“The Highway”

“Why do deer cross roads?”

“Oh, God. Okay. Why?”

“Because they’re… Wait for it…”

“I’m waiting.”

“Well, deer, it’s because they’re… deer-ly committed to getting to the other side.”

“Wow. Two in one. You are absolutely amazing.”

“Sure, sure. That tastes like bitter sarcasm to me!”

“Not at all! But speaking of taste… I do really wish your humor came with, oh, I don’t know: caffeine, two sugars, a little bit of milk…”

“Okay, that’s it. I’m driving. I think I could. Thirty-ish more minutes till the next rest stop, right?”

“Just about, yeah. But you don’t have to, baby. We’re just going to pull over, okay? I’m really sorry. I’m just extremely tired. I’m scared to even blink.”

“Don’t apologize for being careful. I’ll probably get a little bit of sleep, too.”

“Guess what?”

“What?”

“You are so fucking a-doe-able.”

***

“I feel a lot better. Hey, what’s wrong?”

“I just… I don’t know, I feel useless. I mean, for God’s sake, it’s not like I can’t use my legs or anything. I can physically drive if I have to, it’s just—”

“Listen to me. You’re not useless, at all. That word doesn’t even belong in any sentence used to describe you. But I’m not going to let you drive. Not yet. It’s too soon.”

“It’s been a month, Alan. It’s been a month and I can still… see it. I can still see its glowing eyes getting bigger and bigger. I can still hear its monstrous roar getting louder and louder. And that horrible screech…”

“That truck almost killed you. Something like that takes time to fully recover from. Mentally. A lot of time. Listen, you’re the strongest woman I know and have ever known. You’re going to make it through this. I promise. And now I know how we’re going to make it through these remaining two hours. Let’s listen to some ‘Whispers in the Dark.’ I know how much you love that podcast.”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too. So mu—”

“Alan? What? What is it? What’s wrong?”

“There’s someone in the backseat. Get out of the car! Go!”

***

“Daina, look at me. Just keep your eyes on me, okay?”

“W-What’s going on? I… I can’t f-feel my legs… Alan, I can’t feel them. I can’t feel my legs! I can’t… W-Where are they? These aren’t my legs… Where are my legs?! Wh—”

“Hey! You piece of shit, don’t fucking touch her! Leave her alone, you sick fuck! No! Don’t—”

***

“You’re awake. Good girl. You see, today I just… don’t feel right eating something that looks human, you know? But you? You don’t really look human anymore, do you? No. You don’t.”

“Fuck you!”

“Hey! Get back here! Ha, look at you run! Good luck getting across the road! Hell, you don’t even know which fucking way to go! Don’t push too hard now or you’ll rip your stitches!”

***

“You good, ma’am? You know you’re blocking the lane, right? Whoa… What a fucking mess.”

“I… hit a woman.”

“What? You mean that? Are you crazy? I’ve had quite a few women throughout the years, and that right there’s not even human. Step out of the truck. Look at what’s left of it. See? Look at the head and legs. You hit a deer, woman. It happens. Those fuckers just love crossing the road for some reason!”

“No. You don’t understand. It was a woman’s scream… She screamed.”

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