There is nothing more freeing than driving at night with the music loud and the windows down. That’s what Elliot thought as she drove the roads home. The cool breeze danced across her face and head, causing hair to fall from the loose ponytail she had assembled earlier that night. She felt happy for the first time in a long time due to the pain in her left arm, the wolf took an hour to outline- she needed to make another appointment to get it shaded in. There was something relaxing about the needle prodding her skin with ink. Elliot didn’t expect to like the pain so much, she wanted to remember the sensation forever. You can’t get all of the senses in a picture, so she closed her eyes to soak up the needle’s stabs. Elliot turned the radio up and began to sing along.
Elliot wouldn’t be caught doing this in the company of someone, she hated singing in front of people. This was what life was about, Elliot decided that she had never been happier than in that moment. She never thought the happiest moment in life would be alone. She assumed it would have been when she married or held her child for the first time. That’s what everyone told her anyway, even though she never wanted any of it. She just wanted to experience sex and then be done with it all.
But no one knew that.
Her car had passed inspection a couple of weeks prior, but that wasn’t enough for her to miss the 3 ½ point buck. She wasn’t speeding. The crushing of glass and screeching of tires thundered above the music briefly. The buck died instantly, its body easily breaking through the windshield.
Elliot’s seat belt wasn’t enough to protect her from the antlers, and they pierced into her stomach. The stench of blood clouded her senses; she couldn’t tell if the car had stopped moving until it dipped into the ditch of the back road, jerking the antlers further into her.
Elliot didn’t cry, she didn’t panic despite her heart rate seeming to accelerate. She assumed it was natural and let things take over. Only now, she was overcome with sadness; because people would never know who she truly was:
That her favorite flowers were forget-me-nots and not the baby’s breath that would be used in her funeral.
That she really didn’t have a favorite colour.
That she really did like hugs.
That her favorite scent was fresh linen.
That she wanted to die for so fucking long except for now.
Elliot looked down and stared at the buck, it’s dead eyes looking back up at her; blood dripped from its mouth and onto Elliot’s pant leg. She brushed the glass from the buck’s neck and rested her hand upon it, it was still warm. Elliot didn’t think the last thing she would be doing was petting a dead buck and listening to music, then again she didn’t have the luxury of knowing she was going to die that day otherwise she would have done so many things differently. She would have eaten more chocolate that day, asked her friend to become one with benefits, and take her away. She would have told more people to fuck themselves. She would have tried to be healthier and build more stamina to run to the light as she was now.
People would forget about her after a while and only remember the freak accident. She would be memorialized for how peaceful she looked, her head slumped with the buck’s head lying on her knee.
Amanda May is a senior at Lindenwood University. She is majoring in English Literature with an Emphasis in Creative Writing and minoring in Journalism. When she isn’t writing, she can probably be found screaming or crying (or both) about Star Wars, anime, or Florence + The Machine. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @Amandalorian451