Pit Stop

by Shelagh Power-Chopra

When I hit the dog, Abe screamed like one of those girls in a Japanese horror movie—a shrill wail that went right through my skin. I didn't feel much as I got out of the car, I was more annoyed at the scream, the icy air around us and our eventual destination—his parents, the club, small talk, all that drunken insignia.

I looked sideways at him as he examined the dog, patting its stomach, stroking its back, searching for signs of life. The dog was certainly dead, one ear was torn off and you couldn't make out much of its face; it looked like one of those old family photos where there's something blurry in the background, something you really can't make out.

“It's dead,” was all I said but Abe was insistent and tugged at my sleeve. He had on this ridiculous trench coat, it was too big and hovered over his shoulders like a grim raincloud. I pulled it off his back and threw it over the dog—but you could still see it's hind legs, isolated as if in mid run. I felt a swift jab to my gut, as if Abe had punched me, as if the road had suddenly narrowed, washed itself out, leaving only dirt and bone.