, but heard the crackling fire feeling for crevices in and out of space, heard the melting of rubber and asphalt. I glared at the landscape knowing that my family will eventually die and that this road might be the villain, but I didn't turn around.

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