Beasts of God – Day 13

Sorry, the first iteration of this post was messed up… Enjoy!…


Pure quiet.

Pure quiet and the cold, bitter silence that comes of the coldest bits of a winter night in late December. Billy laid in bed for a short time snuffling snot through his nose and down his throat and then sometimes coughing if the mucous dragged slowly in its passage. His sinuses burning ember hot and his head twisting from pain to pressure and back again. He got up and slid closed the bedroom door and went to the kitchen to pour himself a drink of red wine from a box.

He raised the blind of one window and stared into the darkness while his eyes adjusted to the pitch. Outside, the moon a simple sliver in the sky to the south and surrounding stars darting light in the firmament. He tipped back his drink and swirled it in his mouth before swallowing. The flow of phlegm in his head abated for now but the cavities of said same pressurized and drum tight. He thought of the roadkill moose on the side of the highway.

The day before, Melissa had come home and told him about a cow and calf long-legged running through one of the higher meadows beside the highway cresting the valley. The highway rose there from the lake far below and dropped again before climbing one last to their home on Resolute Road. There had been wild horses there before on the wrong side of the fence, scratching at the salted grasses in the ditch along the highway, but they had always seemed to right themselves and disappear into the snow-covered hills. The moose too, loping through winter dead grasses beside the aberration of asphalt, muling about chewing grass and cud and then hiding away in a landscape that betrayed no life. Melissa had slowed her car to catch just a little bit more of these beasts of god before she continued on down the road.

And now today, just one day after, Billy and Melissa returning home up the hill from the city, a moose stiff-legged in the ditch. And later again in the afternoon, driving back down for propane for the trailer they watched the road crew taking her away on chains hanging from the mouth of a loader, driving slowly on morbid display up the highway, her face flattened one on side, either that of impact or frozen in place lying in the ditch, a night spent dying against the frozen ground.

Billy contorted his face to the right and sucked phlegm back into the nasal passage. He snorted on either side but nothing came, so he pinched the bridge of his nose and settled back into the pressure and lowered the blind on the window.

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