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Pulling my steering wheel to the right and slamming my foot down onto the break, I could hear the screech of tires ripping against the pavement as well as my angry shouts, telling my truck to turn, to stop, not to hit the majestic creature in front of me.
But as luck would have it, an awful thud crashed against the front fender of my truck and I again pulled my steering wheel as hard as I could to the right, feeling my tires spin, trying to gain traction on the snowy roads. A moment later, the forest came into the view of my windshield and my body was forced forward with the impact as my truck slipped off the road and managed to get itself wedged between a pair of trees, coming to a complete and total halt.
Silence once more blanketed the snowy night, as though nothing of my previous escapade had just occurred. Finally, I let out a long breath that I hadn't realized I was holding and looked around, patting my hands over my body to make sure that I was still all the way there. Two legs, two feet, ten toes, two arms, two hands, ten fingers, a face with two eyes, a nose, a mouth. Everything was here. I was alright, not even a scratch, and my truck, I knew before even stepping out, was built to last. The paint job would, most likely, be the one thing that would need to be repaired.
It took me another moment to gather my bearings, to still the shaking in my hands and calm my thundering pulse, before I was able to turn and look behind me at the road, surprised that my truck had made it completely off and there was nothing hanging out, only the tire tracks in the snow to prove that my truck was back here.
But there was something else out there, on the road. A dark figure was collapsed in the fresh snow, it's body seeming to lay in an awkward position. Without a second of hesitation, I forced my truck's door open and stepped out into the frigid night, pulling my white, marshmallow-like coat tighter around my body as I stepped out. Winter's breath had taken full hold over everything now and bit at my body, fighting to find a way to get inside my coat and penetrate the layer of heat the down feathers provided me.
Clumping through the snow to get back to the road, I realized with startling horror that I had, despite my efforts to move away from the being, hit the doe. Rushing forward, I crossed my fingers and quickly repeated the phrase 'please be alright, please be alright,' over and over again as I walked over to the stilled animal that lay crippled in the center of the road.
To my continued despair, it came to my realization that, no, the innocent deer was not alright. The snow around it's body had been stained an abhorrent shade of what appeared to be ebony from the bleaching light of the moon. Shaking my head, I found that panic was beginning to sweep through me. While looking closer at the doe's figure, there was no continuous rise and fall of it's chest. It's lifeless eyes stared forward, unable to see a single thing.
Why hadn't it run? Why had it just stopped like that when I moved around the corner? Surely it would have seen the lighted pathway that my headlights had cut through the falling snow. Anything with a brain would have run, would have found some way to move away from the oncoming car. What sort of creature stood in the way of car when it was obviously going to get hit?
It was then that I realized how idiotic this deer must have been. This was no marvelous being of the forest, it was an insignificant fool with no ability to think whatsoever. It had just frozen and stared at the headlights of my truck, as though it was asking to be killed.
Deciding that I had done the world a favor by eliminating one of these lethargic creatures, I turned away from it's prone figure, unable to believe that something of such a simple mind had ever held any allure to me.
At that moment when I turned around, a frightening bright light froze me in my tracks. I couldn't move. Something about this light and the way that it seemed to move closer to me locked my in some sort of morbid fascination. The blare of the car horn came far too late in order to snap me out of my examination and I was trapped.
A deer in the headlights.
I hereby certify that this is my own writing and is completely original. Jessica Launius