Roadkill - 10/1/2020


I once told my kits that the stars were members of our clan who had passed away. After every dusk, I said, generations of our kind gaze at us with buzzing curiosity. Without tiring, they watch. Without boredom, they listen. I couldn't go as far as to say I knew their intent or what their opinions of us were, for I liked giving the little ones the right to speculate. I never gave them the confidence that what I shared was a fact nor did I say I subscribed to that particular belief. I was probably irreligious; however, I routinely wasted myself in thought. You could blame my kits, of course. They were inquisitive little scamps, always begging for any drops of knowledge they could squeeze out of me. Certainly, none of my most scientific answers could seal their lips. And certainly, I preferred it that way. Indeed, I adored struggling to muster up answers that equated their aimless inquiries. And my strategy of leaving them vulnerable to the formation of new ideas perpetuated a cycle of addiction, both with them and, surprisingly, myself. The family of which I was raised in derided forms of questioning that regarded anything beyond individuals. Nature was simply eternal, ever stable, perilous but acceptably fair. Quietly in the depths of my parents' burrow, I figured that was inaccurate. Somehow, my kits challenged current notions of nature without experiencing much of nature herself.

Once more, I crawled over to my love, still shaking with each step. A haphazard smile endured as I attempted to be accepting of her untimely peace. There, she slept on a long strip of rough yet ailing land that retained yesterday's rain, where the horizon blurred among the paramount darkness. Her brilliant figure appeared to hover in the atmosphere like the innumerable dots I saw being escorted by the waxing crescent. Carefully, I approached my mate and took note of the awkward position of her head. It was inappropriate for her, whose intelligence was unequivocally exemplary, whose fur reflected the greatest of dawns. Surely, my insignificance was proven as her colors were embraced by the puddle she snuggled within. There was no doubt that this black earth underneath showed our true worth. Like every other time I awoke by her side, I was stunned and struck by feelings of unworthiness, but this time it made my stomach twist. The great things I would surrender just to hear her voice again are things I have never possessed. I am feeble, feminine, and, as she put it, "splendidly indecisive." No, I never deserved her. Invoking her self-awareness, she loved teasing me about her mysterious affection. Did I mention she was intelligent? Ever enamored I was by how the vixen took advantage of her vibrant, sometimes obese presence. Her absurdly-large tail, carrying the hues of wintry dusk, was deeply entrancing. I had followed her every move as we trekked through various mountainous passes. And on this night, as I continued to trek through this loss, I kept following and following only to keep stumbling in my tears once again.

As much as my mate had a commanding position though, her enlarged abdomen competed for my attention. Free of a broken smile, I laid my fat left ear on my dear and listened for a stir that reminded me of the spring grasses near the brook. I listened for the dainty thunder of innocent squirms and unimpressive yips that I loved to compliment with honest replies. I listened for the six itty-bitty lubs and dubs despite how much I knew of the obvious truth. Only silence could endure. Only pain could govern effortlessly. Honestly, I wanted to claw my through and get them, but what would that do? Hell has already won. Shall I concede? As if on cue, a bright beam, arrived in the distance. It flickered, passing through the trees as an ugly sound accompanied it which grossly denatured the ambiance. The object, larger than a brown bear, sported no patience when it took a sharp turn and hurried towards me and my beloved. Clouds of my breath spawned in the cold, and all of my sadness and anger seem to be advancing to a climax of epic proportions. At incredible speed, the light's intensity overwhelmed and saturated me in all directions. I clenched my teeth, closed my eyes, and attempted to stand on my hind legs so I could guarantee my end was quick.

Suddenly, I felt something minuscule land on the tip of my snout. I opened my eyes, allowing streams of tears to roll down my white chest, and I saw something I've never seen before in my young life. It was clearly an insect, but it glowed and twinkled like a star. My breathing and heartbeat subsided. I became aware of my surroundings and realized that there was no noisy beast. At first, I frowned. I thought my suffering would be too stubborn to bless me with mercy. But then my eyes were drawn to the glowing (radiating) beetle. To my bewilderment, it danced on my snout before taking off, and I instantly lost it in the sky. And then, in no time, I lost myself in the sky. The stars, each with a different luminosity, peered through my soul, my very being. And before I could turn back to my anguish, faint peculiar voices spoke to me. Immediately, I smiled. This time it was genuine. I tilted my head with gratitude as the best tears I've ever had flowed from my face. There they were—the family I thought I lost—eager to listen and watch me live on!