Daniel by Eric Nance

The next thing that happened was a blur.

A blur of familiar color, translucent in his sight. He made out sounds, but the ringing made them difficult to grasp. He heard a tapping on his window. He considered the tapping for a moment and decided that it was, indeed, on the window of his car. He imagined a boy’s face. His lap felt wet. His hand operated as he willed, finding the liquid which burned the cuts in his fingers as his groggy nose recognized the smell of cheap wine instead of urine. He made out a blinking in his sight and as he focused, ‘low gas,’ became a solitary written voice in front of him, informing about his dire situation. He wondered about the glass, everywhere.

Glass everywhere.

He wore a blazer covered in glass. He wondered why he would wear such a thing. The dashboard, yes, his eyes found the dashboard also ornamented with glass. Suddenly, as if remembering the answer he had been seeking, he became aware, instantly comfortable with the fact that a one hundred and eighty pound deer sat in the passenger seat, one of its legs at rest on his chest.

The time to address the tapping had arrived, he decided. He turned his head and saw a large black woman outside the driver’s window, amazingly not shattered, and he slowly rolled the window down, meaning to ask her what she wanted but no words made it past his lungs.

Are you ok, she exclaimed. Exclaimed, he thought. She exclaimed a question but he couldn’t be sure of the answer.

Twenty minutes later a light flashed in his eyes, the light at the end of a tunnel. The light at the end of a paramedic’s pen. The memory of his son in Atlanta flashed in his eyes, missing his first wreck with his father, stinging him with sharp recollections of Saturdays and cereal, like the light blinding him from a paramedic’s pen.

The air, dead cold, but not so cold. He couldn’t see his breath. Dark, but not so dark. The red and blue lights flipped the wet black tone of the road on and off. Night still loomed, but the darkness slowly escaped off into the morning and he really didn’t care. He remembered the cold nights in Atlanta too. He didn’t know the number to call his wife. Ex wife. His son would be in bed by now, soon crying and keeping his mother awake all night. He remembered the picture of him somewhere in the car but he did not know what had become of it, maybe soaked in wine or deer blood. He didn’t know.

Cotton stuffed in his nose. Pain throbbed in his chest. A light in his eyes. A child slept in Atlanta, one who had made him cry in the emergency room, smiling at the word boy, and a deer in his passenger seat. He didn’t know.


About the Author

Eric Nance is a resident of Peachland, North Carolina. He studies art at Wingate University and hopes to pursue a graduate degree in writing following his zillianth year of undergrad education. “Daniel” is his first published story. He generally only associates with dogs.

5 thoughts on “Daniel by Eric Nance

  1. OK, so I didn’t proof that reply. It should read “beautiful.”

  2. Vivid, distilled moment. Could also be easily turned into an fine poem!

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