The Passing at Highway 10 – part 8

We had only been on the road for about 20 minutes when we saw the headlights.  Sally jumped up real quick like in her seat, and I saw this look of alertness in her eyes.  She told me to stop the rig so that we could get out and check the situation, you see.  I slowed down to a stop right alongside the lone car in the road, and we both peeked out into the black of the night.  It was a single car stopped in the middle of the road, smashed to bits and with the headlights still running.  The roads were deserted, and from the look of it, we’d just missed the bang up by no more than minutes.  This was a stretch of Highway 10 that was without street lights, so the whole scene looked like something out of a scary movie.  Dark trees swaying on either side of us, rain slamming the whole place, and the mess on the road that greeted us like a drunk friend that you wished would just disappear.  The driver’s head was slumped out of the broken driver’s side window, and the rain was coating it like nobody’s business.  The head was sliced and diced something fierce from what I could see in the dim light, and I didn’t see any movement.  I wondered what the hell he hit, maybe a deer or something, because his front end was smashed up to high heaven and his windshield was split to kingdom come.  The only motion I saw was the raindrops falling in the glow of his headlights.

Sally looked over at me, and we both knew that we had to see if this guy was ok.  She popped out of the rig, and I jumped right out after her, and right at the same time, we looked back and saw the mangled body sprawled out a ways in front of the car.  We must have passed it and didn’t even see it when we pulled up alongside the car.  I winced when I saw it; it was busted up horribly, and it’s legs and arms were twisted up like a broken fence.  Even though it was raining cats, dogs, and the whole damned animal shelter, the body was still coated red with sticky looking blood that ran black under that dark sky.  It oozed off of his body like hot fudge on a sundae.  The light from the headlights gave it this creepy ass shadow, too; the kind that makes you think twice before you act.  Sally took control, though; she seemed like one of those people that just came alive in crisis shit.  She told me to check on the guy in the car, and she’d run over and check on the body in the road.  She wanted to check the pulse, she said.  We were both wet to the bone at this point, I mean soaking wet.  She took off after the body, and I watched her slosh the ten or so feet just to make sure I could see her in the light of the headlights.  I peered into the car, and the radio was still on.  It was the same guy that was crooning up a storm in my rig.  At least he had good taste in music.  I looked closer to see the driver’s face, and to poke around for a pulse.  A streak of lightning flashed, and I caught a good glimpse of his face; it was smashed up pretty bad, and I reached over to pinch his throat and check for a pulse.  It was a guy, maybe late 20’s, maybe older, but I couldn’t tell because his face looked like fresh ground beef.

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