Sonata Macabre – Avian

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Why does Squirrel cross the road? He knows the greener look of the other grass to be a trick of the sunlight. Just as there might be more, there might be less. Yet that doesn’t stop him from taking the first step.

Perhaps because it was never an issue before? Squirrel has acorns stored on the other side, 67 to be exact, each location as vivid in his mind as the moment of the initial hiding. Squirrel visits often, not to feast, but to ensure they have not been disturbed. Those conquests are all Squirrel has.

Treasure on his mind, Squirrel scurries across, but stops before reaching the double yellow line. The critter turns to consider what is being left behind, wondering why it feels like a permanent decision when he’s made the journey, back and forth, many times. He insists to himself that everything always waits for him, treasure, friends, and family; this would be no different.

Now, without conflict, Squirrel saunters the rest of the way across the road, even taking time to inspect an acorn shaped rock in the far lane. Though its inability to provide sustenance is as clear as the sunshine glinting off its gray surface, Squirrel’s fascination with the rock persists. 

He clicks it against street to see if it’ll crack – it doesn’t. He licks it, and tries a half-hearted nibble just to be sure it isn’t food – it isn’t.

That is when a car rounds the bend in the road. The vehicle is zipping safely over Squirrel’s head when it occurs to Driver what they’d seen moments prior. They hit the brakes, spin the wheel, and as the metal obliges Driver loses sense of what is straight.

Rock still in hand, Squirrel watches car skid into a ditch. A wheel pops off, and retaining a sad, half-momentum, goes on a solitary roll toward where it had been headed.

And then, from the bend in that direction, appears a semi-truck; its Driver, conscious of towing expensive cargo, hits the emergency brake upon seeing the stray wheel. And though the truck skids to a halt without crashing, its cab makes contact with the runaway rubber.

Still frozen, clutching that rock, Squirrel watches the wheel rebound toward him, faster, faster, – smash.

One driver stumbles out of crash clutching head, the other goes to make sure the first is okay. Neither makes mention of the new spot of roadkill, as for them, far more important things are now at hand.

But something does take notice; Crow lands on the road to gnash on the remains of Squirrel.


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